The Most Absurd Mockbusters That Exist for Some Reason

“What’s that? There’s a new Spider-Man movie coming out? Maybe we can swoop in with…I got it….SPIDER-BOY! The Lawyers can’t get us then!”

~The Head of The Asylum

mockbusters

Unless you’re a grandmother being tricked into giving her grandson a crappy DVD for Christmas, or gluttons for punishment like most of our writing staff, there’s a chance you’ve not heard about the film studio The Asylum, or even the more broad category known as Mockbusters.

The concept behind Mockbusters is simple. There are studios, or producers, or The Asylum it’s almost always The Asylum, who aim to make money by producing hyper-low-budget movies that pretend to be, or otherwise share similar themes and titles to, popular megamillion blockbuster films. Think Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, anything with a large cultural footprint.

The thought process behind filming these low-quality mockbusters is almost insultingly uncomplicated. Avengers has the highest grossing opening weekend of all time? Just spend like $800,000 on a cheap film called Avenge Squad Assemble, and you’re almost sure to make your money back from confused old people who still buy DVDs and those amongst our staff who enjoy ironically watching bad movies (you may roll your eyes at them).

Generally speaking, the blockbusters that are being mockbusted make sense. It’s not particularly surprising that the filming of Thor led to the creation of Almighty Thor. And Jurassic World was a massive hit, so obviously you’re gonna get Jurassic City.

But what about the high-budget films that we all knew, deep down inside, were probably…not going to be smashes? The Howard the Ducks of the world? Well guess what—if Howard the Duck came out in 2020, and had a $100 million budget, there would be a Mockbuster of it, because we live in a strange world that gives us strange movies that are both A- unnecessary and B- somehow profitable. That’s why we’re going to spend TOO MUCH TIME talking to you about…

The Most Absurd Mockbusters That Exist for Some Reason

Ratatoing

The current state of Mockbusters is pretty much a monopoly ruled by The Asylum, a studio that makes cheap movies with very cheap CGI.

They figure, hey, if you make enough movies for $200,000 you’ll probably end up being profitable. And honestly, they’ve been successful in that endeavor. You probably best know The Asylum as the creators of Sharknado as well as the *checks* holy shit six films in that series. Jesus Christ. But before there was Sharknado, and, well, after there was Sharknado, their bread and butter was and has always been the “art” of Mockbusters.

When we started researching this article, we added an asterisk next to each mockbuster that was made by The Asylum, assuming that there has to be some mockbuster out there not made by that studio. We were wrong. Every single one of the 17 movies we’re going to talk about will be made by The Asylum. You gotta hand it to them, they’ve really nailed the formula.

Enough exposition. Let’s talk about some unnecessary movies.

The (Shitty) RoboCop Remake Becomes Android Cop*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.00.08 PM

The RoboCop franchise has had to suffer its fair share of humiliation. RoboCop was a perfect film. RoboCop 2 has the highest ratio of robot cops to foul-mouthed children (it’s like 2:4) of any film, and we say that as high praise. RoboCop 3 took a HARD R-rated franchise and tried to make it PG-13 with *checks notes from when we watched this shitty move 12 years ago* South African mercenaries and a flying RoboCop but somehow without ANY of that being fun.

Then, as if a Robocop sequel without Peter Weller wasn’t punishment enough, we got the RoboCop reboot. Which asked the daring question, “What if we made RoboCop trim, but boring?”

What Year Were They Released?

2014

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $130 million

Domestic Gross: $58 million

Worldwide Gross: $245 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 48%

What Was the Original About?

Listen, the original RoboCop was a masterpiece. *Stefan voice* it had everything. Acid attacks. The “I’d buy that for a dollar” guy. A criminal who gets shot in the dick.

But everything that makes RoboCop fun involves camp, gore, and aggressively blunt metaphors that were best utilized in the 80s. This remake, frankly, was dull.

Instead of having the dad from That 70’s Show shoot Alex Murphy’s arm off before shooting him in the head, this RoboCop‘s origin story is just “he got hit by a car bomb.” Which seems both less dramatic and more lazy somehow.

