5 Classic Movies With Way Better Insane Foreign Ripoffs
If you tend to avoid foreign cinema because you feel like some of the punch is lost when you have to read the dialogue at the bottom of the screen, boy are you missing out. Oh, we're not talking about the subtle, heart-wrenching dramas France is probably cranking out these days; we're speaking of the many low-budget yet gloriously insane foreign knockoffs of Hollywood blockbusters. For example ...
The Ugandan Expendables Is Fucking Amazing
In a bizarre twist on what should have been an incredible idea, The Expendables features the industry's most successful and influential action heroes creating lifeless, second-rate impersonations of themselves. Many audiences describe the film and its sequels as an expensive collection of familiar shapes and noises.
The Foreign Ripoff:
Sometimes an expert in a field is described as having forgotten more about a subject than anyone else will ever know. Well, Operation Kakongoliro! has forgotten more about plot than it itself ever knew about plot.
We can describe this film in only 14 words: In Uganda, war has hit the streets. FUCK THAT, says The Ugandan Expendables. And since we have one word left over, underline that "fuck."
It is wall-to-wall karate and machine guns and has virtually no interest in linking events together with a narrative. You'll never know how unnecessary structure is until you've seen 500 Ugandan actors explode from inexplicable violence punctuated by trial version Adobe After Effects bullets.
This is just the caterer.
There is no language barrier in Ugandan Expendables. In the time it takes for you, the casual English-speaking viewer, to think, "I don't speak Swahili," you've already missed 25 principal actors get kicked to death. This is a dense masterpiece made by passionate, industrious filmmakers. It's a genre so indescribable, they literally had to make up words to describe it. One of those words is "supa BASTARD."
Real Talk: The action is supa BASTARD as shit.
The Ugandan Expendables includes the gratuitous shootouts from the Stallone original and somehow managed to do it with zero safety precautions and an unlimited stack of pirated editing software. Untrained stunt men fling themselves into the ground while wads of cartoon blood invade our reality from seemingly unrelated wormholes. It seems impossible you've ever done anything kind enough to Uganda to deserve this gift from them.
Operation Kakongoliro! is the finest example of the expanding Uganda film industry, Wakaliwood, known for their crazy no-budget action movies. The internet first fell in love with them when it saw Who Killed Captain Alex, an inspired work of insanity made with less than $200 and (reportedly) real blood. A bucket of blood and $200 won't even get Christian Bale to take a meeting, and these Ugandans managed to choreograph 70 kung fu fights and bury 287 extras with it.
These are just the script supervisors.
Hong Kong's Street Fighter Is A Pile Of Time-Traveling Gibberish
Imagine a martial arts movie featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme in which masters of eclectic fighting styles enter a combat tournament for honor, glory, and love. Congratulations, you've just imagined Bloodsport. Now, continue imagining Bloodsport, but remove the stakes and personality, turn most of the fighters into lab technicians or reporters, squeeze in dozens of clumsy, almost violently incorrect references to a video game, add every possible production problem, and pay a line cook to shit on it at the end of a 13-hour shift. You're now imagining Street Fighter.
The Foreign Ripoff:
Future Cops is an unlicensed, loose, and insane adaptation of the Street Fighter video game, released a year before the official American adaptation found a way to make that sound like a terrible idea.
Future Cops begins in the year 2043, with Chinese M. Bison being sentenced to death, and his loyal minions Toyota (E. Honda), Kent (Ken), and Thai King (Sagat) hatching an ambitious plan to save him. Only one of those guys work for M. Bison in the video game, implying the filmmakers had trouble following the plot of a game about fistfighting your way to a fistfight. As you're about to see, that stupidity pays off big time.
Set stupidity levels to full, Kent. And double it.
Instead of a prison escape, Kent, Toyota, and Thai King come up with the idea of time-traveling back to 1993 to brainwash the judge who convicted him. And their plan would have worked if not for three things: First, there is more than one judge in 2043 China; second, nothing suggests they know how to brainwash people; and third, Ryu, Vega, Dhalsim, and Guile overhear the plan and chase them back to 1993. Rest assured, the movie does nothing to make any of this sound more coherent.
Thinking too hard about the subtitles may cause nosebleeds.
By this point, the plot has kicked the legs out from under sanity and anything is possible. There are flying laser platforms, low-budget re-creations of every Street Fighter special move, and an entire subplot where the Future Cops go undercover at a high school. The pop culture references soon wobble off course, and people end up transforming into Dragon Ball Z characters or getting sucked into Super Mario Bros. arcade games.
"Guys, I think the costume designer might have lied when she said she played Street Fighter."
Future Cops is weirdly generous with its plot. They could have gotten away with just Street Fighter meets Terminator meets 21 Jump Street, but then they squeeze in several romances and a dystopian loveless future they need to prevent. You see, in 2043, sex is illegal after AIDS has wiped out most of humanity. It's a strange twist in a movie that seems to be designed around every video game and toy the filmmakers could think of. It's almost as if this was once a dark time-travel story and 80 pages of the script were accidentally replaced with children's Christmas lists.
Italy's Answer To James Bond Stars Sean Connery's Brother As Sean Connery's Brother
James Bond is the British secret agent/Time Lord who mutates from a rejuvenating cocoon every decade or so to continue his never-ending quest of murdering flamboyant villains and crushing international ass without so much as glancing at a condom.
The Foreign Ripoff:
The 1967 Italian film Operation Kid Brother finds the world threatened by a ruthless terrorist organization known as THANATOS, and the only person who can stop it is 007. And, well, since he's not available, the world has to settle for his brother, Dr. Neil Connery. It is important to note that Neil Connery is Sean Connery's brother in real life, but in our universe, Sean Connery isn't actually James Bond. In Operation Kid Brother, Neil Connery is both James Bond's brother and Sean Connery's brother.
