2009: The Year of the Mockbusters

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Everybody’s favorite mockbuster company just doesn’t give up.

Mockbusters. Cheap, made for DVD copies of big budget hits, sporting similar titles. Biggest in this biz is The Asylum. The weekend before a new big budget movie opens, The Asylum releases a snotty little cash-in. The Da Vinci Code became The Da Vinci Treasure. Snakes on a Plane became Snakes on a Train.

Nobody knows who buys or rents these movies – but apparently, people do, because The Asylum keep on churning them out by the bucket. Their last mockbuster of 2008 was The Day the World Stopped, directed by and starring C. Thomas Howell and co-starring Judd Nelson – two actors who once had real careers. One wonders what Nelson thinks of appearing in this sci-fi thriller aping a certain new movie (in itself a remake) starring Keanu Reeves and produced by 20th Century Fox. As a matter of fact, Fox wasn’t amused and actually tried to sue The Asylum and bring them to court. However, nothing ever happened.

Before this one, The Asylum made a religious version of High School Musical and called it Sunday School Musical.

For those of you who like mockbusters, there’s lots to catch during 2009. First out was 18 Year Old Virgin, taking the cue from a comedy where the hero was 40. Terminator: Salvation, the fourth movie in the series and starring Christian Bale, opened in May – so in April, The Asylum released The Terminators, about a small band of resistance fighters battle the cyborgs that have taken control of the planet.

In June, Michael Bay followed up his his Transformers with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Fortunately, The Asylum made Transmorphers the first time around, so they put out Transmorphers: Fall of Man in June as well…

Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell bombed in theaters and was panned by critics, but that doesn’t stop The Asylum from releasing The Land that Time Forgot.

If you liked The Haunting in Connecticut, maybe you”e also like Haunting of Winchester House?

A big budget adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs classic novels about John Carter of Mars is on its way – but that doesn’t stop The Asylum from making Princess of Mars, based on the same Burroughs stories, and starring Traci Lords!

However – The Asylum’s biggest hit this year, which even opened theatrically (!) in England, is the amazing Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Now, that’s pure movie magic!


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