Asylum Mockbuster Top Gunner: Danger Zone To Get Theatrical Release, For Some Reason

Exactly one week ahead of the release of Joseph Kosinski's "Top Gun: Maverick" — the long-in-the-tooth sequel to Tony Scott's 1986 hit film "Top Gun" — comes a film that is destined to outstrip it in both critical accolades and box office lucre: Glenn Miller's "Top Gunner: Danger Zone," the latest mockbuster from The Asylum. The cast will include B-movie stalwart Michael Paré, Michael Broderick from "True Detective," and Australian actor Jack Pearson from "Neighbours" and "Into the Wild Frontier." 

The trailer for "Top Gunner: Danger Zone" was shared on YouTube by JoBlo Top Trailers this morning, surprising everyone. The plot description, from that channel, runs thus: 

"An airliner filled with 800 passengers is forced to fly fast and low, above farmlands, suburbs and skyscraper-packed cities or the tons of explosives aboard will detonate. And when an elite unit of US Air Force fighter jets is sent to provide escort, they find themselves facing a squadron of unidentifiable warplanes which ignites a deadly air battle that threatens to destroy all life above and below."

While The Asylum has been releasing concurrent mockbusters to stand as low-budget stright-to-video counterparts to well-known blockbusters since 2005 (their first attempt to draw focus from a big-budget studio feature came with the release of "H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds" within a month of Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds"), this is the first time that The Asylum has gathered the chutzpah to release one of their films theatrically. "Top Gunner" is the very first Asylum film to release in theaters ahead of the film it's emulating. 

It's as real as the feelings you feel

Since 2005, The Asylum's business model has been firmly established: rush a low-budget variant of an upcoming and well-publicized movie into production, acting quickly enough to beat the larger studio to the punch. The larger studio is, essentially, doing The Asylum's advertising for them, and their quick turnaround allows for concurrent releases in most cases. In the case of "Top Gunner," the turnaround was fast enough to coincide with the release of a film that has notoriously been delayed several times. It was also fast enough to blindside audiences, as "Top Gunner's" trailer didn't drop until its opening day, and the film currently has no entries on IMDb or Wikipedia. 

Previously, The Asylum was responsible for such classics as "Snakes on a Train," "The Da Vinci Treasure," "Transmorphers," "AVH: Alien vs. Hunter," "Sunday School Musical," "Paranormal Entity," "Almighty Thor," "Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies," "Alone for Christmas," "Android Cop," "Independents' Day," and "Triassic World." The Asylum's film "Atlantic Rim" appeared on "Mystery Science Theater 3000." The studio's most successful movies have probably been the notorious "Sharknado" movies, as well as "3-Headed Shark Attack" and its sequels (wherein the shark would grow an increasing number of heads). The Asylum's most recent film, "Titanic 666," was released exclusively on Tubi in April. 

"Top Gunner" will be opening in a (very) limited release from today until May 26, 2022. It will be playing in the following cities: Atlanta, GA (at the Aurora Cineplex), Cleveland, OH (at Hickory Ridge Cinemas), Miami, FL (at the Cinema South Beach), Minneapolis, MN (at the Trylon Cinema), an in Los Angeles, CA (at the Laemmle Theater in Glendale).