Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here's an Interesting Article

About my friends over at The Asylum. David Michael Latt was the director and co-screenwriter of SCARECROW SLAYER and has directed numerous movies for his company and others.

Read the article here.

It's an interesting business model that they are pursuing - a safe one to be sure as foreign buyers are always looking for cheaper, more lurid versions of studio hits. Ultimately though I think The Asylum will have to break out of that mold as a "knock-off" company (which they really aren't to begin with).

Edit: This was sent to me by my bud, Jonathan Walter.


Jonathan Walter said...

Is it true that any press is good press? Or could this article hurt The Asylum?

Bill Cunningham said...

Look at it this way - people who read the article and see those titles at the video store WILL NOW WANT TO PICK THEM UP.

That will either a) confirm what the article is saying, or b) dispute it by the viewer saying, "That wasn't a rip-off of so and so movie," or "That was a great rip-off of so and so movie."

Either way, videos were rented or purchased...

RogerRmjet said...

Just took a look at their site again. "The Pirates of Treasure Island"? "Snakes on a Train"? Man, this is just like the porno industry back in the 80s ("Romancing the Bone" was one of my favorite titles).

Bill Cunningham said...

you bring up a validpoint Roger - this sort of thing has been going on for years!

My favorite example of this sort of thing is the infamous CARNOSAUR - JURASSIC PARK situation.

DecoderRing said...

Yeah, but look at that list at the end of the article... the only Hollywood "original" on it that isn't itself a knock-off (and what is a Hollywood remake but a knock-off with more zeroes attached) is Snakes on a Plane (and the only thing really original about that concept is how unapologeticly cheesy it is)

Heck with it, why not watch Da Vinci Mystery two days early... it's not like Da Vinci Code was a great piece of cinematic art... In fact, I think I threw up a little in my mouth just typing that.

(And Roger, five little words: Sex Trek: The Next Penetration)

Steve Peterson said...

I doubt there's any mystery here so I wouldn't see any harm in the article. And the Asylum's strategy is a good one for multiple reasons, not just availability but because after you've enjoyed one pirate film a bunch of people might want to watch a few more.

The main worry would be that other low-budget companies start doing this -- and it's too late; they already are.

The upside is that the Asylum might pick up additional distribution channels as other markets decide that maybe they ought to show some Snakes on a Train too.

Aric Blue said...

I dunno--I'd be embarrassed to be stealing stuff as directly as "Snakes on a Train" and "When a Killer Calls"(which deserves special ridicule for the fact that on the cover of the box they say it's based on the urban legends from Scream, Halloween and some other movie that's NOT "When a Stranger Calls")

I know there's money in it, but personally I have a little too much (artistic) integrity to do that.

Homage is one thing, theft is another. I know they're your friends, but to bridge another subject: How do they keep from being sued?

(I read the article but it only makes brief mention of a failed case--if screenwriters can successfully sue by saying pieces of their scripts were stolen, why can't a studio sue for a movie that has clearly taken its plot line from one of theirs)

RogerRmjet said...

DecoderRing, you're right -- that's the winner, hands down.

platyjoe said...

Latt and The Asylum did King of the Ants which I highly regard. Unfortunately, they've gotten into a "rip-off" rut, it seems.

I'd imagine there are enough original horror scripts floating around, that they'll be able to pull out of "rip-off" mode, and still make money.

Bill Cunningham said...

I'd imagine there are enough original horror scripts floating around, that they'll be able to pull out of "rip-off" mode, and still make money.

You would think that right? Especially for low budget (under $500k) material?


I see a lot of stuff and it's dreck. It's not produceable, hell it's not even coherent!

There is this insane 'logic' that people have that says:

"Oh it's just a B-movie." (meaning it doesn't need to be that good)

First off:

1. There are no B-Movies anymore. When was the last time you went to a firstrun double feature?

2. Yes, it does need to be that good. Not only that good, but shorter and sweeter with no SFX.

BUT - people tend to think that whatever they write is gold and somehow DESERVES to be produced even if it's a first draft.

Those people are the reason I keep a bat near my desk.

Bill Cunningham said...

To continue the thought -

While the concepts are similar for Snakes on a Plane and Snakes on a Train...

The execution of the two concepts is very disimilar. Train is a supernatural horror movie. Plane is an action movie.

Does that mean rip-off?

platyjoe said...

I think it's obviously a ripoff.

Would they have greenlit a movie that involved snakes and a train, if the other wasn't in production and getting so much Ain't it cool publicity?

About the incoherent horror scripts: I'd rather watch a semi-original stinker than a ripoff stinker.