So yeah, it’s basically RoboCop with, like, drones. It’s not good.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

Y’all. So first of all, let’s cover one important item that applies to every single mockbuster in this article. Mockbusters only have a shot of making money when they come out around the same time as the blockbuster they are “borrowing from.” The most succesful The Asylum film, for example, was their War of the Worlds film released straight-to-DVD on the same weekend that Steven Spielberg’s War of the World came out in theaters.

(That’s also because Blockbuster bought 250,000 copies of The Asylum version, hoping to capitalize on the trickery. SHOCKING that Blockbuster ended up a footnote in history).

All of this is to prime you for the fact that every one of these movies started filming about when the blockbuster they’re imitating was announced. The Asylum knew a title, and maybe a vague one-sentence description of the plot, but little else.

As a result, these mockbuster producers were left to make their own assumptions as to what will actually happen in the original blockbusters. And, um. Let’s say they don’t always get the details right…

Anyway, in this case, Android Cop is about a Los Angeles detective in the 2040s who is given an…Android Cop partner (while the RoboCop films are centered on the RoboCop point of view, this one decided that when you get Michael Jai White as the human partner, he should get all the focus. They basically treat the Android Cop like K.I.T.T. in Night Rider).

Android Cop and Michael Jai White are supposed to find an android that has…the..mayor’s daughter’s consciousness…and in the process they discover that there’s a way to stop a disease that apparently has decimated parts of the city…and honestly we should just wrap up here.

Spending more than 30 words trying to describe an Asylum movie’s plot is not only pointless, it’s basically the equivalent of  trying to write a chicken piccata recipe on a friend’s fridge that has 70 of those word magnets randomly on it.

Were Either Films Good?

Oh God no.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Robot Police

CopBot

Let’s Find a Way to Upset Nostalgic Gen-Xers

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Becomes Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies*

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 9.25.57 PM

What Year Were They Released?

2012. The year that the world ended. We’re all in a simulation now.

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $99 million

Domestic Gross: $37 million

Worldwide Gross: $116 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 34%

What Was the Original About?

“We all know that vampires don’t exist, and that Abraham Lincoln did not hunt vampires but…this film presupposes…maybe…they do and he did?”

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

…It’s zombies instead of vampires.

Were Either Films Good?

Fuck no. And honestly, this is such a weird “blockbuster” to try to piggyback on. Like, sure it made money worldwide, but this is the equivalent of The Asylum hearing that some studio decided to spend money on a sure-to-bomb film based on, like, a board game, and decided to spend $150,000 to piggy back off it. Oh wait. Don’t read the next entry.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Abraham Lincoln Werewolf Slayer

Abraham Lincoln Ghost Whisperer

Abraham Lincoln Battles the One True Monster…His Own Insecurities

Battleship Becomes American Warships*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.03.01 PM

What’s more depressing to think about— the hundreds of people whose job depended on turning the game “Battleship” into a movie involving an alien invasion, or the people whose job depended on making their own version of that movie, but for 100X less money.

What Year Were They Released?

2012

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $210 million

Domestic Gross: $65 million

Worldwide Gross: $303 million (other countries will someday catch up on ignoring our bad movies)

RottenTomatoes Score: 34%

What Was the Original About?

*dead stare* You know the game Battleship? Apparently that gameplay of guessing random spots and shooting missiles to those spots blindly can involve…….aliens.

Sigh.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

God we don’t even want to look. But…Ugh. Fine. *goes to Wikipedia*

Holy shit, it’s weirdly accurate to the original. There’s a mystery ship starting some trouble, the AMERICAN WARSHIP chases it, and it turns out to be an invisible alien ship they have to try to…destroy?

Oh, here’s a good point to say they wanted to call this American Battleship but they got hella sued, and they decided, eh, warship is fine too. This is not the only time The Asylum has had to make such a concession.

Were Either Films Good?

Jesus, no. The nicest thing we could say about the film based on an arguably boring board game that was first played with pencils and paper in the 30s is that it’s decently forgettable if you watch it drunk.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Gunship

Battleboat

Don’t Tase Me Hasbro

Speed Racer Becomes Street Racer*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.04.46 PM

Sadly enough, with worldwide grosses, most of the movies we’re going to mention in this article, despite generally being unsuccessful domestically, ended up making money. That is not the case for Speed Racer, the Wachowskis’ much hyped follow up to The Matrix trilogy (fun fact- they did not direct V for Vandetta, though they wrote and produced that, so this was their first directorial effort after The Matrix: Neo Is Jesus Now.)

