For every successful blockbuster and horror film, there is usually some cheaply made knock-off meant to capitalize on the hype. This results in films like Atlantic Rim, Abraham Lincoln VS Zombies, etc. These usually get pushed straight-to-video or dumped onto the SyFy channel.
For every few laughable rip-offs, there are actually one or two that have more effort put into them. They may be unoriginal but at least they can provide decent entertainment or even become classics themselves. In some cases, these are actually rip-offs that managed to get a budget behind them.
Notorious for being one of the most underrated sci-fi films of the early 2000s, Pitch Black is the film that helped put Vin Diesel on the map. It features a group of people that crash land on an alien planet in the distant future. When the sun goes down, things get bloody and dark.
Vin Diesel’s Richard B. Riddick became such a fan-favorite that he received two sequels. The first film itself is clearly inspired by films like Aliens due to the film’s main threat known as Bioraptors. This is because Riddick creator David Twohy made Pitch Black off of a manuscript he made for Alien 3 that got rejected.
Jaws was the first movie to be called a blockbuster and is one of the most iconic movies ever made. So after it came out, there were a lot of knock-offs including Piranha, Tentacles, and even other shark movies. One that became infamous was Orca based on the book of the same name.
Rather than a killer animal randomly killing innocents, Orca is a revenge story. After an orca’s mate and child are murdered by a poacher, it goes on a killing spree; killing all that were involved with the poacher. While it’s no classic, it has garnered a following due to being a Jaws ripoff with a neat twist.
When The Blair Witch Project hit theaters, it terrified the world so found-footage movies were the new thing. In 2007, a Spanish film known as REC attempted to do the same thing but with a zombie-like threat inside an apartment building while someone films the whole time.
REC would actually become such a hit that it would receive several sequels along with an American remake known as Quarantine. Quarantine was the result of when films like Paranormal Activity really made the found footage subgenre take off.