Search This Blog

It's That Time Again...The 2012 Asylum Looney Awards!!!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, awards season isn't in full swing until it's time to place your votes for The Looney Awards, Celebrating Excellence in Asylum Films. This will be the Awards' third year, and this time around, things are changing a little bit.

First and foremost, the nominations are gone. To call myself biased would be a laughable understatement: not only did I contribute to three Asylum films this year, I'm acquainted with many of the fine, talented people who worked on most of the others, so for me to decide which films and performances are worth rewarding would be grossly unfair. So here's how were going to work it. At this link, you'll find The Asylum's list of all their 2012 productions. All you have to do is email your ONE winner in each of the below categories, and from there, he(she/they/it) with the most votes, wins. Easy, right? Of course it is. Let's check out those categories...

BEST PICTURE
BEST ACTOR
BEST ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A NON-HUMAN*
BEST SCREENPLAY
BEST DIRECTOR
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST SCORE
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST ASYLUM MOMENT OF THE YEAR

Couple of new categories in there, that's just me keeping it fresh for you. So then, once again, simply email your winners, one per category, to AsylumLoonies@hotmail.com, by THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28th. Winners will be announced right here the very next day. That gives you plenty of time to get your hands on the flicks you haven't seen yet.

So now it's on you, Asylum-fans, not only to get your votes in, but to spread the good word far and wide. With a staggering 19 films released in 2012, there's a lot of greatness to choose from; it was The Asylum's most prolific year to date, so let's show our support and admiration by responding with a record number of votes. The clock is ticking!

* = can be animal, mineral, or meteorlogical

Age of the Hobbits Postponed

Well, due to a recent legal decision, Age of the Hobbits, set to be released tomorrow, has been officially postponed. This doesn't mean scratched, only that it will be a couple of months before the general public can see it, and then it will be under another, as yet undetermined name. This is a big shame, because not only is the film quite good, other than its title it bears no resemblance whatsoever to Jackson's latest Tolkien flick. Fret not, though, as I said, this does not mean the film will never be seen, only that it won't be seen tomorrow. Trust me, it's worth the wait.

observation notes: AGE OF THE HOBBITS

AGE OF THE HOBBITS Movie PosterOut December 11th from The Asylum is Age of the Hobbits, the second film from director Joseph J. Lawson (Nazis at the Center of the Earth) and the latest script from Eric Forsberg (Almighty Thor, Mega Piranha). No doubt anything you've heard about this film until now has tied in somehow to a legal discrepancy between The Asylum and the makers of The Hobbit. Having not seen the latter, I can still assume that in name alone is where any resemblance shared by these two films comes to an end. Yes, AotH is a fantasy epic, but its roots are steeped in anthropological history, and though there are those aforementioned fantastic elements, AotH bears more in common with films like Apocalypto, or Quest for Fire. Check out the official synopsis:

"In an ancient age, peace-loving tribe are enslaved by a race of flesh-eating dragon-riders. The young tribesman Goben must join forces with their neighbor giants, the humans, to free his people and vanquish their enemies." 

So there we start, 12,000 years in the past, embroiled in an unbalanced skirmish between Lilliputian tribesmen and gnarly-toothed cannibals, which the tribesmen attempt to balance by teaming up with those weirdo tall people the next valley over. Now, y'all know I am not a critic, I am a fan, and as such, I'm not here to dissect this movie for you, I'm here to tell you all the awesome reasons you should see it, without spoiling any of the juicy bits. So in the ever-present interest of staying spoiler-free, all I'll say of the plot is that Eric Forsberg is one of the smartest dudes writing B-movies today. It's easy to cram a lot of science, history, facts or what have you into a script, but to get it in there seamlessly, where it doesn't sound like actors reciting Wikipedia entries, and in fact weaves among the narrative in a way that is not only natural but integral, is a real accomplishment. Believe me. Forsberg here has delivered a story from an ancient age that feels timeless, a struggle as old as our kind, and as such utterly relatable. It's a thrilling, frightening, smart, suspenseful, imaginative, and truly touching story, beautifully brought to life by director Lawson.

You know the one thing never effected by a movie's budget? The eye of the guy behind the lens. David Lean could have directed Manos, and you better believe no matter what the outcome, that thing would have looked good. Lawson is one of those guys. The way he sees his movie, the shots he frames, the times he comes in close or steps back, the vitality to his action sequences, the emotional intimacy he elicits between characters; this guy's a born director, and for my money, his passion and knowledge are blindingly apparent in each frame. Team this with a great script, and what you get isn't just a good Asylum movie, it's a good movie, period. Haters are going to have to stretch on this one.  

When it comes to the cast, the names here are Christopher Judge from the Stargate TV stuff, and Bai Ling, of Crank 2 fame. Both are perfectly suited for their roles and pull them off well, but the real stars here are the tribespeople. Sun Korng as Goben and the others who play his family, they're the heart of this movie; the purity of spirit they exude, the unspoiled sense of purpose and dedicaiton to family, faith, and freedom they extract from their characters are powerful, palpable things, eliciting more than just the typical B-movie range of emotions. Today I genuinely teared up watching an Asylum movie. Who'd of thunk?

So...story? Check. Direction? Check. Performances? Check. Add to this pretty awesme creature VFX and yet another amazing score from Chris Ridenhour - I'm running out of great things to say about this guy. Truly A-list talent. - and what you get is another contender for best Asylum film of the year. It hits DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD on Tuesday: be there. 

Exclusive Interview with AGE OF THE HOBBITS Director Joseph Lawson!

Without a doubt, one of the best Asylum films to date - not just this year, but ever - is Nazis at the Center of the Earth. This mindbending adventure-sci-fi flick commanded international attention and is often the first film mentioned when people (like me and my friends) talk about the Asylum-renaissance that's been transpiring this year: a blend of better stories, better effects, and better direction.

In the case of NATCOTE, the director in question was Joseph Lawson - supervisor of the studio's in-house VFX department - working off a script from Asylum producer Paul Bales (Sherlock Holmes, Legion of the Dead). The film was Lawson's first at the helm, and was quickly recognized as the work of a great new director. Lawson returns this December with the hotly-anticipated Age of the Hobbits, an old-world tribal epic from the pen of Eric Forsberg (MegaPiranha, Almighty Thor). He was kind enough to take time out of his scarily-hectic schedule to talk to Committed about his career, passion for filmmaking, and AotH.




COMMITTED: First of all - my readers are dying for any tidbits you can give about the concept or plot of Age of the Hobbits.

Joseph Lawson: Think Apocalypto meets Frank Frazetta by way of David Lean and Steve Spielberg with a healthy dose of John Carpenter and Sam Raimi... a fantasy and creature battle epic somewhat inspired by the true scientific paleontological Homo Floresiensis living in Indonesia of 12,000 years ago. It's all through the Asylum filter, of course, including scientifically accurate winged and flying Komodo dragons. It's a very exciting Eric Forsberg script with gorgeous cinematography by Richard Vialet and it was an adventure to shoot!



 

C: What drew you to visual effects? What steps did you take to turn your interest into a career?

JL: I've been interested in both VFX and directing since I was 10, easy. The kids in J.J. Abrams' Super 8? That was me. The first thing I committed to Super 8 film was a visual effect Star Trek Starship, rechristened The Hood, NCC 1707, and I directed the one reel film with friends in it as well. It was the first of many including a jungle war movie in the depths of Okinawa. Over the years, everything has been grist for that mill... making choices that allowed for opportunities to write, direct, act, edit, do visual effects. Commercials at KRTV-3 in Great Falls, Montana... my own animation business... working for Foundation Imaging on and CG directing an episode of Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles... so many great opportunities to work with hundreds of people far more talented and capable than I to learn as much as possible.

The first thing, though, is you have to commit to the path. I truly believe that luck is where opportunity and preparation meet for those willing to grasp at the brass ring. It's not just about being at the right place at the right time... it's about training enough so that when you DO say "hey, give me a chance, please..."  to folks willing to take a chance on you, you've both earned it and are ready for it.

My wife forwarded me another saying shortly after taking on this film... "Don't just follow your dreams, lead them." I've been blessed to get that opportunity more than a few times.
 

C: How did you come to work with The Asylum?

JL: I was brought aboard in 2010 by another great artist and VFX supervisor, Mark Kochinski (now at Disney) to help start up the facility in-house. At the time, my only familiarity with Asylum was Pirates of Treasure Island, which I'd rented about a month before even KNOWING there was an Asylum. It took a bit of convincing to get me aboard. It was a challenging start with lots of technical and time hurdles to overcome but over the years we've been able to build an amazing little group of folks who accomplish far more with the resources and time than I think they'll ever get fair credit for. The producers, Latt, Rimawi and Bales, have given us a lot of support and patience as we've learned and grown with each new challenge. We strive to get better every show and, on the whole, I think our trend has been upward hopefully with good entertainment results.
 

C: What's been the hardest part about transitioning from VFX supervisor to director? What's been the best part?

JL: The hardest part is leaving behind such a great group of people in the department. We have a lot of fun in VFX while hunkering down to meet the deadlines. It's also hard to switch gears from juggling up to five films at once to suddenly concentrating on one exclusively and away from everything you know. And being away from my personal family on Age was a challenge, though my wife and kids, God bless them, are the biggest supporters of this crazy dream.

The best part, besides just the absolute "this is what I was born to do" joy of directing, is getting to know and respect even more than ever the folks in production and what THEY have to do to get an Asylum film done. Watching the dedication and artistry of people like line producer Anthony Fankhauser, the make-up work of Haley O'Neil, the stunts of Jerry Earr, the various folks on our Cambodian cast and crew and the amazing things sound man Alex Hutchinson has to do to get great audio is humbling and educational. It's probably one of the best and most challenging film schools on the planet, for those with the iron will to take it on. 

In post, working with Rob Pallatina a second time in editorial has been great because we've developed such a fantastic shorthand as a team. The Chris Ridenhour score is an emotional, orchestral and auditory powerhouse. The sound departments' creations are a wonderful ear loving canvas, the color correction by Mark Quod and his crew is rich and gorgeous, and the disc work by David Courtice is really cool.

One should also always remember behind the scenes folks like Judith, Kala, Courtney and Kendall who handle all the heavy lifting of getting the film distributed, seen and sold. There are so many more good folks at The Asylum giving them all their deserved kudos could fill THREE of these interviews!

So, it all comes down to storytelling and characters or situations you enjoy spending time with... and co-workers you enjoy spending even MORE time with.
 

C: How do you select the projects you direct? What draws you to a project?

JL: I select being involved with any project based on two sets of things... is the story cool/fun/exciting/emotionally compelling and does at least one part genuinely make me cry (and not out of pain) or laugh. If that happens... and my wife Kelly has been there when I cried as a result of character situations for both Nazis, Age and the next one... then I feel like maybe something can be drawn out that will similarly touch the audience. Ultimately, whether a film has an Asylum budget or a two hundred million budget, if you care about the characters then people will be entertained. 

What draws me to it in the first place is the ability to create good, strong visuals and weave a story no matter what the limitations. That and for Age, Latt handed me a piece of notepaper with this list: 1. You  2. Direct 3. AotH  4. Cambodia. Both Rimawi and Bales also seemed pretty excited by the prospect. Who can resist that? 
 

C: Who are some of your favorite/most inspirational directors?

JL: David Lean. Steven Spielberg. Peter Jackson. James Cameron. Robert Wise. J.J. Abrams. John Landis. John Carpenter. Robert Rodriguez. Peter Weir. Ridley Scott. I could honestly go on and on but those would be the folks whose films have most affected my vision and approach over the years. Ultimately, every director has had an effect whether it's in the inspirational vein or the Mystery Science Theatre school of how NOT to make movies. I just hope when my turn comes at the bigger bat, I'm qualified to hold even a tiny little candle to their amazing creations.

C: You shot AotH on location in Cambodia; what sort of challenges did you face shooting in a foreign country with a presumably small crew?

JL: Snakes. Land mines. Goats. Dangerous pot-hole filled travel. Rugged hikes.  Monsoons. Sketchy food. A very long plane flight. Lots of shots. Wait, why DID we do this?  Simple: at age 49 David Lean shot Bridge on the River Kwai just north in Burma... so while it's a huge bar to aim for in 15 days, it's also the fulfillment of a personal lifelong dream... to shoot with epic scope in a far off land not seen by many western cameras for a feature style film. Cambodia is one of those last best places so we have a GREAT and enthusiastic crew with a mix of Asylum vets and new eyes. We've gotten some fun stuff to see and the hope is that the end result of a cool action movie makes all the challenges worth it.



 

C: Anything you can tell us about the release?
 

JL: It's a feature packed disc, this DVD/Blu Ray.  There's a gag reel, a really sweet making of by Cody Peck, the really-sells-it-but-doesn't-tell-it kick-butt cool trailer by Brian Brinkman, four deleted scenes and a commentary where I get to sit in with editor Rob Pallitina and the wonderful Christopher Judge (who played Amthar) to have a lot of fun... with a surprise appearance by Richard Vialet, our DP. It'll also be on VOD and at Redbox (under a different title, I believe) all on December 11th.
 

C: Any Joe Lawson dream projects or people you're dying to collaborate with?

JL: I have a ton of personal story ideas and projects I'd love to do, as any writer/director does, and world building of places we HAVEN'T already gone would be a great opportunity and challenge. Playing in other folks realms, though, I'd be thrilled to get to direct a Game of Thrones episode (or five or ten), or to be part of a Star Wars live action series... and I'd actually love to have the chance to revisit a very familiar place with a different take on NATCOTE... but beyond that, someday I look forward to having the chance to pitch, write and direct the ideas and stories that I've gathered over the years.

As far as collaborating, well...  it can be the most fun part of the job and there are so many talented and creative folks in so many disciplines here at the Asylum and elsewhere. To work with any of the living folks on my director list would be a dream of a lifetime.

Heck, if Peter Jackson saw fit to take some time to watch this latest little film, THAT would be truly amazing... and he could return the favor of putting an arrow through MY chest in some future film. Consider him humbly and respectfully invited to do so. 


More importantly, though, in the spirit of encouraging folks to take a chance on their own dreams: get out there and get that ball rolling because the filmmakers I most look forward to collaborating with someday are, Mr., Miss and Mrs. Reader:  YOU!




Lawson's next feature is Age of the Dinosaurs: "Age of Dinosaurs, which is now in post, stars Treat Williams (Prince of the City, Deep Rising, 1941, Hair and TVs Everwood), Ronny Cox (Robocop, Total Recall, Deliverance) and Jillian Rose Reed (Awkward, Weeds) and was written by northwesterner Hank Woon. Set to release in May, 2013, it's the simple tale of a father and daughter rediscovering their love for each other in a city filled with rampaging dinosaurs. For his third film in one year Joe reteams with cinematographer Richard Vialet (AotH), editor Rob Pallatina (NATCOTE and AotH) and composer Chris Ridenhour for this action adventure through the streets of Los Angeles. We like to think of it as Jurassic Park 3.5."


Age of the Hobbits, as Mr. Lawson said, is out on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD December 11th. Get your hands on a copy for what promises to be a truly epic adventure.

12/12/12 Out Today

We're in the middle of an Asylum release streak, and today's the day Jared Cohn's supernatural thriller 12/12/12 hits the streets on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD. Scroll down only a few inches and you'll stumble across my notes on the film, which I found highly entertaining and scarily enjoyable. So get thee to a video dispensary and procure with your greedy little hands a copy of this end-of-the-world fright-fest; if you don't, The Asylum's gonna send that little guy below after you, and trust me, that's a BAD thing. Go, go!

observation notes: 12/12/12

Out this Tuesday from The Asylum, the supernatural thriller 12/12/12, from writer/director and Committed-fave Jared Cohn (Born Bad, Bikini Spring Break, Hold Your Breath). The film stars Sara Malakul Lane (the lovely lady scientist in Sharktopus), Jesus Guevara (Santiago, upcoming 40 Sundays), Carl Donelson (Born Bad), and Steve Hanks (Hold Your Breath, Super Cyclone), as well as Asylum regulars Jon Kondelik (Amityville Haunting, American Warships, 40 Days and Nights, Haunting of Whaley House, Nazis at the Center of the Earth etc.), Samantha Stewart (Bikini Spring Break), Erin O'Brien (Bikini Spring Break), Samuel Fisher (Nazis at the Center of the Earth), and even Cohn himself (Halloween Night, Legion of the Dead, Way of the Vampire, Alien Abduction) as, appropriately, "Jared."

The film - not a sequel to last year's supernatural thriller 11/11/11 - concerns a not-so-innocent baby boy, Sebastian, who after his birth on the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the twenty-first century, begins affecting those around him in a pretty lethal way. Soon enough, mom Veronica (Lane) comes to the only conclusion she can: lil Sebastian is a bona fide hellspawn, and the shit hasn't even begun to hit the fan.

In the interest of keeping this spoiler-free - the point's to get you to see it, after all - I'll spare you the various twists and turns of this fast-paced, thrill-a-minute fright-fest, but to say that this one holds nothing back, starting from frame one: there's gore, nudity, enough swearing to make a sailor blush, and rampant violence to keep you watching through your fingers.

Ms. Lane was my favorite part of Sharktopus - which overall I thought was weighed down by too much scientific mumbo jumbo - and the love affair continues. Girl's got mad scream-queen potential, as her work here affirms. It was my first time seeing Mr. Donelson as husband Carlos, and he brought the requisite macho concern as a father WAY out of his league.

Cohn has once again delivered a taut, twisting, barrage of thrills sure to hack at Asylum fans' horror bones. His direction adds darkness to an already pitch-black story, and his intimacy with the acts of violence throughout submerge viewers into the Hell he is unleashing on-screen. The film has a very urban-gothic feel, a sinister, ironic claustrophobia that really elevates the tension and suspense.

A little bit Omen, a little bit Rosemary's Baby, a tad of The Beast Within, and a whole lot of nail-biting originality makes 12/12/12 a post-Halloween horror treat genre fans should enjoy. It's out this Tuesday, December 4th, on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD.

New Asylum Titles Announced!

Up on The Asylum page today there's a new title in the "Coming Soon" section, Jack the Giant Killer. Dig the synopsis:

"A giant beanstalk brings Jack to a land in the clouds filled with snarling, evil beasts. When the creatures make their way to the ground, Jack must figure out how to get back down before they destroy earth and everyone in it."

Well that just sounds fucking spectacular. It gets even better when you realize that the film is written and directed by one of The Asylum's most prolific talents, Mark Atkins. This will mark Atkins' (pun definitely intended) 11th turn as director for the studio - 11th - behind such classics as Halloween Night, Haunting of Winchester House, Princess of Mars, Battle of Los Angeles, Dragon Crusaders and Alien Origin. This guy is, as the kids say, the bee's knees. 

The film is set to star Jane March, who earlier this year played the Wicked Queen in Grimm's Snow White, and Ben Cross, best known for playing Barnabus Collins in the 90's "Dark Shadows" relaunch, and Spock's dad in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie. 

The film drops March 12, 2013, 10 days after Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant SLAYER hits theaters. And in case you're thinking "lawsuit," nope, there was another film called Jack the Giant Killer made back in 1962, and there are similarly-themed fairy tales in Cornish, Welsh, and Norse cultures, among others. Boo-ya!

But wait, there's more - 500 MPH Storm: "When an energy experiment goes haywire, a rash of massive hurricanes rips across North America. A high school science teacher must get his family to safety before the hurricanes merge, creating a "hypercane" with the power to wipe the US off the map."

This one's from director Daniel Lusko and writer Hank Woon Jr., and stars...wait for it...CASPER VAN DIEN! That's right, Johnny Rico himself has FINALLY graced an Asylum flick! Also starring is Michael Beach, best known for "Third Watch." The film streets February 26th.

Also announced, a DVD date for Abducted (aka Layover), the studio's latest Lifetime Movie: January 8th. The film stars Lauren Holly (Dumb and Dumber, Picket Fences), Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl) and Joe Lando (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Meteor Apocalypse); it was written by the always-excellent Naomi Selfman (Mega Python vs Gatoroid, Grimm's Snow White) and directed by R.D. Braunstein.

Whew! Happy Early New Year, Asylum-style.

40 Days and Nights out today!

Even though we're on the cusp of December, there are still three Asylum releases slated for 2012, which means that beginning today, we get three straight weeks of brand spankin' new movies from our favorite independent studio.

The streak starts today with global-flood pic 40 Days and Nights, starring Monica Keena and Alex Carter, written by H. Perry Horton (that's me) and directed by Peter Geiger.

The next week we get 12/12/12, an apocalyptic horror/thriller from writer/directer Jared Cohn, the mastermind behind Born Bad and Bikini Spring Break, and also the director of The Asylum's first theatrical release, #HoldYourBreath.

And then the Tuesday after that, December 11th, there's the highly-anticipated Age of The Hobbits, from director Joseph Lawson (Nazis at the Center of the Earth) and writer Eric Forsberg (Mega Piranha, Almighty Thor), and starring Christopher Judge and Bai Ling.

So, as you can see, there's still a lot of awesome stuff to come this year from The Asylum. Start things off right with 40 Days and Nights, available now on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.

T-Minus One Week Until 40 DAYS AND NIGHTS

That's right, only seven days stand between us and the release of the next film from The Asylum, the epic flood disaster flick 40 Days and Nights.

The film, directed by Peter Geiger and written by yours truly, H. Perry Horton, concerns an extinction level event and the steps humanity has to take in order to survive a seemingly unsurvivable scenario. The official synopsis: "When a colossal tectonic shift causes the sea level to start rising, a microbiologist gathers the DNA of as many species as she can, while the military creates an 'ark' in a desperate attempt to preserve life on Earth."

Pretty heavy stuff, trust me.

The film stars Monica Keena (Freddy vs Jason, Night of the Demons, Crime & Punishment in Suburbia) as "Tessa," the microbiologist in question, and Alex Carter (CSI) as "Lt. John Travis," the ark-itect (I had to). Other actors in significant roles include Christianna Carmine as Navy SEAL "Lynn," Emily Sandifer as ace engineer "Maddie," and Scott Hoxby as project director "Admiral Harrison Wallace."

Check out the trailer below, and then next Tuesday, November 27th, check out the film itself on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD. Once you've seen it, come on back here and let me know what you thought of it in the comments section. Constructive criticism is occasionally appreciated.

 

Time Again for the Asylum's Toys For Tots Toy Drive!

If it's the holiday season, that means it's time to roll up our sleeves, give thanks for what we have, and reach out to those who have less, starting with the most important people out there, the children.

Each year The Asylum holds a massive toy drive in support of the U.S. Marine Corps' Toys For Tots program, and this time, the studio's looking to rake in the biggest haul ever, with our help, of course. Here's the info straight from the man himself, producer David Michael Latt:

"Hello!

The holidays are right around the corner -- and you know what that means -- 

Our Annual Toys For Tots Toy Drive!!!!

What is T4T?: A charity founded by the US Marines that gives toys to less fortunate kids under 12 during the holidays.  And this year that's going to include victims of Hurricane Sandy.  

...and all we need is 1 (or more) Unwrapped New Toy.  So easy -- and tax deducible! 

Mail it, or drop it off by December 5.  (And if you drop it off, I'd love to say Thank You in person!)


