Tag The Asylum

Mega Python Vs Gatoroid (2011)

Mega Python Vs Gatoroid (2011)

Screaming, Scratching, Biting… And that’s just THE GIRLS!

A nest of pythons is freed into the Florida Everglades by a group of animal rights activist. But these snakes soon grow larger than normal and begin killing off the local alligator population. Determined to stop the threat of the snakes and maintain the natural balance of the everglades, local park ranger Terry O’Hara hands out permits to allow hunters to shoot the pythons and keep their number down. When the ranger’s fiancé is killed by the snakes, she obtains an experimental serum, injects it into dead chickens and then starts feeding them to the gators to increase their size so that they can fend off the snakes. But with the pythons happy to eat gator eggs, the serum finds its way into their system too. Soon both the pythons and the gators are growing to gigantic size, threatening everyone.


It’s a ridiculous plot but barrel scraping springs to mind when I think of the two giant monsters that do battle in this one. Fresh from their antics with mega sharks, giant octopi and a crocosaurus, The Asylum are back for another contrived, unashamedly awful and ultimately pointless ‘versus’ film. In fact the title should be pluralised as there’s not just one mega python and gatoroid but a whole score of them on either side. It’s a clash between two genetically-enhanced reptilian armies and only two washed up 80s pop stars can save the day!

There’s little to differentiate Mega Python Vs Gatoroid from any other CGI-monster fest of late. The CGI gets worse as each new film is made and you’d get more bang for your buck out of a PC game. Not only do the snakes and gators look really fake, they recycle the same animations time after time. CGI blood is used. Human actors tangle with themselves as they wait for the computer guys to do their thing in post production. You know the score. CGI overkill has gone to the extreme in these low budget efforts and most of the time, effects seem to be implanted into the film simply for kicks when physical practical effects would have made more sense (such as the scene in which a guy is trapped underneath the dead body of a snake – watch as his hand glides through some poorly-rendered CGI when a rubber prop would have been much more believable). A slew of minor characters are fed to the monsters and the repetitive nature of each death only adds to the tedium.

Remember when the shark in Jaws only killed a handful of people? Or Michael Myers killed four people on-screen in Halloween? Less was more and you always felt more threatened. Now it’s just a race to get as many people eaten in as little time possible. Surprisingly enough, I was going to comment on the DVD cover which shows a city being destroyed by giant monsters. Unlike the other CGI monster versus films of late, Mega Python Vs Gatoroid actually does contain footage of a city being attacked by the monsters. It’s literally only a minutes worth of screen time but at least it shows them doing a little bit of damage to Miami. There is also an in-joke thrown here somewhere as one of the monsters takes out a blimp with The Asylum written on the side – it’s probably the highlight of the film in an amusing way.

Hold up though! Giant monsters beware because on hand to save humanity are a pair of 80s pop stars. Deborah Gibson and Tiffany, both teen idols in the 80s, each takes the side of one of the monsters and thus the film turns into some sort of bizarre tag team match with Gibson protective of her snakes and Tiffany desperately trying to help the gators. They both try and one-up each other which leads to the eventual catfight between the two and then realise that they need to stop their bickering and join forces to stop both sets of monsters from running wild. Dialogue throughout the film references both of their singing careers which will either leave you cringing if you know the words or completely in the dark if you’ve never heard of them before. But in a film where the actors should be winking at the camera at the silliness of it all, they play it straight. The tongue-in-cheek catfight between the two is arguably the highlight of the film, rather pitiful when you consider it’s supposed to be some giant monsters duking it out.

The scene resembles everything that the movie should have been – silly, daft and with a knowing sense of humour. Instead, it feels like an isolated scene. When all is said and done, it’s nice to see two older women playing the lead roles in a film like this instead of your typical twenty-somethings. And in a film that is scattered with moments of oversized CGI monsters, it’s sad that the biggest things on display are Tiffany’s silicone-enhanced breasts which attempt to escape her top at every opportunity. Just when things couldn’t get any more bizarre, there’s a really random cameo from Mickey Dolenz, formerly of The Monkees. See, the film doesn’t just cater for the 80s market but the 60s market too!


