“Looks like history is repeating itself,” scorned the captain, as the doom faced by the SS Titanic II became inevitable. This is the kind of cheesy writing one would expect from the novelization of this movie. The only problem is that I wrote the line exactly as the actor delivered it. The Asylum, a production studio based in Burbank, California, is a great source for this kind of movie. In fact, they’re a pioneer of the “mockbuster” genre-movies similar to major blockbusters, released around the same time, in order to cash in on the publicity. For example, 2007 saw the release of Michael Bay’s explosion-heavy Transformers. The year also saw the direct-to-DVD Transmorphers, a production of The Asylum. Believe it or not, they also released a Transmorphers: Fall of Man in 2009. Some other well-known productions include Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, Atlantic Rim, and this past summer’s closet hit, Sharknado.
I’m not going to bother leaving out basic plot spoilers in this review. The Titanic sank. So did the Titanic II. I’m sorry I spoiled it for you. Titanic II starts near Greenland, showing us a fantastic aerial view of the arctic ice. There’s no chance that it was shot for this movie. That would have required a lot more money than this movie used. The basic premise is very similar to the historical ocean liner, in that it met an untimely end in the middle of the North Atlantic. It was even hit by an iceberg that was launched towards it by a tsunami caused by a chunk of ice falling into the ocean near Greenland. Then another fell and caused a giant wave that most likely took out the entire Atlantic seaboard with it. Sounds like global warming propaganda to me. The movie is full of bad characters, wooden acting, faux-suspenseful moments, and a lot of bad decisions. I tried to take a count of every time someone made a terrible decision. Surprisingly, I only hit ten before I forgot to continue counting. Along with that, most of the movie is extremely fake. That’s not even including the visual effects, which make Babylon 5 look like Avatar. My favorite bit is when a scientist in the arctic is running around in light jeans and a parka. There are a lot of scenes in the middle of the movie that are just plain bad. At that point, it’s not even funny anymore. Stick through it, though. You’ll eventually hit the twist ending that even I didn’t see coming.
One interesting aspect of movies from The Asylum is that they always seem to have one “it’s that guy” actor, with the rest comparable to random strangers pulled from a high school drama production. This one gave us Bruce Davison, also known as “that senator guy” from X-Men. The real star of the show, however, was Shane Van Dyke, who played the Bruce Ismay-like character. He also wrote and directed the movie. My hope is that he will someday reach the level of Tommy Wiseau, with thousands of people flocking to theaters to laugh at him. But let’s face it; no one can ever be that bad.
This was an abysmal movie. There’s no denying that fact. But there are always those times that call for a movie like this. I watched it the first time (yes, I saw it more than once) with a couple friends, over a delicious spread of fried chicken, and we couldn’t stop laughing at just how ridiculous it was. Any Asylum movie is perfect for spending a Friday night inside, when going out to bars and partying just isn’t cutting it.