Tag Archives: Die Hard

6 DIE HARD Rip-Offs That Time Forgot

DH

by J.M. McNab

In the early to mid-nineties, it seemed as though almost every action movie imitated Die Hard to some extent. Several movies straight-up lifted the Die Hard premise (one person in one location against a slew of bad guys) adapting it to a variety of locations: a boat in Under Siege, a hockey arena in Sudden Death, a plane in Air Force One— but while those movies are still relatively well-known, there are many Die Hard rip-offs that simply faded into obscurity.

In conjunction with our recent podcast about Die Hard With a Vengeance, we present 6 Die Hard Rip-Offs That Time Forgot. So if you’ve worn out your VHS copy of the original Die Hard and you’re looking for a new, probably terrible, alternative this holiday season, check out one of these six films.

6. Masterminds (1997)

masterminds

If the producers of this  1997 film had any sense, they would immediately re-release it on DVD with the new title CAPTAIN PICARD VS. PETE CAMPBELL. That’s right, Patrick Stewart is a mustachioed villain and a teenaged Vincent Kartheiser is our Bruce Willis surrogate (not to be confused with the Bruce Willis movie Surrogates) when a wealthy school is seized by criminals. Also the school’s principal is the homeless pigeon lady from Home Alone 2… so that’s pretty cool.

The movie was directed by Roger Christian, who won an Oscar for his Art Direction for Star Wars, and was nominated for his work on Alien. While this, his eighth directorial effort, was a box office flop, the stars aligned for his next project: big-budget, A-list movie star, based on a best-selling novel. What could possibly go wrong?

Battlefield_earth_poster

Oh…

5. Skyscraper (1996)

3

If you love Die Hard but think it would have been better if John McClane was a buxom blonde, than this movie is for you… weirdo. Skyscraper stars Anna Nicole Smith as a helicopter pilot who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in a subtle twist on the original Die Hard, this one is about terrorists who seize control of… a building! Not that different you say? Did I mention it’s a really tall building? Maybe if we compare the two posters.

One has “Forty stories of sheer adventure” the other has “eight-six floors of action-paked terror”… Different.

4. Assault on Dome 4 (1997)

Assault_DVD_INLAY

Employing the same creative tactic used by franchises like Leprechaun and Friday the 13th, Assault on Dome 4 takes an existing story (Die Hard) and rejuvenates it using the magic of making the same events happen in space. Bruce Campbell steps into the Rickman role for this Sci-Fi Channel movie, but instead of a building, he takes a scientific colony, the titular Dome 4, hostage. What he doesn’t know is that one of his hostages is the wife of interstellar lawman Chase Moran. Why stop there? Is there an intergalactic cokehead who keeps hitting on Chase’s wife, do they keep playing Space-Ode to Joy?

Oddly, because Bruce Campbell is the biggest star in this movie, the poster features him firing a machine gun looking cool. Ideologically, this seems to suggest that the film’s villain is actually its hero– would Die Hard be as successful if it featured Alan Rickman on the poster, implying that we were supposed to be rooting for Hans and his friends?

3. Blast (1997)

41135

“What if all the hostages in Die Hard were women in swimsuits?” Is a thought no one should ever have had– but for some reason someone did, and that inane notion evolved into the screenplay that would become the movie Blast. Despite it’s bland title, Blast actually has a pretty wacky premise: terrorists have taken the women’s swim team hostage at the Olympic games, and the only one who can stop them is the building’s janitor, a former Tae Kwon Do champion turned alcoholic soiled towel-cleaner-upper. So maybe the next time Justin Bieber decides to pee in a janitor’s bucket he stop and make sure that he’s not disrespecting a former Olympic athlete in desperate need of redemption.

Like most of the entries on this list, the cast of this movie is pretty great: the McClane-ish hero is played by Linden Ashby, who sounds like he’d be a Jane Austen character, but is actually the guy who played Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat. Stepping into the villain role is Andrew Divoff, who played eye-patch guy on LOST. Also, Rutger Hauer appears as a Rutger Hauer-ish type character.

2. Demolition High (1996)

demhigh

Similar to Masterminds, Demolition High is about terrorists seizing a school. Not similar to Masterminds, instead of a former member of the Royal Shakespeare company and a future cast member of one of the greatest television shows of all time, this straight-to-video action movie stars Corey Haim, Alan Thicke, and Dick Van Patten– thus breaking the unwritten rule of Hollywood: that Dick Van Patten and Alan Thicke should never, ever star in an action movie.

Strangely the movie spawned a sequel the following year. Demolition University featured Haim again, plus Robert Forster and SNL’s Larraine Newman. Even stranger still, for some reason, Demolition High was referenced in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. But don’t look for any Assault on Dome 4 references in There Will Be Blood, I’ve already checked.

