Superman and Batman may be throwing down with the world watching, but they are hardly the first titans to tussle on the big screen. Here are the 7 greatest films to go “versus”…
As long as there have been fictional characters, there have been fan arguments about who would win in a fight. Could Batman really defeat Superman? How’d Dirty Harry do against John McClaine? Could Robocop take down a Terminator? So many questions to ask in pop culture, but so few movies answer the question of these battles, let alone advertise them in their titles.
With Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice reigniting the genre of famous characters battling, we decided to rank the seven greatest movies that preceded it with versus in thee title. Some promised a showdown that didn’t deliver, others followed down-to-Earth battle over intimacy or the First Amendment, while others just had knock down, drag out brawls between the two named parties. Let’s get ready to ramble with our list of the 7 best versus films ever made.
7. Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda
This one gets the lowest spot on the slot mainly because it hails from the lowest form of cinema – the made for TV movie. See, Lake Placid and Anaconda both got their starts as the type of entertainingly cheesy romps you expect, with dated CGI, reptilian violence, and underappreciated character actors. Lake Placid focused on a giant, man-eating gator, while Anaconda had a massive river snake that couldn’t be stopped. Put them both together and you’ve got an amusing B-movie throwdown.
Unfortunately, SyFy Channel entered the mix here. After years of making the worst Sci-Fi in history, the network got their hands on Lake Placid and made a couple original sequels, putting B-movie regular Yancy Butler in the affordable lead role. To spice up the third Placid sequel, SyFy brought in Robert (Freddy Krueger) Englund to add a constrictor to the mix. The two terrible CGI creations battle for the right to eat a group of hapless sorority girls in a film that isn’t as campy fun as it should be. Also, it was filmed in Bulgaria, which is always a bad sign of a cheap production.
6. Samson Vs The Vampire Women
Forget John Cena, The Rock, or Hulk Hogan – El Santo might be the most famous professional wrestler of all time. A legend whose career began in earnest in the 1940s, his shiny mask and do gooding ways made him a hero of the people, who saw him wrestle into the start of the 1980s. El Santo was always in his mask and was even buried wearing it at his funeral in 1984. El Santo would star in over 50 films that featured his wrestling, usually with “Vs” in the title since they were related to his wrestling matches. His battles with las Mujeres Vampiro was the most famous to nerds in America.
Sampson vs. The Vampire Women aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show known to many nerdy and friendless youths who grew up in the ’90s. SVTVW deserves to be on the list for more than just its inclusion on MST3K, though. El Santo isn’t just taking on other wrestlers – he’s battling supernatural creatures that are famous the world over. A wrestler is trying to destroy vampirism the only way he knows how is something that will always be worth watching. Bonus points for Santo using a potential unmasking to distract the vampire hordes just long enough for them to miss the sunrise and die.
5. Dracula Vs. Frankenstein
Speaking of MST3K, here’s a film that I’m honestly kind of shocked never appeared on it. This 1971 film has all the essentials for an MST3K cheese classic. You have public domain monsters trotted out to cash in on the early ’70s horror craze, you’ve got sex & violence, and it all opens with a tonally strange Las Vegas musical number. But the main event is the battle between Dracula and Frankenstein(‘s Monster).
It’s a bit hard to follow due to poor lighting, terrible audio, and a lack of basic filmmaking skills on display, but DVF’s plot follows the vampiric count re-reanimating the famous corpse to do his bidding. However, as seen in other horror crossovers like Monster Squad, Frank and Drac don’t really get along, and eventually cometo blows. As the showgirl lead watches in horror, Dracula eventually wins by beheading Frankenstein, but once again, a vampire forgets when it’s morning and ends up disintegrated by a sunrise. Jeez, you’d think someone like Dracula wouldn’t fall for something that obvious.