Blaugust #23: dinosaurs everywhere

I said yesterday that Kateri and I were going to watch Thale, and we did. It was good, a tense and creepy modern-world meets old folklore movie. But was it any more enjoyable than Asylum’s Age of Dinosaurs which we watched in the early hours of the morning?

I think not. Of course, Thale is a “proper” movie with an actual plot, and Age of Dinosaurs is, well:

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Even the subtitling was bad. For some reason the insistence on capitalising Dinosaur every time reminded me of Crimer Show.

It’s Jurassic Park on a tiny budget and played with tongue firmly in cheek. There’s terrible CGI and rubbery monsters and we’re pretty sure some of the “special” effects are cardboard cut-outs.

It even recreates a couple of classic shots from Jurassic Park and Alien — this film is not worthy to lick the boots of Alien, Kateri remarked — but despite the overall low production values and evidently hastily written script, the film-makers know what they’re doing. I think that’s one of the great things about the Asylum movies — they know exactly what they are. They know they have a tiny budget and unknown actors (albeit usually unknown for a good reason), and they have fun with it. These aren’t bad films that are trying to be “good”, trying to be artful. They are what they are.

Can you call an Asylum film “bad”? Sure, because by a lot of metrics, they are. But most of them achieve exactly what they set out to do — campy B-movie monster thrillers by the numbers — and they don’t ask anyone to take them seriously.

Much of the enjoyment of an Asylum movie comes from who you’re watching it with and the resulting Mystery Science Theatre-ing of it, and we had a really good time with it.

I mean, really.

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