Exquisite Rip-offs – Laser Time #346

There’s something to be said about being first, but occasionally, there’s a lot more money in being second. We’re looking at the times when the popularity gods failed to smile on the trailblazers and let the copycats run wild through the zeitgeist. Be sure to let us know your favorite/most notably rip-off in the comments below…

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11 thoughts on “Exquisite Rip-offs – Laser Time #346

  1. Well, I do like the Friday the 13th rip off The Burning for starters. Though you can argue Friday the 13th ripped off Halloween which understandable or Halloween ripped off Black Christmas. Well, point being Friday the 13th opened the floodgates for slasher films in its mold which plenty I like such as of course The Burning and My Bloody Valentine.

    Of course, then you have Night of the Demons ripping off Freddy Krueger-specifically being a wisecracking killer from the sequels. Same deal with even Angela in the Sleepaway Camp sequels. Though in the case of Night of the Demons Angela, she was a wisecracking killer from the getgo. My personal favorite line of hers being this:

    “What’s the matter, Judy? Don’t your blind date?”

    For context, an asshole boyfriend of Judy’s gets possessed by a demon and his eyes ae scratched out. Get it, blind date? Hehe. Ahem.

    But the worst offender is Pennywise the Clown from the 1990 TV miniseries by steering too far what with it airing on ABC, a network channel. He was too funny, the second part especially. May I remind you of Tim Curry’s reading of “Prince Albert in a can”? And people BOUGHT this? You all deserve that shitty Dark Tower film adaptation! But see, this is also why I prefer the 2017 Pennywise. He was actually scary for a change. Oh he had funny moments but it was intentional and subdued.

    Oh and I do remember seeing a Power Rangers rip off called Beetleborgs. Not a very good show even if I like the premise of combining haunted houses, monsters and spandex armored superheroes.

    1. Beetleborgs was based on a Metal Heroes series from Japan called B-Fighter, Saban had experimented with the Metal Heroes franchise before with VR Troopers

      1. The interesting thing about VR Troopers is the battle footage they used was from much older, and multiple, series than what they typically did when adapting sentai footage for Power Rangers.

        The real “rip-off” came from DiC with Superhuman Samurai Cyber-Squad which was adapted from a Japanese show called Gridman made by the same studio that does Ultraman stuff, while all the Saban stuff came from Toei’s catalogue of sentai and Metal Heroes shows, I don’t believe they’ve ever even tried to bring over Kamen Rider in any form.

  2. Oh yeah, now that I think about it. Night of the Demons you could argue is a rip off of The Evil Dead. Like yeah, a group of teens enter a spooky empty place where the previous inhabitants died horrible deaths summoning something they shouldn’t and said teens do it against better judgment and get possessed by demons leaving one person standing to escape the madness. In the case of Night of the Demons however, it’s two people. And even going against convention, the black dude lives. How cool is that?

  3. I’ll never understand how The Great Giana Sisters was allowed to be published. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Giana_Sisters Having survived a lawsuit from Nintendo for being such a ripoff, and yet still has quite the following of fans. The series is even getting a game released on XBOX ONE and PS4. -Thanks for the shout out Chris! Here’s a link to the Ditko Go-Bots Book for anyone interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwxru6eY0Xc

  4. Fantastic episode!

    This one might be considered a stretch for some, but my exquisite rip-off is the Saints Row series. Granted, it took a couple of games for it to find its feet, but by the 3rd entry it is for my money a far more enjoyable series to play than Grand Theft Auto. GTA is obviously a super-important series, but its problem for me is that its brand of ‘satire’ had grown stale and become a mean, mean series. On the other hand, Saints Row took all the mechanics and transgressive potential of GTA, but added quality writing and characters to the mix.

  5. You did not really mention books and while this is more of an inspiration rather than a rip off, you have to say when Patrick O’Brien started writing his Master & Commander series (Aubrey & Maturin series), he did that two years after C.S. Forrester’s Hornblower series ended. I feel like Hornblower was the first of the Napoleon era naval captain adventure books (there are a few more not so good ones), and I think it kind of inspired the character of Jack Aubrey, in that he is mostly what Hornblower isn’t. And I would argue the Aubrey & Maturin series is much much better, with two great protagonists and excellent side characters, where the Hornblower series has… a lot of romantic troupes especially when it comes to female characters. O’Brien also wrote his series with much more historical research and actually gets into the mechanics of sailing, where Forrester tends to yada yada all of that. Anyway, my point is forget Hornblower and just read the Aubrey & Maturin series. It also spawned a much better visual media, in Chris’s least favorite movie, Master & Commander :The Far Side of the World. Do not watch the BBC Hornblower series, as it is largely crap.

  6. Huey Lewis’s “I Want a New Drug” and the Ghostbusters theme song definitely have a lot in common, but I also want to point out another song that I always thought mimicked the riff of “I Want a New Drug” more than a little. Play the original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6uEMOeDZsA) back to back with the Sheepdogs’ “How Late, How Long” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaovFMnPUrI) from 2013.

    I know there’s a long list of songs sounding like other songs, but since the main ripoff of Huey Lewis was mentioned, I wanted to share this other connection.

  7. Kimba the White Lion was not an unknown series in the West, after Astro Boy it was another early anime that came to the West and for kids in the 60s and 70s (who were largely the people invovled with writing and animating The Lion King), Kimba would have been extremely well known. Sadly unlike Astro Boy or Speed Racer, Kimba has been largely forgotten even before The Lion King, though I do remember a lot of parents taking their kids to see The Lion King because it reminded them of Kimba. The fact that its lifted from Tezuka’s manga/anime Jungle King/Kimba the White Lion shouldn’t really be disputed, the real problem is with Disney being so unwilling to even recognize the influence.

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