There’s a moment 42 seconds into the clip that will revolutionize how we watch television and devour entertainment. Okay, I’ll spoil it: it involves a chainsaw, a flying shark and a guy from 90210. Basically, the trailer is every Whose Line Is It Anyway? scenario ever.
Jesus. I need to change my pants. I just *takes off shades* sharked myself. Or sharkted. I mean, sharkzed. Wait, give me a second. This is gonna be funny. I’ll get back to you.
If you’re interested, here’s a pretty fascinating feature on Asylum, the company that makes these “mockbusters”:
When it comes to a title like Sharknado—Ward’s latest Asylum film—the poster is the movie. “It’s exactly what you think it is—a tornado full of sharks,” he explains. “That movie cannot be bad.” The tagline for Sharknado is simply: “Enough said.” Sometimes the poster is actually superior to the film, as one Redbox renter said in an ostensibly negative review of 2-Headed Shark Attack. And it just wouldn’t make sense for things to work the other way around. On its blog, the company instructs fans to add its titles to their Netflix queues to gin up the perception of “public demand” for the movie, and they couldn’t care less whether that demand translates into actual viewings. “This isn’t about trying to get you to watch our movie,” they wrote. “This is about gaming the system. This is about taking a stand. Against math.”
If the Asylum’s films are naive camp, its marketing strategy is all deliberate. “It’s a parody of the studio system,” Latt says. “We’re making fun of the commerce side of this. You made your movie for $200 million? I’ll make it for 20 bucks.”
Consider the Asylum’s line of “mockbusters,” designed to ride the coattails of the zillion-dollar publicity pushes for big-studio films. When DreamWorks studios came out with Transformers in 2007, the Asylum raced out Transmorphers. When Columbia Pictures released Battle: Los Angeles in 2011, the Asylum countered with Battle of Los Angeles. When mockbusters trip legal threats from the big studios—and they usually do—the Asylum will fuss with the cover art and change the titles to pacify the lawyers, then thank the studios for throwing more publicity their way.
That’s some good trolling right there!