1. No Contest (1995)

MV5BMTU3Njk2MTUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjUwNTUyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_

With the blank in the phrase “Die Hard in a [blank]” being filled by every conceivable location or mode of transportation imaginable by desperate movie studios, logistically, like an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters, it was inevitable that an executive somewhere would come up with “Beauty Pageant” to fill that blank. Satiating America’s appetite for both gratuitous violence and the mindless objectification of women, No Contest may be the most bizarre riff on the Die Hard template. At the very least, it’s the most bizarrely cast.

Starring in the McClane role, who in No Contest is a beauty pageant host/kickboxer, is Shannon Tweed. Fulfilling the movie’s Gruber-quota, the hostage-taking villain of the film is played by master thespian Andrew Dice Clay. So basically, bearing the dramatic weight of this film is a former Playboy model and a washed-up comedian. To lend some Die Hard-cred to the film is Robert Davi, who played Agent Johnson (one of them) in the actual Die Hard. You know, the one not set at a beauty pageant. In fact, the movie’s poster makes it seem as though he’s the star, even though he plays the cop on the outside, along with Andrew Dice Clay– this is like putting Hans and Al together on the poster for Die Hard.

Surprisingly, like Demolition High, a sequel to this movie was made in quick succession. No Contest II stars Shannon Tweed and Lance Henriksen… which mainly just makes me feel bad for Lance Henriksen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles, List

Episode 124- DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE

DHWAV

With Christmas just around the corner, and a past history of discussing Die Hard movies during the holidays, late November seems like a good time to talk about the decidedly non-Christmas-centric Die Hard With a Vengeance. We loved it when we were kids, but how does it hold up now sandwiched between the two original Die Hard films, and ones that feature Kevin Smith and Russia? To find out, download the link below, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes! And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Episode 124- DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

3 Comments

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 88- UNDER SIEGE

under

This week on the show, we discuss the 1992 film Under Siege, also known as Die Hard on a boat, also known as the movie where Steven Seagal knife-fights Tommy Lee Jones. We loved it when we were kids, but how does it hold up now? Why is Steven Seagal the worst cook/Navy Seal ever? Is there anything scarier than Gary Busey in drag? Why didn’t Tommy Lee Jones employ the tie-dye t-shirt, bandana-headband look in any of his other movies (Lincoln, I’m looking at you)? To hear us answer these questions and more download the link below, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes! And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Episode 88- UNDER SIEGE

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

BONUS EPISODE: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

Bonus Episode: A Good Day to Die Hard

We talk about Die Hard a lot on this show, so it seems only fitting we discuss the latest installment in the franchise, Die Hard V: Mission to Moscow… err, I mean, A Good Day to Die Hard. Did we like it, or did we agree with the rest of the world? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out! Download the link below, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes! And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

BONUS EPISODE: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 67- DIE HARD 2

dh2!

Christmas is the time of year when we all celebrate the birth of John McClane, so what better way to kick off a month of seasonally-themed podcasts than to discuss Die Hard 2 (sometimes subtitled Die Harder). The second installment of what used to be a trilogy (now it’s more of a long-winded Rocky-style franchise), Die Hard 2 finds McClane battling an evil Colonel gone rogue (Willam Sadler) and a surly Scrooge of an airport cop (Dennis Franz) while his wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) is stuck on an airplane that might crash at any moment with that guy who hates Bill Murray.

We loved it as kids, but does it hold up now? Is that John Leguizamo playing a henchman? Does William Sadler have a nice singing voice? What was it like at Nakatomi Corporation after the events of Die Hard? To hear us answer these questions and more, download the link below, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes! And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Episode 67- DIE HARD 2

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

4 Comments

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 19- DIE HARD

Happy DIE HARD day! Or, in other words, Merry Christmas! A lot of people don’t consider DIE HARD to be a Christmas movie, but we here at Rewatchabilty believe it deserves its place among classics such as Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. What makes John McTiernan’s 1988 blockbuster a Christmas film, not merely a film set at Christmas, is the redemptive story of John McClane– McClane’s Christmas Eve transformation, from selfish lout to courageous hero, is reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ immortal story The Muppet Christmas Carol… I mean, A Christmas Carol.

There’s no doubt about it, DIE HARD is as Christmasy as Egg Nog, Rudolph, and Bing Crosby making awkward small-talk with David Bowie. It’s one of the best movies ever, and anyone who thinks otherwise should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart! Yippie-Kay-Yay, and Merry Christmas!

Episode 19- DIE HARD

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts