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Lovely Ladies of the Asylum vol. 9

I'm not a fool, gentlemen. I know what brings you here, what lures you in, coaxes your hits, some of you at least. It isn't the snarky commentary, or the breaking news, the hard-hitting interviews or deep-digging profiles, no, it's not me at all, is it? I see the keywords from my Google hits, and I know a picture of a pretty lady brings in more readers than the phrase "observation notes." 

Not that I can blame you: The Asylum employs a score of attractive and - more importantly - capable, intelligent and talented actresses well worth your search engine adoration. So, to gives my readers something I know they want and would never ask for, I tastefully present a pictorial tribute to some of The Asylum's beautiful leading ladies, this time the stars of the studio's remaining 2012 productions. Enjoy.

Johanna Watts

American Battleship

out 5.22.12

Baby Norman

Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies

out 5.29.12

L - R: Erin O'Brien, Jamie Noel, Samantha Stewart, Rachel Alig, Virginia Peturcci
Bikini Spring Break
out 6.26.12

Stephanie Greco

Haunting of Whaley House

out 7.31.12

AnnaMaria DeMara

Super Cyclone

out 8.24.12

Ming Na

Super Cyclone

still out 8.24.12

Time to Give Back to The Asylum

It isn't that often at all that The Asylum - instead of giving us countless of hours of entertainment every year for the last fifteen years - asks for we committed to give something back; and when they do, it's always for a great cause. For example, take their annual toy drive for Toys For Tots. Thanks to Asylum fans all over the place, last year's drive was the biggest ever for the company, and now it's time to duplicate that success for another incredibly worthy cause. To explain, I'll hand the post over to Asylum Co-Founder and Producer David Michael Latt:

"The whole Latt Family will be braving the beautiful Southern California weather to walk in this year’s Relay For Life Cancer fund raiser on May 19.

This charity hits me straight in the heart. Our family walks for my mom, sister, uncles, cousins and friends. Some lost the battle, some kicked it in the nuts. Either way, it’s a toughie. 

So every year my family walks. We remember. And we raise money – so we don’t have to walk anymore.

Please contribute. Even just $5.00. It’s tax deducible.

Just click here:

Oh! And the person that donates the most $$$ will receive my personally autographed script cover of BIGFOOT -- the upcoming Syfy premiere I produced at The Asylum that stars BARRY WILLIAMS, DANNY BONADUCE, SHERILYN FENN, ANDRE ROYO, HOWARD HESSEMAN, ALICE COOPER and directed by Academy Award nominee BRUCE DAVISON. Yes it's signed by all of them. 


David Latt  (Plus Kim, Audrey, Brady, Moise!)

P.S.: Please pass this email around! Post it, Facebook it, Tweet it, etc. I want to raise a lot of money this year!"

Once again, a truly worthy cause, one that surely has effected or will effect each of us. And though contributing is its own reward, the incentive Latt's providing - a script cover from Bigfoot autographed by the entire star-studded cast - is super motivating. Stars like that? Together? Priceless, utterly priceless, just like the gift of life, which cancer research can help provide. 

Everyone is the world wins with this one, so stop reading me and get over to the donation page and help make a difference. Then share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, MySpace, your blogs, websites and neighborhood telephone poles so that all your friends, family, ex-lovers, co-workers and casual acquaintances can join the drive.

Your Next Chance to Catch ADOPTING TERROR This Saturday

If you missed the world premiere earlier this month of The Asylum's latest thriller, Adopting Terror, you're in luck, because the ratings-topper is being re-aired this weekend.

That's right, the film - starring Sean Astin, Brendan Fehr and Samaire Armstrong, directed by Micho Rutare from a script he wrote with Nik Frank-Lehrer - about a couple who adopt the wrong dude's baby, will play again on Lifetime, Saturday night, April 28th, at 6 p.m.

I really enjoyed this one - big shock, I know - but objectively, it isn't often The Asylum does a straight-up, so-called "real-life" thriller; Born Bad was an awesome example that dominated this year's Looney Awards. I have a suspicion Adopting Terror's name could come up a few times at year's end. Good acting, good writing, good movie. See for yourself this Saturday night.

Nazis at the Center of the Earth on DVD TODAY!!!

