Battle of the Damned and Sharknado 2 are not on Netflix but I watched them last week while I was ill.
Battle of the Damned (2013) – Rated R
“Following a deadly viral outbreak, private military soldier Max Gatling leads a handful of survivors and a ragtag band of robots against an army of the infected.”
Battle of the Damned is a severely schizophrenic film. Writer/director/producer Christopher Hatton crafts a pretty standard zombie scenario here. A mercenary team led by Max Gatling (Dolph Lundgren) goes into a city quarantined because of a virus outbreak that naturally turns the inhabitants into zombies. Having watched it, I am unsure how the city could possibly have been quarantined – particularly when the outbreak spreads quite rapidly but I digress.
Naturally, his team doesn’t make it far but Gatling meets up with some other survivors and decides to high-tail it out of quarantine land. Again pretty standard zombie fare. The picture is low budget but filmed well. Zombie action isn’t bad but nothing impressive either. That’s when the picture takes a left turn into crazy town. Gatling and crew encounter a team of life-saving robots.
This gonzo move held my attention for the rest of the movie. No, Battle of the Damned is not particularly good but it is a darn sight better than any of Asylum’s offerings.
Speaking of Asylum…
Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014) – Rated TV-14
“A freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites – and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.”
I want to reiterate that Asylum’s Sharknado (and by extension almost any other Asylum production) was really just a bad film with a funny concept and name. It did not take proper advantage of the premise in spite of a few minorly amusing scenes.
Sharknado 2 embraces its stupidity, even in the title. Asylum finally found out how to do a bad B-movie (more than half a century after Corman and others learned how). Most of Asylum’s offerings are advertised in such a way that you will think they are so bad that they are funny. Only after sitting through them do you discover that they were just plain bad.
Sharknado 2 is the film that is so dumb, it becomes funny. The movie is filled with cameos done with a wink and a nod. Robert Hays plays a pilot. Judd Hirsch plays a taxi driver. Subway’s Jared is shown eating a sub in the subway. Wil Wheaton, after joking about it on The Big Bang Theory, appears here as do a slew of other guest stars.
The writers here had a lot of fun. Characters are named after ones in Jaws. They filmed the movie in the winter so they just threw a second storm, a vicious cold front, into the story. There are riffs here on Jaws, Happy Days, Airplane, Taxi Driver, and more. The silliness is ridiculously over the top as our hero can apparently do every job known to man, including that of airline pilot.
Finally an Asylum movie you can watch, laugh at, and enjoy!