If you're a fan of b-cinema and you've never heard of The Asylum then I think it's about time to familiarize yourself with them because they are unquestionably the fastest rising producers of quality b-movies out there. Think back to the glory days of Full Moon Cinema and then imagine what it would have been like if they had made better films with better production values that weren't primarily about miniaturized killers. That's what the films coming out of The Asylum have been like. Even at their worst, their films tend to be better than 99% of the b-movies cluttering video store shelves right now. To get an idea what you can expect from them, check out my reviews for a couple of their recent productions: BRAM STOKER'S WAY OF THE VAMPIRE, JOLLY ROGER: MASSACRE AT CUTTER'S COVE, and LEGION OF THE DEAD. 2005 is really proving to be the year that The Asylum breaks from the pack and makes a name for themself. I thought I'd fill you in on a few noteworthy upcoming Asylum productions; starting at the end and working backwards.
KING OF THE LOST WORLD - Starring Bruce Boxleitner and Andy Lauer, both of who were given top billings in LEGION OF THE DEAD despite having only minor roles, so don’t be surprised if their roles here are really glorified cameos. According to the vague plot description, this tale of four plane crash survivors encountering natives and giant predators in a world time forgot is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tale. I don’t recall Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever writing a story called KING OF THE LOST WORLD or, for that matter, ever writing any tales involving a giant gorilla. I even Google’d to try and try and find out but came up empty handed. Looks to me like they’re just reworking Doyle’s THE LOST WORLD and tossing in a giant gorilla as the centerpiece of the film. I wonder why...Could it be because there’s going to be some other megabudget blockbuster on movie screens this Christmas about a giant ape, with the word "King" in the title no less? Nah, probably just a coincidence right? Although still in production, KING OF THE LOST WORLD is already slated for a December 13th DVD release, which would have it on store shelves just 24 hours before a certain other film with an enormous primate opens. Again, coincidence? I don't care because I love it when b-movie makers try to capitalize on a major blockbuster with their own cheaper version.
DEAD MEN WALKING - "A horrific plague infects a maximum security prison, turning visitors, guards, and inmates into vicious, flesh-eating zombies who slaughter all in their path. A heavily armed unit of elite guards band together with the surviving inmates to battle the ravenous horde with barely a prayer of making it out alive." This one may turn out to be pretty good but I have a hard time getting excited because it's a zombie flick, a subgenre I think is really getting (I swear no pun is intended by this next comment) beaten to death. Still, it's guaranteed to be better than David DeCoteau's PRISON OF THE DEAD from a few year's back. DEAD MEN WALKING skulks into video stores on October 25th, just in time for Halloween.
THE BEAST OF BRAY ROAD - "A small Midwestern town is terrorized by a werewolf. Only a big city cop armed with silver bullets and an eccentric scientist stand in its way. Based on the true incidents that occurred in rural Wisconsin in the early 1990s." I’ve always had a thing for cryptozoology ever since I was a kid and have tried to keep up to date on all the latest unexplained monster phenomena. When I read that this film was supposedly based on true events, I had to find out for myself because I was not familiar with this Wisconsin werewolf story. Sure enough, merely typing "Beast of Bray Road" into Google provided me with all the info on the sighting of this mysterious cryptid. Check out the rather interesting and intensive write-up on the creature sightings by clicking HERE. will hit DVD shelves on September 27th, and it’s quite obvious that the film will be taking some liberties with the actual accounts, but then isn’t that what all good B-movie makers should do with such subject matter? I'm really looking forward to this one.
FRANKENSTEIN REBORN - Admittedly, this is the one I'm least interested in. I've seen the trailer and it just didn't do anything for me, but that might also have more to do with Frankenstein being one of my least favorite movie monsters and because the modern Frankenstein concept is another I feel has been done too many times already. In this modern remake of Mary Shelley's classic tale, "a neurosurgeon obsessed with the reanimation of dead flesh murders his patient and resurrects the corpse. Instead of life, he creates pure Evil as the Creature carves a path of flesh and gore through the heart of the city." Again, been there, done that. This one hits DVD shelves on August 30th.