Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's this? Sherlock Holmes tangling with a dinosaur?

It's elementary: Those wild and crazy guys over at The Asylum are at it again. Brian Rafferty of Wired has taken a close look at the company that will give us Sherlock Holmes -- no, not that one, this one -- and previously gave us Snakes on a Train and Transmorphers. Such low-budget, direct-to-video knock-offs have come to be known as mockbusters. But Rafferty is not of a mind to be too critical of them. "While mockbusting may seem disreputable," he writes, "it’s merely an extension of the sort of cultural cannibalization that fuels the entertainment and media industries. Every hit property, whether it’s American Idol or Twilight or Harry Potter, spurs its own parallel economy, a nebulous cosmos of TV specials and publications that attempt to dry-hump the zeitgeist for all it’s worth. Some of these efforts are subtler than others — putting a sitcom star on a magazine cover, for example — but all take advantage of a cultural momentum they didn’t create. In the end, is there really much difference between the Asylum’s Da Vinci Treasure and the countless unsanctioned Da Vinci Code TV specials, books, and tours?"

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