"Looksh like I got the chopsh ... Wait, I think I may have actually broken hish neck."
Dr. Neil Connery might be playing himself (kind of), but he has all the powers of James Bond and then some. He is a surgeon, a hypnotist, an archer, a scientist, a ladies man, and a master with both types of karate chop. And when viewed through the filter of "This makes sense only if he doesn't get the difference between movies and real life," every fight and sexual conquest takes on a hilarious context. It's as if he's performing a great joke and also the only person who doesn't get it.
Italian director Alberto De Martino wasn't the first person to shamelessly rip off the James Bond phenomenon, but he goes for the brass ring. Instead of working for the Italian equivalent of British Intelligence, Dr. Neil Connery just punches in at the same place as the regular James Bond. He even meets up with two spies played by Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell, actors who played M and Miss Moneypenny, respectively, in several Bond films.
Those aren't the only Bond actors starring in this disaster. Daniela Bianchi, the female lead in From Russia With Love, shows up to dazzle Dr. Neil with her feminine wiles, and the evil leader of THANATOS is Adolfo Celi, aka Emilio Largo from Thunderball.
Seen here wearing the "Thriller" jacket.
Again, the movie is entirely dependent on a childlike inability to understand that Sean Connery is not actually an international super spy, which is paradoxically its most glaring weakness and its greatest strength.
Indonesian Mr. Bean Is A Ghost Trapped In Hell
Mr. Bean is an adorable English man-child played by Rowan Atkinson who can't really talk and ruins absolutely everything he tries to do. He's the kind of man generally seen slipping on banana peels in silent movies, only alive and doing it today.
The Foreign Ripoff:
The Indonesian version of Mr. Bean is pretty much exactly the same, except for the "alive" part. Indonesian Mr. Bean is a ghost, which is a word here meaning "a man eternally bound in a sheet."
Who greets people by headbutting.
In Indonesia, these kinds of spirits are called pocong -- basically, people trapped in their death shrouds. It's not clear what Mr. Bean did to become a ghost, but it undoubtedly involved some manner of riotous pratfall.
The movie takes the goofy innocence of Mr. Bean and makes it its own. For instance, at one point in this comedy film, a chainsaw-wielding maniac humorlessly slaughters a pregnant woman and her husband. It's less funny than we're making it sound, though.
"All right, let's film this Mr. Bean scen- WHAT THE SHIT?! WHO IS THAT?!?"
The murdered couple become pocongs and meet Mr. Bean, whose mission is to escape from the Indonesian underworld at all costs. Also, Catwoman is there, as a singer, and getting to the Catwoman concert is everyone's main motivation for getting out of Hell.
"Any ghosts in the crowd tonight? Let me hear you if you were recently dismembered by a chainsaw killer!"
You can watch the entire film on YouTube, mainly because no one who makes a Mr. Bean vs. Catwoman knockoff has any right to fuss about copyright violations. Speaking of, the film was met with controversy after audiences felt tricked. Many of them were led to believe it was an official Mr. Bean film before finding out it was a madman's dream journal set in the afterlife starring a lookalike. And that lookalike, William Ferguson, was as confused as anyone. He was hired specifically because he resembles Rowan Atkinson, and the producers were happy to let people think he was the real Mr. Bean.
Ferguson didn't even know he was the main actor in the movie until he'd already filmed a third of it (it was a three-day shoot). After it was released, he felt ashamed for his role in deceiving moviegoers. In fairness, getting trapped in a bag and starring in the wrong movie in a foreign country is exactly the kind of thing Mr. Bean would do.
Related: Rowan Atkinson Can't Escape Mr. Bean
Turkey's Batman V Superman Combines The Two Into A Single Insane Hero
Superman and Batman fight each other for the right to claim the more irritating fanbase, but they're forced to put aside their differences when Lex Luthor unleashes a cave troll on an abandoned ship graveyard. Everyone loses in the process.
The Foreign Ripoff:
In the Turkish film Demir Yumruk Devler Geliyor, instead of creating a thin excuse for Batman and Superman to fight, the filmmakers just combined them into the same character, which saves everyone a lot of time.
Part Batman, part Superman, all Turkish.
The fused heroes face off against Fu Manchu, a man with mechanical-handed henchmen and an endless supply of bikini-clad women. The twists and turns come so fast you often can't even tell the difference between them and genuine production mistakes, and neither could the actors or the director.
The villainous Fu Manchu is a relentless gay stereotype draped across several Asian stereotypes. He's something you'd normally only see in a sketch performed by a prison improv group.
"OK, we have the characters and setting. Now someone shout your favorite food and felony."
In keeping with the grand tradition of Turkish copyright-infringing cinema, wherein the only special effects occur when a stuntman accidentally falls into a thresher, costumes seem to have been thrown together with things the cast and crew found in their trunks. There are absolutely no visual effects, and the fight scenes seem to have been filmed during the second rehearsal, with SuperBatman patiently waiting for the next choreographed attack to come in before carefully punching near the other performers' faces.
Look close. Can you believe this is all one take!?
One thing this film has in common with Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman is our hero's casual disregard for human life. Even if his great mind and unlimited powers could solve a problem multiple ways, he never doesn't pick "massacre." For example, Turkish SuperBatman has no problem drowning a man with his bare hands. And, owing to the film's lack of a special effects, the only way to make this look convincing was to film the actor actually trying to drown someone.
Turkish SuperBatman's power of pool murder is still more heroic than Zack Snyder's Superman and Batman put together.
For more times American cinema really picked it up, check out The 6 Most Psychotic Rip-Offs of Famous Animated Films and The 5 Weirdest Bollywood Remakes Of Famous Hollywood Films.
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