That said, The Asylum really missed the mark with their spoof—it’s so different than the source material that most articles on the subject assume it’s a Tokyo Drift homage, despite that film coming out two years earlier.

What Year Were They Released?

2008

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $120 million

Domestic Gross: $44 million

Worldwide Gross: $94 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 40%

What Was the Original About?

A film version of the famous (and unfortunately easy to mock) animated show. This is a movie that many claim has a lot of hidden depths that have been overlooked due to its “flop” status. That said no one in our staff saw Speed Racer so we’ll say it was about “VROOM VROOM GO FAST.”

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

The Asylum claims this movie was based on real events, which seems…not likely. Here’s the thing. This is a mockbuster of Speed Racer, but there are no similarities other than that cars sometimes race in it.

So, *deep breath* this movie is about, surprise, street racing.  But! The main character is a street racer who served jail time for… crippling a child during a street race? Jesus Christ!

Were Either Films Good?

Oh let’s just go ahead and assume that every film made by The Asylum is straight up trash. But Speed Racer is definitely viewed as fantastic by the folks who love Ascending Jupiter un-ironically.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Speed Streeter

Street Speeder

VROOM VROOM GO FAST

10,000 B.C. Becomes 100 Million BC*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.08.12 PM

We just want to point out that the Wikipedia page of 100 Million BC, a direct-to-DVD The Asylum film (a studio who infamously has never spend more than $1 million on production) claims that the budget on this (straight-to-DVD) film was $84 million, and its box office earnings (for a film that was never released in the box office) was $34 millions.

This, we can assure you, is fully bullshit. We would remove those sections from the Wikipedia page in question but…we honestly don’t care enough to expend that kind of effort (we say as we write 400 words about this movie).

What Year Were They Released?

*extreme dad joke voice* 1 million BC

But no, 2008

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $105 million

Domestic Gross: $95 million

Worldwide Gross: $270 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 8% (yikes)

What Was the Original About?

Cavemen just doing caveman shit.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

The same. Oh, no, wait, a bunch of NAVY Seals from 1998 going back 100 million years to save a group of soldiers that went back 100 million years in 1949. So….literally nothing at all is the same here.

Considering they were trying to profit off of a big budget movie clearly about cavemen, it’s honestly kind of impressive that they decided to lean into a “what about….NAVY SEALS FIGHTING DINOSAURS” direction here.

Were Either Films Good?

*pauses for 8 very pregnant seconds, and just breaks down sobbing*

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

1,000 BC

100,000 BC 

Help The Asylum Hired Me to Write a Movie They’re Holding My Family Hostage Please Send Help

Jack the Giant Slayer Becomes Jack the Giant Killer*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.10.19 PM

There is no easier way to jarringly bring you back seven years into the past than to say “a blockbuster CGI film about the Jack and the beanstalk fable was directed by Bryan Singer” but yeah. That was a thing that happened. Then again, not sure how sarcastic we can get about that when, you know…Battleship is a movie.

What Year Were They Released?

2013

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $220 million

Domestic Gross: $65 million

Worldwide Gross: $178 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 53%

What Was the Original About?

Mostly the whole beans story, but with a bunch of unnecessarily added set pieces. Oh and there’s this added thing of Jack having to stop Giant armies from like, destroying Earth or whatever.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

We’ve not been allowed to go to bars for the last 3 months and honestly the most joy we’ve gotten during that time was looking up the plot of this movie to see it’s only three sentences long. The plot for Jack the Giant Slayer was literally over 500 words long.

Anyway, in this one, Jack awakens a bunch of monsters with his dang beanstalk. So he goes back to kill them.

Were Either Films Good?

Most assuredly no. If we had to guess, 50% of the actors in the big budget film don’t remember a single thing from that shoot, and 100% of the actors in the Asylum one don’t remember the film because we have to assume The Asylum has a list of actors and crew that they just put in every movie they make, sort of like how if you’re successful on an HBO show you’re only going to be doing HBO programming for the next ten years.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Killer Giants

Guess Who’s Jack? Jack Again. Shady’s Jack. Tell a Friend.

San Andreas Becomes San Andreas Quake*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 4.57.05 PM

San Andreas somehow made a lot of money even though you don’t know a single person who saw it in theaters.

