Everyone’s talking about MGM, Paramount, and Universal this summer, but for some reason, nobody but me has the inside scoop on this summer’s films from indie horror/sci-fi titan The Asylum! Well, I know you all wanted that rectified, so here’s the inside scoop on their upcoming releases!
February is traditionally a light month for blockbusters, but the same can’t be said for mockbusters; the Asylum is releasing “Spectral Riders: Vengeful Spirit” early next month. The film focuses on a horse ranch in California that’s haunted by demonic spirits that possess their horses, turning them into “spectral riders” that hunt down the ranch hands one by one. The same month features the release of horror film “The Lady In Black”, about a wizarding school whose ghosts turn against them, and “The Chronicles”, about a secret book that can bestow superpowers and the teenage boys who go searching for it. But perhaps the most exciting news is the Asylum’s 3-D re-release of their “lost classic”, “The Phantasmal Menace”, about a secret order of alien samurai that do battle with evil kung-fu ghosts that possess corpses.
The month of March sees the long-anticipated sequel to their film “Princess of Mars”. “Prince of Mars” shows how John Carter (Antonio Sabato Jr) returns to the world of Barsoom and rises to the position of Warlord alongside his love, Dejah Thoris (played once again by Traci Lords.) This one is rumored to have a serious budget to compete with Disney’s rip-off project, “John Carter”, possibly even as much as two million dollars! (That’s a lot of dollars.) March also sees the release of “The Starvation Games”, a gruesome horror flick about a fasting competition started by a group of anorexics, and “Fury of the Titans”, a movie about the ancient Greek gods re-emerging in modern-day Los Angeles.
The Asylum takes a bit of a respite in April, only coming out with one film, but it’s a doozy. “Titanic: Adventures in the Third Dimension” is the true saga of what happened to the legendary lost vessel, as it passes through a vortex contained in the heart of an iceberg (known as “The Heart of the Sea”) and two of its passengers, Jackson and Rosie, must battle the ferocious natives of the lost planet of Pandorra. But will the robotic Terminatrix be their ally…or their assassin?
May sees an exciting twist on the “found footage” genre with “The Avenged”, about a group of everyday people trapped in Los Angeles in the middle of a vast superhero/supervillain battle. Those who’ve seen the advanced screenings have described it as “like “Cloverfield”, but with supervillains”, and some consider it the Asylum’s most ‘avant-garde’ release. Fans of military action might prefer “American Battleship”, an exciting drama about a battleship lost in the Bermuda Triangle and fighting aliens, while fans of horror will no doubt get excited about “Darkest Shadows”, the tale of an immortal vampire who has an irrational fear of darkness, but cannot survive in sunlight. Meanwhile, fans of the “weird west” genre will get their fill with “Three Men In Black”, a tale of three outlaws who ride into a town beseiged by zombies.
In June, the Asylum finally releases their long-anticipated “Grimm’s Snow White”, an ultra-faithful retelling of the Snow White story that returns it to its gory roots, along with “American G.I.: Retribution”, an action thriller about three soldiers trapped behind enemy lines who have to take down a secret research lab that creates vampire cyborg lizard zombie ninja pirahnas. (The zombie theme continues with “George Washington, Zombie Hunter”, which purports to tell ‘the true history of the Revolutionary War’.)
The Asylum is officially declaring July “superhero month”, as they come out with twin action blockbusters that focus on capes and cowls. “Amazing: Rise of the Spider-King” takes the super-hero saga and inverts it, telling the tale from the point of view of a two-bit punk as he attempts to become the hero ‘Spider-King’, only to find that his past won’t let him go. At the same time, “Fall of the Darkest Knight” is a tragic tale of the last battle of New York’s legendary superhero, as he tries one last time to battle evil with a body that is finally beginning to betray him. (Rumor has it that the two films were shot simultaneously, with the Darkest Knight battling it out with Spider-King in the finale, but The Asylum will neither confirm nor deny this exciting tidbit of info!)
After the breakneck pace of the summer, August finally sees a slowdown to the release schedule between the end of the summer movie season and the start of the Christmas season. (After the blockbuster action we’ve already discussed, we might need to take a breath!) Only “Totally Recalled” is on the Asylum slate, scheduled for August. According to the press release, this is an experimental sci-fi film about a man who develops a memory enhancer so perfect that it actually can summon past memories into tangible existence…which becomes all too dangerous when taken by an FBI profiler trying to catch a killer.
And as we finally enter the holidays, it becomes clear that the Asylum has saved the best for last. “Broken Dawn” is the terrifying tale of a pack of vampires stalked by a relentless, obsessive romantic named Dawn; this girl’s creepy, emotionally manipulative vampire fetish even freaks out the undead! Elsewhere, “Zombie World War” is an alternate history saga of a World War II fought by Germans with access to voodoo sorcery, while “Fallen Sky” is the story of a superspy’s attempts to stop a madman from hacking into the guidance systems of the world’s satellites and turning them into orbital-strike missiles. But the film everyone’s talking about is “The Unexpected Journey of the Habit”, an urban-fantasy saga about a nun recruited by a modern-day pagan shaman to rescue a circus (the Asylum used just about every actor under four feet tall in Hollywood!) from a demonic entity in the form of a gaseous cloud. The spectacular battle between the nun and Smog supposedly took upwards of a week to render digitally!
So for those of you who want to see movies, but can’t afford to see actual movies, the Asylum has your 2012 set!
(Note: Two of the titles in this are real. Try to guess which two without looking it up.)