Mega Python Vs Gatoroid is yet another awful CGI monster mash-up which scrapes the bottom of the barrel for scraps left behind after the recent onslaught of rubbish ‘versus’ films. The sight of former pop stars Tiffany and Deborah Gibson (who apparently had a real life rivalry back when they were in the limelight) taking each other on and then teaming up may have some appeal to former fans of their music but for any lovers of monster movies, stay well clear of this mess.





Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus (2009)

Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus (2009)

Winner… Eats… All!

Following the collapse in the glacier in which they were both entombed, a gigantic megaladon shark and a monstrous octopus terrorise the seas and oceans around the world before fighting each other.


Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus has been getting a fairly decent bit of press lately. Everywhere I go, it seems to be getting mentioned, be it in newspaper write-ups, upcoming DVD magazines, plastered all over the internet – hell even Empire blogged about it. It’s the sort of trashy film I go for and have been looking forward to it for a while now. But as soon as I saw that the brains behinds this were those folks from The Asylum, I suddenly had doubts. They are the studio who love to cash-in on the big blockbusters so when Transformers came out, The Asylum made Transmorphers. When The Day the Earth Stood Still arrived in theatres, The Asylum churned out The Day the Earth Stopped. And above all, they provided the world with Supercroc, the only film about a giant 50ft crocodile that hardly has a giant 50ft crocodile in it! Suddenly my expectations to see plenty of monster mash-up action seemed a distant memory. Just how bad could this film get?

Well the answer is almost at the bottom of a bottomless pit. The ‘making of’ on the DVD states that they wanted a dialogue-heavy film – hang on a minute? Let me get this straight…..you’ve got a film about a mega shark and a giant octopus that are going to fight each other and you want to make the film “dialogue-heavy.” Give me a freakin’ break. They weren’t kidding either. The film is dull and features plenty of scenes of scientists mixing potions together, conducting experiments, talking about the giant octopus and mega shark or browsing the internet for information. But when it comes down to the boil, the stars of the show are nowhere to be seen for the bulk of the running time. You only see slightly more of them than you do in the trailer, which I might add was a lot more entertaining than the final film and received something like 1.5 million hits on YouTube.

When the shark and the octopus are on screen, the special effects are not so special at all. Clearly low budget films have just given up when it comes to making an effort with the CGI. The beasties do show up every once in a while to reek havoc on something else, be it the Golden Gate Bridge, an oil rig or, in the film’s best moment, the shark actually jumps through the air and takes out a 747. This is that sort of daft film. The problem is that these attack scenes are over so quickly. There must be about ten seconds of animation but it’s spliced between shots of human actors reacting to what is going on. The illusion is that you see more than you think you are but in reality, you’re getting less and less. The culmination of the film – the mega shark versus giant octopus fight so widely hyped up throughout the film – lasts for about a measly two minutes! And even then everything is so rushed and quickly edited together that you can’t see what is going on. It’s also inter-cut with footage of the three human characters in the little submarine watching what is going on and reacting to every tail swish or tentacle slap.

The characters are awful and just go through the motions but in a really serious manner not befitting the ridiculous story. Can someone please explain to them what film they are actually starring in? Lorenzo Lamas is no stranger to fighting rubbish CGI monsters (Raptor Island is probably top on his résumé) and he looks like he walked off the set of a porno flick here with his ponytail and sleazy suit. Deborah Gibson (an ex-pop star but I think I’m a little too young to know who she was) does little than waggle a joystick on a submarine and mix liquids in a lab. I mean is the best that the script could have them doing in the film? Actually the script manages to get the male and female scientists together for a quickie but instead of just being a token scene, it gives the characters the method in which they can lure the monsters together.

The script does manage to pepper a few nods to monster movie lore including the fact that the giant octopus heads straight for Japan after it’s released from it’s icy tomb (in the Godzilla films, the alien monster would always head straight to Japan to destroy it). There’s also a nod to the legendary Ray Harryhausen with the destruction of the Golden Gate Bridge (which featured a giant octopus destroying the bridge in It Came From Beneath the Sea) but isn’t it funny how that scene from the 50s looks infinitely better than this one does!


Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus is just a terrible film. Somehow it’s managed to grab the attention of the general public but they couldn’t have picked a worse ‘obscure’ film to latch onto. The only reason it gets points is because it has a giant shark jumping into the sky to take down a jumbo jet. You don’t see that everyday (come to think of it, you don’t exactly see it here either as it’s all blurred).





Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus (2010)

Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus (2010)

Whoever wins… we lose!

A giant prehistoric crocodile awakens and emerges from a diamond mine in the Congo where it proceeds to lay eggs all over the world. Meanwhile the mega shark which had been thought to be dead is rediscovered and promptly destroys a Navy ship before realising the eggs are a good source of food. The crocodile turns into a protective parent and the two monsters do battle whilst the Navy attempt to destroy them both with the assistance of an eclectic group of individuals including a crocodile hunter and a naval sound expert who can identify the sound of the shark.


I guess we now know who won the fight in Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus with the appearance of this even more outlandish sequel. The first film rode on a wave of internet hype, fuelled by the ridiculous title and lapped up by movie fans with a trailer which promised the world. It delivered exactly what one would expect of such a trashy monster movie made by The Asylum and that is precisely nothing. The monsters were hardly seen, the special effects were terrible and the plot, script and acting was bottom dollar. Like its predecessor, Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus will appeal solely to those people who know exactly what they’re getting themselves in for. If I gave you a blank DVD, you’d probably expect the same thing.

At least there’s more action than in previous ‘Mega’ movies which isn’t saying much as any moments of monster action are so brief and fleeting in their glimpses. There’s probably about five minutes of special effects footage here and, like its predecessor, simply cuts these minutes up into tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it clips to make you think you’ve seen more than you have. Whilst I can’t argue with the efficiency shown, it’s a cop-out to the audience who clearly only tuned in to see a giant crocodile and shark do battle with each other. Their eventual fight is pitiful with the murky underwater shots only giving us snippets of a dorsal fin or tail thrashing around.

The monsters vary in size so much that it’s hard to take them seriously. The croc is small enough that it can eat an evil diamond miner in a cave but is too big to fit into the same cave later, conveniently when one of the main characters runs into it for shelter. One moment, the croc as a big as an arena and the next moment it’s merely the size of a normal truck. Don’t even get me started on the shark which is blown out of all proportions to absurd levels and manages to sneak up on ships and submarines despite them having the latest technological advances in sonar and radar to track it. If you can believe some of the crazy things the shark, the croc and the Navy all get up to in their attempts to battle each other, maybe you’ll get some enjoyment out of this.

I really hate the script here. It’s chock full of ridiculously serious dialogue especially during the Navy scenes where the officers and grunts exchange such classics as “killzone visibility is less than 2%” and “try to find a pathway, give me a 15% window and then go high.” It’s purposely stuffy dialogue which attempts to give the film an authenticity it clear has no hope in hell of reaching. This also has the bonus effect of making the non-monster scenes drag on for hours at an end.

The cast themselves aren’t too bad despite the straightjacket-like confines of the script. Gary Stretch has the most fun, playing some sort of crocodile hunter and looking like he’s walked off the set off an Animal Planet show. Robert Picardo, most commonly known to many as the holographic doctor from Star Trek: Voyager has to make do with chewing the scenery as some Navy big wig who really wants to smoke a cigar. Sarah Lieving adds the token glamour as the hot-to-trot government agent who rarely smiles, delivers her dialogue like she’s a marionette but still manages to dress down into a white tank top for the finale. Sometimes you’ve just got to love stereotypes.


The cover box art is the most exciting thing on display here and it, quite frankly, rocks. Sadly, Mega Shark Vs Crocosaurus is just woefully inept entertainment, hard enough to watch even if you want a laugh at the sort of things that can get released on DVD nowadays.