In the coming century, B-film fans will increasingly look back to this date, April 24th, 2012, as the day their worlds were rocked forever. For today, The Asylum releases it's masterpiece to date, Nazis at the Center of the Earth.

Starring Jake Busey, Dominique Swain, Christopher Karl Johnson and a score of other talented actors and actresses, and directed by Joseph J. Lawson from a script by Paul Bales, NATCOTE is a can't-miss flick, a barn-burner of cinematic lunacy and wicked brilliance. I've already given my very vocal approval of the film, which can be read by simply scrolling down a few inches, but you shouldn't take my word for it, you shouldn't take anyone's, in fact, you should get your hands on a copy toot suite and judge for yourself.

By "toot suite" I mean now, go, go!!!!


Every now and again, a movie comes along whose very concept generates hype the instant it is heard. So rarely do the films live up to that hype, so rarely do the filmmakers manage to not only fulfill but eclipse that promise, that when a film actually does manage these things, we call it nothing less than a classic. Ladies(?) and gentlemen, Nazis at the Center of the Earth is that film. For real.

Whatever you're expecting, throw it out the window. You're not predicting this one, and I'm not going to spoil a single damn second of it for you. I will say, however, that if you're expecting some sort of throwback camp-fest, you're watching the wrong movie: NATCOTE is a truly tense, gruesome, and disturbing thriller mixing history, perverted science, sci-fi, adventure and that good old Asylum sense of insanity all rolled up into perhaps the most mind-bending 90 minutes the studio has ever produced. And I know I'm biased, cuz I love these guys and everything, but for real, FOR REAL, you owe it to yourself to watch one of the most ingenious B-movies ever set to celluloid.

Again, in the interest of not spoiling a single thing, I won't go into great details about the individual characters, but our celebrity leads here, Dominique Swain (Lolita, New Best Friend) and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers, The Frighteners) bring the heat, Ms. Swain playing with emotional aplomb a hyper-intelligent yet vulnerable doctor, and Mr. Busey reeling in a pensive and conflicted performance. Other standouts include Christopher Karl Johnson as the reprehensibly vile Doctor Mengele, and Adam Burch, Marlene Okner and Lilan Bowden as other scientists.

The film, the first directorial effort from Asylum VFX Supervisor Joseph J. Lawson, does not skimp on the visuals and does not fail to deliver. My expectations in this specific arena were pretty high, especially as I really believe Asylum VFX have improved a hundred-fold in the last couple of years, but the things these guys pulled off in this one? Some of the most memorable visuals of the year. And you'd never know it was Lawson's first time at the helm; there's a very keen sense of control over the picture, for as crazy and labyrinthine a mystery as this film is, it moves at an expert pace, doling out the goods like breadcrumbs leading to a wholly satisfying and thoroughly unexpected climax.

The story comes courtesy of Paul Bales (Sherlock Holmes, 2010 Moby Dick) and is smart, steeped in scientific and historical details that only enrich the suspense and horror, and wickedly brutal. Seriously, I'm struggling to find the words to describe just how surreally awesome this film is, while at the same time being starkly scary, wildly inventive and all-too possible. The last 35 minutes of this film is a masterclass in WOW. Plus, I learned a lot of useful German.

So have I beamed enough? Have I spit enough hyperbole to convince you that Nazis at the Center of the Earth is a tent-pole Asylum project, certain to be one of the first three anyone mentions 100 years from now? This one's a game-changer, folks; the bar has been raised. This isn't what you were hoping for, this isn't what you were expecting: it's sooooo much better. Out Tuesday on DVD, Blu-Ray, and VOD. Whatever else you thought you were doing, scrap it. Trust me.

inmate profile: Lilan Bowden

For the last couple of weeks, Committed has been spotlighting various cast and crew members of the next Asylum release, Nazis at the Center of the Earth, now only a week away. That spotlight shines now on actress Lilan Bowden, an up-and-coming actress/writer/host making her third appearance in an Asylum film.

