Infamous producer of low-budget movie and purveyors of genre ripoffs The Asylum has released a trailer for their latest sci-fi exploitation flick – Ape vs. Monster – and it touches down like a VelociPastor in a Sharknado.
Based on the title, it’s very obvious they are trying to cash in on Godzilla vs. Kong’s success, which is breaking pandemic records the world over in a bow that all but ensures the continuation of Legendary Picture’s MonsterVerse.
As such, why the schlock horror maestros at The Asylum want to, well, ape some of that box-office mojo is a no-brainer. That said, without any further ado, watch the trailer here:
Having viewed the trailer, it’s plain to see that they aren’t just borrowing from GVK. Elements from the video game-based giant monster blockbuster Rampage are also grafted into the plot.
The title ape (who’s apparently named Abraham) and monster start as a regular monkey and your average desert-dwelling lizard before being exposed to some mysterious green slime that, falling from space, is scattered on the sands.
At that point, they start growing until they become cheap-looking and cheesy CGI creations, eventually converging on Washington, D.C., for a battle to see who will “rule the universe.” That tagline might be a sly nod to Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, but either way, like the flying turtle Titan, the two behemoths in Ape vs. Monster show no sign of leaving the planet in the trailer.
The Monster lizard’s noteworthy resemblance to the 1998 Godzilla design by special FX artist Patrick Tatopoulos shouldn’t be lost on anyone. And, honestly, the ‘98 Godzilla remake and AvM share a bond, in the sense they appear as equal parts goofy fun and a tone-deaf cash grab – notwithstanding their worlds-apart costs.
The two creatures in AvM will never measure up to the vivid detail of Godzilla vs. Kong’s visual effects, but a few of the clips show that the team assembled by the makers of monster “classics” like Atlantic Rim and Mega Shark are doing their best.
One shot of the overgrown reptile looks very good in light of the obvious monetary restrictions. It is set at night, an old trick consistently employed to cover up flaws, but this lone piece of film should be impressive to even jaded observers.
Mr. H Reviews of YouTube fame is one of those guys. In a recent breakdown and review of the Ape vs. Monster trailer, he highlights the glimpse of the latter as a standout moment in what’s otherwise a “Big Old Pile of Cringe Crap.”
“I will say this much,” said H, “In one shot – because I saw it freeze-framed – Monster does actually look pretty decent, weirdly enough. It got a bigger budget for CGI for some weird reason.”
Mr. H goes on to pick at what’s left of the CG effects, as well as the locomotion and scale of the beasts from shot to shot. Additionally, the acting is predictably lackluster, albeit H admits he’s seen worse. The movie also features Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts, if that makes any difference.
Here is an IMDB summary for Ape vs. Monster: “An ape crash-lands on Earth, which creates a sludge that makes him and a passing scorpion grow to giant-size, resulting in a fight for dominance.”
Ape vs. Monster is currently in post-production. The film indeed sounds very similar to Rampage and Godzilla vs. Kong but, as far as anyone knows, there is no giant scorpion in it – although, admittedly, that’d be something to see.
What do you say? Are you going to spend, or waste, money on this one, even just for a laugh? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.