For Science: Eight Hours of Film Inside The Asylum

A few weeks ago, I did Neil a favor by replacing his normal Saturday routine of watching Bad Boys II with a full day of watching French New Wave director Eric Rohmer’s films. His full write up proved that he found a new director he really enjoyed.

So of course, he’s decided to repay me the favor by challenging me to watch 5 Asylum films in a row. As an added bonus, he got to choose the films, and he also requested that I attempt to find at least one good thing about each of them.

Since I’m the most easily McFly’ed of the Reject bunch, I refused to back down from the challenge and set up shop one day (which happened to be MLK Day), and watched all of them with only a ten minute break in between.

Why would I put myself through the hellish torture of watching Z-grade movies?

I do it all For Science.

The Terminators

8:01 AM: Pressing play on The Terminators – the movie about sentient robots that begins attacking mankind in a foolish attempt to take over the earth. The premise sounds familiar.

I’ve prepped for the day by eating a hearty breakfast of Berrios, yogurt, and a T-Bone steak. I’ve also stocked a ton of water, and made the couch here at Reject Headquarters into a pile of pillows fit for a sultan’s harem. If I’m going to go crazy, I’m going to be comfortable doing it.

8:04 AM: So far, nothing CGI has ever shared the screen with actors. It’s just close-ups of people yelling/shooting and shots of the best CGI robots from 1991. A fear this will be a trend.

8:09 AM: “I feel like we’ve been breached.” – Getting things started right with a spaceship captain that goes with his gut instead of on-board equipment.

8:14 AM: We’ve been introduced to 7 characters in 3 minutes. One of them is pregnant, and her husband is cheating on her with the town skank. Sadly, the small town seems to be a cement factory near an unusable field. I think they were going for a Mayberry feel.

8:20 AM: This is the most inefficient extermination ever. They’ve sent 3 Terminators to kill an entire town. Who the hell would do that?

8:23 AM: Nevermind. I’ve just been schooled that every household in America has one of these cyborgs gone haywire. That’s right. Every household has an intimidatingly muscular, Eastern European cyborg.

8:40 AM: Dramatic irony! We, the audience, know that Chuck is dead, but his pregnant wife (Chloe) and the town sheriff (Sheriff Something Or Other) are hoping he’s okay. This is some Shakespearean-level writing.

8:50 AM: Jeremy London has just elevated this film from eye-gougingly bad to mildly intolerable. “It doesn’t make any sense,” – never before has a character so succinctly nailed down the heart of the plot.

8:55 AM: To be honest, I keep expecting someone to suggest fucking. It would instantly explain the set design, script, acting, camera choices, and dialogue. All it takes is for one guy to say, “These cyborgs are out of control!” and a woman to rhetorically ask if he knows what else is also out of control while ripping her top off.

9:05 AM: After a 12-minute long chase scene, we arrive back at that damned field where it all started.

9:08 AM: It seems like they shot this movie and then wrote the script.

9:16 AM: I’ve noticed that whenever someone screams, they add an echo effect to it. I have no idea why. The characters aren’t in a cave or anything, and it doesn’t make the scream more dramatic. I have to assume the same sound engineer who did all of Hall and Oates’s albums got hired for this movie.

9:18 AM: The decent amount of casual traffic in the background makes me think this Robo-pocalypse isn’t nearly as bad as we thought.

9:20 AM: Hell. Yes. A robot just put his fist through a guy’s head execution style!

9:22 AM: It should be noted that Sheriff Something Or Other’s delivery is awful. The only justification would be if he’s a robot.

9:23 AM: He is.

9:33 AM: Good news, everyone. Hyper-space travel can be achieved using a 386 E-Machine.

9:38 AM: Echo Scream!

9:40 AM: By the way, Jeremy London has had a gun that debilitates the cyborgs this entire time.

9:45 AM: Has anyone ever wondered why the bad robots always have some sort of newer model they are waiting to unleash near the end? Why are they waiting? If it’s in beta, there might still be glitches – but then why would it be your last line of defense? If it’s ready for mass production, why is there only one of them?

Oh, and apparently on screen they just knocked the duck-faced robot out of an airlock or something.

9:46 AM: And…credits! This movie totally lied about its run-time. As you’ll notice, we’re creeping up on 10 AM while the movie claimed to be 90 minutes flat. I was sold a bill of goods!

One Good Thing: That punch through the head was pretty awesome. It was shot in silhouette, so they didn’t have to worry about shitty CGI – just a simple use of minimalism that made it seem like a cyborg fist penetrated the hell out of a soldier’s cranium. Well done, .94% of the movie!

