Friday, November 27, 2009

Princess of Mars on the cheap

Wow, I love The Asylum, a company that specializes in jumping on the marketing coattails of bigger and more cash rich studios. A few years ago they produced a cheapo version of The War of the Worlds, which capitalized on the Tom Cruise movie, and now they're at it again, though you have to wonder if they've jumped the gun a bit with their version of A Princess of Mars, as the Disney/Pixar version has barely left the starting blocks. The trailer for the Asylum version (the story is in the public domain, so not much Disney can do) is out now, and begrudgingly, doesn't look entirely terrible, even if the star looks like he was hewn from a block of wood and the titular princess (there's a pun in there somewhere) is the infamous Tracie Lords. A couple of fleeting effects shots look halfway decent, and while the terrain hardly looks like anyone’s idea of Mars, this could (I firmly emphasize "could") be a fun beer and pretzels movie. You certainly can't knock The Asylum for their cheek - and I particular like that they’re aiming to steal not only Pixar’s moxy, but are name-checking James Cameron in their publicity. The trailer makes great capital of the fact that James Cameron has apparently mentioned in passing that Burroughs John Carter of Mars stories were an inspiration for his forthcoming 3D extravaganza Avatar. Anyway, you be the judge, here's the trailer.

And here's a fasinating earlier attempt from legendary animator Robert "Bob" Clampett.