Monday, December 21, 2015

Top 5 Star Wars Movie Rip-Offs


Top 5 Star Wars movie rip-offs
Did you see Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet?  What did you think?   We thought it was amazing here at TVSO which is why we wanted to point out all of the movies that have come out since the original Star Wars hit big screens back in 1977 that were inspired by it--no doubt a slew of low-budget films will be coming out soon in the wake of the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.   What follows is a list of 5 films that have obvious Star Wars influence residing in them.   These movies weren't just inspired by Star Wars, they rip-off to one extent or another, whether its using characters from the Star Wars movies and putting them in a different context with a different actor being them to completely taking the entire plot of the original Star Wars and re-using it or re-fashioning it around another set of characters--they movies all owe a huge debt, if not money itself to the original 1977 George Lucas mega box-office success.

Here are the Top 5 Star Wars movie rip-offs (in no particular order):


Space Raiders 1983
Space Raiders (1983)
Made in 1983 in the heat of the success of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, producer Roger Corman enlisted screenwriter Howard Cohen to craft this rip-off of Star Wars.  Whereas Star Wars had "Han Solo" Space Raiders enlists notorious Hollywood asshole Vince Edwards to play the role of "Hawk"--a former military man turned space pirate.   He is very brazen like Han Solo, wears a very similar outfit, and has the ability to quip snarky one-liners in much the same way as the Harrison Ford character.   While it does rip-off Star Wars, in the end, Space Raiders is actually a pretty fun movie. The story?  A young boy sneaks onto Hawk's ship and has no other choice but to go along on a space adventure.


Starcrash 1978
Starcrash (1978)
Perhaps the first movie to cash in on the Star Wars craze post-1977, Starcrash is a low-budget Italian-made space opera that combines elements of Star Wars with other visual and fashionable aesthetics from other movies like Barbarella and Star Trek: The Original SeriesStarcrash has no problems borrowing Star Wars terms for its technical aspects as well.   The spaceships in the movie go into "hyperdrive" for example.   And Starcrash features an evil count, a planet that is attacked by a new weapon--all of which is kicked into gear when some escape pods are launched during a big attack at the beginning of the movie.     There's a space smuggler as well as some droids--I mean they really ripped Star Wars off to the hilt with Starcrash.


Message From Space 1978
Message From Space (1978)
With Starcrash coming out just a couple months before Message from Space, a Japanese rip-off of Star Wars that featured the who's who of big name Japanese actors of the time as well as America actor Vic Morrow (father of actress Jennifer Jason-Leigh), the film was a big Star Wars rip-off as well as the biggest movie made in Japan, budget-wise, up till that point.     Imagine Starcrash in Japanese which slightly different characters and a slightly more convoluted plot.

Battle Beyond the Stars 1980

Battle Beyond The Stars (1980)
Roger Corman's first attempt at bringing in some of the Star Wars money that was floating out in the mainstream in the wake of the release of the first Star Wars movie in 1977.  Battle Beyond the Stars, released in 1980, was originally envisioned as a western in outer space.   The movies marks the early work of director James Cameron, who with his innovative special effects and miniature work likely got him the job directing Aliens a couple years later.  The spaceship footage from Battle Beyond The Stars, which at the time, was the most money producer Roger Corman had ever shelled-out for a movie up until that time, was recycled later on and used for 1983's Space Raiders.


Turkish Star Wars 1982
The Man Who Saved The World (1982)
Also known as Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam and also known as Turkish Star Wars, this 1982 Turkish space adventure film got its title "Turkish Star Wars" because it actually takes footage from Star Wars and implements it into its own story line.   The film also uses actual USA and Soviet Russia stock footage which was shot for those respective space program.   Turkish Star Wars more or less follows the story line of the original 1977 Star Wars but it has some slight variations in characters and design, but anyone that's seen it would be comfortable in suggesting that the movie was clearly made out of inspiration.   It's not just a rip-off of Star Wars, it actually rips off Star Wars...literally.