After working in a couple of shorts, Ms. Bowden made her feature debut as a television reporter in Princess and the Pony. Her second feature was the polar opposite of her first, Zombie Apocalypse, in which she played arrow-wielding badass "Myrah." And now, she plays the character "May Yun" in NATCOTE. Pretty impressive couple of years she's had, I'd say; sounds like The Asylum's taken a shine to her, and who can blame them. On screen Ms. Bowden is that delicate combination of strong and fragile, a real person in unreal situations, making her terror and resolve palpable things that resonate with any viewer. And with the spattering of Asylum films yet to come this year - at least 9 as of this posting - it could be that we haven't seen the last of Ms. Bowden this year. If that isn't enough to tide you over, though, you can always catch her as a host of "Short Notice," a talk show "featuring Asian American short films, wrapped around candid & eye-opening conversations with the filmmakers behind them."

As for the immediate future, however, line up now (cuz there will be lines for this one, at least at your local Redbox depository) to see her shine in the year's most highly- and hotly-anticipated film, as well as a contender for greatest film title ever, Nazis at the Center of the Earth, out next Tuesday, April 24th everywhere people enjoy entertainment.

inmate profile: Jake Busey

Continuing to look at the creative talent behind The Asylum's next release, the hotly-anticipated Nazis at the Center of the Earth, we turn now to actor Jake Busey.

A true child of Hollywood (his father is actor Gary Busey), Busey got his start at the ripe young age of seven, playing the son to his father's character in Straight Time, which starred Dustin Hoffman. Though he turned up here and there over the next decade, it wasn't until the 1990's and his 20's that Busey really started making a name for himself. What began as bit roles in smaller, more indie features like PCU, S.F.W., and The Stoned Age, metamorphosed into larger roles in larger films come the middle of that decade, including memorable turns in Peter Jackson's The Frighteners, and then also Twister, Contact, Starship Troopers and Enemy of the State. 

For the last decade, Busey has continued to stay busy on a variety of projects both on television and the big screen, and now he's bringing that culmination of talent and experience to The Asylum and Nazis at the Center of the Earth, in which he plays"Adrian Reistad." Sounds German. Find out for yourself on Aprl 24th, when Nazis at the Center of the Earth hits DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.

inmate profile: Dominique Swain

Actress Dominique Swain - who plays "Paige Morgan" in The Asylum's upcoming Nazis at the Center of the Earth, out April 24th - burst onto the acting scene in 1997 with her controversial turn as perhaps the most controversial female in cinema, the title character in director Adiran Lyne's Lolita. Despite critical acclaim, the film was initially banned from American cinemas because of its lurid content and Ms. Swain's age at the time, which was less than 18. However, wherever people fell on the film's subject, there was no denying a bold new talent had appeared in Hollywood in the form of Dominique Swain. 

That same year she turned in another memorable performance as the daughter of Nic Cage, or maybe John Travolta, in John Woo's Face/Off. Quickly typecast as the bad girl, Swain became a fixture in teen cult favorites like The Smokers, Tart, Happy Campers and New Best Friend. 

In recent years, however, Ms. Swain has taken on more varied and adult roles, continuing to turn in impassioned performances. Her recent standouts include Dead Mary, Stiletto, Toxic and Monte Hellman's Road to Nowhere. 

No doubt her role to remember, though, will be as whatever sort of scientist her character Paige Morgan turns out to be in Nazis at the Center of the Earth. Watch with the world when the film is made available on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD on April 24th.

inmate profile: Paul Bales

Continuing to shine the Committed spotlight on the talent behind The Asylum's upcoming masterpiece Nazis at the Center of the Earth, we turn now to the imagination behind it all, the film's screenwriter (and one of The Asylum's 3 producers) Paul Bales.

NATCOTE marks Mr. Bales 8th script for the studio, and the list is pretty impressive: Killers 2, Legion of the Dead (which he also directed), The Da Vinci Treasure, 100 Million B.C., Mega Fault, Sherlock Homes and 2010 Moby Dick. All good films, but for my money, Sherlock and Moby are among the best the studio's ever put out; the former managed to mockbust not only the Holmes character, but also Robert Downey Jr.'s recent filmography, and the latter put a convincing modern twist on an established tale, plus gave Barry Bostwick reason to make his own whale-killin' gun.

Add all this together and what you get is one more reason to be super-psyched for the film event of 2012. Catch Nazis at the Center of the Earth on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD on April 24th.

inmate profile: Joseph Lawson

With only a few blessed weeks sitting between we committed and the film event of 2012 - Nazis at the Center of the Earth, of course - it's time to start taking a look at the talent behind this destined-to-be instant classic, and who better to shine the spotlight on first than the film's director, one Joseph Lawson.

