Movie Feature

The 'Hunger-To-Rip-Off' Games

By Tay Yek KeakMovies - 26 March 2012 7:00 PM | Updated 10:21 AM

The 'Hunger-To-Rip-Off' Games

Katniss Averdeen looking back at past movies for inspiration before heading into The Hunger Games.

It's the biggest film right now. The hunger is on. A bunch of guys and gals are put into a survival-of-the- fittest competition to kill each other until one survivor remains.

Oh, we know you're playing this game in your cutthroat office everyday, but you probably didn't copy as many previous movies as 'The Hunger Games'. Fans of the trilogy book series will probably tell you that this slick chick action flick - stay tuned for Parts II and III - is damn happening, real cool, stays true to the book, and so on and so forth.

But fans of movies in general will be able to spot the copycat moments of this nasty catfight thingy. See if you can spot all of them.


Youths kill each other for survival

Ripped off from:  'Battle Royale' (2000)

'The Hunger Games''Battle Royale'

As punishment for a past rebellion, every year in what was once North America, the capital city of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games.  They must kill each other in the jungle until only one survivor remains.

In a sadistic future, the Japanese government selects a class of teenage students and forces them to kill each other within three days under the revolutionary "Battle Royale" act. 

Verdict: LOSE

Dude, have you seen 'Battle Royale'?  First, it’s got the hot crazy chick, Chiaki Kuriyama, who fought Uma Thurman in 'Kill Bill'.  Second, the kids really nail each other with guns, knives, bombs JBG-style (that’s Japanese Blood & Gore, not a pop group).  Compared to 'Battle Royale', 'Hunger Games' looks bloody Disney-fied with its soft-focus, can’t-see-clearly, PG-rated kill scenes.      


Televised game where only the ratings matter

Ripped off from: 'The Running Man' (1987)

'The Hunger Games'

'The Running Man'

The Hunger Games are a nationally televised, ratings-mad event filled with pomp, pageantry, cruelty and blood lust in which the various districts cheer for their representatives. 

In 2017, America has turned into a totalitarian state where the government pacifies the people by broadcasting a game show called The Running Man.  Convicts – called “runners” – fight for their lives by fleeing from gladiators specially trained to kill them.

Verdict: WIN

'Hunger Games' is way better cos it’s not 1980s-cheesy like 'The Running Man' (it’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, bro), plus its set-up is far cleverer.  'Running Man' was a cash-in on the entertainment-frenzy culture of the day.  Boy, if they could only know the insane 24-hour anything-goes cycle now.      


Lethal babe with bow and arrow

Ripped off from:  'Hanna' (2011)

'The Hunger Games''Hanna'

The Hunger Games: A battle royale

The main gal, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), is an expert archer.

Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), a 16-year-old introvert, is raised by her father to be the perfect assassin.  She’s adept at killing in all kinds of ways, particularly with a bow and arrow.  

Verdict: WIN

Saoirse Ronan was among the many actresses who auditioned to be arrow girl Katniss Everdeen.  But Lawrence, who looked wrong as the plump Mystique in 'X-Men: First Class', is a perfect bullseye here, getting you on her side with her brain, humanity and determination.     


Stuff parachuted down from the sky

Ripped off from:  'Predators' (2010)

'The Hunger Games''Predators'

Supporters of the contestants are allowed to help them by sending essential items in containers floating into the jungle via mini parachutes.  Katniss Everdeen is given some kind of miraculous Tiger Balm in this way.  

Adrien Brody and a bunch of hardcore killers are kidnapped and sent to an unknown planet.  They are parachuted down into a jungle hell where very scary Predators hunt them for fun.  

Verdict: LOSE

Man, can anyone really take on the Predator when it comes to Last Sports Freak Standing?  That’s the coolest monster in the coolest challenge around.  Better than any Hunger or Olympic Games.       


Lined up at the start before rushing to grab survival bags

Ripped off from:  'The Amazing Race' (reality TV series)

'The Hunger Games''The Amazing Race'

Right at the start, all 24 would-be killers stand nervously waiting for the countdown to rush for weapons and bags of survival gear.  Many are wiped out in the merciless every-dead-meat-for-himself melee.

Contestants in 'The Amazing Race' do the same super-kiasu thing in rushing for their bags in the first episode of every season.  Except for one little difference – so far nobody has been slashed to death in the show.  

Verdict: WIN

Rushing for your boring old bag in 'The Amazing Race' absolutely cannot beat chiong-ing like a lunatic for the axe, sword, knife or spear before somebody shish-kebabs you up the a** with them.


Viewers outside watch the whole thing on giant screens

Ripped off from:  'The Truman Show' (1998)

'The Hunger Games''The Truman Show'

While the kids are killing each other, the competition is so captivating people throughout the land stand, watch and root for the contestants as if it’s the World Cup. 

Everything about a dude named Truman (Jim Carrey) – from his birth to his family to his ordinary life in an ordinary neighbourhood – is actually one gigantic TV broadcast 24/7.  

Verdict: LOSE

'The Hunger Games' participants know they’re on TV like Kim Kardashian titillating viewers with her giant butt.  Jim Carrey’s Truman dude has no freakin’ idea the camera’s live on him even when he’s peeing in his toilet.  How Big Brother-awesome is that?  


Combo of main star and lame sidekick in a cave  

Ripped off from:  'Yogi Bear' (2010)

'The Hunger Games''Yogi Bear'

Katniss and the fella picked from her district, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), hide in a cave.  She’s 'Xena: Warrior Princess' with her bow and arrow.  He’s so hopeless he can’t even walk due to an injured leg.  They kiss.  

Yogi Bear, who’s “smarter than the average bear”, hangs out in a cave with Boo-Boo.  Yogi can’t keep his itchy, mischievous butt still.  Boo-Boo follows him like a poodle.  They may or may not have kissed.  You figure it out.  

Verdict: WIN

Bro, as much as we love bears, the idea of two teens alone in a cave is more enticing.  If you can, er, “bear” the heat, you can start your own heat, if you know what we mean.  *wink*


Personal styling to look really good for combat

Ripped off from:  'The Devil Wears Prada' (2006)

'The Hunger Games''The Devil Wears Prada'

A good dude (rocker Lenny Kravitz) helps Katniss Everdeen look pretty by styling her appearance, hair and outfits, including a dress that looks like a flaming dragon when she twirls it.

A gay dude (Stanley Tucci) helps suakoo new assistant (Anne Hathaway) by styling her to look supermodel-hot to her dress-b***h boss (Meryl Streep).  Coincidentally, Tucci appears in Hunger Games as a flamboyant TV interviewer.

Verdict: LOSE

Look.  Anne Hathaway turned into an elegant million-dollar princess in The Devil Wears Prada.  Jennifer Lawrence is styled into looking like a gawky Miley Cyrus in her first tacky dress in The Devil Wears Prata.


Woody Harrelson as a crazy person in need of the 3S’s –shave, shower and shrink

Ripped off from:  '2012' (2009), 'Zombieland' (2009), 'No Country For Old Men' (2007)

'The Hunger Games''Woody Harrelson movies'

Harrelson plays Haymitch Abernathy, an alcoholic past-Games winner who grooms Katniss, gives her survival tips and parachutes into the jungle little you-can-make-it Hallmark-type pep messages.    

If you don’t know the weird roles he’s played before, know this – this dude often behaves so stoned he advocates legalising pot and once scored for a celebs’ football team against England without even remembering it.  

Verdict: DRAW

We’ve got to call it even here.  Haymitch Abernathy is fun, his hair is more fun.  Just like so many Wacky Woody characters.