100 Million BC (2008)

100 Million Years BC (2008)

An elite military team. Sent back in time. They will not return… Alone

A science team is stranded 100 million years ago in time when a time travel experiment in the 70s failed. 30 years later after perfecting the technology, a rescue team is sent back to retrieve them. Whilst there they encounter all manner of carnivorous dinosaurs and venomous plants. However upon their return to the present, they inadvertently bring back a dinosaur and runs rampant through Los Angeles.


The Asylum have a reputation for being cash-in merchants when it comes to the next big thing. Scroll down their list of films over the past few years and you’ll see what I mean. Whenever there’s a big blockbuster coming out, they quickly run off and make a cheap knock-off version, affectionately known as ‘mock busters.’ To show you how blatant this is, when Transformers came out, they made one called Transmorphers. You’ve got Snakes on a Train (Snakes on a Plane), I Am Omega (I Am Legend), The Da Vinci Treasure (The Da Vinci Code) – see where I am going with this? Usually their version have identikit titles as well as pretty much the same plots just with about one tenth of the budget. Can you guess which one 100 Million BC is supposed to be cashing in against?

However this one shares absolutely no similarities with Roland Emmerick’s CGI-fest 10,000 BC apart from the title. In fact this has much more to do with a solid but highly-berated film called A Sound of Thunder made a few years about time travellers who accidentally change the past and cause the modern day to change into a prehistoric wasteland. That had ideas and designs on being much more than it’s budget allowed which is a shame because it was actually pretty good. This one goes even further and takes away any budget that had and just reworks the story with their usual array of bad washed up actors and atrocious special effects.

The first thing that smacks you in the face is how the film desperately tries to be something it clearly can’t afford to be. The whole idea of time travel and changing the future needs budget to do it. So when this clearly expensive time travelling machine is located in some rusty old warehouse in Los Angeles and manned by a crew of two technicians and an army guy barking orders, you don’t buy it one bit. Even worse are the attempts to explain time travel and paradoxes – just forget the explanations and I’d probably buy it more than the two-bit attempts to describe what happened to the audience.

Actually the first half of the film is as entertaining as it could be as soon as the crew go back in time on the rescue mission. There’s plenty of grunts to be killed off in various ways. If it’s poison-spitting plants, monstrous crocodiles or just good ol’ raptors, these army guys have their backs up against it from the start. The problem starts when the dinosaur on the front of the box shows up. Only it looks nothing like that ferocious-looking thing on the box. It’s red, it’s goofy looking and it’s a travesty of CGI. There’s no other way to describe it. I honestly can’t comment on how pathetic it looks. It just sickens me to know that special effects from 50 years ago still hold up strong today whereas this cinematic turd will be flushed away in a year or so. Unfortunately this is the main threat that the characters will face both in the past and then back in the present. The dinosaur follows them back through the wormhole and proceeds to go on a “rampage” in Los Angeles. This last bit of the film reminded me a bit of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, only without the decent T-Rex and entertainment value. It also gets boring quickly as somehow the dinosaur keeps managing to hide itself and there only seems to be a handful of people doing anything about it. You’d have thought a dinosaur running rampant would cause a bit more of a panic. But this one is smart and tries to keep itself to the back alleys and streets. The front cover is grossly misleading as it looks like the dinosaur is taking on a battalion of tanks and gun ships – the reality is that one helicopter hovers around the action for a bit to keep track of the dinosaur and then the finale involves an armed vehicle.

Poor Michael Gross. For those of you who liked and enjoyed Tremors, he was Burt Gummer, the bad ass gun nut who wasn’t afraid of anything. He looks like he really needed the pay cheque here. He does add a bit of credibility to the science side of the film but I think that’s because he looks old more than anything else. A quick thought on the character that Gross plays: if you are the only guy who can operate a time travel machine, why do you go back in time to potentially be killed, thus ending the chances of your team getting back? Greg Avigan is also listed on the front cover (I’m not familiar with his work) but he has about ten lines in the film as the army commander who oversees the experiment. And Christopher Atkins is also starring. The fresh-faced young man who got to hang around with a naked Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon has turned into a grumpy-looking has-been who takes these two-bit roles to give him a leading role. My anger towards him simply stems from the fact he starred in the dreadful Caved-In: Prehistoric Terror. One thing that he should learn is how to react to something that isn’t there. It’s a hard job trying to act when the monster is added in post-production but countless actors have managed it with success. Given he seems to be taking a few of these CGI monster movie roles, would it be hard to make the effort in future?