What Year Were They Released?

2015

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $110 million

Domestic Gross: $155 million

Worldwide Gross: $473 million

RottenTomatoes Score:  50%

What Was the Original About?

A 9.1 magnitude hits California, and The Rock is a helicopter pilot who has to save his soon-to-be-ex-wife, who are trapped in the soon-to-be-ex’s boyfriend’s office. (The boyfriend promptly ditches them which, rude).

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

A scientist correctly predicts that a 12.7 (come on, guys, seriously?) magnitude earthquake that hits and separates Los Angeles, and she rushes back to save her daughter.

We should point out that the rescue in San Andreas starts with a helicopter. In San Andreas Quake, they use a minivan.

Were Either Films Good?

Naw. San Andreas had very good special affects, and good actors, but it’s the kind of movie that you short of just passively experience. The only people who actively like and re-watch this movie are the kinds of people who have watched the movie Volcano more recently than the year 2010.

By the way, the daughter in San Andreas Quake looks like a discount Avril Lavigne impersonator.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

California Earthquake

San Andreas Line

San Andreas Starring Wayne “The Rook” Jonson

Spring Breakers Becomes Bikini Spring Break*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.11.54 PM

Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers was arguably the most the most “mainstream accessible” film he ever made, which doesn’t really say much. Here, he used typical male gaze marketing approaches to point out the dark side and general shallowness of the stereotypical “spring break” experience. It peels back the dehumanization behind these party “fantasies”, teasing them out and demystifying them by showing their manifestations in real life, albeit in a heightened form.

Woah, sorry we blacked out there. Hopefully we didn’t say anything sincere or faux-academic. This was a movie about James Franco trying to get an Oscar nomination, and people knew it existed because Selena Gomez was in a bikini for it.

That said, no one ever assumed this low-budget movie would be a blockbuster. At best it would be an art-house cultural oddity. Yet somehow it still got turned into a mockbuster that decided to go the route of “Spring Break bikini movie featuring that dude from Revenge of the Nerds.”

What Year Were They Released?

2012

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $5 million

Domestic Gross: $14 million

Worldwide Gross: $32 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 67%

What Was the Original About?

It was a film that was trying to balance “let’s get some bikini shots” with “let’s be gritty on the downside of how dangerous charismatic people can influence young attractive impressionable people” ….but yeah basically it’s about “SPRING BREAAAAK”

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

We’ll just copy/paste the imdb page here-

A group of coeds from a small conservative college break out of their shells when their marching band bus breaks down in Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break.
Our country may be broken.

Were Either Films Good?

Honestly, no. Spring Breakers at least made some very subversive choices, but let’s be real, it was a jarring and weird movie directed by a jarring and weird director. But again, we have to really hammer this home, it makes no sense that this film got the mockbuster treatment. It’d be like making a mockbuster of the movie Midsommar.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Summer Break

Spring Party Time

Listen Most of You Are Just Watching This to See Girls in Bikinis and Our Producers Are Not Only Resigned to That Fact, But That’s Pretty Much the Reason This Movie Got Made in the First Place

The Day the Earth Stood Still Becomes The Day the Earth Stopped*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 4.04.48 PM

Even though it made money, when it was announced they were planning on doing a remake of the 1951 classic film The Day the Earth Stood Still featuring Neo (before he got promoted to the rank of “John Wick”) the general consensus was “this seems unnecessary?”

But apparently not only was it necessary (despite the fact that the existence of this film left your mind around February of 2009), it needed mockbuster treatment. Sure.

What Year Were They Released?

2008

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $80 million

Domestic Gross: $79 million

Worldwide Gross: $233 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 21%

What Was the Original About?

Keanu Reeves is an alien who comes to Earth. At first he’s going to destroy Earth, because humans suck, but then he decides humans don’t suck, so he sacrifices himself to save the planet (and also knock out electricity everywhere forever, for reasons).

We’d say “spoilers” but this movie is 12 years old and bad, so we don’t really care.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

Six hundred sixty six (yes, 666) alien robots land on Earth to destroy it because humans are a threat. Two aliens (one male one female) try to see if humans are worth saving. It ends the same, kind of, only no alien ends up dying (well they both die but are revived) and humans keep their electricity after the aliens leave.

Were Either Films Good?

Hah, no. Not only were both films unforgettable, you’ll forget we wrote about them by the time you finish reading this article.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

The Day the Earth Paused

The Day the Earth No Longer Moved

The Day the Earth Slowed Down a Bunch

The Exorcism of Emily Rose Becomes Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.13.45 PM

On one hand, this movie was insanely profitable, but on the other hand, some of you reading this probably don’t remember even hearing of this movie. That said, money alone does not make a horror film profitable. Every horror film costs like $15 million to make and somehow makes $130 million worldwide. Honestly producers, why are you making movies that aren’t horror films?

That said, you know your horror film wasn’t really a true success if there’s never been talk of making a sequel. Hell, Happy Death Day was a horror film about a person reliving the same day (up till her death) forever and ever until she stopped the killer, and that somehow got a sequel.

But there’s no mockbuster of Happy Death Day. There is one of this. Maybe mockbusters should be made illegal.

What Year Were They Released?

2005

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $19 million

Domestic Gross: $75 million

Worldwide Gross: $145 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 44%

What Was the Original About?

A priest kills a 19-year-old woman during an exorcism, goes on trial for it, gets found guilty, but gets off with time served. Oh, and also there’s all this stuff on how she was actually possessed by a demon, and apparently the Virgin Mary makes an appearance at one point. Again, how did this movie end up on The Asylum’s crosshairs?

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

A priest in Florida successfully performs an exorcism. This movie had a budget of $20,000.

Were Either Films Good?

If we wanted to see a priest in a courtroom, or if we wanted to see something that cost $20,000, we’d hire writers good enough to come up with a way to finish this joke in a way that doesn’t put us on some sort of watchlist.

So no.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

The Exorcism of Jane Doe

The Exorcisor

Be GONE Satan!

When a Stranger Calls Becomes When a Killer Calls*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.16.59 PM

Before we, again, say that it is absolutely pointless to do low budget mockbusters of relatively-low-budget horror films, we just want to point out that this is the second remake on our list (with The Day the Earth Stood Still is the first) but in this case, the original was arguably almost as trash as the remake. The 1979 version has a 44% on RottenTomatoes. Which is hilarious to us.

What Year Were They Released?

2006

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $15 million

Domestic Gross: $48 million

Worldwide Gross: $57 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 9%

What Was the Original About?

A babysitter keeps getting phone calls from a murderous creep while babysitting. Eventually the calls are coming from inside the house.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

A babysitter keeps getting phone calls from a murderous creep while babysitting. Eventually the calls are coming from inside the house.

(Comically, this plot actually is more complicated, with a lot more murders and characters of note, but we wanted to do a bit here, and you honestly don’t give a shit about what this movie is about, nor should you.)

Were Either Films Good?

Nope.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

When an Unknown Caller Calls

When Your Ex Calls

When a Real Bad Bad Dude Calls

Pompeii became Apocalypse Pompeii*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 4.55.26 PM

There was about a three year stretch when movies thought that, since Game of Thrones was popular, every actor in it would become a movie star. As a result, we’ve got a whole I mess of swing-and-miss blockbuster attempts to capitalize on that. Sorry Emilia.

Anyway, this was the attempt to make Jon Snow a thing. It combines all the 1997 film fads of movies about natural disasters with all the year 2000 fads of movies taking place during the Roman Empire. It was a legit flop.

And it was turned into a Mockbuster whose sole purpose is to remind us that, alas, Gimli’s career has taken a hit post-LOTR. 

What Year Were They Released?

2014

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $100 million

Domestic Gross: $23 million

Worldwide Gross: $117 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 27%

What Was the Original About?

There’s a lot of plot points and attempts at intrigue and conflict in this movie, but ultimately it’s just a movie in Italy that ends with everyone getting exploded by a volcano.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

We truly wish we were making this up, but it takes place in present day. A former Special Ops commando visits Pomeii on vacation with his family, and the volcano erupts. He (somehow) enlists his old Special Forces team to help get his family out. We can’t stop laughing.

Were Either Films Good?

