The Asylum

If you haven’t yet listened to our latest podcast, you may have missed our exciting announcement for the month of April. As discussed there, the Cinefessions crew will be spending April in The Asylum! What this means is that each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the month of April, a new review will go live covering a film from the famed, low-budget studio that has “never lost a dollar on any movie”, The Asylum. This company is known for their low-budget horror films, and more importantly, their “mockbusters”, which has the studio releasing low-budget equivalents of Hollywood blockbusters. For example, when Transformers released on the big screen, The Asylum released Transmorphers. A more recent example: Pompeii came out a few weeks ago in theatres, and a week earlier, on DVD and Blu-ray, The Asylum released Apocalypse Pompeii.

To the uninitiated, The Asylum may have a negative reputation. Clearly the company releases these mockbusters in order to capitalize on the multi-million dollar marketing campaigns of the Hollywood equivalents. Does this alone make The Asylum a terrible company? I don’t think so. Rather it makes them smart. If the moviegoing public is suddenly interested in learning about the tragedy of Pompeii thanks to the upcoming film, what better time to capitalize on that and release a film that is similar? Are the titles – at times – deceiving? Absolutely. But they’ve been bitten a couple of times by that in the past, and have made the necessary changes.

The point of this exercise is to look past the marketing schemes, and focus in on the people behind the work: the actors, the directors, the screenwriters, the cinematographers, and so on. These people might know that they’re making a mockbuster, but their only goal is to create a good movie, just like the big Hollywood studios. This month is all about giving these low-budget films their due, and not judging them based solely on their negative publicity, but rather their content.

Not only will there be a new review every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but this month’s podcast will also be dedicated to reviewing and discussing films from The Asylum. In fact, for the first time ever, you guys get to decide which three films we will review on the podcast! Take a second to answer the poll below, choosing which three films you’d like us to review on the podcast. You have one week from today to decide our fate, so be sure to cast your vote. If there are any other films you’d love to see reviewed this month, please let us know in the comments below, by calling 248.871.7974, or by emailing contact@cinefessions.com. 

So open your minds, tighten your straight jacket straps, and enjoy your April in The Asylum!

The Asylum

Branden Chowen
Editor-in-Chief at Cinefessions

Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.