To say Star Wars changed the cultural zeitgeist understates the impact of the film! What began as a movie actually became a religion, not to mention a merchandising empire. How many other books-movies-films-works of art can boast such an accomplishment?
Since the original 1977 film planet-busted box office records, the rest of Hollywood and beyond have rushed to recreate the splendor and profits of the first science fantasy blockbuster. Of course, plenty of Star Wars films followed, making the field even more perilous for movies trying to emulate the original mother-of-them-all. But come the knockoffs did, and with varying degrees of success.
Listing every other movie inspired or influenced by Star Wars is an impossible task, or at least one I'm not willing to undertake here! Among the knock-off movies, however, these ten stand out from the others. Produced over a long period of time, they offer variations on the initial "myth in space" premise, not to mention wild variations in quality! In short, some of these movies are awful! That said, their questionable effectiveness says nothing of their redeeming entertainment value, or their fascinating testimony to a culture still in shock from Star Wars. In a pinch, they can even help temper anticipation for the next outing in a galaxy far, far away...
10 Battle Beyond The Stars
Roger Corman, early purveyor of sci-fi schlock, wasted no time in jumping on the Star Wars gravy train with this unapologetically goofy rip-off. Richard Thomas plays a farm boy adventurer traveling the galaxy in a ship that looks like a pair of breasts. The trite story should make this movie unwatchable, and yet...
9 Dungeons & Dragons
Normally this spot on the list would be reserved for Willow, George Lucas' own attempt to cash in on the success of Star Wars by resetting the story in a sword-and-sorcery tale. Lucas' involvement, however, somewhat nullifies its inclusion here. Instead, consider this latter day knockoff which tried to emulate the look and feel of The Phantom Menace.
8 Titan AE
6 Masters of the Universe
5 The Black Hole
3 The Last Starfighter
Be warned! Of all the schlock on this list, of all the horrid, unwatchable production value, no movie is more vile to sit through than Dune. Based on the bestselling sci-fi novel, which in some ways foreshadowed Star Wars, Dune follows the saga of galactic commerce in the year 10,191. Infighting between family dynasties centers around the planet Arakkis--also called Dune--which is home to giant sand worms that crap out LSD-like spice that makes space travel possible. If that sounds complicated, it's just the warm up compared to the elaborate intricacies of cultures, secret societies and prophecies. Directed by David Lynch, the movie boasts distinctive art direction and a stellar cast, but is utterly incomprehensible!
Even worse, rampant gross out scenes and homophobia--including one where an obese baron covered in festering sores murders an effeminate boy by performing fellatio on his heart--make the film a downright repulsive experience. Dune has its defenders, and it does have some Lynchian flourishes that make for interesting viewing, but otherwise, watch it at your own risk!
Sources: imdb.com; wikipedia.org
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