And even though I know you don't need the incentive...the person(s) who brings in the most toys will get their choice of an Asylum DVD and a 15 Year Anniversary Shirt (while supplies last).  


Here's what you need to do:
-Find a toy.
-Don't wrap it!
-Mail it, or drop it off to:

Santa Elf
c/o The Asylum
72 East Palm Ave.
Burbank, CA. 91502

All toys must be received at the office by December 5, 2012.



Good Toys:
-Books  
-Anything that doesn't require batteries
-Nothing wrapped
-Lots of little toys are better than 1 big toy

Bad Toys:
-Missiles
-Lint balls
-Romney/Ryan for 2012 Signs"


Last year saw an amazing amount of contributions, which means that the pressure's on this year to provide even more kids with an even merrier Christmas. The way I figure it, since The Asylum keeps putting out bigger and better films each year, we can match their output with a greater showing of support. 

So like the man says, let's round up some toys, get them to The Asylum by December 5th, and spread the word on all our social media outlets, tell passers-by on the street, post flyer, skywrite - whatever it takes to get the word out. 

 

AGE OF THE HOBBITS Gets a Poster!

With only a little over a month before its December 11th street date, Age of the Hobbits has gotten itself a swanky poster. Dig it:


Pretty f'n epic, if you ask me. This film - one of the most original in the studio's catalog, in terms of mockbuster spin - comes courtesy of an Asylum dream team: director Joseph Lawson (the incredible Nazis at the Center of the Earth) and inventive screenwriter Eric Forsberg (Alien Abduction, Mega Piranha, Almighty Thor), and stars Christopher Judge (the Stargate TV show) and Bai Ling (one of the newer Star Wars, Crank Deuce).

December 11th is the day. Mark your calendars.

RISE OF THE ZOMBIES on Syfy Tonight!!

The Asylum's latest teaming with the Syfy has produced the network's newest Original Movie, Rise of the Zombies, which makes its World Premiere tonight at 9 p.m.


The film - the trailer for which you can catch here - comes from director Nick Lyon (Zombie Apocalypse) and starts Mariel Hemingway, Levar Burton, and Danny Trejo, as well as a spattering of Asylum vets. It's a film about which the New York Times says - yes, that New York Times - "Some of the zombie-killing and people-munching scenes make the AMC series “The Walking Dead” look genteel by comparison." Ummm....yeah, totally watching this one.

If you're the tweetin' type, follow @theasylumcc and @Syfy for live commentary by cast an crew during the EST premiere, 6 pm on the West Coast. Just use #Riseofthezombies to join the fun.

BRAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNSSSSSSS!!!!!!!

HANSEL & GRETEL Gets a Poster

The Asylum's latest spin on the Brothers Grimm, Hansel & Gretel, isn't out until January 8th of next year, but this week we got our first look at the film's poster:

 Nice and creepy. The film was written by Jose Prendes (Haunting of Whaley House) and directed by Anthony Ferrante (BOO), and stars Whaley's Stephanie Greco and Brent Lydic (Flu Birds) as the titular twosome, and Dee Wallace (E.T.) as the witch at the center of it all. 

Film streets January 8th, 2013.

RISE OF THE ZOMBIES Stills and Trailer!

The next flick bowing from the fine folks at The Asylum is Rise of the Zombies, set to premiere on the SyFy network Saturday, October 27th at 9 p.m., just in time for the holiest of holidays, Halloween.

And to whet our appetite, the studio has released these photo stills, and this trailer for the flick. Looks to be a gory good time.

The film was written by Keith Allan (writer/director on 11/11/11) and first-time scribe Delondra Williams, and directed by Nick Lyons, who helmed last year's super-spectacular Zombie Apocalypse. Stars include LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek The Next Generation), Mariel Hemingway (Manhattan, Star 80), Heather Hemmens (3 Musketeers), Jon Kondelik (Amityville Haunting, Haunting of Whaley House,Super Cyclone, Golden Winter, upcoming 12/12/12), Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl, Butterfly Effect) and, oh yeah, Danny Fucking Trejo.

This one's sure to be one of the best Asylum flicks to date, so be sure to shackle yourself to a couch on Saturday, October 27th at 9 p.m., when Rise of the Zombies debuts on - where else? - SyFy.

 

4 New Asylum Trailers on YouTube!

Head over to The Asylum's YouTube channel now for a peek at FOUR upcoming Asylum projects,including Jared Cohn's hella-creepy-looking 12/12/12, Director Joseph Lawson and writer Eric Forsberg's beautiful and epic Age of the Hobbits, writer Jose Prendes' Hansel and Gretel, and the trailer for my - H. Perry Horton - next Asylum script 40 Days and Nights. 

All four of the films will be out by the end of the year, and from the looks of them, it's going to be an awesome end to 2012. Viva Asylum!!!

LAYOVER Premiere on Lifetime in Two Days!

There's no mention of this one on The Asylum page other than the TV listing, so it remains shrouded in a bit of secrecy, but the next production from our favorite studio available for mass consumption will be the thriller Layover, starring Lauren Holly (Picket Fences, Dumb & Dumber), Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl, Red State), Joe Lando (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Meteor Apocalypse) and Gerald Webb (pick an Asylum film of the last few years, he's probably in it). The film drops Friday night, October 12th, at 8 p.m. 



From the Lifetime page, an official, lengthy synopsis: "Suzanne Hollingsworth is the world's most influential hotel exec and meanest boss, forever berating, firing and re-hiring her much put upon assistant Rebecca. While flying from New York to LA, bad weather diverts Suzanne to Detroit. Rejected by the city’s better hotels, she books herself into a rundown airport motel, where disturbing noises from the room next door turn out to be Russian mobsters engaged in sex trafficking. They knock her out and take her captive. Rebecca grows concerned when she doesn’t hear from Suzanne and reports her as missing. But she remains the only person worried until the Russians, realizing the value of their asset, demand ransom. The FBI is called in, but they botch the rescue, so now it’s up to Rebecca and Suzanne’s security chief, Elliott, to figure out where the Russians are hiding their kidnap victims. Will Rebecca be willing to put her life on the line to save the Boss From Hell before the Russians collect their money, kill Suzanne, and flee the country with the captive girls?"

