30,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
The Asylum started their mockbuster trend in 2005 when the Steven Spielberg War of the Worlds (2005) was announced. They quickly realised that the original H.G. Wells novel was now in public domain and jumped in with their own enterprising mockbuster version War of the Worlds (2005). They then set off on a bunch of other adaptations of works that were in public domain, including Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls (2008) based on King Solomons Mines (1885), The Land That Time Forgot (2009), Princess of Mars (2009) and a number of mockbuster versions of public domain stories that were also released at the same time as big-budget adaptations were, including the likes of Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008), Sherlock Holmes (2009), 3 Musketeers (2011), Grimms Snow White (2012), Hansel and Gretel (2013), Jack the Giant Killer (2013), Hercules Reborn (2014) and Sleeping Beauty (2014).
30,000 Leagues Under the Sea is an extremely cheap version of Jules Vernes Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870). The book has been filmed a number of times, most famously with the lavish Disney 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) starring James Mason as Captain Nemo. Other versions include George Meliess silly 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1907), which played the story as burlesque and added mermaids; the silent Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1916), which was the first film to ever shoot underwater; and two simultaneous remakes with the tv movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997) with Ben Cross as Captain Nemo and the ponderous tv mini-series 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997) with Michael Caine as Nemo. There have also been a number of distaff Captain Nemo works including Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969) and The Amazing Captain Nemo/The Return of Captain Nemo (1978), as well as a great many adaptations of Vernes Captain Nemo sequel The Mysterious Island (1874).
Jules Verne has been updated (and gained an extra ten thousand leagues given that the films setting of the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, is only two leagues down, it is clear that the scriptwriter has done little research on naval distances). Disappeared has now gone Captain Nemos vendetta against all ships of war unspoken is now the fact that in this film the heroes are made into members of the US Navy, which would in any accurate version surely make Captain Nemo into a terrorist. Now Nemo has developed a much grander super-villain scheme to obliterate the entire surface world with purloined nuclear missiles and relocate underwater shades of the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) using Lorenzo Lamass invention of a device that creates an air bubble to make habitable a sunken city he has discovered (which is said to be all of Atlantis, Mu and Lemuria). Professor Arronax is now a naval commander in a submersible, while his aide Conseil becomes a woman and Lorenzo Lamass ex one of those exs where the two would reconcile if the two of them only realised how much they both still cared about one another. Nowadays, the invention of a submarine is old hat and so The Nautilus becomes a super-sub (a floating city, we are told) with a population of guests even its own indoor disco we see at one point who have been indoctrinated with Nemos use of a mind control device.
The film tries to create a sense of underwater adventure on a low-budget with people sitting in control rooms urgently spouting naval doubletalk but does little to convince. The underwater scenes consist of stock footage and some extremely cheap CGI, in particular the shots of a giant squid trying to drag down the submersible. (Indeed, it is quite possible that 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea avoided any actual underwater or at sea shooting altogether). The film has a cheap canned score.
Director Gabriel Bologna is better known as an actor. His only genre work was as director of the horror film The Black Waters of Echos Pond (2009). Screenwriter Eric Forsberg was one of the more interesting talents working at The Asylum in their early days, directing the interesting Alien Abduction (2005), the unbelievably gory zombie film Night of the Dead Leben Tod (2006) and Mega Piranha (2010), while he has also written the screenplays for The Asylums Snakes on a Train, War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave (2008), Age of the Hobbits and Ghost Shark (2013).