The Worst ‘Asylum’ Movies I’ve Ever Seen
Something you might know about me is that I love the film industry. I love analyzing, discussing, dissecting, and watching movies. If I was funny enough to be a YouTuber, film theory is what I would base my channel on. That’s why it doesn’t take much to satisfy me when choosing a movie – especially when it’s a bad movie. One of the best production companies for making bad movies is the Asylum. You’ve probably heard of their biggest hit: Sharknado. They’re the best bad movies to analyze when I’m looking for one. Below, I’ve listed my criteria for deciding which is the worst of their movies.
- Is the story confusing and poorly written?
- Do the characters feel like a stock photo pulled from Google?
- Can I tell that the effects were made by a monkey with a computer?
- How seriously does the movie take itself?
If a movie scores high on these criteria, that must make it a terrible movie. Here is my list of the worst Asylum movies!
Airplane vs Volcano
Story: The story for Airplane vs Volcano is simple enough. A passenger airliner misses its target (Hawaii) and finds itself trapped in a ring of volcanoes. Both pilots are killed, with the plane locked in autopilot. Luckily, there is a military base nearby and an experienced pilot aboard the plane. It’s a fight for survival that is hilariously compelling to watch. Overall, the story is straightforward and obvious enough, so it gets a 4 on my scale.
Characters: This is where Airplane vs Volcano is easily identified as a bad movie. All of their characters are predictable and their archetypes are found easily in other movies. The main protagonist, Rick, is a pilot with a tragic past. There’s a volcanologist with a connection to someone on the military base. A sick child and his mother are passengers on the plane, protected by an Air Marshall killed in the climax. It isn’t compelling to watch them, which is part of why you root for the volcano. This is an easy 9.
Effects: The effects are easily the most laughable part of the movie. While the airplane looks real enough, the animated volcanoes don’t pose a believable threat. Lava, smoke, and ash clouds have an equally lackluster effect on the viewer. Airplane vs Volcano‘s effects scores a 9.
Seriously: Airplane vs Volcano was a commentary on the airplanes being grounded by volcanic eruptions in 2010, which is something I can pride them on. This movie came out four years after these events, so it’s safe to say that the Asylum didn’t take this movie too seriously. That’s why they earn a 6 on the scale.
Overall Score: 7
Story: 100 years after the tragic maiden voyage of the Titanic, a foolish company christens the SS Titanic II. The ship will be following the same route that Titanic took, starting in New York and ending in England. However, a tsunami forces an iceberg into the cruise ship. It crushes one side of the ship and ruins its lifeboat ramps. Another tsunami interrupts evacuation of the remaining passengers, flipping the ship upside down. All the lifeboats have been destroyed and the ship finally sinks. Only one person who remained on the ship to this point survives. Sounds pretty confusing, right? That’s why Titanic II earns a 10 for their story.
Characters: The acting for Titanic II is actually impressive for an Asylum movie, with critics going so far as to praise Bruce Davison for his portrayal as a veteran U.S. Coast Guard captain. It wouldn’t feel right to give them a bad score for their characters, even if they are obvious archetypes, because the acting isn’t awful. Overall, I think Titanic II earns its 3 here.
Effects: I think the Wikipedia article about Titanic II sums up the effects of the movie perfectly. ‘What would James Cameron’s Titanic have been like if most of the digital effects looked like animation from a Wii cutscene?’. The answer to that question is rather simple. If Titanic‘s effects were as crude as Titanic II, you would be rooting for the iceberg. That alone earns Titanic II a 7 for their effects.
Seriously: Unlike most Asylum movies, this one feels like it’s taking itself seriously. It’s not made to be a bad movie, even if that’s how it comes off. The problem is that it’s not good enough for you to keep watching it (unless you’re me). As silly as the scenario is, it’s not enough to feel like a fun movie. While Titanic was a beautiful attempt to show a horrible event, this feels as though they’re mocking it. For those reasons alone, I have to give this one a 10.
Overall Score: 8
Story: The Eden Wildlife Zoo is opening to the public soon and hosting an intern orientation day. However, they’ve picked a terrible day because the monkeys have been turned to zombies in the animal clinic. They manage to escape, infecting other animals in the sanctuary, and kill most of the college students throughout the day. By the end of their hellish night, the survivors set fire to the aviary to prevent the disease from spreading and escape from the zoo. The story is fairly straightforward, with a heavy emphasis on survival, but their survival methods are hardly practical. It earns the 8 rating I give it.
Characters: When it came to casting this movie, I think that the producers typed their archetype into Google and selected the first image that popped up. There’s really no better way to explain the characters and how forgettable they are, which is why I’ve given them a 10.
Effects: Unlike most of the Asylum movies, there aren’t many special effects outside of the animals. The CGI model of the zoo looks realistic and the green screen environments are believable. The problem with the special effects is that none of the animals look real. For a movie set in a zoo, you expect the animals to look realistic. This gets them an easy 9 for effects.
Seriously: This is probably where they get off the easiest with Zoombies because they don’t take this movie too seriously. They know that their premise is terrible, that the acting is subpar, and that the animals don’t look realistic enough to believe. Unfortunately, I have to give this category a 6.
Overall Score: 9
Story: When a freak tornado sweeps through Los Angeles, it creates water spouts that displace sharks and flood the city with them. Bar owner Fin and his friends realize that they are in danger, setting out to rescue his estranged wife and daughter. However, the ragtag group is picked off as they journey through the city to get to them. After rescuing the wife and daughter, the group heads for their son’s flight school. There, they craft a plan to drop bombs into the water spouts and disrupt them. The finale, the worst part of the movie, shows Fin jumping into the mouth of a shark and cutting his way out with a chainsaw. This movie is crazy from start to finish and can’t pick a direction, but you can tell everyone had fun during production of it. Is there anything it deserves more than a 10 for story?
Characters: The reason you should watch this movie is the characters because they’re terribly written. Whenever you watch a man vs. nature movie, you want to root for the characters. With shark movies specifically, you want them to win! With Sharknado, it is almost impossible to root for these characters. However, I will give the cast credit for what they’re good at – having fun with a terrible movie. The only reason I’m giving them a 10 is that the scale doesn’t go any higher.
Effects: The effects of the first Sharknado movie, which spawned six movies and two documentaries and a tie-in film, are terrible. You cannot watch the movie and believe that those tornadoes are real. The sharks are no better. Even the deaths are campy and unrealistic. Because the effects could not be any worse, it has to get a 10.
Seriously: Listen, Asylum made 6 of these movies. Whether they took the first movie in the series seriously or not, there is no way that I can give them anything more than a 9 on the ‘Seriously’ scale.
Overall Score: 10
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen from the Asylum? I’ll bet they don’t beat the ones I listed.