Subterranean Creatures Eat You And Yours

BlackoutHorror movies have been ripping off each other since cavemen filmmakers first picked up a video camera and filmed hockey-masked dinosaurs stalking supermodel cave counselors. Countless are the examples of title, cover art, monster and plot pilfering that permeates the horror/sci-fi realm to the point where no one even tries to hide it anymore. Need a specific precedent? Coke™ / Pepsi™.

But nowhere is plagiarism more prevalent than with the 2009 horror movie Blackout (just now coming out on DVD), in which a series of earthquakes take out the power in an apartment building, thereby releasing a horde of toothy Chupacabra-like creatures into the building’s basement. And because there are no 7-Elevens™ underground (yet), the monsters kill and consume any and everyone who looks delicious. (Before you go out today, make sure you don’t look delicious – just in case the weather report calls for earthquakes.)

Astonishingly, this is almost the exact same plot of five other movies with the same title, released as far back as 1978. Submitted for your approval…

Blackout(THE) BLACKOUT / 1997
A debauched Hollywood movie actor tries to piece together one wild night in Miami which remains a drug-induced blur. He almost figured it out until a tremor released some subterranean creatures into his stylish mansion and they ate him.

An alcoholic who is prone to frequent blackouts (brought about by excessive drinking, duh) gets a wake-up call when his wife decides to leave him and their only child. Before he can rehab it, subterranean creatures, in town for the Earthquake Festival, eat his wife and only child in front of him. Screw sobriety.

BlackoutBLACKOUT / 1978
Four rowdy psychopaths take over and vandalize a ritzy Manhattan apartment building during the New York power blackout, assaulting people’s personal spaces. Pissed off that this movie lifted that part from Death Wish (1974), the subterranean creature’s all time favorite movie, the monsters wait until an fissure opens their door and they go and have a four-course psycho meal.

The explosive story of a forgotten New York neighborhood during the largest power failure in American history. Of course they were forgotten – after unscrewing all the light bulbs in New York, subterranean creatures ate the entire neighborhood. By candlelight.

Three people wind up trapped in an elevator with subterranean creatures. The fun begins when the trapped citizens don’t realize the other passengers are flesh eaters. Going down.

BlackoutAnd Blackout takes it one step further by shoplifting the cover art from Feast (2005), in which a bunch of people in a bar drinking a toast to all their friends who were eaten by subterranean creatures, are attacked by a swarm of flying gargoyles. (Note to reader: The Feast cover art is slightly modified as I flipped it over for illustrative examples. I had to do it to make my point.)

At the end of the day, none of this matters. But what does stick in my craw is that all of these movies blatantly ripped off Blackout, the eighth studio album from the German heavy metal band, The Scorpions, which included the hits “Can’t Live Without You (Since You Were Eaten By Subterranean Creatures)”, “You Give Me All The Subterranean Creatures I Need”, and the made-for-radio, “No Subterranean Creature Like You.”

The Scorpions

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