STARRING: Kel Mitchell, Nia Peeples, Dylan Vox, Gerald Webb

2011, 90 Minutes, Directed by:
Mark Atkins

Battle of Los Angeles is not to be confused with Battle: Los Angeles - although its producers would probably want you to be . . .

You see, Battle: Los Angeles is the big screen Hollywood blockbuster that shot to the number one spot at the American box office in its opening weekend. Battle of Los Angeles is the newest made-for-the-Syfy channel movie by The Asylum, the low-budget outfit that specializes in so-called “mockbusters” – rip-off movies design to trick unwary punters into renting Transmorphers instead of Transformers, I Am Omega instead of I Am Legend and The Day the Earth Stopped instead of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Battle of Los Angeles must be their most blatant rip-off yet. I used to be amazed that no-one in Hollywood has sued them yet, but watching Battle of Los Angeles I realized that mainstream Hollywood must actually be bankrolling them in order to make their own produce seem much better in comparison (how’s that for a conspiracy theory?).

Ten minutes into Battle of Los Angeles I thought to myself that the only difference between an Asylum production and a mainstream Hollywood flick is the budget: The Asylum’s movies are usually shot on the budget of a home movie. (I could be forgiven for thinking that because the previous evening I sat through the similarly themed Skyline, okay?)

Boy! Was I quickly disabused of that opinion!

Some movies are so good they’re bad, some are plain bad and others achieve a level of sheer bloody awfulness that makes you want to scoop your own eyes out with a spoon instead of watching it. Battle of Los Angeles falls under the latter. Sometimes the line between a “so bad it’s good” and a “so bad it’s bad” movie can be arbitrary and can depend on something as fickle as the viewer’s mood while watching it. Well, you have to be in a pretty darned good mood to actually like Battle of Los Angeles. In fact you’ll have to be in a positively deranged mood brought about by brain-destroying drugs to like Battle of Los Angeles. Its sheer storytelling ineptness, bad acting, shitty special effects and low budget will wear you down and no level of Mystery Science Theater 3000 irony will save you.

Be warned: it’s mind-numbingly crap and you’d want to scoop your own eyeballs out with a spoon to stop watching it!

Oh, the plot? Aliens park their polluting flying saucers over LA, there’s a platoon of under-funded U.S. marines, a chick in a blue jump suit with a samurai sword and an airman from 1942; but all of this make the movie sound much more fun that it actually is . . .

(Note: in the olden days, about five years ago, The Asylum made movies for the video shop shelves. But now that video shops have gone the way of the Dodo and Tom Cruise’s star appeal they have a deal to churn out crap like Battle of Los Angeles for the Syfy channel all while the same channel cancelled two of their more interesting albeit flawed shows namely Stargate Universe and Caprica. A pity. But at least they have all those wrestling shows, right?)



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