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Blatant Ripoffs (after the fact)

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Blatant Ripoffs (after the fact)

Old 01-21-03, 02:59 PM
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Blatant Ripoffs (after the fact)

Last night, I went to a showing of Mario Bava's 1966 horror film "Kill, Baby . . . Kill!" and decided to bring this up here.

FeardotCom, a dismal horror thriller, featured a young ghost-like girl clad in white with white hair, bouncing a white ball, that would lead various people to grisly deaths.

Well, a half hour into the Bava film the protaganist, a doctor from outside the village setting, encounters a young ghost-like girl clad in white with pale blonde hair bouncing a white ball. And eventually the audience learns that she is the ghost of a girl who was drunkenly trampled by the villagers while chasing her ball and bled to death. Now she gets revenge by leading various villagers to their grisly deaths (where they now bleed to death).

And then, a review of the Bava film pointed out two shots in "Kill, Baby . . . Kill!" lifted from both Murnau's "Nosferatu" and Dreyer's "Vampyr." So, no one's innocent (except Murnau and Dreyer).

My immediate reaction at the Bava film was annoyance because for all its faults I gave "FeardotCom" some credit for effort. But later, I realised it has more in common with Bava's stuff than more recent horror/slasher fare. Granted, it's 36 years late to the party, but at least it was somewhat distinctive in that regard. So my opinion of "FeardotCom" actually rose an iota. I don't know what the filmmakers intended, and I don't really care. It is a ripoff in my mind, directly lifted from one film to the other. But it also created a link I didn't think existed, and that's always welcome.

My question is: What are some of your instances? How is your opinion of a film affected by later realizations of lifted elements? Do you try to find a link? Or are you annoyed because your favorite film is being ripped off?

And I'm going to make a distinction between homage and ripoff. I'm talking about clear elements cut and pasted into a new movie. Something clear and delineated, like a certain shot, character, set, original music, etc. And to further narrow the scope, let's omit parodies. They're much too overt and numerous.

as a bit of preventive medicine, let's not get all pissy about Requiem for a Dream/Perfect Blue . . .
Old 01-21-03, 04:49 PM
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I'm sure this isn't the kind of answer you were looking for, but I caught part of Naked Gun on TV recently. The whole hill of beans speech kills me now that I've seen Casablanca, when Leslie Neilson says "but this is our hill... and these are our beans", with that total deadpan, just cracks me up.

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Old 01-21-03, 05:47 PM
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You mean you didn't know that was from Casablanca?! Whaaatever.

Anyway Sundog, what your talking about is post-modernism. Intertextuality, duplication, self-reflexiveness, etc. are all elements of post modernism

Dryer and Murnau's films are the Classics
Bava is the Modernist
and who ever made Fear.dotcom is a Post-Modernest

another example
Busby Burkely/Loyd Bacon make Footlight Parade, they're the classic
Robert Wise makes the modernest West Side Story
Baz Luhrman makes the post-modern Moulin Rouge
Old 01-21-03, 06:04 PM
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that makes it sound intelligent though. what about that feeling when Austin Powers fans see "In Like Flint" for the first time on cable and realize it's all been done.
Old 01-21-03, 06:12 PM
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yes but flint and AP are parody (of James Bond among other things), that's a little different.
Old 01-21-03, 08:22 PM
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Re: Blatant Ripoffs (after the fact)

Originally posted by sundog
My immediate reaction at the Bava film was annoyance because for all its faults I gave "FeardotCom" some credit for effort. But later, I realised it has more in common with Bava's stuff than more recent horror/slasher fare. Granted, it's 36 years late to the party, but at least it was somewhat distinctive in that regard. So my opinion of "FeardotCom" actually rose an iota. I don't know what the filmmakers intended, and I don't really care. It is a ripoff in my mind, directly lifted from one film to the other. But it also created a link I didn't think existed, and that's always welcome.
Check out Bones. Dont laugh.

Not an original scene in the whole flick but it works. It lifts exact shots, angles and all from Bava. One in particular of a hand reaching out of the darkness. Theres a scene with maggots falling through floorboards that is well beyond an homage to Argento. Remember Freddys face stretching through the wall in A Nightmare on Elm St? Its in there. The plot is even a hybrid of Candyman and Hellraiser. You could turn it into a drinking game. Name the movie the scene was in originally and everybody else does a shot.

