WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
So I’m back in the saddle but feeling a little rusty; it’s been a few months since I’ve ripped a movie to shreds and I need a little practice. Pretty sure that The Asylum was founded simply for those reasons 🙂 Somehow, through the workings of some malevolent supernatural force, Hold Your Breath (or #holdyourbreath – I don’t know why) actually managed to get a (I imagine very limited) theatrical release. If malevolent supernatural forces were not involved in this process, my only other logical conclusion is that The Asylum has an entire department of buxom young females whose job it is to sleep with whoever necessary to get their movies out there. The movie’s awful, plain and simple; it actually kind of feels like it began shooting, changed scripts, carried on from there, changed scripts again, did some final shooting, and the three different movies were just thrown together for the hell of it.
As a general cautionary tale, this movie advises that at least a little caution should be taken when you come across a zealoty über-German priest out to rid the world of all its sins and vices. This is what Vicar van Hausen tried to do, murdering a number of alleged-harlots along the way, and maiming many others. For his hard work he’s been sentenced to death by electrocution, and the most bizarre array of individuals have turned out to watch the event. The proceedings get underway when a prison guard, obviously mistaking this for an episode of Deal or No Deal, prattles on about what van Hausen did. Van Hausen, before being electrocuted, manages to kill one of the guards before feeling 10 billion volts of CGI electricity coursing through his veins. But can mere CGI electricity put an end to such an evil?
Of course not. If it was, the movie wouldn’t be able to give you gratuitous shots of L-shaped breasts, now would it? Wanting to relive the glory days of high school, a group of friends decide to head off into the wilderness and leave the boring world of rent cheques and deadlines behind for a bit. Driving along their merry little way they happen upon a cemetery, where Blonde Girl tells them that they all have to hold their breath. Why? Because apparently, when a spirit is SO evil that Hell itself cannot contain it, simply holding your breath means that it is powerless. Everyone but The Stoner does this, and he becomes possessed by the ghost of van Hausen. To be fair he was a pretty obvious target from the very beginning, as his nipples are so large they could easily store an additional 3 or 4 evil spirits. In the midst of all this craziness the group decides to take a break and visit an old, abandoned insane asylum and have some sex before continuing on to the great outdoors.
After the necessary amounts of sex have been had and the movie’s done some good padding with the old electric chair, the group eventually decides to move on. Possessed Stoner has already killed a cop and set him on fire, but thankfully the body and car vanished into thin air before anyone saw what he was up to. The problem with evil ghosts, however, is that they tend to become a little slutty, and one body just can’t satisfy them. So van Hausen takes to hopping around between the group in order to exact his non-sensical revenge on the world. The group’s a bit slow so they’re gonna need a little help that comes in the shape of a hermit with a shotgun. The hermit was at the asylum when van Hausen was executed back in the 50s and, through magic of his own, has only aged about 25 years since the event. Thankfully the hermit has a little friend he can call on to bring van Hausen’s drizzle of terror to an end once and for all… maybe…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Only 5-year-olds are scared of getting caught smoking pot on a street corner.
- High school teachers take sabbaticals to recover from traumatic paper clip injuries.
- Nothing says ‘fun’ like having sex in an abandoned asylum’s mortuary/maternity ward.
- In certain circles it’s frowned upon when people in their 30s don’t behave like they did in high school.
- Blowjobs are a common bartering tool to get former badasses to sit in an electric chair.
- Two things you don’t want in life: the creation of a new asshole by means of a pitch fork, and having carnal knowledge of a bobcat.
- Possession-based amnesia is a terrible problem in areas with a lot of cemeteries.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When I’m alone and life is making me lonely I know I can always go – to the DVD cupboard and rake through it long enough until I find a movie by The Asylum. I’d had a rough day and I knew that only a movie with implausible disasters and highly questionable science would do the trick, and so far as those two things go Super Cyclone is a major winner. It’s so implausible and questionable, in fact, that I didn’t even believe the opening credits. Plus it has Dylan Vox in it, and wherever that man goes absolute cheese is sure to follow. I’m going to try and explain this bizarre series of events to you, but I recommend getting yourselves a copy and watching it yourselves – this one’s good for a few dozen laughs.