100 Million BC is a shockingly bad film let down by everything: the shoddy acting, the ridiculous script and the abominable special effects. One of the most dreadful films I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something.




Mega Piranha (2010)

Mega Piranha (2010)

They were created to save mankind. Something went wrong.

A mutant strain of giant piranha escape into the Amazon and head down river, eating everything in their path on their way towards Florida.


It’s hard to review a film such as Mega Piranha. I mean come on, just look at what I’m up against here. On one hand the film does it’s job well in that it’s ridiculously over-the-top, uber-cheesy, makes no sense whatsoever and just bombards the viewer with anything and everything in the hope that something sticks. On the other hand, it’s ridiculously over-the-top, uber-cheesy, makes no sense whatsoever and just bombards the viewer with anything and everything in the hope that something sticks. It’s a no win scenario for some, a winner takes all scenario for others. Mega Piranha follows hot in the heels of other such ‘Mega’ monster films and could well be the worst of the lot…..although that’s like saying you’d rather die by electric chair than lethal injection.

Not coincidentally made at the same time as Piranha 3-D, the Asylum deliver another of their truly atrocious ‘mockbusters’ slap bang with all of the usual nonsense and hokem. Don’t worry about the story. Or script. Logic? That doesn’t exist. Physics – yeah whatever. They’re all inconsequential as these films are on a completely different playing field. Not even daft drinking games can make these films enjoyable. I read it somewhere else that Mega Piranha can best be described as a ‘hyperactive’ film and that is true.

There’s not a moment’s let up in anything and the film has been edited to the point of nausea. There’s no suspense building, slow build-up or gradual picking up of the pace – everything is light speed from the opening scene. Scenes are not dragged out for any more than basic necessity. Characters shout and rush their way through dialogue in order to move onto the next scene as quickly as possible. Images of mutant piranha, explosions, helicopters and military guys running around like headless chickens are there one minute, gone the next. There’s no point in even trying to sit back and enjoy everything because you won’t get chance. It’s just rapid fire filmmaking at its most basic. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that epileptics have been banned from watching this – if you’re not prone to fits before watching, you’re sure to be afterwards/

The effects for the piranhas are feeble but it was to be expected. Funnily enough, these piranha don’t have wings to fly (Piranha 2: The Spawning, I’m looking at you) but that doesn’t stop them from gracing the air like eagles, soaring through the sky and then slamming down into their victims on dry land (which then begs the question of how they manage to return to the water). As the film goes on, the fish get bigger and bigger due to the incomprehensive science mumbo jumbo so that by the time the film nears its conclusion, there are piranha leaping into the side of buildings and taking down battleships. It has to be seen to be believed. Like the case with the majority of these cheap and cheerful monster flicks, the story spends most of its time with the human villains, this time a Venezuelan general and his army of guerrillas. As I always state in these type of film, human villains simply take up unnecessary screen time. If I want to see commandos and South American mercenaries fighting each other, I’d watch an 80s action fest. It turns out that I came here to see mega piranha fish and I’m being denied that chance.

Paul Logan is the muscle-bound hero of the piece and he must have strained his vocal cords when he was bench pressing in the gym because he sounds terrible. It’s like he’s trying to channel the spirit of Arnie but without any sort of charisma and less of the muscles (though the guy is still stacked). 80s pop singer Tiffany stars as the token female scientist and its hard trying to picture her as some sort of intellectual when she spends more time positioning her silicon-enhanced chest towards the camera. Truth be told, in such films like this, the low quality of acting talent is hardly the worst crime committed given what else is on display. A mute would have as much trouble with the script.


Mega Piranha is a terrible film but trying to tear it apart is an impossible task since it’s this very nature that the film embraces. It’s just ninety minutes of pure insanity, full of examples of bad filmmaking at its most explicit and does it care? It wears this like a badge of honour on its sleeve.