No word on a DVD release as of yet, but check out this link for a thirty-second preview. If you can't make it Friday night at 8, it's on again at Midnight and then again on Sunday at 4 p.m. 

Happy watching!

Exclusive Interview with #HoldYourBreath Director Jared Cohn!


Tomorrow, October 5th, The Asylum ventures into brand new territory: the land of theatrical distribution. And leading the charge is the horror film #HoldYourBreath, starring 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden and The Lying Game's Randy Wayne. The story comes from uber-talented Asylum regular Geoff Meed (6 Guns, I Am Omega, Amittyville Haunting) and is directed by none other than Jared Cohn, a man who needs no introduction to Committed readers or Asylum fans at large, as Mr. Cohn has directed not one, not two, not even three but four films for The Asylum in the last 18 months - thriller Born Bad, comedy Bikini Spring Break, upcoming apocalyptic thriller 12/12/12 and now #HoldYourBreath. Cohn wrote the script for the first three projects, and rounds out his impressive resume by being a certifiably stellar actor, not to mention a stand-up dude and, in my meager experience, one of the most enthusiastic and devoted filmmakers at The Asylum right now. Mr. Cohn was kind enough to sit down for his second interview with Committed to give us all the 411 on #HoldYourBreath.

COMMITTED: What can you tell us about #holdyourbreath?


JARED COHN: Breath is cool, serial killer, evil spirit, body jumping movie! Lots of suspense, excitement, and you never know who is the killer. In a similar vein as Fallen, starring Denzel W. It's the first movie with a # in the title, and I thought that was very innovative and zeitgeist. I am happy because the feedback from the trailer and from some of those who have actually seen the entire, completed movie has been very positive!  I can say it is a badass movie that people should definitely check out. http://holdyourbreathmovie.com Also, enter the Midnight Madness contest where the winner gets killed in a movie!

Katrina Bowden stars

C: When did you realize it was going to get a theatrical debut, and how was that decided? Did that effect the filmmaking process at all?

JC: I made sure to get some big theatrical, epic shots in the movie. There are certainly some wide, beautiful shots we had. It has a nice look to it, the lighting looks very cool for some of the shots. My Director of Photography, Stuart Breton did a good job. Plus, they got 2 big stars in the show, Katrina Bowden and Randy Wayne. We also had some awesome sets and production design.





C: What kind of theatrical distribution is the film getting? How many theaters, where, et cetera?

JC: Nationwide, major cities! The list and all the information and the contest is on the site: http://holdyourbreathmovie.com EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE IT!!!! or I will come and kill you ;)



C: This is your third directoral effort for The Asylum. How was directing horror different from a thriller, or comedy?

JC: I like making horror movies, killing people on screen is great for me because I am sick in the head. I would either be a filmmaker or a serial killer, or perhaps an assassin or ninja.. or a Marine. I have a lot of respect for the Marines and those who serve. Doing Bikini Spring Break was cool though, it was very successful. Born Bad was cool too, that was my spec, so that was my break!  I love movie making and acting and writing, so as long as I am working I am a happy camper. It's my passion my hobby my career... just fortunate. Hard work helps too! So does a good night of sleep. 



C: This was also your first direction for The Asylum not based on a script you wrote. Any challenges there?

JC: First of all, props to The Asylum, those guys are awesome. Latt, Rimawi and Bales. Mad genius, cool dudes. Yes, there are challenges when you direct a movie that was not written by the director. You must familiarize yourself with the story like crazy. On set there is no script supervisor, so my challenge was reading the script over and over and over and over. I knew that story inside and out. If you attempt to direct without knowing the story, then you will probably be in some trouble! 


C: What was it like working with Katrina Bowden and Randy Wayne? Any other standouts in the cast we should be looking for?

JC: Katrina was great, very cool, very professional, smoking hot, she had a lil cute dog with her. Was extremely talented and she is a fellow east coaster. Randy Wayne is a really cool guy, turns out we had some mutual friends... He is a talented guy, has a bright future. Be on the lookout for Stevie Hanks. He plays in #HOLDYOURBREATH, a large role and he kicks some serious ass. So interesting to watch. Erin Marie Hogan and Brad Slaughter and Jordan Pratt and Seth Cassell, those guys all got chops. We had a solid cast with us. It's a good movie.



C: What can you tell us about your upcoming projects, including, of course, 12/12/12, out from The Asylum in December?

Director/Dodger fan on set of 12/12/12
JC: 12/12/12 is a masterpiece. I love that movie. So cool, original, disturbing, killer baby, psychological... it's fucked up. But great. I really think and hope the fans will like it. The movie stars the beautiful and talented Sara Malakul Lane and Steve Hanks and they are both great in it. Sara is a big star in Thailand and it will be soon when she is big star here! The Asylum has been putting out some really cool flicks lately, including some written by Mr. Perry Horton himself, so with the talent pool filled with high quality creative juices, the caliber of cinema creation has been incredible as of lately. 

It's good to be apart of an industry filled with talented  folks!  The Asylum rocks! www.JaredCohn.com www.TrapLightMedia.com

Tons of Info on Upcoming Asylum Films!

It's going to be a busy end of the year for The Asylum, and things kick into high gear in only ten days, with the release of the studio's first ever theatrical effort, #HoldYourBreath, written by Geoff Meed (I Am Omega, 6 Guns), directed by Jared Cohn (Born Bad, Bikini Spring Break) and starring Katrina Bowden (30 Rock, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil). In another studio first, the movie has its very own website, complete with pretty much everything you'd want to know about the film.

After #HoldYourBreath, the next studio picture seems to be something called Layover, premiering on the Lifetime Network October 11th at 8 p.m. Though The Asylum doesn't have a page up on their site, according to IMDB, the film stars Lauren Holly (Picket Fences, Dumb & Dumber), Joe Lando (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Meteor Apocalypse), Kaylee DeFer (Gossip Girl) and Gerald Webb (pretty much every Asylum movie of the last two years). No plot details available at present.

