Retro SciFi of the Week…

American Warships (2012)

If you’re a fan of independent films, I highly recommend this one.

This ten-year-old film is what’s known in the business as a “mockbuster”, a lower budget film with a similar name or theme as a major studio film and released around the same time. The idea is that the major studio will spend a ton of money promoting the big film, and then the low-budget mockbuster film will “draft” off of all that promotion, with audiences wanting to see similar films or sometimes mistaking the low-budget film for the major studio film. In this case, the big film was Battleship (2012).

However, despite having a budget of less than 1% of that major motion picture, this mockbuster, American Warships, was a much better film. Battleship got sunk at the box office (and with critics), while American Warships made money for Asylum (the independent studio that produced American Warships).

As a low budget film, this one lacks the high-quality computer graphics of major studio films at that time, but it makes up for it with great casting, a well-written script, decent thespians, a unique plot, and an overall high-production value (except the CG).

Note: Don’t read any descriptions or watch trailers for this one, most of them contain major spoilers.

(image: fair use low-res movie poster)

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