‘Air Collision’… Best Asylum Movie Ever? Yeah… I think it is. I mean ‘Mega Piranha’ was awesome, but it was awesome in its complete and total incompetence. Now don’t think for one red minute that ‘Air Collision’ was some kind of bedrock of lucidity, but if ever there was a movie that threw caution into the wind and just went for broke, and succeeded at it for the most part… then ‘Air Collision’ is that movie.
The Auto Control Anti Terrorist System (ACAT) has gone live! I’m not completely sure about how it works, but I think it takes duties out of the hands of beleaguered air traffic controllers and places it in the hands of a trusty satellite enhanced computer system. The powers that be assure us, via doubting air traffic controller Bob Abbott (Reginald VelJohnson), that nothing could possibly go wrong. In fact, this handy device is now guiding President Phillips (Andy Clemence) and Air Force One, that’s how much faith we have in this fancy tech. But what occurs if something happens to this satellite, like it gets hit by a meteor or something and sends debris all over North America completely destroying stuff? Well that would be real bad because now ACAT is in control and ACAT is dumb.
Colonel Lawler (Darin Cooper) and Major Lewis (Darren Anthony Thomas), the Air Force One Pilots, have a situation on their hands. ACAT has taken control of the airplane and locked them in the cabin. I was thinking, while Lawler and Lewis desperately attempt to get out of the cabin, that they should try to twist that little lock knob on the door, but I’m sure ACAT had a contingency for that. Worst still, ACAT sees threats everywhere. If you’re walking in the cabin area, ACAT sees you as a terrorist threat and will zap you with its laser beams. If you’re a jet fighter trying to help Air Force One land or a passenger jet that has the misfortune of being nearby, ACAT will drop a missile on your ass. It’s not looking good.
Lindsay Bates (Jordan Ladd), who Aoki is sweet on, is trying to keep these loons calm, but these passengers are off the chain when it comes to delirium. Worst still… Air Force One thinks they are terrorists. Worst still, assuming that the missile that Air Force One is gonna launch doesn’t blow them out of them out of the sky, they heading for an Air Collision with Air Force One, which I’m thinking is going to happen since it is the title of the movie.
On the ground Air Controller Abbot is in ‘I Told You so’ Mode, trying to establish communications with either plane, with his cute intern Radihika (Aurora Perrineau) by his side and his air trafficking assistant Dr. Pierce (Erin Coker) in the field. They need to alert the passenger jet to change course or its curtains for both planes. Excitement and non-stop nonsense is the order of the day.
Written and directed by Liz Adams, a young woman who The Asylum should probably farm out more work to, I was initially going to advise you that an unhealthy dose of suspended belief will be required to get the most of ‘Air Collision’, but upon further examination… don’t bother. You see almost from beginning to end, almost nothing that happens in this movie has any real relation to anything that could possibly happen on the actual Planet Earth. So just as Middle Earth and Pandora aren’t real places, neither is the Planet Earth is this movie.
But what is it that makes ‘Air Collision’ arguably the greatest Asylum movie ever? Because it goes. And it goes. And just when you think it’s about to slow down, it goes some more. Because while the movie itself is completely ludicrous, the stellar cast of hundreds took this movie deadly serious which created a perfect storm of serious insanity. Observe actor Darin Cooper, as the chief Air Force One pilot, channel Lord Macbeth in his struggle to get control of his plane from ACAT, his personal Banquo. Some may call it overacting, but I call it finding the groove and hitting the spot and we were feeling his passion. Or when the Lt. informs Cpt. Yeager (Tarnue Massaquoi) that operation ‘Morning Light’ is in effect… you can only shudder… anything but that. At least until Operation Sam Fox was in play which was even worse. You want proof that this movie takes place on Alternate Earth? Watch what happens when operation Sam Fox goes all to hell. Crazy.
The tension is always high because anything that could go wrong, will go wrong. The action is non-stop, heightened by the director’s generous usage of the ‘quick zoom’ technique, and the acting performances are far better than we are used to from these low budget disaster movies.
Yes, there may be a few things along the way which cause you to question your sanity, like the amazing resiliency of airplane wings smashing into skyscrapers and skyscrapers losing those battles, or observing an oversized 747 handle like a Piaggo Avanti II, or how a plane can savely land on concrete without wings and landing gear, or watching the hippie fly out the hole in the top of plane in one scene, then observing him strapped down in his seat a couple of scenes later. I just assumed he flew out that hole, floated around a bit in the atmosphere and then circled right back in that hole into his seat. By this time I’m embracing all the possibilities. Special shout out to the sista with the short red fro that played Scared Passenger #8 and special kudos to whoever that lady was that Obnoxious Angry Passenger #1. She was awesome.
It may sound like I’m being flip here, but I really did enjoy my stay on Alternate Earth with ‘Air Collision’, a shining example of what every low budget disaster movie should aspire to, say unlike The Asylum’s own ‘Airline Disaster’. If it seems like it’s not making sense, just make it go faster.