No, but holy shit, it’s going to take us a long time to get over how The Asylum really went in like, the complete opposite direction here. Why? The movie clearly took place in the past! Is it because they didn’t want to try to spend money on costumes so they needed it to be something where the actors could just wear clothes they owned? Oh, right, that’s totally the reason.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Pomp-pi

Rome Burns

Pompeii 2: The ‘Splodening

Fury Becomes Ardennes Fury

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 4.54.20 PM

It’s genuinely jarring when you see serious, personal films get the mockbuster treatment. Fury was not ever touted as a huge money grab, if anything it was made in the hopes of nabbing some award season buzz.

Sure, it ended up being profitable, but still, Aquaman this film was not. But sure, why not. We all could use a cheap low budget version of a gritty tank movie where just about everyone dies

What Year Were They Released?

2014

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $68 million

Domestic Gross: $86 million

Worldwide Gross: $212 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 76%

What Was the Original About?

It’s a war movie about a tank crew in Nazi Germany at the tail end of the war. Brad Pitt’s the commander, Shia LaBeouf is surprisingly good in it (he went very “method acting” for the role, to the point of removing one of his teeth for filming) and, oh right, just about everyone dies at the end. But bravely.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

During the Battle of the Bulge, a tank decides to save an orphanage filled with kids and nuns. Lol, what?

Were Either Films Good?

As you already know, none of these mockbusters are good. But Fury is a legitimately well done war film. If you haven’t seen it, and are okay with being a bit bummed out, check it out.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Fury Road

Mad Tank

Angry Birds (make it take place in a WW2 plane)

Battle: Los Angeles Becomes Battle of Los Angeles*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.21.40 PM

There are fewer words more depressing in the English language than “Starring Kel Mitchell” in any context outside of Good Burger.

Anyway, remember when we tried really hard to make Aaron Eckhart a thing? Like, we support the effort, he’s great, but that’s sort of fizzled out, hasn’t it?

Also, this one might be one of the most hilarious attempts to try to trick people with the title, with them just adding the word “of” to the whole thing and being like, “That should do it! Try to sue us now, lawyers.”

What Year Were They Released?

2011

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $70 million

Domestic Gross: $83 million

Worldwide Gross: $211 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 36%

What Was the Original About?

Aliens invade 20 cities, including Los Angeles, so a group of Marines suffer heavy losses but eventually destroy the Los Angeles alien command center and the information of how they do so will lead to the aliens being defeated all around the world. Hooray.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

In 1942, a UFO attacks Los Angeles, but the mysterious forces are thwarted by THE TROOPS. Seventy years later, the alien forces come back, and soldiers have to fight them.

At one point, the soldiers run into a WWII veteran who handled the first alien invasion in 1942. But he’s actually an android made by the aliens, and the good guys kill him. There’s also a female special agent with the incredibly typo-and-fake-sounding-name of Karla Smaith, who has a sword for reasons.

Were Either Films Good?

Honestly, Battle: Los Angeles isn’t bad? It’s not good, but if you like relatively mindless action with explode-y aliens.

The other one is garbage, of course.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Battlefield LA

Los Angeles Battle

Los Angeles FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Dunkirk Becomes Operation Dunkirk*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.28.24 PM

This was a legitimate prestige film. What is going on here? Again, souped up blockbusters make sense to get the mockbuster treatment. High budget Oscar bait? Not so much.

Though that being said, gotta give it up for The Asylum here, they really made sure you could easily confuse their film for the original. Understated poster, similar color themes to the original, taking advantage of the fact that the word “Dunkirk” isn’t something that can be copywritten. Credit where credit’s due.

What Year Were They Released?

2017

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $100 million

Domestic Gross: $190 million

Worldwide Gross: $527 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 93%

What Was the Original About?

The Dunkirk evacuation. But with three different storylines occupying three different lengths of time that all finally converge at the end. In case you wanted to be reminded that Christopher Nolan made this.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

This very simple plot would be insanely easy to replicate, because history, but nope. The Asylum did not go down that route. Instead, they made this Saving Private Ryan, only lamer.

Per their IMDB page description, “A band of soldiers must battle their way through Nazi territory to rescue a scientist that could help turn the tide of WWII.”

Were Either Films Good?

Well, our primary author of this article thought Dunkirk was good but that’s because he’s a 30-something white guy, which means he, by law, must say he likes every movie by Christopher Nolan and Wes Anderson. 

Listen, it won three Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture and Director, so yeah, it’s generally considered to be a good movie.

