25 Great Cult Films That Are Rip-offs of Popular Movies

9. The Return of Superman AKA Supermen Donuyor (1979)

Supermen Donuyor (1979)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a plastic toy of Superman flying across the screen! It’s Turksploitation at its best or worst depending on if you enjoy the comedy of a low budget rip off of a copyrighted character, this time in the form of Superman.

The plot somewhat follows the 1978 Superman movie, except in this one he fights and kills mafia bad guys. This has all of the laughable and loveable qualities of the Turkish film; Christmas tree ornaments used to represent space, stock footage with a superman toy flying in front of it, mixed in with some of the actual actor in front of the footage.

I have to mention this again, they use a freaking toy in the movie! I wonder if he had a stunt double. The music used is taken from Superman, James Bond movies, and Midnight Express. It’s the best of the worst for fans of the low budget.


10. Contamination AKA Alien Contamination (1980)

Alien Contamination

“They Invade Your Body … Control Your Mind … Blow You Apart!” [5]. Italian produced Alien rip off from the same director of Starcrash. Unlike Alien, this film takes place mainly on earth in New York but alien pods show up on an abandoned freighter. The pods contain a toxic liquid that makes people explode. A cop and a government agent investigate the pods and their origin and try to stop the destruction of human life on earth.

The main thing linking this to the original Alien film is the eggs and the fact that there is an alien present; it was cheaper to place the alien presence in the city then to place it in space. The film is fairly average and the alien looks like it belongs in a 1950’s drive-in film. However, there is enough death, gore, slime, and exploding bodies to please fans of the sci-fi horror genre.

It was originally titled Alien Contamination and the marketing posters made use of showing the alien eggs similar to the original film’s poster.


11. Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Battle Beyond the Stars

“A battle beyond time, beyond space” [6]. A Roger Corman produced film meant to capitalize off of the success of Star Wars, but plot wise is more of a Magnificent Seven rip off, which of itself was a rip off the Akira Kurosawa classic samurai film Seven Samurai. An evil space tyrant has a weapon that can destroy planets and is giving a planet seven days to submit to his rule. A young farmer goes in search of mercenaries to help protect their planet.

Most likely the best of the Star Wars rip off movies, with decent special effects and make up, a decent amount of humor and comedic one liners, and some well known actors. Most of the spaceships and special effects were done by James Cameron, who got his start working on Corman produced films. The makeup effects are decent, most notably on the lizard looking alien.

The cast included Richard Thomas, Robert Vaughn, John Saxon, Sybil Danning and George Peppard. Vaughan was essentially playing the same character that he did in the original version of the Magnificent Seven. This was Corman’s largest film budget up to this point at $2,000,000, with most of that going towards the salaries of Vaughn and Peppard [6].


12. Alligator (1980)


“At first, no one believed. But now, no one will ever forget!” [7]. Another Roger Corman produced film from New Line Pictures, trying to capitalize off of the success of Jaws and Jaws 2. An alligator is flushed down the toilet and grows into a ridiculously large monster after eating the corpses of lab animals, which had been used for testing on a hormone drug that increases their size. A homicide detective and a scientist try to stop the animal and its murderous feeding frenzy.

The film uses many of the same elements that were present in the original Jaws film; including a cop trying to save the town, the mayor and other authority figures not believing him, a scientific expert, a book about the animal, a hunter brought in referred to as the great white hunter, similar sounding music for when the animal gets ready to attack, and underwater viewpoint of the animal.

This one is a bit average compared to the others on the list, saved by the fact that Robert Forster appears as the main character. Most modern audiences would recognize him from appearing in Jackie Brown.

It does contain some decent creature effects, a boat and car crash, and a fairly heavy kill count that would satisfy most fans of 1980’s horror or the Jaws rip off films. The film was written by John Sayles, who also wrote Piranha. There are some elements of humor in this one, just not as much as in the other movie.


13. Galaxy of Terror (1981)

Galaxy of Terror

This was a low budget Alien rip off from Roger Corman’s studio New World Pictures, but wasn’t just a straight rip off of the popular film. A rescue crew crash lands during a rescue attempt, discovering an ancient pyramid. The pyramid is able to create the fears inside of a person’s mind, leading the crew to get killed in various gross and demented ways.

There is more than enough violence, gore, and nudity to please most sci-fi and horror fans in this one. It is probably best remembered for a very explicit sex scene involving a giant bug slimily screwing a woman to death. It also features appearances from Robert England, Sid Haig, Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian), and Erin Moran (Happy Days).

James Cameron also worked on this film as the production designer and Second Unit Director and would later go on to direct Aliens (1986). Because of that, there is a lot about the Aliens film that resembles this one. This may be the best of the Alien rip off movies and it is a definite must see for fans of sci-fi horror and movies about aliens.