OK, so, the movie goes a little something like this. We start off on an oil rig where the men are out going about their day as usual. They’re about to tap into a rather large oil deposit which, given the current economic climate, is going to mean good business all round. During the survey of the area, however, nobody seemed to notice the GIANT magma pocket located just next to the oil, and the rig drills into it. This sudden release of pressure creates a super volcano that begins to erupt under the ocean, as well as taking out a series of small islands. Despite the fact that the rig is clearly floating, it also starts to leak into the structure but without causing any serious damage or threat to the people on board.
This erupting super volcano begins to cause a number of problems. First of all, it starts to make the ocean boil. No really – the ocean is bubbling like a kettle. This, in turn, creates a massive cyclone above the rig that’s roughly the size of the entire continent of North America, and it’s (very) gradually making its way towards land. Now this cyclone is particularly dangerous because it’s also creating freak lightning storms, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. The other problem comes in with the oil reserve – the oil begins to mix with the lava, gets sucked up into the cyclone and suddenly the whole storm (and subsequently the sky) are on fire.
Thankfully Dr Jenna Sparks is on the case. She’s Asian and uses phrases like “We may be able to use my nanotechnology research to stop the storm!”, so you know she’s gonna be able to save us all. Of course, before she can save us all she has to get herself to a safe location, which is tricky in amongst the general looting, angry black hillbillies with guns, and minor catastrophic flooding. Her first plan to save mankind involves taking one tiny plane with a suicidal pilot, flying it into the eye of the cyclone and seeding it. This will stop the storm and, through some mysteries of science, also plug the volcano. When that fails she’ll have to resort to a more daring plan of that involves a navy destroyer, some good sailing, and a tanker of liquid nitrogen. Then, and only then, will she be able to call herself Earth’s saviour and begin dating one of the daring young men that assisted her in this endeavour.
Note to self: when you win the lottery, donate an actual helicopter to The Asylum so they don’t need to keep CGing them in. It just looks silly when people are meant to look like they’re being blown by the wind from the propellers and the helicopter hasn’t been edited in anywhere near them.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation cures people with serious burn wounds.
- ‘Hold it together’ literally means grabbing onto a plank of wood and trying to stop an oil rig from falling apart.
- Warm water and moist air are the real Devil’s playground.
- Every movie needs a crew member to act as the designated hay thrower.
- Performing minor surgery in a ship’s kitchen in no way compromises minimum hygiene standards.
- Clean shirts are the signature look of a man with a college education.
- The oceans in the tropics are known to boil from time to time.
- Modern ships and cars are designed to withstand being picked up and dropped by enormous tornadoes.
- After being adrift in near-boiling water for 5 hours what you really want is to be covered with a blanket.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Alright, by this stage pretty much every b-movie fan and their dog has reviewed this movie. That said, every b-movie fan and their dog doesn’t come with the crack team of Tropical Mary, Stygian Mole and the Occult Specialist like I do. Anything made by the Asylum is virtually guaranteed to blow your mind (although rarely in a good way), but throw some Nazis into the mix and we were all very excited. And it didn’t, in any way, disappoint. If you love watching stupid horror movies that defy good taste, racial sensibilities, logic or the art of movie making in general then this is the movie for you!
We begin our tale of mystery, intrigue and a secret coven of Nazis in the middle of Antarctica. There’s a research centre there (whose name escapes me because we kept calling it Nippleheim) where Dr Adrian Reistad has brought a few dozen grad students to do a little research on various things in petri dishes. Things are going perfectly well (except for that one incident where the entire research centre was nearly exposed to flesh-eating bacteria) until two members of the team are abducted by strange men in gas masks (our Occult Specialist informs me that they are in fact Soviet gas masks and not German ones). The rest of the team pile into their clown car snow mobile and go out to try and find their lost companions.
After a short expedition in the snow the group comes across a gigantic hole in the ice. Being the highly qualified individuals they are they decide that the best thing to do is effectively throw themselves down the hole with gay abandon and hope for the best. What they find is astonishing: the centre of the Earth is surprisingly lush, full of trees and mountains and a giant light bulb functioning as a sun. The downside to this lush paradise is that it’s swarming with Nazis led by Josef Mengele. Back in 1945 when the Allies were on the approach Mengele and some of his star scientists managed to escape and made their way here where they have been keeping themselves alive by grafting bones, organs and virtually anything else they can find onto themselves. The shocking betrayal comes in when Mengele informs the group that they have been getting their new body parts from grad students provided by Dr Reistad over the years. Some of the transplants haven’t been as successful as others, however, and this group has been brought in to help the Nazis perfect their techniques before they can go about reconquering the world!