As for Operation Dunkirk… it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Almost like history wants us to forget it.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Dunkirk Battle

The Battle of Dunkirk

Dongkirk (you thought we’d write a 5,500 word article and not shoehorn a bad dick joke? Do you even KNOW us?)

After Earth Becomes AE: Apocalypse Earth*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.35.39 PM

Fun fact- Will Smith turned down the lead role in Django Unchained and instead made this M. Night Shyamalan film that came out during a seven year stretch during which the best film Shyamalan had made was either Lady in the Water, a film where a film critic is ripped apart by monsters that confuse metaphor with directors not liking getting bad reviews in their previous movies, or The Happening, a film about trees telling us to kill ourselves.

All of this is to say, it’s kind of weird that The Asylum thought that the Will-Smith-wants-his-son-to-be-a-star (lol when was the last time you thought about Jaden Smith?) vehicle would make for a good mockbuster.

What Year Were They Released?

2013

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $130 million

Domestic Gross: $60 million

Worldwide Gross: $243 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 11%

What Was the Original About?

Humans abandoned earth a thousand years earlier, and are in a war with some spooky alien things. Will Smith and his son crash land on Earth, and the most bankable star in this movie has both his legs broken, so it’s up to Jaden “Capitalizes Every First Letter When He Tweets” Smith to traverse through FUTURE NATURE EARTH to find a beacon to get rescued.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

We’ll let Wikipedia take this one for us.

A group of refugees from Earth land on a planet inhabited by ruthless aliens and fight for their survival.

Were Either Films Good?

No. Let us never speak of either of these movies again.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Post Earth

After Planet Earth

AE…IOU. And Sometimes Y

Geostorm Becomes Geo-Disaster*

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.46.35 PM

You’re a casting director. You see a script. It calls for a scientist satellite designer astronaut. And inspiration strikes. Only one man can play such a role. Gerard Butler.

Keep in mind, this movie came out the same year as It and Jumanji. Both were huge successes. And The Asylum decided that with those options on the table, that the sure fire blockbuster was going to be Geostorm.

(In case you’re curious, after the first Jumanji reboot ended up being successful, The Asylum learned their lesson. Their mockbuster of the sequel came out last year and was called The Final Level: Escaping Rancala.

If you’ve made it this far, it shouldn’t surprise you that The Asylum isn’t particularly great at names.

What Year Were They Released?

2017

How Successful Was the Original?

Budget: $120 million

Domestic Gross: $33 million (LOL)

Worldwide Gross: $221 million

RottenTomatoes Score: 16%

What Was the Original About?

To save the planet from climate change (TOPICAL) the government makes a satellite compound that can change and monitor the weather (this is not a joke—it’s called “Dutch Boy”).

That satellite (DUTCH BOY) is then hijacked by the Vice President to cause massive natural disasters (he does this to frame the President to kick him out of office so the VP can take the role of POTUS). Gerard Butler designed the satellite (named, again, DUTCH BOY), and he has to save the day or whatever.

…What Was the Mockbuster About?

Dark Matter hits Earth, causing a massive tornado, earthquake, and volcanic eruption to merge on Los Angeles. By the way, this is as good of a time as any to plop in a link to one of the trailers of these films so you can get a good sense of the production value you should expect.

Were Either Films Good?

Geostorm is kind of a classic among bad movie fans, thanks to the tireless work of How Did This Get Made?, but it’s not good. And it’s honestly hilarious that The Asylum took a bad movie that was trying to say just one serious thing (climate change is bad) and made a worse movie that decided to replace that one serious thing with “dark matter made Earth puke.” Just top notch work there.

Other Possible Alternative Mockbuster Titles

Earth Storm

Geo-Blast

Our World Is Dying. Shit Wait. This Is Too Real. Our Lawyers Aren’t Going to Let Us Use This Name

And with that, we need to take a long break from thinking about movies by The Asylum. We should just pick out a random DVD of a movie that seems like it’s serious and prestigious. An actually good movie. Oh look, Titanic II? Looks classy!

2 responses to “The Most Absurd Mockbusters That Exist for Some Reason

  1. Pingback: Every Fictional President in Film History: Ranked (#130-121—Historically Bad Presidents) | America Fun Fact of the Day

  2. Pingback: Who Fucked Up? How States Are Handling Reopening in the Time of COVID | America Fun Fact of the Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s