After that, there's another TV premiere, on SyFy this time, where the studio's latest undead drama, Rise of the Zombies, bows October 27th at 9 p.m. This one comes courtesy of Zombie Apocalypse director Nick Lyon and 11/11/11 writer Keith Allan. Levar Burton (Star Trek Next Generation, Reading Rainbow) and Mariel Hemingway (Manhattan, Star 81) star.

Then, there's The Asylum's next DVD release, 40 Days and Nights, which is going to be AWESOME, not just because I wrote the screenplay, but because really, how can a global flood movie not be awesome? Anyway, we're finally seeing a poster for this one, and it's pretty badass. Check it:
The film stars Monica Keena (Freddy vs Jason) and Alex Carter (CSI), is directed by Peter Geiger, and streets on November 27th, just in time for the holiday season.

And we're still not done. Next on DVD there's Jared Cohn's hellspawn drama 12/12/12, which itself got a pretty awesome poster:
That shit right there is just wicked. That baby looks like it wants to eat my soul, slowly, with its eyes. Get ready for this one to make you abstinent starting December 4th.

Two more to go, hang on...one week after 12/12/12, we get Age of the Hobbits, for my buck the studio's most ambitious and ingenious mockbuster yet, written by the great Eric Forsberg (Mega Piranha, Almighty Thor) and directed by Joseph Lawson, who after Nazis at the Center of the Earth is The Asylum's director to watch. No poster on this one, but we did get the first stills from production today. Check them out right here. Bai Ling (Crank 2) and Christopher Judge (Stargate) star.

And last but not least, we finally have some news on Hansel and Gretel. Dig the plot: "In this modern retelling of the classic horror tale, teen siblings are enslaved by a psychotic recluse within her gruesome house of horrors in the woods."

Sounds good to me. The film comes from writer Jose Prendes, who wrote and directed the excellently creepy Haunting of Whaley House, and director Anthony Ferrante (Boo, Headless Horseman). This will be The Asylum's first film of 2013 - assuming we get to 2013 - and is slated to come out January 8th. Dee Wallace (Eliott's mom in E.T.) and Stephanie Greco (Whaley House) star.

And that's it. For now.   
 

ADOPTING TERROR on DVD at last!!!

Though it has aired on Lifetime several times over the last few months, yesterday marked the official DVD release of the Sean-Astin-Samaire-Armstrong thriller Adopting Terror, directed by Micho Rutare, and written by Rutare and Nik Frank-Lehrer. 

I gave high marks to the film upon seeing it's premiere, and can guarantee if you like taut, intelligent thrillers that keep you on the edge of your couch cushion, this one is definitely up your alley. Most made-for-Lifetime movies have a touch of camp to them, but not this one; this one's a pure-T tale of everyday terror, a family's worst nightmare. Brendan Fehr steals the show, and Michael Gross and Monet Mazur make memorable appearances.



So there you have it. Now get thee to a DVD dispensary and put you mitts on Adopting Terror, the latest release from the fine, fine folks at The Asylum.

REMINDER: 2-Headed Shark Attack on SyFy Saturday Night!!!

Just a friendly reminder that this Saturday night at 9 p.m. marks the U.S. Television Premiere of 2-Headed Shark Attack on SyFy.


The film - starring Brooke Hogan, Charlie O'Connell, Carmen Electra, directed by Christoper Ray from a script by yours truly, H. Perry Horton, based on a story by Ed DeRuiter - has been hailed and reviled by critics worldwide, so jump on the bandwagon and see what the hype is all about.

Saturday. 9 p.m. Syfy. A shark with two heads and more bikini screen-time than most sex comedies. What more could you ask for?

SHARK WEEK on DVD Today

If it's Tuesday, this must be where I tell you about the latest Asylum release streeting today on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD: this time it's Shark Week, respectfully described as Saw meets Jaws, which is hook enough for me.


The film, which had its World Premiere earlier this month on the prestigious SyFy Channel, stars Patrick Bergin as a maniacal shark aficionado who kidnaps seven unwitting strangers and forces them through a gauntlet of increasingly more dangerous shark species. Yancy Butler is his femme fatale. Christopher Ray directed it, based on a script I, H. Perry Horton, had a hand in. Guaranteed you won't soon forget this film, so get out there, get your hands on it, and start making memories.

#HoldYourBreath Gets a Trailer!!!

#HoldYourBreath, the first theatrical release by the fine folks at The Asylum, finally showed us the goods today via this trailer:


In case you couldn't tell, the basic plot is as follows: "A group of friends on a roadtrip explore a cemetery where the ghost of a notorious serial killer jumps from body to body, killing his victims one by one."

The film, written by Geoff Meed (I Am Omega, 6 Guns) and directed by Jared Cohn (Born Bad, Bikini Spring Break, upcoming 12/12/12) stars 30 Rock's Katrina Bowden and Grizzly Park's Randy Wayne, and is set to premiere October 5th.

2 HEADED SHARK ATTACK Gets a US SyFy Premiere!!!

Get ready for another Saturday-shark-movie-marathon on SyFy next month, because 2 Headed Shark Attack is at long last making its U.S. television debut on September 8th!


The film - directed by Christopher Olen Ray (Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Shark Week) and written by me, H. Perry Horton (A Haunting in Salem, Shark Week) from a story by Edward Deruiter (3 Musketeers) and starring Brooke Hogan, Carmen Electra and Charlie O'Connell - has been out on DVD since January of this year and in that time has received rave reviews from shark film aficionados worldwide.

If you're a fan of Brooke Hogan. September 8th is an especially special evening, because immediately preceding 2HSA is her other film to date, Sand Sharks, a truly delightful, fun and thrilling film directed by Asylum-regular Mark Atkins (Dragon Crusaders, Battle of Los Angeles). September 8th also happens to be my birthday. Pretty, pretty sweet present.

