Sunday, August 16, 2015

At Flashbak: Die Hard on the Tube: Five Times Cult-Television Ripped Off the Bruce Willis Classic

This week at Flashbak, I looked at five of the most blatant cult-TV knock-offs of the Bruce Willis action classic, Die Hard. (1988).

"John McTiernan’s film Die Hard (1988) was, without a doubt, one of the most influential productions of its day. In the years after Bruce Willis -- as John McClane -- defeated Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber in a terrorist-infested skyscraper, the action genre changed shape to imitate the film’s 

crowd-pleasing formula.

What was that formula? 

In short, all Die Hard knock-offs featured the same elements.

These include an isolated location, one cut off from help. 

Similarly, these films feature a hero left to his her own devices in that location, working alone and with only the resources on hand.

And finally, these films always include a gang of villains taking over that location with lots of semi-automatic weapons. The mission of these villains usually involves a heist of some type.

Movie-makers soon gave audiences Die Hard on a battleship (Under Siege [1992]). Die Hard on a jumbo jet (Passenger 57 [1992]), Die Hard on a Train (Under Siege 2: Dark Territory [1994]), Die Hard on a Bus (Speed [1994) and even Die Hard in a sports stadium (Sudden Death [1995]).

At home, cult-television creators promptly took notice of the Die Hard formula’s popularity. Episode-after-episode of genre TV series now rushed to feature a Die Hard episode, bringing the hit film’s formula to the small screen. 

Here are five memorable examples of Die Hard on the Tube."

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