DVD Review: American Warships

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American Warships begins when a mysterious attack is launched by undetectable ships off the coast of civilization. The U.S.S. Ohio and its crew are brought out of retirement to find out who’s responsible for the attacks before the different countries of the world begin World War III. They soon discover that the unknown force is alien. The officers and crew of the ship must find a way to stop them before they can call in intergalactic reinforcements to complete their mission to take over the Earth.

This movie once again takes a rather serious direction and doesn’t come off as too campy. It took a while to get going, with most of the action in the first 45 minutes or so depending on ships shooting at each other. Things really get interesting when the Navy SEALS board one of the alien ships to see what they’re up against. We finally get some of the typical action regular viewers of Asylum movies are used to. The good guys chase the bad guys through some sort of tunnels or hallways while shooting lasers and rifles at each other.

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The visual effects and CGI are par for the course based on the last few Asylum films. They’re just above adequate but light-years ahead of where they used to be. The aliens still suffer a bit visually from blue-screen pasting and CG work, but they look unique. These aliens aren’t the garden variety War of the Worlds or Alien looking ones we get so many times in these types of low-budget films.

One thing that really helps the film is it was shot on an actual Navy battleship. Filmmakers used the decommissioned U.S.S. North Carolina as a stand-in for the Ohio. However, the room supposedly in the Pentagon looked like it was shot in a small rented out hotel conference room with sheets put over the entrances. That kept you grounded in the world of the Asylum enough to where you didn’t forget what you were watching.

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Just like every great Asylum film, we were treated to appearances by actors who have been off the Hollywood radar for a while. Mario Van Peebles stars as Captain James Winston and Carl Weathers stars as General Hugh McKraken. They put their all into the roles they were given and act circles around most of the other cast members in the movie.

The release of Nazis at the Center of the Earth had commentary from the director and a couple of different featurettes. We are reduced to the usual “Making of,” gag reel, and trailers we get with Asylum releases again with this. I was hoping they were kicking off something new with Nazis but apparently not.

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American Warships isn’t the best Asylum film ever put out. It’ll still give fans of these types of movies something to laugh at on a boring Saturday night. I hoped for a bit more cheese, which strangely enough people usually don’t want when they watch a movie. However, an Asylum film without the cheese is like a cheeseburger without the cheese. Did I use the word cheese enough in this paragraph?