In Defense of Mockbusters

Thursday, April 14th, 2011 @ 9:01 am | Headline, News, Other

One of the most frequent (and false) criticisms we hear is that our business model is based on “fooling people” into watching our movies.

Not only has that never been our intention, but it also just doesn’t happen.

Both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video provided us with detailed monthly reports on all of the transactional data on our movies, and the returns (customers asking for their money back) were consistently less than 1%. If consumers were really picking up Pirates of Treasure Island and thinking it was that other pirate film, the returns would have been astronomical.

Most people aren’t that dumb.

I think Mockbusters are like store brands. Say you’ve got a cold and you walk into your local Walgreens  for some medicine (and a pap smear). You see the Sudafed, and right next to it, in a box that looks remarkably similar to the national brand, the store’s own “Nasal Decongestant.” I don’t think most people buy the store brand because they think it’s really Sudafed in a different box. I think they buy it because they think it will be similar to Sudafed, only cheaper.

Just like our Mockbusters. They’re similar to big studio films, only cheaper.

And shittier.

If that’s possible.

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    15 Responses to “In Defense of Mockbusters”

    1. Mike Says:

      First of all, thank you for embracing the title “Mockbuster.” It’s a title that makes your movies almost a genre unto itself.

      Second, I was one of the nay-sayers, poo-pooing your movies as cheap rip-offs. Well, they’re still cheap, by major studio standards, but Hollywood is currently in the mindset that all you need to make a hit is money.

      I cite now the Comic-Con Curse. Nearly every movie that was heavily advertised at last year’s Comic-Con has been slammed by critics. And the more commercials you see on TV pushing a movie, the bigger turkey it turns out to be. After all, why advertise the prime Rib when the Tri-tip isn’t moving?

      Lastly, your movies are done with a Camera Phone and flashlights. The production value of everything (except, of course your now-infamous special effects) would pass any critic’s eye for quality.

      One of your actors that I interviewed a while back had this to say:
      “Would you call Conan O’Brian or the cast of “Saturday Night Live” “consummate Rip-Off Pirate” for spoofing pop culture? I think not!

      The Asylum works the same way thousands of YouTube users cash in on the latest trends, they just do it in a feature length format. Their movie trailers alone are viral hits and have even been posted by The God of Mount Internet – Perez Hilton!”

      I would call your nay-sayers Cinema Snobs. That they’ve forgotten how to enjoy a movie simply on its entertainment value, and not it’s Oscar-worthiness!

      Which, in fact, doesn’t bring in the bucks either, as a rule.

    2. Mike Says:

      CORECTION

      Sorry, I meant NOT done with a Camera Phone and flashlights. I was making an analogy for people who think your movies are cheaply made.

      Sorry ’bout that!

    3. Keith Makenas Says:

      When I go to the liquor store I see Captain Morgan and Jack Daniels, but I buy Admiral Nelson and Evan Williams and mix it with Dr. Skipper versus Dr. Pepper. I guess in conclusion I’m a cheap alcoholic that prefers mockmusters.

    4. Rick Says:

      ‘The Sudafed Defense’ …. sounds logical and reasonable to me.

    5. Jackie Says:

      Horror films shouldn’t be taken seriously. I just found Anneliese: The Exorcism Tapes on Zune, Microsoft’s version of iTunes. I’m happy if a horror filmhas a decent plotline, some dark humor, and there is no harm to animals. Particularily cats, I mean the trope with cats being harmed in horror films is so tired and old. Besides that I own cats, and they don’t understand that it’s fake. I could be projecting though, I was joking yesterday that the cats might think it’s beyond absurd and nothing to worry about.

      I think that you discussed how Epilepsy was most likely related to cases of Exorcism was very smart. I appreciate a film studio who’s like, “We know this is BS, have fun anyways!” better than some horror film directors who think they’re the s**t,yes I meanyou Sam Rami. No, it was not cool having the lead actress kill her cat in Drag me to hell. Not original, not creative, Yeah, I’m done, lol.

    6. The Inmates have taken over The Asylum « themacguffinmen Says:

      [...] However, not so many people find these similarities entertaining. 20th Century Fox threatened legal action when it felt The Day the Earth Stopped was too close to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Some people are angered by the way The Asylum names their movies and designs their covers. They feel the filmmakers are trying to trick people who aren’t as in touch with popular culture or who simply have bad eyesight into renting or buying their films. This concern is addressed on the studio’s official website in a post called “In Defense of Mockbusters”. [...]

    7. asylumsucks Says:

      your movies suck end of story

    8. Doug Higley Says:

      Kieth: ‘Evan Williams’ simply tastes better….yeah I buy it…also BOUGHT my share of The Asylum DVDs as well but not due to taste. :-)

      One of ‘em I might even watch again! ;-)

    9. Tysto Says:

      I got Mega Piranha on Blu-ray for $5, but for the most part Asylum movies are actually priced about the same as major studio releases. I think of mockbusters as more of what you liked about the big studio release but with more cheese. The monster movies are pure cheese of the sort that you hardly ever see out of a major studio. Nobody buys medicine that is “so bad it’s good”. :-)

    10. Ilikerealmoviestudios Says:

      I was extremely pissed when I picked up “2012:Straight out of someone’s ass”. It is DEFINITELY their intention to deceive consumers. Pretty sure there is a lawyer out there who would take on a class action.

    11. Andrei Says:

      For your excuse to be true, you should have stated that Sudafed gives you smallpox, the quality is pathetically low and the guys who developed it (the medicine) are complete idiots with no dignity.

    12. Jason Guy Says:

      I used to be one of those that thought you were deceiving people. Now that I know this, though, I can respect it.

      Speaking as someone who prefers Dr. Thunder to Dr. Pepper, I can understand the love of a cheaper alternative over an overpriced hype-fest. You’ve got a new buyer, guys, I think I’ll give your stuff a shot…

    13. The Inmates have taken over The Asylum « themacguffinmen.com Says:

      [...] However, not so many people find these similarities entertaining. 20th Century Fox threatened legal action when it felt The Day the Earth Stopped was too close to The Day the Earth Stood Still. Some people are angered by the way The Asylum names their movies and designs their covers. They feel the filmmakers are trying to trick people who aren’t as in touch with popular culture or who simply have bad eyesight into renting or buying their films. This concern is addressed on the studio’s official website in a post called “In Defense of Mockbusters”. [...]

    14. Koibones Says:

      I saw Asylum’s “War of the Worlds” and “King of the Lost World” (King Kong/The Lost World*) and thought they were pretty good, despite the lower budgets, before I even knew about mockbusters. War of the Worlds even had nudity.

      *Not a rip off of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, but TLW:JP was a horrible enough movie it didn’t need to be mocked.

    15. Deb Says:

      So many of your movies could have been decent movies with just the tiniest bit of thought put into the casting and directing. Why on Gods green earth would you cast a big boob bimbo as a sceintist. Why not cast someone who has a remote chance of pulling off the character. It’s like you hired 18 year olds to direct… and write the script. Seems like there was one you made, a mockbuster, of aliens in LA. Most of it was on a military base. You could have at LEAST run the weed wacker, and slap a bit of paint on the abandoned buildings that were suppose to be on an active military base….

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