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Top 14 Fake Movies from Real Movies

You love movies? So do the people who make movies. Sometimes, they love movies so much, they make other movies within the movies. And sometimes those faux movies look so great, you wish they were real.

Well, get your fake popcorn popped, because below the staff of ‘reviews’ 14 of our favorite fake films from real films (and one sitcom). They don’t exist, but that makes them all the better.

The Mutants of 2051 AD (from Strange Brew): A surprisingly taut Mad Max 2 (a.k.a. The Road Warrior) clone, The Mutants of 2051 AD is a post-apocalyptic thriller with battered wastelands and menacing machinery. Taking place ten years after the nuclear holocaust of World War 4, the film finds its lone hero (Bob McKenzie), an astronaut in surreally high-tech garb, returning to Earth hell bent on destroying the ‘genetic freaks’ rampaging through the Forbidden Zone. While much of Mutants is told in voice over, clearly a stylistic device, the film is quite daring in its low-key and, at times, low-budget approach to the admittedly well-traveled material. It is truly a shame that only a few minutes of the film remain after its initial, celebrated screening. (Keith Breese)

Angels with Filthy Souls (from Home Alone): Birthed from the golden era of film noir, Angels with Filthy Souls is a classic tale of betrayal. ‘Snakes’ is a man just trying to do his job when he ends up in the middle of a power struggle between local mob bosses Johnny and Acey. Too bad for Snakes, Acey ain’t in charge no more. Johnny turns on Snakes and pays him in cold, hard lead. Angels with Filthy Souls slings hard-ass mobster dialogue and pumps enough brutal violence into its audience to scare a nine year-old, a pizza delivery guy, and two cowardly crooks looking for their own ’10 percent.’ (Jason Morgan)

Fake Purse Ninjas (from Bowfinger): You see megastar Kit Ramsey in another alien picture, and you generally know what to expect. And then, out of nowhere, you get Chubby Rain, a pastiche of DIY special effects, gritty one-take guerilla filmmaking, wicked car chases, outlandish catchphrases (‘Got you, SUCKAAAS!’), and outrageous live stunts (pulled off by Ramsey’s brother Jiff). After Rain‘s smashing success, you knew that producer/director Bobby Bowfinger would pull out all the stops for his big-budget debut, the martial arts epic Fake Purse Ninjas. Those fashion pirates don’t stand a chance. (Eric Meyerson)
MANT (from Matinee): Lawrence Woolsey’s Mant is a classic ’50s monster film that lives up to its notorious tag line: ‘Half man… Half ant… All terror!’ Filmed in Atom-o-vision, the film is terrifying indeed. While undergoing dental x-rays, everyman Bill is transformed into an ‘ant man’ (a look clearly replicated for the hit 1958 film The Fly). Looking monstrous but still human inside, Bill is trapped in a netherworld of human-insect horror. Can his marriage survive his hideous transformation? Will the inhuman ant part of his nature get the better of him? What will happen when Bill grows into a 20-foot long ant? Filled with brilliant performances, stunning B&W cinematography, and believable creature effects, Mant is truly a matinee masterpiece. (Keith Breese)

The Dancing Cavalier (from Singin’ in the Rain): Yes, it’s those romantic lovers of the screen, Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) and Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), in their first musical picture together, The Dancing Cavalier. Don plays a stagehand, who, after getting knocked out by a sandbag, imagines himself a French aristocrat. Lina’s a simple girl of the people and she won’t even give him a tumbrel. Romance and adventure are in the air, culminating in a rousing, modern-dress Broadway ballet with Don as a rising young hoofer who forsakes his talent for the eye-melting Technicolor of The Great White Way. Don’t worry. If you can’t quite visualize it, you can at least see it on film first. (Paul Brenner)

Nation’s Pride (from Inglourious Basterds): One of the rarest propaganda films of the 20th century, Nation’s Pride (Stolz der Nation) uses one Nazi’s brutal act as a battle cry for a cause that would soon be lost. Fredrick Zoller stars as himself, recreating his now infamous act of singlehandedly mowing down dozens of Allied forces within one week. Director Alois von Eichberg combines images stolen from Eisenstein with a relentless style that keeps bullets flying almost non-stop. The grand irony of Nation’s Pride is that Goebbels commissioned it to symbolize Nazi strength, yet the movie contributed to the takedown of the entire Nazi party. (Norm Schrager)

Heart and Pearls (from Sherlock, Jr.): A girl’s father has his safe robbed of a valuable pearl necklace by his slippery butler and a slipperier ‘sheik.’ But their nefarious plans are dashed with the arrival of ‘the world’s greatest detective — Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton). Sherlock knows immediately who the culprits are and thieves are shaking in their boots, particularly when a jury-rigged game room of death designed to kill Sherlock fails to annihilate the mighty detective. The next day, ‘the mastermind had completely solved the mystery– with the exception of locating the missing pearls and finding the thief.’ In this world of surrealist reality, Sherlock Jr. easily gets the girl and they paddle away in his car as they sink slowly into the river. In a non-sequitur ending, a loving couple embrace and kiss as the film dissolves to the couple bouncing children on their knees. But that en
ding is for another film and another reality. (Paul Brenner)

