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Which Sign of the Apocalypse are We Up To?

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | November 30, 2009 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | November 30, 2009 |

On May 12 of this year, Dustin said of the trailer for Jean-Claude Van Damme’s The Eagle’s Path that “though Van Damme has a certain flair for running a camera up a woman’s leg, he should probably get out of the writing/directing business. Maybe try a Bloodsport reboot. Or a Universal Soldier sequel. Timecop remake?”

Oh Dustin, why must you use your powers of internet suggestion only for evil?

The trailer for the fifth fucking Universal Soldier film was released last week, a straight-to-DVD release bringing back Van Damme and fellow Universal Soldier ultra super mega star Dolph Lundgren. Five? They must buy their suck at Costco, because it usually only comes in singles or three-packs. It’s like the guy from Greek mythology who wished for immortality but forgot to ask for eternal youth as well. Van Damme sold his soul to star in an endless franchise but forgot to ask for it to be successful too.

I wonder how long straight-to-DVD releases are even going to survive in a Netflix world. They used to make their mediocre money on the backs of renters who showed up at Blockbuster after ten on a Friday, knowing anything good would be gone, but banking that the straight-to-DVD was good for some explosions and tits if nothing else. It sure beat watching Nickelodeon reruns with your Pabst. Now though? With seventy channels, pay-per-view, stacks of TV series DVDs good for rewatching, Netflix DVDs by mail, and an internet full of a lot more than explosions and tits, how do these sorts of films even hope to make back their budgets?

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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