TROY: THE ODYSSEY
In between their mockbusters and killer shark films, The Asylum from time to time turn their hands to churning out cheap adaptations of classic stories. These are often just ways of churning out low-cost copycats of works in the public domain when studios are making their own big-budget versions see the likes of War of the Worlds (2005), Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009), 3 Musketeers (2011), Grimms Snow White (2012), Jack the Giant Killer (2013), Hercules Reborn (2014), Sleeping Beauty (2014), In the Name of Ben Hur (2015) and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (2017). In between this, they have made several other efforts that are not particularly tied to any other studio version such as 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007), The Land That Time Forgot (2009), Princess of Mars (2009), 2010: Moby Dick (2010), The 7 Adventures of Sinbad (2010) and Sinbad and the War of the Furies (2016).
With Troy: The Odyssey, The Asylum tackle one of the great literary epics none other than Homers The Odyssey (probably written in the 8th Century BC). For good measure, a truncated version of The Iliad (date unknown), to which The Odyssey is a sequel, has been tacked on to the start of the film. Originally written as poems, these are believed to be the oldest works of literature known to history. Both The Iliad and The Odyssey have been filmed before, most notably as the tv mini-series The Odyssey (1997), even loosely updated as the Coen Brothers O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), the tv mini-series Helen of Troy (2003), the Brad Pitt-starring Troy (2004) and subsequent to this the BBC tv mini-series Troy: Fall of City (2018).
Scripted by Asylum regular director Eric Forsberg director of some of The Asylums Alien Abduction (2005), Night of the Dead Leben Tod (2006) and Mega Piranha (2010) the film rearranges Homer fairly freely for instance, in the originals, Circe is an enchantress they encounter who turns Odysseuss men into pigs but here becomes an everyday Trojan who accompanies them on their journey. It nevertheless provides a better-than-average outing compared to the level of mediocrity that most Asylum films aim for. One of the more amusing things about the film is the inclusion of the Kraken this is a sea monster taken from Norse mythology as opposed to Greek and has only been associated with Greek myth following its incorporation in the Ray Harryhausen film Clash of the Titans (1981).
The formal dialogue tends to sound clunky and awkward in the mouths of the actors. And the film suffers from some bizarre casting most notably David Blazejko as Agamemnon who looks like he has been recruited from a job as a bouncer at the rattiest bar in town. On the other hand, newcomer director Tekin Girgin, who hails from Turkey, does a not too bad job. The Kraken effects are solid and convincing. Gilgin even manages to make the scene where Odysseus returns to Ithaca and vanquishes his wifes would-be suitors into something quite triumphal.