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

18. 2019: After the Fall of New York (1982)

2019 After The Fall Of New York (1983)

“Mankind will prevail if it can survive the year 2019” [9]. An Italian rip off of the film Escape From New York at its glorious best or worst, depending on how you feel about these knock off films. One thing that you can expect from an Italian production is pretty much total insanity and this one delivers

. It takes the basic premise of sending a soldier into New York to rescue the last woman who can still breed and then adds elements of Mad Max, Planet of the Apes, and whatever else they can throw at you. The mad Max elements include the post apocalyptic future setting and the tricked out cars and car chases. The Planet of the Apes aspect is an ape man running a gang in New York.

It you love low budget, total insanity, and things that just don’t fit together, then this is for you. It has guys in medieval outfits on horses, flamethrowers, people getting set on fire, a Death Race 2000 type demolition derby, a bunch of weird gangs, tons of fighting, laser weapons, a talking mechanical clown, a battle in a bus graveyard, a guy with an eye patch, a guy with a robot arm, an ape man, a dwarf, killer rats, and tons of gore. This may be the perfect Valentine’s Day movie to watch with your girlfriend.


19. A Man Called Rage AKA Rage (1984)

A Man Called Rage

This Italian production is a Mad Max rip off, plus Rambo, plus Escape from New York. A little bit of everything is in this post apocalyptic story as the man named Rage (Previously Captain Strike) is hired by a group to obtain some uranium which may save the planet, but an old enemy named Slash wants it too.

It has elements of Mad Max with the theme of a post apocalyptic future and the loner Max type character getting involved, being chased by outlaws in modified vehicles. But he could also be considered a Rambo type character as a soldier of fortune, with most of the marketing poster showing him posing like Rambo. Then his outfit looks pretty much exactly like Snake Plissken in Escape from New York.

There is a decent amount of action to keep you entertained. The most bizarre part of the movie is the music, which is super upbeat and sounds like it belongs on a kids show.


20. Death Warrior AKA Olum Savascisi (1984)

Death Warrior

A Turksploitation smorgasbord as they rip off Chuck Norris, the American Ninja craze, and Evil Dead. A sequel to the Last Warrior, a karate cop goes to America to fight a bunch of supernatural ninjas. If battling ninjas wasn’t difficult enough, they also have the power of the force to move objects, can bring the dead back to life, and have a big monster on their side.

Another hilarious and totally insane Turkish production from the same people that were involved inTurkish Star Wars. So if you’ve seen that then you know what you’re getting into. The ninja masks have terribly cut holes in it and their training sequences have them doing punches like they’re jumping into the air for a celebration, it is downright hilarious.

They honestly look more like Klan members when they have their ninja hoods on, then actual ninjas. A lot of the scenes are filmed in the camera style of Evil Dead, like something is chasing the characters. Truly must be seen to be believed.


21. Creature AKA Titan Find (1985)

Titan Find (1985)

“It’s been sleeping peacefully on a moon of Saturn for 2000 centuries … until now!” [10]. Two competing companies send their scientists to a planet in order to lay claim to some mysterious alien archeological artifacts. The American team lands there and discovers that their German competition has arrived first and they are all dead, murdered by an alien that had been sleeping for centuries.

This is a somewhat average Alien rip off, that tries to make up for its low budget with the required body count, nudity, violence, blood, and gore. While not as good as the other Alien rip off films on the list, it is the most faithful. It sticks pretty much to the same general story, adding the twist of the alien being able to control its victims like zombies in order to trick the other people.

The acting ranges from average to bad except for Klaus Kinski, who shines in his very short amount of screen time. There is also the notable appearance of the actress who plays the waitress in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, this time portraying the bad ass security guard decked out in leather.

The film was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1985, along with Dreamscape, Firestarter, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the winner Gremlins.


22. Warriors of the Apocalypse AKA Searchers of the Voodoo Mountain (1985)

Warriors of the Apocalypse

This is a Filipino produced Mad Max rip off. It’s not a straight rip off, basically taking the idea of the post apocalyptic future, a Max type main character, and outlaws. After that it gets pretty wild and out of control as he deals with Amazon women, radiated mutants, pygmy tribes, groups of outlaws, and an evil queen who can shoot lasers from her eyes.

There is a decent amount of sci-fi madness involved, along with action, explosions, graphic violence, and nudity. So pretty much everything you want from a low budget 1980’s VHS rental. Plus I think one of the outlaws is wearing a sleeping bag for shoulder pads, it looks pretty weird.


23. Strike Commando (1987)

Strike Commando (1987)

Italian Rambo part 2 rip off that sees the Sgt. Mike Ransom sent into North Vietnam to obtain proof of Russian presence in the territory. He gets captured and is tortured, but escapes and unleashes a masterpiece of cinema violence.

It is pretty much a straight plot rip off of Rambo part 2, with additional scenes lifted from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and Missing in Action. It has enough action, explosions, gunfire, stunts, and cheesy 1980’s music to please most low budget movie fans. It also stars Reb Brown, who also starred in the cult film Yor, The Hunter from the Future and as Captain America in two made for TV movies.


24. Robowar AKA Robot da guerra (1988)

Robot da guerra (1988)

Italian rip off of Predator mixed with Robocop; a group of commandos are on a jungle mission and are hunted by a killer robot. The plot follows Predator almost exactly except for the switch of an alien hunter for a robot that looks similar to the Predator. Most of the soldiers closely resemble the characters from the original film, including a less muscular version of Carl Weathers. It features the same director and main actor that were involved in Strike Commando.

There is more than enough in this to please low budget film fans: featuring plenty of explosions, amusing dialogue, an1980’s synth pop score, a cheesy robot that sounds like it’s a speak and spell, and B-movie legend Reb Brown.


25. Intruder (1989)

Intruder (1989)

“If this one does not scare you, you’re already dead” [11]. This is not a direct rip off of any specific slasher film, but it is reminiscent of the popular ones like Halloween and Friday the 13th. It most closely resembles Halloween 2, in that it takes places in one building and the people working there are picked off. In this one, grocery store employees on the night crew are being murdered by an unknown serial killer.

It was the first movie directed by Scott Spiegel, who was part of the Michigan crew that was involved in Evil Dead 1 and 2. It also features minor appearances from Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, and Bruce Campbell. On all of the promotional material they were promoted as being the major stars in the film, even though they only have brief appearances [11]. It also stars Dan Hicks, who played good old dependable Jake in Evil Dead 2.

It is pretty much a straight horror film but does have elements of dark humor, similar to the Evil Dead films. It is shot in a similar style as well, using various inventive camera shots and angles. Some examples include shots from within a trashcan, inside of a moving shopping cart, and inside of a trash compactor. The film is very heavy on the violence and gore, with mutilations and body parts all over the place. This should please most horror and Evil Dead fans.

All the works cited can be found here.

Author Bio: Raul J. Vantassle is a jazz musician whose key strokes move about the page creating an explosion of formlessness to form, or just total bullshit. His heroes include John Waters, Robert Crumb, Charles Bukowski, and the Cobra Commander. His Knowledge of film goes across the board but he specializes in Asian and cult cinema. He may be the filthiest person alive. You can visit his blog here.