"I think Mockbusters are like store brands. Say youíve got a cold and you walk into your local Walgreens for some medicine (and a pap smear). You see the Sudafed, and right next to it, in a box that looks remarkably similar to the national brand, the storeís own 'Nasal Decongestant.' I donít think most people buy the store brand because they think itís really Sudafed in a different box. I think they buy it because they think it will be similar to Sudafed, only cheaper.
Just like our Mockbusters. Theyíre similar to big studio films, only cheaper.
If thatís possible."
— Paul Bales
, Partner/Administrator and Operations of The Asylum
The Asylum is an American production company located in Burbank, California. They are best known for producing horror and science fiction mockbuster
films and unofficial sequels, often with a lot more graphic violence and sex than their Hollywood competition in order to make up for their low production values.
The company can turn around a movie in four months. This makes it able to produce films on short notice in order to capitalize on the marketing and surging interests generated by blockbuster films. In order to do this, the movies use no-name actors (and/or has-beens) and cheap special effects. The company produces between ten and fifteen movies a year and has released over 300 films to date.
Founded in 1997 by former Village Roadshow executives, The Asylum started out as a run-of-the-mill, low-budget indie studio, specializing in horror films. Their first largely successful film was 2005's H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds
, which was produced to coincide with Steven Spielberg's The War of the Worlds
. This film's success, largely due to movie rental chains buying it in bulk in order to cash in on the Spielberg version, led The Asylum to its current business model. The company achieved Internet notoriety in 2009 with Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus
, whose trailer went viral on YouTube
As the quote shows, they are also fully aware of their status, and cheerfully admit it.
Their website can be found here
Definitely not to be confused with Arkham Asylum
, The Asylum Emporium
, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls
or Asylum Visual Effects
- #1 Cheerleader Camp
- 100 Feet
- 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck aka Paranormal Entity 4: The Awakening
- 100 Million Years BC
- 18 Year Old Virgin
- 2-Headed Shark Attack
- 200 MPH
- 2012: Doomsday
- 2012: Ice Age
- 2012: Supernova
- 30,000 Leagues under the Sea
- 6 Guns
- 666: The Beast
- 666: The Child
- The 7 Adventures of Sinbad
- 8213: Gacy House aka Paranormal Entity 2
- The 9/11 Commission Report
- Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies
- Adopting Terror
- Age Of Dinosaurs
- Atlantic Rim
- AVH: Alien vs. Hunter
- Airline Disaster
- Alien Abduction
- Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls
- Almighty Thor
- American Warships (formerly American Battleship)
- Anneliese: the Exorcist Tapes aka Paranormal Entity 3: The Exorcist Tapes
- The Apocalypse
- Barely Legal
- Battle of Los Angeles
- Bikini Spring Break
- Blood Lake Attack Of The Killer Lampreys (for Animal Planet!)
- Born Bad
- Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse
- Countdown: Jerusalem
- The Da Vinci Treasure
- The Day the Earth Stopped
- Dead Line
- Death Racers
- Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill
- Dragon Crusaders
- Dragonquest (no relation to the video game)
- Evil Eyes
- Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers
- H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds
- Halloween Night
- Hansel and Gretel (2013)
- The Haunting Of Whaley House
- Haunting of Winchester House
- A Haunting in Salem
- Hillside Cannibals
- I Am Omega
- Invasion of the Pod People
- Jane White is Sick and Twisted
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Killers 2: The Beast
- King of the Ants
- King of the Lost World
- The Land that Time Forgot
- The Legend of Bloody Jack
- Legion of the Dead
- Mega Piranha
- Mega Python vs. Gatoroid
- Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus
- Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus
- Merlin and the War of the Dragons
- Meteor Apocalypse
- Moby Dick
- Nazis at the Center of the Earth
- Paranormal Entity
- Pirates of Treasure Island
- Princess and the Pony
- Princess of Mars
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes
- Snakes on a Train
- Sorority House Rules
- The Source/The Surge
- Street Racer
- Sunday School Musical
- The Terminators
- Titanic II
- Transmorphers: Fall of Man - A prequel to the above.
- Universal Soldiers
- War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave
- When a Killer Calls
Commonly Associated Tropes
- Artistic License: No need to get specific. We'd be here all day.
- Captain Ersatz
- Card-Carrying Villain: If they have any villain status, they certainly aren't shy about it.
- Cool Boat: A particular shot of a battleship appears in several different films.
- Copycat Cover
- Exploitation Film: Mockbusting aside, a lot of these films (especially the horror rip-offs) are like modern day Grindhouse flicks.
- Market-Based Title: 8213: Gacy House was renamed Paranormal Entity 2 in the UK, presumably because they feared British audiences wouldn't know who John Wayne Gacy was. Similarly, Anneliese: the Exorcist Tapes and 100 Ghost Street: The Return of Richard Speck were retitled as Paranormal Entity 3 and Paranormal Entity 4.
- The Mockbuster
- Production Posse
- Public Domain Character: Allan Quatermain, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula
- Public Domain Stories: Journey to the Center of the Earth, The War of the Worlds, Moby-Dick, Princess of Mars, Land That Time Forgot
- Self-Deprecation: See the page quote. They have no problem about making fun of themselves.
- Series Mascot: Sharks pop up a lot, don't they?
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: A number of their horror stories are mockbusters of current movies, but loosely based off of actual people and locations, c.f. the last three Paranormal Entity films.