Though NATCOTE is his first directorial effort, Lawson has made an indelible stamp on scores of Asylum films as a visual effects artist and supervisor. Consider his resume: The 7 Adventures of Sinbad, Titanic II, Airline Disaster, Moby Dick, Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus, Mega Python vs Gatoroid, Battle of Los Angeles, Almighty Thor, 2012 Ice Age, Born Bad, A Haunting in Salem, Dragon Crusaders, 11/11/11, 3 Musketeers, Zombie Apocalypse, Amityville Haunting, 2 Headed Shark Attack, Grimm's Snow White and the upcoming Bigfoot, plus probably everything else The Asylum will put out this year. 

It's been under Lawson's supervision that Asylum VFX have taken a HUGE stride forward, seemingly getting more spectacular with each new release, so we should all be sitting on pins and needles to see what he's done his first time in the director's chair for NATCOTE.

See for yourself when Nazis at the Center of the Earth, directed by Joseph Lawson, comes out on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD April 24th.

Details on Two Upcoming Asylum Flicks, Photos From One!

Lots of info spilling out of The Asylum today, including cast and plot details on Supercyclone and details plus production stills from The Haunting of Whaley House.

Let's start with the scary. We already new Whaley House was written and directed by Jose Prendes, writer of Haunting of Winchester House, The Terminators and Countdown: Jerusalem, but now we know the actors who will bring it to life: Stephanie Greco (Day the Earth Stopped), scream-queen Lynn Lowry (Crazies - old and new -  Cat People), Leigh Davis and Howard McNair. Check out the plot: "When a tour guide breaks into America’s Most Haunted House, a bit of amateur ghost hunting with friends turns into more horror than they could have ever imagined." Pretty scary stuff, especially when you consider the production stills. Haunting of Whaley House - totally based on a true locale - street on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD on July 31st.

Then there's Supercyclone, which I reported on earlier in the week when it was leaked that one of the female leads was to be played by fan-favorite AnnaMaria DeMara (200MPH). Well, now we know a couple other cast members, including Ming Na (ER, Eureka, Stargate: Universe), Nick Turturro (NYPD Blue) and returning president Andy Clemence (Air Collision, 3 Musketeers). The plot: "When a super cyclone threatens the entire American eastern seaboard, a lone meteorologist and a petroleum engineer must battle the elements to stop the threat."

Supercyclone is set for an August 28 release. Liz Adams directs.

So there you have it, all the latest on upcoming Asylum flicks. We still have details to learn for Golden Winter and Shark Week, but now this is more than enough to satiate our appetities... 

Asylum UK Distribution Deal Hints at Another New Title...

So today this article came out in which it was revealed that The Asylum has struck a deal with Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment UK to distribute at least 10 films abroad in the next year. While this is awesome, spectacular news - The Asylum's going worldwide! - the juiciest morsel here comes at the end of the article, when they say that The Asylum next goes into production in July, on a film called...wait for it...


I don't even know how this is possible, licensing-wise, and frankly I don't care. Asylum's mockbusting Peter Jackson (for the second time, counting King of the Lost World) and the results should be assuredly spectacular. No word on who's involved, but as soon as I know (i.e. as soon as The Asylum posts something somewhere) you'll know...

observation notes: ADOPTING TERROR

This past Saturday night marked the second time The Asylum premiered a film on the Lifetime network; last year it was Jared Cohn's Born Bad, and this time around it was Adopting Terror from writer - along with Nik Frank-Lehrer - and director Micho Rutare (Meteor Apocalypse). Like Born Bad, Adopting Terror was a thriller without creatures, aliens, natural disasters or pending global cataclysms, just a straight-up look at the evil men can do when properly motivated.

The film centers around Tim and Cheryl Broadbent, played by Sean Astin (Goonies, Lord of the Rings) and Samaire Armstrong (The O.C., Entourage) respectively - and their adoption of a lovely little baby girl, Mona. Only trouble is, Mona's biological father has just been released from prison and now he'll stop at nothing to be reunited with his daughter. What follows is a psychological game of cat-and-mouse, manipulations and intimidation, violence and the different degrees different people will go to in order to preserve and protect their families.

