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Pairs of Suspiciously Similar Movies

Most movies these days are carbon copies of ones that came out within the last twenty years, but there was a time when studios would race to release the same fucking movies, albeit with a different lead, character name or title…barely.

On April 10th, Observe and Report opens, and will be the second mall cop movie released within a few months.  We’re not saying it’s a knockoff of Paul Blart at all.  But it’s another example of the Hollywood tradition for competing studios to release two eerily familiar movies right around the same time of year.

Some say both films benefit from the timing. Some say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. You be the judge of which flicks deserve the compliment.

Screen Junkies presents – in convenient chronological order, no less:



Turner & Hooch vs. K-9

Release Date Difference:
Believe it or not, K-9 was released 3 months before Turner & Hooch.

The (Same) Plot:
A California policeman teams up with lovable pooch to take down evil crime ring. Lieutenant Dog is shot protecting their new best friend, Detective Human.

The Kicker:
Hooch dies. Jerry Lee (K-9) lives.

The Principals:

Director: Roger Spottiswoode (Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot) for Turner & Hooch and Rod Daniel (Teen Wolf) for K-9.

Stars: Tom Hanks plays Turner, the neat freak detective who comes to love Hooch’s carefree ways. James Belushi plays Michael Dooley–ill-tempered, fussy detective.

The Victor:

Turner & Hooch.

Sure, K-9 was first, and had a happy ending (plus, arguably, the cooler dog), but T’n'H had Tom Hanks in his pre-Jesus-decodifying, pre-European accent days. Charisma, thy name isn’t Belushi. At least, not James Belushi.

1989… again

Leviathan vs. Deep Star Six

Release Date Difference:

Deep Star by a nose – 2 months.

The (Same) Plot:

Contracted deep sea crew discovers ravenous fish-monster with taste for human flesh. After almost everyone dies, the rest decide to hot-foot it out of the deep blue sea, only to be attacked by the sea creature once again when they reach the surface.

The Principals:

Director: George P. Cosmatos (Tombstone, Rambo: First Blood Part II) for Leviathan; Sean S. Cunningham (the original Friday the 13th) for Deep Star Six.

Stars: Peter Weller, aka Robocop, in Leviathan.  Taurean Blacque in Deep Star Six. Who? I dunno, some guy.

The Victor:

Leviathan. Barely.

The cast outshines Deep Star Six (despite a brief role from Matt McCoy of Police Academy 6: City Under Siege fame). Deep Star Six holds water over Leviathan for the most impactful scene – which they pretty much ruined by making it their poster.

More Suspiciously Similar Movies at ScreenJunkies.