Up until this point things have been relatively normal (if a little gruesome), but of course all this Nazi experimentation has to serve some kind of greater purpose. After some inventive stem cell extraction and the use of what looks like the most amazing coffee maker ever we learn what this purpose is: Mengele somehow also managed to escape with Hitler’s head and they plan on bringing him back to life. The head will be placed in, and control, an enormous robot with more manly weapons than you could ever think possible. Mecha-Hitler and his army (that appeared out of nowhere) will then board their Nazi spaceship (yes you read that right: Nazi spaceship), drill their way back to the surface and begin taking over the world. It’s now up to the few remaining survivors of our little group to bring this spaceship down and kill Hitler once and for all!
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can lose about 10 grad students a year in the Antarctic without anybody ever asking any questions.
- Gloves from a hair dye box are perfectly suitable for performing major surgery (Maybe he’s born with it, maybe it’s Mengele).
- The centre of the earth is roughly 50 feet below the surface.
- The Germans occupied Antarctica back in World War II.
- You cannot extract stem cells from a brain.
- A vacuum cleaner is an effective tool for performing a quick abortion.
- You can rip all the skin off a person without having to worry about them succumbing to infection or massive blood loss.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
OK, I’m gonna put an idea out there and you can all tell me what you think. Four things made this movie standout when I first heard about it: 1) It’s made by the Asylum, 2) its leading ladies are Carmen Electra and 3) Brooke Hogan and, of course, 4) it’s about a giant 2-headed man-eating shark! Now, when one considers all these things, one might expect that this would be a belly full of laughs from beginning to end. One may just be disappointed. Perhaps it’s because I watched it back-to-back with Terror at Blood Fart Lake and nothing was going to compare with the awesome insanity of that movie but this little nautical nightmare just wasn’t as much fun as I was hoping for. Don’t get me wrong, it’s highly amusing to watch, but it just doesn’t have that b-grade x-factor that would let it go down in memory as a totally satisfying experience.
Now, if I understand this movie correctly (which is difficult since it all just seems so unlikely), Charlie O’Connell is a university professor taking his class out to sea to investigate something or other. What they’re investigating hardly seems important since they can’t even master the use of a compass, so we’re not really expecting them to turn out to be anything spectacular later on in life. He’s accompanied by his wife Carmen Electra, a brilliant doctor who’s dedicated her time to help any wary sailor out and cure whatever it is that may be ailing them. Everything’s going wonderfully until the boat manages to get a dead shark lodged in its propellers, bring the little exploratory expedition to an end. Thankfully there’s an atoll (which isn’t really an atoll) nearby where the group hopes they can salvage some materials to fix the boat.
The boat’s been a little bit more damaged than the group initially realises since the shark lodged in the propeller blades soon became a snack for the massive 2-headed mutant swimming around these waters. Being a rather messy and enthusiastic eater the 2-header smashed the boat’s hull and the ship’s starting to take on water and any of the crew members who try to fix it end up mysteriously eaten. Back on the atoll the students are doing there utmost best to be morons and go about being general asses and bitches. Some lesbian experimentation and threesome action comes to an abrupt halt when all concerned land up being eaten (although not in the way the one guy originally intended). Oh yeah, and the atoll’s sinking. The group’s gonna have to hustle themselves and fix the boat quickly before the land disappears from underneath them.
Thankfully Brooke Hogan’s here to save the day. Now, it’s not so much that she’s a genius as the rest of the group would lose a spelling bee to an amoeba but, in times of mutant shark attacks and atoll sinkings, one cannot afford to be picky. With her mannish good looks, straw-blonde hair and breasts that are forever threatening to fall out of her bikini, Brooke successfully manages to fix three separate boats AND figure out what’s drawing the sharks’ attention. It would appear that the creature’s two heads make it more sensitive to noise in the water, thus making it rather tricky to escape by boat. With land becoming an increasingly rare commodity and spare students that can be used as shark snacks running out Brooke and Co. will have to find a way of either teleporting off the island, sinking the main boat to send out a distress beacon or pull together a MacGyver-style plan to kill the 2-headed beast.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- It’s better to be safe than someone’s dinner.