The time: September 8th, 2012, 9 p.m. wherever you live.
The place: SyFy
The event: 2 Headed Shark Attack World Television Premiere.

Your presence is kindly requested.

Watch SHARK WEEK on SyFy Tomorrow Night!

Just a reminder - as though you needed another one - that tomorrow night, the next movie from The Asylum, and my third script for the studio, Shark Week, makes its World Premiere on SyFy at 9 p.m. If you like sharks all sizes, devious madmen with a penchant for sick games, femme fatales, true-hearted protagonists or even just lots of blood, this one if definitely up your alley. If you're on the Twitter, there's a live tweet-a-thon going on during the East Coast premiere that will include director Christopher Olen Ray and several members of the cast and crew. Hash tag Shark Week and all that. I myself will be watching the West Coast premiere later that night, the same way I watch all my scripts for the first time: under a blanket in a dark, locked room, covered in flop sweats, before the scattered empties of cheap wine coolers. 


Shark Week. Saturday night, 9 o'clock. SyFy. Tell everyone you know to tell everyone they know. Please and thank you.

inmate profiles: Patrick Bergin & Yancy Butler

With only a few days before Shark Week makes its World Premiere on Syfy - this Saturday night, 9 p.m. - it's high time we take a closer look at the actors who bring the film to life. And who better to start with than our two leads, Patrick Bergin and Yancy Butler? Ladies first:

Yancy Butler was born and raised in American Bohemian paradise, Greenwich Village in New York City. She began studying acting in her early teens, and made her debut in her early 20s on an episode of Law & Order, which got the attention of network execs who quickly signed her to their new sci-fi show Mann & Machine in which she played, and I'm quoting, a "voluptuous robot partner" to a brash cop. The series lasted only nine episodes, but a star was born. 

Once she invigorated the big screen in John Woo's Hard Target opposite JCVD, Ms. Butler's status as a sexy tough gal was cemented. From there she went on to star in such movies as Drop Zone with Wesley Snipes, Fast Money, Ravager, Doomsday Man, Striking Range with Lou Diamond Phillips, and more recently Kick-Ass with Nicholas Cage and both Lake Placid 3 & 4. And of course there's her work in television, which included Brooklyn South, a gritty cop show spearheaded by David "Deadwood" Milch, and Witchblade, the role for which she is perhaps best remembered. All in all, Ms. Butler has made a steady career for 20 years playing as one badass lady; Shark Week should prove no exception.

Then there's the venerable Patrick Bergin, a son of Dublin and a veritable star on both sides of the Atlantic. After starring on stage in screen abroad, Bergin first came to the attention of American audiences via the Julia-Roberts thriller Sleeping With the Enemy, in which he was the Enemy. His other big U.S. role came opposite Harrison Ford in Patriot Games

Beyond these roles, Bergin has appeared in near 100 productions, including roles as Robin Hood, Dr. Frankenstein, St. Patrick, King Arthur, Dracula, Casanova and now Tiburon, maniacal shark fetishist. 

And now the fates have aligned and at last these two talents shall share the same screen as the devious duo behind Shark Week, on SyFy this Saturday night at 9 p.m., then on DVD a few weeks later on August 28th. Written by me, H. Perry Horton, and directed by Chrisopher Olen Ray, for whom the film marks a shark hat trick, after Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus and 2 Headed Shark Attack, the latter of which I also penned. Just so you know your in good hands. Or fins.*


*sorry, I had to.

SHARK WEEK Stills and a Teaser Trailer!!!

So much Shark Week info this week, and now we get the cherry on top: production stills and this incredibly awesome teaser trailer: 


Man oh man oh man oh man, I wrote the damn thing and that trailer gave me chills. Check out the finished product this Saturday night at 9 p.m. on SyFy. Patrick Bergin, Yancy Butler, Erin Coker, Josh Allen, Frankie Cullen, Valerie Garcia, Bart Baggett and more star for director Christopher Olen Ray.

 

Details on 4 New Asylum Projects

Lots of new over at The Asylum page today, where we get cast, crew and plot details on 4 upcoming productions; let's just get into it, shall we?

#holdyourbreath: This is The Asylum's theatrical debut, written by Geoff Meed and directed by Jared Cohn. 

The plot: "A group of friends on a roadtrip explore a cemetery where the ghost of a notorious serial killer jumps from body to body, killing his victims one by one."  

The stars: Katrina Bowden, Randy Wayne, Lisa Younger, Seth Cassell, Erin Marie Hogan.  

The release date: October 5th, in theaters!

40 Days and 40 Nights: an upcoming disaster flick, written by me, H. Perry Horton, and directed by Peter Geiger. 

The plot: "When a colossal tectonic shift causes the sea level to start rising, a microbiologist gathers the DNA of as many species as she can, while the military creates an "ark" in a desperate attempt to preserve life on Earth." 

The stars: Monica Keena, Alex Carter, Christianna Carmine, Emily Sandifer, Mitch Lerner.  

The release date: November 27th.

12/12/12: thriller written & directed by the ever-busy Jared Cohn. 

The plot: "When baby Sebastien is born on 12/12/12 everyone around him starts to die. Soon, his mother realizes that her son is the spawn of Hell."  

The stars: Sara Malakul Lane, Jesus Guevera, Carl Doleson, Steve Hanks 

The release date: 12/4/12


Age of the Hobbits: written by Eric Forsberg for Joseph Lawson to direct.

The plot: "In an age long ago, the last village of clever, peace-loving Hobbits is attacked and enslaved by the Java Men, komodo-worshiping, dragon-riding cannibals. Now the young Hobbit Goben, along with his father and sister, must seek help from the "giants" (human hunters) to find the Javas' lair and rescue the last surviving Hobbits, Goben's mother among them. In their quest to destroy the Javas, the heroic partnership of humans and Hobbits will transform both species forever." 

The stars: Christopher Judge, Bai Ling, Sun Korng

The release date: December 11