Coming Up Daisy (from Burn After Reading): Having conquered the works of Stan Lee, Leo Tolstoy, and Sun Myung Moon, virtuoso director Sam Raimi now turns his attention to Cormac McCarthy, whose little-known chick-lit period produced the marvelous Coming Up Daisy. Dermot Mulroney plays Hogarth Finkston, an uptight financial lawyer with no time for love. Claire Danes is the daughter of one of his clients — a free-spirited young woman with a passion for climbing trees. Though she causes all manner of wacky hijinks in Finkston’s office, her knockabout ways soon teach him the real meaning of love. When her father uses her cold feet to tear the couple apart, they find that living in trees isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in a climax that certainly won’t make you want to go home and put a gun in your mouth. (Rob Vaux)

Barbed Wire Frontier (from The Stunt Man): Though plagued by reports of on-set accidents and a cavalier attitude towards the safety of his crew, director Eli Cross turns in an astonishing vision of World War I. A British POW escapes a German camp, and is forced to make his way through hostile territory by any means necessary. On the way, he finds allies and enemies alike, painting a broad tapestry of a society in chaotic upheaval. Nina Franklin helms a stalwart cast (silencing rumors that she slept with the director for the part), and what the film lacks in historical accuracy, it makes up for with the white-knuckle stuntwork… so intense that one wonders how no one was killed in the filming. (Rob Vaux)

Machete (from Grindhouse): Danny Trejo, the much admired ‘baddest MOFO on the planet’ shoots and slashes his way through writer/director Robert Rodrigez’s unforgettable saga of a Mexican-American assassin-for-hire who’s double-crossed by the venal senator who’s hired him for a hit. But when you ‘f–k with the wrong Mexican,’ there’s going to be infierno to pay. Equally talented with a motorcycle-mounted machine gun and a shiny arsenal of machetes cleverly concealed in a menacing trench coat, Machete takes merciless revenge on the entire state of Texas as the all-star supporting cast (Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Tito Larriva) cowers in a mix of abject fear and grudging admiration. You’ll be left with the memory of Machete’s ravaged visage scowling at a world that can never understand him, a world that has clearly done him wrong. Bloody justice — and beautiful women — will be his. (Don Willmott)

Habeas Corpus (from The Player): In an ugly, brooding universe where the only light is that which escapes Julia Roberts’ pleading eyes, to stand accused of murder is to stand in peril. Framed for a killing, abandoned by her family, and committed to die in the gas chamber of a vengeful State, Roberts’ stunning portrayal of desperate stoicism is sadly interrupted by a gimmicky, tacked-on ending that was probably worth another $50 million in box office. One can only suspect studio meddling. (Eric Meyerson)

Who Dat Ninja? (from 30 Rock): I have to admit, I walked into Who Dat Ninja? expecting yet another big-budget, no-talent vehicle for overrated megastar Tracy Jordan. Little did I expect the revelation of a hidden depth heretofore concealed under pancaked make-up (Black Cop/White Cop, Honky Grandma Be Trippin’) or mildly racist caricature (President Homeboy, A Blaffair to Rememblack). Who Dat Ninja? not only explores the issues facing the modern ninja in society, but unflinchingly depicts the challenges an African-American must confront in the surprisingly intolerant world of the stealthy-but-lethal arts. The plot doesn’t make much sense, but it doesn’t have to. Jordan’s emotional performance carries the film. The most heartbreaking moment arrives when (spoiler alert!) Jordan reveals that he never learned how to read, just how to rip a man’s heart out using only his feet. If Jordan is not nominated for Best Actor for his performance in this film, it will be a crime (although perfectly understandable given what happened at last year’s Oscars — we all pray for Mr. Spacey’s swift recovery). (David Thomas)

Gandhi II (from UHF): If there can be a sequel to Baby Geniuses, then why not Sir Richard Attenborough’s esteemed bio-pic? Leave it to ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic to show us the way. This time the great man isn’t a passive resistance practicing beacon of peace, but a bad-ass with a street-smart, punch-first attitude. Whether repeatedly slamming a thug’s head against his sexy sports car or fending off the advances of street toughs with extreme prejudice, he’s clearly a man you don’t cross. After all, the narrator intones, ‘There’s only one law… His law.’ (Pete Croatto)

Simple Jack (from Tropic Thunder): Sylvester Stallone had Rhinestone. Bill Murray had The Razor’s Edge. Take a lesson, movie stars: When you stray from what you do best, you usually get unredeemable crap like Simple Jack. Action mega-hero Tugg Speedman, taking a break from the billion-dollar Scorcher franchise, slaps on some wacky buck teeth and talks faux-wisdom with the animals. Stuntacular cameos aside (Is that Tom Cruise in drag as his aunt Lucretia?), Jack is no Rain Man, and you don’t get an automatic Oscar nom just for playing disabled. Anyone unfortunate enough to watch it on their next flight to Vietnam will deeply regret Speedman’s decision to go ‘full retard.’ (Eric Meyerson)

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