Movie 'Mockbusters' Put Snakes on Trains

Brujo, played by Alby Castro, defends himself from a viper. i i

hide captionBrujo, played by Alby Castro, defends himself from a viper in Snakes on a Train.

2007 The Asylum Home Entertainment
Brujo, played by Alby Castro, defends himself from a viper.

Brujo, played by Alby Castro, defends himself from a viper in Snakes on a Train.

2007 The Asylum Home Entertainment
Renchard, played by Mark Dacascos, battles mutant creatures. i i

hide captionRenchard, played by Mark Dacascos, battles mutant creatures that control the planet in I Am Omega.

2007 The Asylum Home Entertainment
Renchard, played by Mark Dacascos, battles mutant creatures.

Renchard, played by Mark Dacascos, battles mutant creatures that control the planet in I Am Omega.

2007 The Asylum Home Entertainment

Two days before venomous snakes slid into movie theaters in last year's Snakes on a Plane, the slimy creatures appeared on rental shelves in Snakes on a Train.

The "mockbuster," or "tie-in" is one of many low-budget, direct-to-video releases from The Asylum, a Los Angeles production company and video distributor.

Besides Snakes on a Train, The Asylum's tie-ins include The Da Vinci Treasure, Pirates of Treasure Island, Transmorphers and the latest release, I Am Omega, loosely based on Warner Bros.' soon-to-be-released I Am Legend.

David Latt, The Asylum's co-founder, says the company's small team plans its tie-ins largely based on the buzz from upcoming Hollywood releases. Each film generally takes about three months to make, with budgets of less than $1 million per film. Typically, The Asylum's films appear on video shelves just days before major studios release their movies.

Scott Simon toured The Asylum's offices to see the movie makers in action.

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