The Pacific Rim Sci-Fi Rip-Off On Streaming You Need To See To Believe

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Atlantic Rim

Fans of the SyFy network will no doubt recall the slew of made-for-TV films produced by The Asylum, which set out to function as copycat versions of popular blockbusters. This includes a number of films that blew up and became well known for their highly campy nature, such as Sharknado, San Andreas Quake, and most recently, Methgator. One popular example of an Asylum film, 2013’s Atlantic Rim, is currently available to stream on Peacock.

Atlantic Rim, meant to be confused with Pacific Rim, is one of many Asylum “mockbusters,” and it can be found on Peacock.

A brief perusal of the list of Asylum films reveals that the studio has been producing these blockbuster knockoffs since 1999, long before Atlantic Rim came to be. The Asylum is responsible for producing more than 500 films in the brief few decades since the studio was founded, often facing legal repercussions for their propensity to title their films as similar to those which they ape as they legally can. This explains why Atlantic Rim is titled the way that it is, clearly acting as a second-rate edition of the popular Guillermo del Toro film, Pacific Rim.

Atlantic Rim actually managed to beat its massive blockbuster counterpart to market, arriving on DVD shelves as early as June 24 in the United Kingdom and July 9 in the United States, with Pacific Rim premiering at the box office on July 12, 2013. Like nearly all Asylum films, Atlantic Rim faced significant rewrites and shortages of shooting locations due to a lack of budget, as well as a lack of general focus from those involved behind the scenes.

Atlantic Rim

For this reason, Asylum films exist as something of an anomaly in the film community, with some movie fans taking major issue with the studio’s proclivity for producing films that seemingly exist only to trick the uninformed into believing that they’re purchasing real blockbuster films at a discounted price. On the other hand, The Asylum has been celebrated for its ability to make low-budget films such as Atlantic Rim, which provide endless entertainment within the “so bad it’s good” niche.

Pacific Rim cost over $180 million to produce, while Atlantic Rim was made for only $500,000.

Atlantic Rim centers on a team of marine researchers investigating the disappearance of an offshore oil rig using giant robot mechsuits. The team pilot their mechs to the Gulf of Mexico sea floor, only to discover an enormous ancient monster the likes of which humanity has never encountered before. When researchers begin to uncover the history behind these ancient creatures, the team must stop the monsters and save humanity before it becomes too late.

Unlike Pacific Rim, which touts a budget of over $180 million before factoring in marketing costs, Atlantic Rim was made for a quick and easy $500,000 while relying on the attachment to the Pacific Rim brand for all its marketing needs. Atlantic Rim holds a cast of mostly relatively unknown performers, though a few major names lead the ensemble, including Dances With Wolves‘ Graham Greene, Baywatch‘s David Chokachi, and hip hop legend Treach from the rap group Naughty by Nature. For the sake of comparison, Pacific Rim touts a cast of A-list actors consisting of Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, Burn Gorman, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day.

Atlantic Rim

While there is very little information available regarding the return on investment The Asylum received from their investment in Atlantic Rim, it can be assumed that the studio made money on the low-budget film, especially when considering the fact that a sequel was greenlit several years later. The sequel, Atlantic Rim: Resurrection, was released in March of 2018, narrowly beating the Pacific Rim sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising, to market once again.

Atlantic Rim actually managed to beat its massive blockbuster counterpart to market…

With no active movement being made within the Pacific Rim franchise, it seems clear that no new Atlantic Rim films are in production at this time, though there could still be hope for a third installment in the franchise. One of the giant mech suits from the film appeared as an Easter egg within the 2022 film 2025 Armageddon, which serves as a 25th anniversary special for The Asylum.

Though fans likely aren’t clamoring for a third foray into the Atlantic Rim franchise, Asylum heads would certainly welcome more fodder for their binging pleasure. Atlantic Rim is currently available to stream on Peacock, along with a host of other so-called “mockbusters” from The Asylum.