Oh Asylum, you’re drunk. Go home! Z Nation, Ardennes Fury, and the Ouija Experiment are available on instant Netflix
Z Nation (2014) – Rated TV-14
“A team embarks on a perilous cross-country mission to transport the one man who survived a deadly zombie virus, hoping he holds the key to a vaccine.”
With zombies having been hot for at least a few decades and The Walking Dead setting audience records for four successful seasons, I am actually surprised that it took this long for another zombie competitor to come out of the television.
Honestly, The Talking Dead is a ratings phenomenon. New episodes of The Walking Dead often place first in their ratings with The Talking Dead usually appearing just a few places below. The reason why Talking Dead is so astonishing is that it is simply a quick interview and commentary show talking about the show you JUST WATCHED.
Naturally if someone is going to quickly and cheaply cash in on this craze, it is Asylum pictures. Shifting their footing to weekly television. Asylum loses none of their bargain basement approach to things. Special effects in Z Nation are cheap and dirty and it shows. Sadly the effects are great compared to the acting. I lasted twenty minutes before my eye-rolling caused spasms.
Ardennes Fury (2014) – Not rated
“During World War II’s Battle of the Bulge attack, an Allied tank unit gets caught behind Nazi lines and risks their lives to save an orphanage.”
Quickly hustled out to mooch off of the Brad Pitt vehicle, Fury, Ardennes Fury does have a few minor things going for it. First, I give a large amount of credit to Asylum for ripping off Fury as Ardennes Fury rather than say, Tank Fury. The other thing I credit Asylum for is starting the movie with some World War II footage.
That’s about it. Immediately after the footage, we get the usual dodgy CGI. This is followed in quick succession by bargain basement production values and atrocious acting. For military hardware aficionados, there is a bewildering array of equipment on display here, from World War II era equipment all the way through barely disguised modern equipment. The ‘German’ tanks are Russian T-34s.
Anyway, it all amounts to the usual Asylum garbage.
The Ouija Experiment (2011) – Not rated
“Film student Brandon and four friends play with a ouija board, unwittingly opening a portal to the spirit world and a drowned girl’s deadly mystery.”
First off, I owe a deep apology to Asylum and an even deeper one to the makers of this feature. When this popped up on instant Netflix, I immediately assumed that this was an Asylum ripoff of last year’s horror movie, Ouija. I then noticed that this was made in 2011, three years prior to Ouija (which I have yet to see). So my apologies to both parties are now out of the way.
The Ouija Experiment is yet still another found footage film. The acting and camerawork are just awful. Camerawork can be blamed on the premise I guess but not the acting. Skip it.