18-Year Old Virgin

9:55 AM: After a 10-minute break, I’m feeling strong despite  what was a pretty hefty opening salvo of awful from The Asylum. Next up is a change of pace – an American Pie-style sex comedy called 18-Year Old Virgin. Preparing myself for a lot of sexting.

9:57 AM: You can always tell you’re dealing with a sex comedy when there’s a masturbation fantasy sequence that opens the film.

9:58 AM: Make that three. And apparently the one with the main girl (Katie) was a fantasy within a fantasy. Let that stew in your mind a while. I plan on dwelling on it myself.

10:05 AM: It’s been ten minutes, and I count a total of 4 environmental montages revising the same feel-good, faux ska song.

10:06 AM: Make that 5.

10: 15 AM: Since I’m bored out of my mind, here’s a little multiple choice quiz I’ve come up with:

The house party they are at has

  • A. A grandpa upstairs in a coma
  • B. The hot guy that Katie wants to sex up
  • C. The male best friend that wants to sex up Katie
  • D. Delicious dip
  • E. All of the Above

Choose wisely.

10:18 AM: The hot guy Katie wants to sleep with refuses to sleep with virgins. He’s steadfast, and I have to admire the man for standing up for his principles, especially in this day and age with all that peer pressure teens face.

10:21 AM: Katie’s best friend Rose is the girl from The Terminators. I’m glad she made it out alive and that society returned to normal. Unless…unless this movie takes place before the Robo-pocalypse, in which case, the tone has completely shifted to morbid humanity.

And, after a 3-minute long scene, Rose reveals that there’s a way for Katie to lose her virginity…by losing her virginity. Let the hero’s journey begin!

10: 23 AM: In true Hero fashion, Katie refuses. In true What the Fuck Is Happening On Screen fashion, they cut to an environmental montage and suddenly Katie’s on board.

10:27 AM: Random Side Character is right, everyone. There’s really no other option but to jerk it before having sex with Katie.

10:36 AM: Friends, I just don’t think I’m going to make it. I can’t believe I’m willing to throw in the towel this early in the challenge, but it’s been 30 minutes into this movie, and there hasn’t been a single comedic gag. It’s like a 14-year old wrote this about her boring high school party she went to one time, and everybody drank and stood around and listened to shitty ska music.

10: 40 AM: The unfunny is lasting forever.

10:41 AM: Wait a minute. Did we really need full frontal merkin for that pubic shaving gag?

Sidenote: A comedy bit! In a comedy! We have life! Desperate, terrible, already-been-done, rewarmed life! But life nonetheless! My spirit is renewed!

10:44 AM: And somehow it took 3 full minutes of screen time to play out a gag about getting pubic hair on yourself. What began as a one-off joke just became the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King of pube jokes.

10:51 AM (56 minutes in): Comedic gag count: 3 (that’s one for every 18.67 minutes) Number of songs used in the soundtrack: 2

10:53 AM: So Katie has now gone upstairs to hook up with a high school guy who does trantric sex, and it’s actually pretty funny. A little over-the-top, but this thing needs some energy. Especially the back flip over the bed. Ironically, the tantra gag is also the quickest.

10:58 AM: Okay, admittedly, the idea of the Best Friend Who Wants Katie having to see her go upstairs with guy after guy and assuming she’s sexing all of them is pretty clever.

11:03 AM: Random Bitch makes a good point. Katie probably doesn’t deserve a Good Citizenship Award since she’s being such a slut.

11:11 AM: And the best character of the movie goes to…Guy Dropping Potato Chips Off Balcony.

11:15 AM: Yes! In a horrid case of mistaken identity, Katie ends up sucking off the comatose grandpa instead of the Hot Guy. This is like the Twelfth Night of teen sex comedies.

11:17 AM: I’ve changed my mind. Best character now goes to Guy Who Fell Asleep With Bong.

11:20 AM: And we have a best line! “You! You’re the one that blew my grandpa!”

11:21 AM: Why is the camera shaking? Is the cinematographer nervous he’ll never find work after this?

11:23 AM: And…Katie ends up with Best Friend! The only appropriate ending would be for them to have incredibly sensual sex while “The Age of Aquarius” plays in the background.

11:25 AM: Credits!

One Good Thing: The sidekick girl named Rose is not only really cute, she’s actually not half bad as an actress. However, I feel like that may be because I’m now officially three and a half hours deep into The Asylum.

Click Here to Go Further Down the Rabbit Hole of Schlock >>

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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