Mockbusters: Riding Hollywood’s Cash Train With A Forged Ticket

On May 17, 2014 by Tim Newman

Mockbusters - Transformers Transmorphers

A mockbuster is a film made at about the same time as a big budget film with a similar title and ethos. It’s an attempt to ride on the wave of the big bucks feature, flirting with copyright infringement and plagiarism laws.

I’ve collected a few examples of these low cost direct to DVD (D2D) mockbuster titles for entertainment purposes only. I’m not suggesting you go an watch any of them, and remember, piracy is a crime.

Mockbusters aren’t a new phenomenon, but they seem to have multiplied in recent years thanks to more affordable filming and editing equipment. Some early examples are Star Wars which had a number of these mockbusters including Starcrash and Battle Beyond the Stars; and Gremlins which spawned Hobgoblins.

Star Wars vs Star Crash

Gremlins vs Hobgoblins

The makers hope that someone in a hurry will run into Our Price (or wherever the kids go these days) and think they’ve bought Snakes on a Plane but actually they’ve picked up a copy of Snakes on a Train. To be quite frank with you, if someone makes that mistake they deserve to watch the film in full for being so unobservant. It will teach them a valuable life lesson.

Mockbusters - Snakes on a plane and train Mockbusters - Jurassic Shark

As you can imagine, anyone trying to get a cut of Hollywood’s fattest cat’s pyjamas is going to be in for a bit of trouble if they go too far. Movie business behemoths do not take kindly to the idea of sharing, but on the other hand the mockbuster guys try not to break the law, just tickle it. But they do sail pretty darned close the to those tempestuous winds of illegality.

Up vs What's Up

If something isn’t a direct copy then it’s pretty tricky to sue, but Disney had a pop when its film Brave was hammed up and spewed out as Braver. In general these films don’t trick people though, mockbusters have a cult fan base of people who enjoy watching them to rip the mickey out of them. If Disney loses a couple of tupences because of one of these jokey wood fests – good.

Mockbusters - brave braver

Mockbusters - Brave and Braver


Pretty funny hey? Plenty more on the next page, including Almighty Thor and The DaVinci Treasure


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