But it works. Its a fun flick. Probally more fun for a genre fan but still enjoyable.
Old 01-21-03, 08:25 PM
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The scene in The Transporter on the truck imo is a blatent rip off of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Old 01-21-03, 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Anyway Sundog, what your talking about is post-modernism. Intertextuality, duplication, self-reflexiveness, etc. are all elements of post modernism
Yeah, I've got my own problems with post modernism . . .

And it seems the horror and thriller genres are ripe for scrutiny in these regards. What works, works. I guess.

As for Bones, hah, that sounds like a blast and out of control.

Another film that goes extremely overboard is Alex Cox's Straight to Hell in its references and ripoffs from Leone.

Austin Powers and In Like Flint is interesting. Is a parody aping a parody like inbreeding?

Let me truncate the timelines we're working with here and mention a moment that was happily surprising. Tsai Ming-Liang's 2001 film "What Time is it There?" features a shot of two people, of the same sex, in bed facing each other. The person screen right makes an attempt at intimacy (a light kiss) but there is no consummation. An identical scene occurs in Tsai's "Vive L'Amour" from 1996 only with a different gender. Take into account the reincarnation and cyclical themes of "What Time . . . " and you get a nice bridge between the two films and insight into the filmmaker himself.
Old 01-21-03, 11:14 PM
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ID4. The most blatant rip-off in cinematic history.
Old 01-21-03, 11:18 PM
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Not many people know this, but the tail-end of the shower scene (where Janet Leigh slumps against the wall and pulls down the curtain) in Hitchcock's Psycho was lifted almost perfectly from Clouzot's Diabolique.
Old 01-22-03, 12:40 AM
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Two words.




Gus. Van. Sant.

Thank you.
Old 01-22-03, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Numanoid
Not many people know this, but the tail-end of the shower scene (where Janet Leigh slumps against the wall and pulls down the curtain) in Hitchcock's Psycho was lifted almost perfectly from Clouzot's Diabolique.
Although both scenes are in a bathroom, I don't recall any similarity. I'll have to check. Mostly Hitch lifted the marketing scheme of telling audience members not to reveal the terrifing secrets of the film.
Old 01-22-03, 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
Although both scenes are in a bathroom, I don't recall any similarity. I'll have to check. Mostly Hitch lifted the marketing scheme of telling audience members not to reveal the terrifing secrets of the film.
I saw Diabolique on public television several years ago, and after the film they did a shot-by-shot comparison of the two scenes. Some cuts in Psycho were taken "verbatim" from Diabloique, particularly the hand grabbing the curtain, the rings coming off, and the backwards slump and slide of the girl. Actually, Hitchcock acknowledged it at the time, so it was really an homage, he wasn't trying to claim credit for it.
Old 01-22-03, 06:04 PM
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I'll check it out tonight.
Old 01-22-03, 07:48 PM
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How about Mac and Me being one of the most blatant rip-off, complete with candy endorsement from E.T. ever to grace a screen.
Old 01-23-03, 11:53 AM
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All right, I checked out Diabolique and indeed there are similarities. As she slumps down she grabs a sheet or robe or something that's hanging on the wall, and her head does lie on the floor at the same angle as Marion Crane.
Old 01-23-03, 01:26 PM
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A few years back this movie came out, Psycho, which totally ripped off Hitchcock's classic thriller. What a crock that was... Why no one ever complained is beyond me!

But seriously, I was just watching Ghost in the Shell again and noticed how the beginning credits was ripped off and stuck in the Matrix for its code. They look exactly the same... though, it should be noted that the Matrix ripped plenty of other stuff off, so...
Old 01-23-03, 01:57 PM
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that's exactly the problem i had with the Matrix, there were too many rips from other movies. but at least it got the mainstream American to start appreciating anime and kung fu movies even more than ever before.

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Old 01-23-03, 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by Pants
All right, I checked out Diabolique and indeed there are similarities. As she slumps down she grabs a sheet or robe or something that's hanging on the wall, and her head does lie on the floor at the same angle as Marion Crane.
Thanks for checking, at least I know my memory isn't totally failing me...yet.
Old 01-23-03, 07:56 PM
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Nobody has mentioned Willow yet. That film ripped off just about every motion picture from The Ten Commandments, Gulliver's Travels, Lord Of The Rings ( ripped from the book since it was made in 1987), Star Wars, Excalibur, and just about any other adventure film you could think of.

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