14. 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)

1990 The Bronx Warriors (1982)

“A Heavy Metal Journey Into An Urban Hell Where Everything Was Done Wrong!” [8]. An Italian rip off of the film Escape from New York, which also manages to take elements from The Warriors, The Road Warrior, The Exterminator, and Class of 1984. In the post apocalyptic future of 1990, the Bronx is declared a no man’s land and is run by a group of street gangs.

The daughter of a rich Manhattan man, who runs the Manhattan Corporation, runs away into the Bronx and ends up with a biker gang called the Riders. They send a man called Hammer to go into the Bronx and bring her back.

The major plot is taken from Escape from New York, involving a man who is sent into the lawless zone of New York to rescue an important girl. The look of the rundown city is mostly taken from that as well. The different gangs and their unique looks were taken from The Warriors, which involved New York gangs who all dress in various costumes.

The gangs shown consist of the Zombies, a group on roller skates that carry hockey sticks. The Riders are the motorcycle gang and they have skulls on the front of their bikes that light up at night. Their leader named Trash resembles the main character of the Warriors gang. Then there is a gang called the Tigers led by Fred Williamson, who wear suits and drive fancy old cars.

There is another gang dressed in rags that actually look like zombies. Depending on the version you see, there are appearances of some other weird gangs as well. The music is a combination of what you would have heard in both the Warriors and Escape from New York.

This is a great low budget rip off combination of both movies. It doesn’t have the best dialogue or the best acting, but it has a good overall look to the film. Partially filmed in New York, they took advantage of filming in and around buildings that were dilapidated and run down. While the gangs may look weird and not make sense, they did the same thing in the Warriors and it worked. They had some unusual and inventive weapons, like the knives on the side of the bike.

The director did a decent job framing shots, shooting some close ups, and angular shots to keep the look of the film interesting. Vic Morrow is good as Hammer; this was one of his last films before he was killed on the set of the Twilight Zone movie.


15. Forbidden World AKA Mutant (1982)

Forbidden World

This was Corman’s quick follow up to Galaxy of Terror and is more of a straight Alien clone than the previous film. In this one a genetic life form has been created that is meant to be used as a food source for the galaxy, but it has mutated and is killing off the crew. A troubleshooter and his personal robot assistant are sent in to assess the problem and they determine they need to go medieval all over its ass.

It has everything that you would want in a low budget film: gratuitous nudity and sexual situations, an alien spider hybrid, bodies melting down into slimy ooze, and a ton of violence and gore. It originally received an X rating for the heavy amount of gore that was used. The most recent DVD releases contains two versions of the film, one that has elements of humor that were cut from the original release and the one that is more straight horror.


16. Turkish Star Wars AKA Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam (1982)

Turkish Star Wars

Another Turksploitation film that is known as the Turkish Star Wars because of all of the Star Wars footage that is used in it, including multiple space scenes featuring the Death Star, Millennium Falcon, Tie Fighters, and X-wing fighters. The movie’s plot doesn’t borrow much from Star Wars, as it is about two pilots that crash on a desert planet and battle a Darth Vader type villain that is trying to conquer the planet.

This could pretty much be described as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on a whole bunch of drugs, it is totally insane. Yes there is some sort of plot, but it’s basically a pair of dudes dressed like Han Solo and Flash Gordon fighting all kinds of crazy monsters. They include skeletons, Battlestar Galactica robots, Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet, mummies, zombies, some ninjas, a bunch or red and black fluffy monsters, and random guys with num chucks and other weapons.

All of the action scenes are sped up and feature quick edits, plus lots of jumping around and flying into the air. There is a whole lot of action and martial arts fighting going on, including fighting in a Star Wars style cantina and the use of a golden sword, golden gauntlets, and golden super jumping boots.

There is other stock footage used of Egypt and some other films. The main music used in the film is the theme song for Raiders of the Lost Ark. It also includes music from Moonraker, Ben-Hur, Flash Gordon, Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Silent Running, Moses, and the Black Hole.

This is one of those films that are so crazy it has to be seen.


17. Turkish First Blood AKA Vahsi Kan (1983)

Vahsi Kan (1983)

One of many Turkish Rambo rip offs, except this one follows the storyline of First Blood. There are some minor differences to the Rambo character, mainly that he’s wearing a suit at the beginning and does a lot of martial arts.

Plenty of action, violence, titillation, and unintended humor to entertain any low budget movie fan. It features the same music from the original film. The actor playing Rambo was also in Turkish Star Wars. The other Turkish Rambo rip off films that followed featured a more muscular bodybuilder as the lead character.