- You have no chance of surviving at sea without a long, pointy stick.
- An all-over tan requires that a woman’s breasts be thrust forward at all times.
- Women are constantly on edge, just waiting for a man to dare them to strip naked.
- A woman only gets a limited number of chances to be a lesbian in her lifetime.
- Being eaten by a shark is not the ideal way to get a threesome going.
- Good quality lighters will continue to work even after being submerged for hours at a time.
- A small metal net and half a barrel of gas is all you need to electrocute the entire ocean.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know, I consider myself a patient if somewhat long-suffering individual so far as b-movies go. I have seen things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I have built up an immunity to things like the Asylum and Syfy Originals, but there are somethings that you just cannot prepare for. 2012: Doomsday is one of those things. Part of the Asylum’s trilogy of disaster movies that also includes 2012: Ice Age and 2012: Supernova, 2012: Doomsday is by far the worst of the trio. With this one they decided to throw in everything and then a few people’s kitchen sinks: the recipe includes Christian theology, New Age thinking and Mayan prophecy, but it was definitely left to cook for a little too long. By the end of it you’ll be so confused you’ll begin to wonder if you hallucinated the whole thing or if you actually saw this movie play out before your very eyes.
Our tale of misadventure and outright confusion begins in Mexico. Sarah is a Christian missionary incapable of displaying emotion or vocal inflection who’s on assignment in a little village in the back and beyond of nowhere trying to help out those good Christian people who are less fortunate and white than herself. The entire village has suddenly become ill and she desperately needs to find a doctor but, when that fails, a random medical student snapping photos of her jogging will just have to suffice. They realise that something is terribly wrong on the way back to the village when they pass a river that’s near boiling point and all the fish are dead and floating downstream. What possible calamity could have caused this?
The whole world going to Hell, that’s what’s causing this. Sarah’s father works for the US government tracking unusual phenomena that may have adverse effects on the planet. Somehow the combination of planetary alignment in the solar system and the sun’s rotation around the black hole at the centre of the galaxy have caused the Earth’s rotation to stop (although in this movie it has no effect on the magnetosphere), enormous storm cells to form and the continents to move around a little bit. It’s a helluva lot of stuff to have going on all at the same time. Thankfully we have Dr. Frank Richards, a man of science and reason to help us out. Well, science and reason until he discovers a crucifix in a Mayan temple and decides that the only logical thing to do will be to take it to a different Mayan temple to fulfill a prophecy as ordained by Fate. Making sense so far? Didn’t think so.
Because we don’t have enough strange people to pay attention to the movie also throws Susan at us. Susan’s a staunch atheist nurse who believes that science can explain everything. Somehow it’s going to explain her strange desire to visit a Mayan temple that she’s only ever seen in a dream as a child. Her mother, a very devout Christian woman, believes this is all part of God’s greater plan for mankind. So now all these odd people must make their way to the Mayan temple to fulfill a prophecy made by Christians in the Americas nearly a thousand years ago while avoiding a variety of natural disasters before time runs out and the entire planet is decimated. Oh yeah, and the rapture’s thrown in amongst all this just for good measure.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The words ‘we need to evacuate’ just dare a volcano to erupt.
- The Mayans were famous for their underground Christian churches.
- Scientists refuse to accept that the Mayans practised crucifixion, and are insulted if anyone even mentions it.
- Doctors often argue about whether to use medicine or just leave it up to God.
- When the world’s about to go to Hell someone needs to be there to take pictures.
- God will plummet the whole Earth into chaos just to teach one blonde woman to believe.
- God, Christ and the Fates often club together to buy humanity gifts.
- Missionaries in villages in the hell and back of nowhere often have no skills that would be useful to the people there.
- Newborn children are the exclusive property of God.
- Mankind has a dormant instinct to flock to Mayan temples that is awoken during times of the apocalypse.
- Distance in Mexico is measured in how many hills you need to climb over.
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