Sinister Squad (2016)

sinistersquadOnce again The Asylum tip toes all the way to the finish line to avoid copyright infringement, offering up their own third hand version of “Suicide Squad.” Relying heavily on public domain characters and concepts, “Sinister Squad” isn’t your usual terrible Asylum fare. It’s more lackluster and tedious with a lot of the cast seemingly pushed in to mirroring the personalities they saw in trailers for “Suicide Squad.”

So star Johnny Rey Diaz is so not the Joker as a green haired maniac with odd teeth named Rumplestiltskin, while Talia A. Davis is so not Harley Quinn, as the mad red queen who is hopelessly in love with Rumplestiltskin. These stock fairy tale villains are assembled by Alice (a very fetching Christina Licciardi) who is left with no choice to call upon these baddies when their own Carabosse, who is so not Enchantress, breaks out to enact her own evil scheme. She plans to unleash the evil Death (can’t copyright Death), who with his cult, wants to either dominate the world, or garner a final form on Earth to rule over the realm.

It’s never clear what Death intends to do with Carabosse working with him, nor is there a whole lot of explanation as to where a piece of Alice’s looking glass factors in. Either way, like most Asylum productions, “Sinister Squad” is set in one place, primarily Asylum’s studios, where the entirety of the movie unfolds. Every action scene, dramatic confrontation, fight sequence, shoot out, and magic battle ensues within the corridors of the warehouses owned by Asylum, adding to the bargain basement aesthetic the film tries to side step so eagerly.

Aside from Licciardi, the only cast member who really rises above the tedium is Nick Principe who has a good time adding some variety to such a broadly sketched character, and tries to turn the generally boring villain in to a memorable nemesis. “Sinister Squad” is yet another knock off from The Asylum hoping to make some quick cash from easily confused foreigners, and relatives looking for a cheap present on the way to a third cousin’s birthday party. Only the morbidly curious need apply.

Now available on VOD.