It was last summer when I interviewed Asylum filmmaker Thunder Levin before the release of his litigious and surprisingly superior Battleship mockbuster American Warships.
He dropped me a line to update me on his two new Asylum offerings, Apocalypse Earth and the current buzz of b-cinema – SHARKNADO!
Word of Sharknado quickly spread like wildfire when The Asylum announced the film at AFM last year. So how does one bring unlikely combination of sharks and tornadoes together into one ultimate hybrid of nature gone amok and disaster flicks? In Sharknado an unprepared Los Angeles is hit with a monster hurricane that cripples the city with flood waters – flood waters filled with man-eating sharks! The grand finale sees the sharks getting swept up into a tornado that destroys and devours anything in its path.
Levin says of this most outlandish premise even by Asylum standards, “The script I wrote for the Asylum is probably a hundred million dollar film, so I’ll be very interested to see what they actually came up with. Director Anthony Ferrante and editor Bill Boodell have been editing in the bay right next to ours, but I haven’t really seen much of their footage. All I can tell you is that every time I pass Anthony in the hall, he just moans and says, “What were you thinking?!”
I assume Syfy and The Asylum are hoping he was thinking big ratings when Sharknado touches down this summer.
Levin is more excited right now about his newest writing-directing effort entitled AE Apocalypse Earth.
“The film is really more pure science fiction than anything I’ve done before, which makes me very happy, tells Levin. Sci-fi is really my first love since I grew up watching Star Trek and became a filmmaker largely due to Star Wars. The film is also nonstop action, which was quite a challenge on such a low budget. We shot it in the jungles of Costa Rica, which was an adventure in itself. I’m still recovering!
Arriving on DVD/VOD/Blu-ray on May 28th, a week before the M. Night Shyamalan/Will Smith science fiction epic After Earth, though the title and premise might hold some conceptual similarities, he prefer we don’t label his film a mockbuster.
Levin describes AE as ”the story of a group of refugees from Earth who have to survive on a hostile alien planet. Adrian Paul plays Lt. Frank Baum, Richard Grieco is Capt. Sam Crowe, Gray Hawks is an android named Tim, and Costa Rican supermodel Bali Rodriguez plays the mysterious humanoid Lea. I’d describe AE as Predator meets Avatar meets Planet of the Apes meets The Wizard Of Oz. “Apocalypse Earth” doesn’t tell nearly the whole story, and by the end of the film, viewers will probably realize that AE stands for something much more important.
Levin was nice enough to pass along some behind the scenes photos from the set of AE Apocalypse Earth in which you’ll see him, Adrian Paul, a gun-toting Richard Grieco, and some of his world’s alien lifeforms.
Look for AE Apocalypse Earth May 28th and Sharknado on Syfy this summer.
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