Have you ever watched a movie and thought to yourself that you’ve seen it before? Then it hits that you have seen it before except it just has a different name and different actors. Here is a list of 10 of the biggest Hollywood rip off movies in history.
10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Rips Off: Harry Potter
Percy Jackson is so shamelessly banking on spill-over Harry Potter success that it employs the director of the first two Potter flicks (Chris Columbus), features a “camp” for magically-powered kids called “Camp Half Blood” (“Prince” is it?), and even uses the same font for the poster art. What’s worse, these books started as equally Potter-wannabe young adult novels, so their lack of originality can be traced back to the shelves at Barnes & Noble.
09. Smokey and the Hotwire Gang
Rips Off: Smokey And The Bandit
Seriously, this movie stopped just short of hiring a Burt Reynolds look alike. If you’re going to cobble together rednecks, fast cars, and lots of hip-at-the-time CB slang, the least you could do was NOT PUT “SMOKEY” IN THE TITLE. Rejected titles included Bandity Bandits Who Smoke Smokey and The Police and the Outlaw.
Rip Off: Gremlins
The horror genre is generally one of the most cannibalistic (OK, OK…haw haw) genres around – wearing out trends like mall-hopping teenagers. So it’s not totally surprising that the success of Gremlins spawned (again, we know) a bunch of “tiny killer critters” flicks. Like Ghoulies (and, well, Critters too)—both just Chinatown-level knock-offs of Joe Dante’s horror comedy.
07. Mac & Me
Rips Off: E.T.
his is a rare case of a movie rip-off doing its inspiration one better. Sure, Mac and Me – lonely young boy befriends a cute and kindly alien and then runs afoul of government agents – at first doesn’t have an original bone in its body. But then it hits you with a full-on car chase involving a kid in a wheelchair. Yes—cars v. wheelchair. Even Spielberg didn’t have the brass ones to pull that off.
06. Varsity Blues
Rips Off: Friday Night Lights
F.W. Murnau originally wanted to adapt Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but the late author’s estate nixed the idea and a quick-thinking Murnau changed his lead vampire’s name from Count Dracula to Count Orlok and his movie from Dracula to Nosferatu. Why is this relevant? Change “classic vampire novel” to “well-regarded football book” and “genius silent film director” to “the guy who did Norbit” and you’d pretty much have the story of how Varsity Blues hit theaters before Lights.
05. Sleepway Camp
Rips Off: Friday The 13th
Once again, you have to give credit where credit is due. Sure, Sleepaway apes Friday right down to the poster art, but where Friday gave you this classic bait-and-switch (spoiler if you’re 8 years old): “The killer is actually Jason’s mother!” Sleepaway hits you with: “The female killer is really a psycho boy raised as a girl by his deranged aunt, and here’s a full-frontal of his dong to prove it!”
04. Hollywood Knights
Rips Off: American Graffiti
George Lucas’ breakout film was clearly made in response to his own childhood, growing up as he did in the thick of California’s 50s and 60s car culture. Hollywood Knights was clearly made by someone who saw American Graffiti and felt it needed more boobs, penis jokes, and farts. And Tony Danza.
03. The Monster Squad
Rips Off: The G
A pack of aimless kids (one a smarty pants, one a wise ass, one fat, etc) with a specific obsession (pirates/monsters) find they have to face their obsession head-on in order to save their lives and their hometown. One of them befriends a freak (Sloth/Frankenstein) who turns on his original team and helps the kids win. Yeah. Not even trying, this one.
02. King Solomon’s Mines
Rips Off: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
This is another prime example of the “telltale font.” King Solomon isn’t so much hoping that kids who saw Raiders will think this is more of the same, they are actually aiming at near-sighted shut-ins who wander into whatever theater is open after staring at the sun for 30 minutes.
01. Galaxy Of Terror
Rips Off: Alien
This list would not be complete without a mention of Roger “Hey, Let’s Do That, Only With a $50 Budget” Corman. Galaxy of Terror could easily be dismissed, if not for the mind-blowing collection of people who worked on it: Actors Ray Walston (yes, My Favorite Martian), Erin Moran (Joanie from Happy Days), Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding from The Devil’s Rejects) a young Robert Englund (duh!), and Zalman King (yes, the future soft porn maestro behind Red Shoe Diaries), not to mention a production designer and a set decorator named, respectively, James Cameron and Bill Paxton (who would go on to make Aliens, which actually seems to borrow some ideas from Galaxy, making th
e Alien sequel some kind of genius meta-rip-off). Oh, it also has a scene where a woman is raped to death by a giant slug and is kinda, sorta into it.
source: 10 Most Obvious Hollywood Rip-Offs [Premiere]
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