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7 Shameless Movie Rip-Offs That Didn’t Even Try And Hide It

 

First things first:When talking about film rip-offs, we’re going to keep it to the past (mostly). Rip-offs nowadays are practically their own business model, produced so quickly that we’d be here for literal months if not years listing them off.I tried to narrow it down to the most shameless rip-offs I could think of, and while this is far from a definitive list, the last couple of movies we’ll be talking about are beyond shameless (and LITERALLY exist in “is this shit even legal?” territory).

Starcrash (1978)I’ll give Starcrash credit for one thing: If you’re going to be a Star Wars rip-off, might as well be one of the first to market. Released less than a year after the original Star Wars, the movie is about space smugglers that get roped into a larger fight for the entire galaxy over a super-weapon.

Yeah, not exactly subtle. But what’s odd is that somehow they managed to get Christopher Plummer (along with David Hasselhoff, but before Knight Rider existed). That being said, Plummer shot his scenes in literally one day, so not the biggest get the movie has.This entry also starts a trend: This is one of the many infamous Italian knock-off films of famous U.S. blockbusters, a trend that’s about to continue…

The Last Shark (1981)Yep, it’s an Italian rip-off of Jaws, one of MANY. There are too many Jaws rip-offs to cover, but in my mind, this is one of the most infamous because it actually inspired legal action. In the U.S., the film was pulled from release because of an injunction filed by Universal over copyright.

But that didn’t stop the film from being released in a bunch of other places, like Japan where it was called “Jaws Returns.”And if you think that’s a ballsy move, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Mac and Me (1988)Yeah, this piece of shit had to pop up on here. I can’t think of a more blatant rip-off of E.T., and unlike any of the movies on here, this movie had something like a budget, around $13 million in late 80s cash (for comparison, E.T. actually cost less in the early 80s, clocking in at $10.5 million).

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But the biggest reason I’m including it here is because of a single quote. While trying to get Mac and Me funded, the film’s lead producer, R.J. Louis, said (from Thrillist):“It was time for another generation [to have its E.T.],” Louis says, “so I came up with MAC and his family.” Not only were they not trying to hide their intentions, they had the guts to try and pitch this as the “next generation” E.T. when Mac and Me came out only SIX YEARS AFTER.

The Amazing Bulk (2012)The only modern entry on the list, and for two reasons. One, the fact the monster that’s definitely not The Hulk is a single letter different in name. Two… This is the cheapest bullshit I’ve EVER seen. Shot so poorly, and with basically no real sets whatsoever, The Amazing Bulk is beyond comprehension (and look, for legal reasons I know he the “Bulk” can’t be green, but why purple?).The GIFs really speak for themselves:

 

 

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Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (1982, A.K.A., “Turkish Star Wars”)Man, I almost feel bad about putting this movie in here. In terms of the plot the movie was shooting, it’s not much of a rip-off of Star Wars. It’s a movie about two stranded astronauts.So, why the hell is its nickname “Turkish Star Wars”?

Because it just fucking stole footage from Star Wars. The film had built a massive set for a spaceship, but they built it on a beach where a storm destroyed the set. Instead of rebuilding, which was too expensive, they just literally spliced in footage from a Star Wars film print that was obtained by bribing a nightwatchman.But the movie didn’t stop there, also stealing music from Raiders of the Lost ArkMoonrakerFlash GordonPlanet of the Apes, and The Black Hole. It’s like when they started stealing, they just couldn’t stop. Unsurprisingly, this is not an easy film to find (legally) due to the almost literal mountain of copyright issues around it.

Operation Kid Brother (1967)I fucking love this movie. Not because it’s good (it’s fucking terrible, it made its way on to Mystery Science Theater 3000 for a reason), but because it is so brazen, so shameless, and so over-the-top in its blatant theft that it almost exists in a league of its own. Another Italian production, Operation Kid Brother is about a British super-spy named… Neil Connery.Now, if you think that’s bizarre, that’s not just the name of the character. It’s the name of the actor.

If you haven’t put it together yet, I’ll do it for you: Neil Connery is LITERALLY Sean Connery’s brother. And if that wasn’t enough, they also hired Italian actor Adolfo Celi to play the villain. I doubt that name rings a bell, but what you need to know is that Adolfo Celi played the main villain of the James Bond film Thunderball only two years before this came out.It’s one thing to steal a story, it’s a whole other level when you just start stealing associated actors and names on top of that. But for my money, the ultimate Italian rip-off is…

Shocking Dark (1989)Shocking Dark does not steal actors from its “inspirations.” Simply put, the two movies Shocking Dark rips off were massive blockbuster success stories, and those actors had better things to do. The film Shocking Dark mostly steals from is Aliens, sometimes stealing scenes shot for shot.Until the movie decides to rip off The Terminator about two-thirds of the way through for no goddamn reason whatsoever.

That mash-up alone is beyond bizarre, but the reason we’re ending the list on Shocking Dark is because of its title in Italy:Terminator IIThey just fucking called this thing a Terminator sequel, and America didn’t take too kindly to that (especially considering the real Terminator 2 wouldn’t come out for two years). It has never been released in the U.S. under that name, but it has under the name Shocking Dark, and only recently.In 2018, Shocking Dark finally made it to the U.S. so weirdos like me could watch it, gawk at it in horror, and then put it on a list like this.

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