Adopting Terror is laden with powerful performances that elevate the film. The seemingly ageless Sean Astin is a loving father and husband, a sensible protector who as the film progresses, struggles to keep himself together amid the mounting strain to his family. Astin is a perfect Everyfather - if you'll allow the term - and thus when he finds himself pushed to the brink, the experience is tangible and resonant.

Samaire Armstrong also turns in a convincing performance as a first-time mother already a little unsure of her own abilities, an emotional subplot that only compounds once the real trouble starts popping off. Actress Monet Mazur plays the sleek yet wary, helpful but watchful social worker in charge of the Broadbent's case, and Michael Gross (Family Ties, Tremors 1-4) plays her boss. This marks Mr. Gross's second outing with The Asylum, 100 Million B.C. being the first time. This go-round, he brought his sister Mary Gross (Saturday Night Live, Troop Beverly Hills, FEDS), who has a one-scene cameo early on.

But for my money, the real scene-stealer here is Brendan Fehr (Final Destination, Ice Quake) as Mona's birth father, Kevin. He's the scariest kind of sociopath - the coolly vicious, stoically sadistic, stone-faced type. Fehr is a pure menace, a vibrant and brutally focused man blind to everything beyond his own agenda. Dude's got real chops, and they're on full display here. I want to see Fehr as Adopting Terror's Kevin fight Michael Welch as Born Bad's Denny; now there's a mega match-up.

Bottom line, Adopting Terror is a taut, well-paced, uncomfortably realistic thriller from set-up to payoff. It comes across simultaneously heartfelt, vicious, tense and suspenseful, and manages to mix in a few awesome, totally unexpected twists along the way to its pulse-pounding conclusion.

As of now, there is only one remaining scheduled broadcast of Adopting Terror on Lifetime: Saturday, April 28th at 6pm. After that, you might have to wait until the film's official DVD release on September 11th of this year.

Super Cyclone Just Got a Lot More SUPER!!! Casting News!!!

While there's nothing up on their site as of yet, according to The Asylum's Facebook and Twitter feed, there's a bit of news about their upcoming disaster flick, Super Cyclone, and believe me when I tell you guys, you're gonna love this.

Cast as one of the two female leads is the lovely and talented AnnaMaria Demara, the very same lovely and talented actress you voted as last year's Best Supporting Actress in the 2011 Loonies for her star-making turn in 200MPH. No word on who the other lead will be, or what exactly the plot is, but does it matter? This one's already made it's money back. 

More info, as always, when it becomes available...

Enter to Win an One-of-a-Kind 2 Headed Shark Print

So, my fellow-faithfully Committed Asylum fan Tromeric, originator and administrator of the lovely horror blog Guts and Grog, is sponsoring a contest where someone's gonna win a completely original, one-of-a-kind print inspired by The Asylum classic 2 Headed Shark Attack,  which I wrote the screenplay for.

Pretty rad, if you ask me, it's got a real Jaws vibe going on, which you guys know I love. So if you want this gorgeous monstrosity for your very own, click through to the link above to enter. The winner is drawn on April 17th, and if it's you, send me a pic of where you put it and I'll publish it here for all the world - and by "world" I mean the limited population of my blogosphere - to see and envy. 

Thanks to Tromeric, Guts and Grog and artist Jeremy Gaulkenstein for a truly rad contest!

Adopting Terror Premieres on Lifetime THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!!!

Don't forget, Asylum fans, that this Saturday night marks the next release from our favorite independent studio, as the thriller Adopting Terror makes its world premiere on the Lifetime network.

The films stars Sean Astin (Goonies, Lord of the Rings, Toy Soldiers) and Samaire Armstrong (The O.C., Entourage) as a married couple longing to adopt. When their prayers are answered in the form of a beautiful baby girl, they think their lives are complete. Wrong. Because that beautiful baby girl comes with a psycho biological father, Brendan Fehr (Roswell, Ice Quake, The Forsaken) who wants his baby back (insert your own Chili's joke here, if you like.). As if all this wasn't a draw, the cast also boast Michael Gross (I shouldn't have to tell you). 

So the time is 8 p.m., the place is the Lifetime network, and the event is the world premiere of the latest Asylum offering, Adopting Terror, from writer/director Micho Rutare and writer Nik Frank-Lehrer. Catch it now, because the DVD release doesn't come until September, and you don't want to be the last one of your block to see it!