The Inmates are Running the Asylum

In New Column by John Tebbutt

B-Movie Sample Platter

Yes, it’s the same thing I did last week. Shut up.
Aficionados of bad movies know about The Asylum — the film distribution company responsible for cheap monster fare like Sharknado and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, as well as “mockbusters” that sound suspiciously like other, higher-profile movies (Transmorphers, The Terminators, Paranormal Entity, Titanic II). This week, Video Vulture takes a look at some of its films — and by “takes a look,” I mean that instead of watching the whole thing, I’m just going to arbitrarily fast-forward to the one-hour mark and tell you what happens. Yes, it’s the same thing I did last week. Shut up.

The Coed and the Zombie Stoner (2014). Sixty minutes into this candidly titled zombie comedy, a cute, bespectacled science student comes up with the cure to the zombie plague that’s been troubling her school. Hooray! Just in time, too — the zombies are breaking down the door to her lab. In lurches a zombie, and our lab-coated heroine sprays him full in the face with her anti-zombie aerosol. It works! The smoke clears, and slavering zombie is now just a regular guy. With breasts!

Oh. Whoops. The cure for zombie-dom also changes the patient’s sex. Another scientist berates our heroine for her sloppy invention. Geez, dude, lighten up. That is an instant zombie cure in a can. Save the world with your miracle chemical first; worry about restoring their Y-chromosomes later.

2-Headed Shark Attack (2012). A bunch of young people in swimwear reveal their ingenious monster-stopping device. (Wow, does every Asylum movie do this at the one-hour mark?) Their secret super-weapon is… an electrified net! (Not as original as a sex-change spray, but eh, what are you going to do.) They string the net up under a bridge, and watch the two-headed beastie swim around. And around. And then swim some more.

Hmmm… this looks like it’s going to take a while. I want to see how this scene pays off, but I get the impression that the movie is stalling. Time’s up; let’s go to the next movie….

Attila (2013). “Fuck! Bulldog, you dead?” growls a team of muscle-shirted tough guys to their companion, who seems to be impaled on a pole. “No sir!” replies Bulldog, through a mouthful of fake blood. “Then ram this motherfucker!” “Yes sir!”

Bulldog revs up the jeep, and drives straight into the monster, pinning him to a tree. I should point out that the “monster” is a muscleman painted black, and wearing a cloth hood and a Halloween mask. Immobilized, the creature grunts and gurgles in pain, while the soldiers leave the jeep to taunt him. The beast then spits one of his own teeth at one of the soldiers, impaling the guy’s eye. Everybody shouts F-words at the top of their lungs. Then Bulldog pulls out a hand grenade and advises his companions to leave. They do. Bulldog leers at the snarling creature. “Hey beautiful, wanna bang?” asks Bulldog, before blowing himself up, along with the jeep and (perhaps) the monster. Kaboom!

Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012). Wait — is that a robot with the head of Adolf Hitler? Holy crap, it is! A grizzled SS officer begins barking orders to a group of amateur actors (er, I mean “prisoners”) who are being herded around by Nazi storm troopers in gas masks. One of the Americans makes a break for it, enraging the Hitler-Bot. With a clank and a whirr, Robo-Hitler leaps into the air, decapitating the running man with a single swoop of his buzzsaw hand.

Wow. I take back every bad thing I ever said about The Asylum!