“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
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…