Movies are a copycat industry. And there is nothing wrong with that. Studios exist to make money, so it would only make sense they would copy from proven commodities. The Asylum has made a name for itself by making thinly veiled retreads of major motion picture releases. But sometimes movies go beyond simple homage or quick cash grab. Sometimes, they are straight up stealing. Here are some of the movies that took from others without any subtlety or shame.
Culprit: Black Swan Victim: Perfect Blue
This is a pretty famous one. Director Darren Aronofsky reportedly wanted to do a live action remake of the mind bending anime. Instead, audiences were treated to Black Swan. Aronofsky has since stated there are some similarities, but Black Swan was not inspired by Perfect Blue. Only Aronofsky knows the truth, but “similar” seems to be an understatement.
Culprit: Suicide Kings Victim: Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is a generational film whose influence is still being felt today. There are a number of movies that liberally borrowed from Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. There are a number of films – especially from the 1990s – that could have been placed here. The difference between other copies and Suicide Kings is the latter is barely enjoyable. It is dangles plenty of subplots and tries to sound like Tarantino, but it ends up being overbloated and boring.
Culprit: Hobglobins Victim: Gremlins
How forgiving can you be when it comes to rip offs? Released in 1988, Hobgolbins was made on a paltry budget of $15,000. A pittance when it comes to making movies, but it does not change facts. This comedy was made famous by Mystery Science Theater 3000 for all the wrong reasons. A movie so bad it becomes good, Hobgoblins is literally a cheap Gremlins ripoff.
Culprit: The Hunger Games Victim: Battle Royale
This story takes place in a dystopian future. The evil totalitarian government holds an annual televised fight to the death between junior high students. The winner is the one who is able to survive the game. Released in 2000, Battle Royale predated the first Hunger Games movie by more than a decade. But the books were released at the same time, right? The novel for Battle Royale was released in 1999 while the first Hunger Games book came out in 2008. No one cares about the similarities between the stories. Original ideas are few and far between in Hollywood. What is irksome is Battle Royale author Koushun Takami has cited Lord of the Flies and other works as inspirations. Meanwhile, Suzanne Collins the author of The Hunger Games claims to have never heard of or seen Battle Royale. Indeed.