The 7 Most Hilarious Foreign Twists on Common Movie Clichés

Hollywood blockbusters have been filling our heads with the same stories for a century, rarely straying far from the familiar characters and plot devices that are proven to sell tickets. But while studios continue to crank out one multiplex-filling cash grab after another, the rest of the world has been putting its own spin on them, quietly dipping those tired old cliches in pure liquid insanity.

#7. The Ragtag Sports Team Movie (Where Everyone Dies Horribly)

The Familiar Cliche:

A loveably plucky team of ne'er-do-wells and underachievers overcomes the odds and beats the slick regional champion squad.

The Foreign Version:

In the 2003 Japanese film Battlefield Baseball (mind-blowing trailer here), Jubeh is a high school student who is supernaturally talented at the game, despite being portrayed by an actor who has clearly never seen a baseball before and seems entirely uncertain how it works.

"I just squeeze it until sports happen, right?"

The school's team desperately wants him to join so they can defeat their rivals at Gedo High, but Jubeh, bearing the heavy emotional scars of accidentally killing his father during a game of catch, refuses (this bit of personal history is told in flashback and narrated in song by Jubeh himself, stumbling through a minor key).

Jubeh eventually agrees to be the pitcher, but on the day of the big game, Gedo High murders every single member of the team, including Jubeh, who shows up late and steps on a land mine that is buried in the field for some reason.

This is what happens when you use BabelFish to translate the rules of baseball into Japanese.

This turns out to be no more than a minor setback, however, because, through a combination of divine intervention, advanced cybernetics and time-bending reincarnation, everyone is more or less fine and ready for a rematch (please note that by this point in the movie, not one game of baseball has taken place).

After beating his mother with a baseball bat, Jubeh suddenly remembers how to do his special move, the Super Tornado Pitch (yes, that sentence just happened and now belongs to history).

We feel sorry for those of you at work who want to shout "HADOUKEN!" right now, but can't.

Armed with this technique, which is essentially a flaming baseball thrown at speeds scratching the front door of the sound barrier, Jubeh and his team face Gedo High once more. After a lengthy battle (see "not one game of baseball" above), Jubeh defeats the Gedo High coach and then screams a monologue about the importance of friendship and teamwork directly into the camera. He does this without ever actually using the Super Tornado Pitch, or indeed throwing a single pitch of any kind.

#6. The Reimagined Modern Vampire (Starring a Vampire Motorcycle)

The Familiar Cliche:

Traditional vampire mythology is updated with a modern twist to keep it fresh and interesting, a phrase which here means "vampires drive Volvos and sparkle in the daylight." Other examples include the tech-savvy raver nightghouls in Blade and Underworld's people-infected-with-an-immortality-virus-get-bitten-by-a-totally-regular-bat origin story.

The Foreign Version:

Prepare to have your mind blown by the U.K.'s 1990 I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle, which fulfills every promise made by its title.

"The word 'I' in the title connects the audience to the story. It makes it real."

The movie opens with a warlock attempting to summon a vampire spirit from hell, but he's abruptly crossbowed mid-ritual by a disgruntled biker gang and the spirit is forced into one of their motorcycles (classic biker gang). Unassuming Noddy buys the motorcycle some time later and takes it home to work on it, but a stray drop of blood in the gas tank causes it to come alive and start eating people.

The sheer logistical impossibility of a motorcycle attacking people and drinking their blood suggests that the filmmakers came up with the concept and went immediately into production without so much as rereading the Subway receipt they'd scribbled it on. At first they skirt the issue by having the motorcycle kill people offscreen, but as the movie escalates and important characters start dying, they have to get more creative, giving it a harpoon gun, wheel-mounted blades and stainless steel bendy straws with which to wreak destruction.

You know, modern twists on those classic vampire tropes.

In the film's climax, Count Motorcycula goes on a rampage through a rec center, chasing people around at speeds approaching 3 mph before it is finally trapped by an insurmountable push/pull door and melted with a tanning bed (because it's a vampire).

These guys are literally running faster than we ever see the motorcycle go in the entire movie.

#5. The Loose-Cannon Cop (Whose Superpower Is Insanity)

The Familiar Cliche:

A hard-boiled cop playing by his own rules makes his way through the underworld, dispensing justice any way he sees fit. He's not above destroying property, stepping on the toes of public officials or disobeying direct orders from his superiors to get the information he needs.

The Foreign Version:

In the Hindi film Singham from 2011, the titular Singham is a cop who also plays by his own rules, and by that we mean he's a pulsing ball of radioactive crazy operating with all the subtlety of a sack of howler monkeys. After he receives a mysterious transfer notice to the nearby city of Goa, he decides that something doesn't seem quite right and begins to investigate.


Spurred on by the screaming lions in his mind, Singham discovers that all of his fellow police officers in Goa are in the employ of a gangster he once crossed paths with. Enraged, Singham decides that the only way to fight police corruption is with more police corruption, and heroically starts forging charges, coercing confessions at gunpoint and eventually just straight-up executing a suspect because he doesn't have enough evidence to arrest him. And if that all sounds like standard maverick cop stuff, let us introduce you to this scene. Singham, in the middle of a high-speed pursuit, swerves into the path of the fleeing criminal and simply steps out of his car mid-fishtail ...

... to fire a single bullet ...

... detonating the other car's front tire and sending it flipping through the air.

As the car tumbles over his head, Singham reaches up and snatches the guy out through the window into a pavement-splitting choke-slam (as an added bonus, watch that clip and try to count all the people without mustaches). Dirty Harry would've powdered his shinbone just trying to step out of the fishtailing car.

He's also totally going to write that guy a ticket for not wearing a seat belt.

#4. The Damsel-Rescuing Space Prince (With David Hasselhoff and Stop-Motion Robots)

The Familiar Cliche:

A beautiful woman is captured by an evil ruler, and it's up to a dashing prince to rescue her from his villainous clutches.

The Foreign Version:

In the Italian Stellar Clashes Beyond the Third Dimension (released in the U.S. as Starcrash in 1979), Stella Star is a beautiful smuggler sent by the Emperor to retrieve his lost son, Simon (David Hasselhoff), who is the prince of space.

No, seriously.

Within minutes of finding him, she is captured by stop-motion robots ...

Wait, are we sure this isn't another screengrab of Hasselhoff?

... under the direction of the evil Count Zarth Arn, who reveals that all of this (whatever "this" may be is never made entirely clear) was part of his plan to lure the Emperor to his evil planet, which is secretly bombs. The movie makes precisely this amount of sense for the entirety of its 90-minute runtime.

"My planet is bursting with delight to greet you. Get it? Ah, fuck you guys. That was gold."

Prince David Hasselhoff kills the robots with a light saber and rescues Stella, but it does little good because (we really cannot stress this enough) they are still on a planet made of bombs. Fortunately, when the Emperor shows up, he remembers that his Imperial Battleship has a "stop time" button and uses it to freeze Count Zarth's world grenade, allowing everyone to escape.

Except the robots. They never saw home again.

Now they have to stop Evil Count Zarth and his fist-shaped spaceship from conquering the universe, but when they catch up to him, they find that even their most advanced weapons are useless against his ship (their "most advanced weapons" are literally torpedoes filled with people wearing Lord of the Rings helmets).

This scene was later reused in a Scientology sex-ed film.

Stella Star, thinking fast, crashes a space-city into Zarth's flagship and saves the day, because there was literally no less-destructive way to stop him. Unfortunately, this leaves her floating adrift in space, and Prince Hasselhoff is forced to rescue her again, but at this point neither he nor anyone watching cares anymore.

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