Have you been listening to the Pure Cinema Podcast yet? It’s co-hosted by Shock Waves‘ own Elric Kane, along with Brian Saur, creator and curator of the great movie-centric blog, Rupert Pupkin Speaks. And their deep movie knowledge and discussions stretch way beyond the horror genre and into all facets of film.
This week’s 8th episode, in particular, struck a chord with my movie-loving little heart. (And not just because I get name-dropped several times by all three participants.) Part of it could be the addition of special guest Stephen Scarlata, occasional contributor here on Blumhouse.com, but also the co-writer of BEYOND THE GATES and one of the producers on JODOROWSKY’S DUNE.
A big part of it could be the topic… “Rip-Off” movies!
For every successful movie trend, you’ll find a dozen amazing, off-kilter, knock-off versions, usually from Italy or Indonesia. The ideas are radical. The actors are outrageous. But some of these gems are as thoroughly entertaining as a movie can possibly get! Inspired by this episode, I went down the rabbit hole on YouTube looking up the trailers for a lot of the ones they name-checked. You should listen to the whole episode, yourself (embedded below at the end of this article), but first, let’s take a look at 6 titles that shot to my “must-see” list mentioned on their latest episode!
The inspiration behind this episode’s topic is the newly restored version of CATHY’S CURSE, coming from those fine fiends at Severin Films. One touch THE EXORCIST, another touch AMITYVILLE 2. There’s even a nod to DON’T LOOK NOW, and a lot of foul language throughout, including Cathy calling a woman “an extra rare piece of shit!” You will never see anything quite like Eddy Matalon’s CATHY’S CURSE!
I was fortunate enough to see a 16mm print of this with Elric at the Cinefamily a few years ago, and it was something else! From director William Girdler, who also gave us DAY OF THE ANIMALS and THE MANITOU (and who also died tragically young in a terrible plane crash) comes this Black rip-off of THE EXORCIST, starring BLACULA himself, William Marshall! As the tagline reads on the poster, “Abby doesn’t need a man anymore… the devil is her lover now!”
THE RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS
Here was the greatest revelation, as recommended by Stephen Scarlata. A post-apocalyptic ROAD WARRIOR rip-off from Ruggero Deodato, the director of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST?! And it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime? SOLD! Need more convincing? Watch the following!
SHOCKING DARK aka TERMINATOR 2
Another mind-blower I didn’t even know existed. This 1989 Italian flick was directed by Bruno Mattei and is essentially a beat-for-beat redo of ALIENS… titled and released as TERMINATOR 2! Here in the States, it was SHOCKING DARK! The film also features DEMONS hottie, Geretta Geretta, who also was in Mattei’s RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR!
THE INTRUDER aka RAMBU
What the…?! Did you know there’s a sub-genre of exploitation cinema called “Sly-spoitation?!” These Indonesian flicks feature Peter O’ Brien as a Sylvester Stallone look-alike who goes by the name of “Rambu.” I kid you not! Apparently, the full movie is something of a challenging watch, according to the podcast, but Stephen recommends the opening scene, which conveniently enough was on You Tube!
Another FIRST BLOOD knock-off by way of THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME, Ted Prior is walking war machine, Michael “Mike” Danton, and he’s going up against his old commander, Hogan, after he’s been abducted and forced into a human hunting ground. It’s… something else, let me tell you. Written and directed by Prior’s brother David A. Prior, this movie is pure VHS madness. The Blu-Ray out there is from a Beta tape, so the VHS look is part of the whole appeal. Want to know more? I once watched this on a double bill with DANGEROUS MEN and lived to tell the tale!
Intrigued by all of the above? Give the podcast a listen for yourself, embedded below for your convenience!