10 Foreign Action Movies That Had a Major Influence on Western Pop Culture

Hollywood may be the largest film producer in the world, but it doesn’t deserve all the credit. Sure, many filmmakers often film, write and release their films in western countries like the US, Canada and the UK, but their inspiration has to come from somewhere.

RELATED: 10 Ridiculous Action Movies Who Know They’re RidiculousIn fact, many aspects of western pop culture have been inspired by films from other countries around the world. Whether through internet fame, brilliant innovation, or just being inspired by Hollywood filmmakers, many action films have served as building blocks for what pop culture is today.


“Who killed Captain Alex?” (Uganda, 2010)

Who Killed Captain Alex? is Uganda’s first action film. Although the film may seem awful at first glance, many have stated that they found the film genuinely entertaining. Directed by Nabwana IGGthe film gained popularity on the internet as a no-budget action film.

The film might be short and rather ridiculous, but the attention it garnered through internet memes allowed the filmmakers to cash in quite a bit from the film. Many say he’s entertaining because he doesn’t take himself too seriously and it really shows Nabwana IG G’s passion for filmmaking. Hell, he even sold almost everything he owned just to buy himself a camera and a computer to shoot and edit. Most of the actors were even volunteers from his village. Ultimately, the film really shows that it’s a man’s dream project and his love of films, which makes it feel more authentic and real, if at all. And let’s face it, some Hollywood movies could use a little more of that.

“Lady Snowblood” (Japanese, 1973)

You’ve probably already seen the influence Mrs. Snowblood created, even if you don’t know it yet. This Japanese samurai movie focuses on a young woman who seeks revenge on the people who killed her father and brother. Many cinephiles don’t know this, but the female assassin plot of Mrs. Snowblood was the primary inspiration behind it Quentin Tarantino kill Bill movies. cast and crew of kill Bill were even forced to watch the film during breaks.

Aside from being the basis for a well-loved film, Mrs. Snowblood is also present in other media. For example, reference is made to scenes from the film Post Malone‘s “Rockstar” music video.

‘District B13’ (France, 2004)

District B13 Stars of French actors and athletes David Belle while pulling off some pretty wild stunts. The film helped kickstart a massive subculture commonly known as parkour. It was the film’s infamous freerunning chase scene that inspired many young athletes to emulate the film’s stunts, leading to the birth of modern freerunning as we know it.

It may not be the only major influence on parkour, but it’s certainly one of the biggest. Now parkour is present in all forms of media, from video games such as mirror edge (2008) to films like tracers (2015).

“The Raid” (Indonesia, 2011)

The raid is probably the most popular Indonesian film of all time. It won seven awards from different countries and was nominated for almost a dozen more. The film actually grossed more internationally than in its country of origin, grossing $9 million overseas but only $1.8 million in Indonesia. In 2013, the film was the UK’s best-selling foreign language film on home video.

The film was so successful that a sequel was released in 2014. In January 2022, it was also announced that an American remake was in the works, which would premiere on Netflix and be directed by both Patrick Hughes and Michael Bay.

“The Infamous Bastards” (Italy, 1978)

Does the title sound familiar to you? Well it should. If it wasn’t already clear, this film served as the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s historical fiction about World War II, Inglorious Basterds (2009). While Tarantino’s version is not a full remake, it draws heavily on the Italian film and references it on numerous occasions.

Ironically, the Italian film is actually a loose remake in and of itself, this time the Hollywood film The dirty dozen (1967). Even so, it was the Italian film that inspired Tarantino, not the original, so the former still managed to influence western cinema.

‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ (China, 2000)

Crouching tiger, hidden dragon is a Chinese film directed by a Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee. The film was the first foreign language film to gross $100 million in the United States. A few years later there was even a sequel. But the main reason it impacted western media was because it allowed Ang Lee to break into American cinema.

Lee ended up directing some pretty incredible American films, such as Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life of Pi: Shipwreck with Tiger (2012). Both films were critically acclaimed, with Life of Pi: Shipwreck with Tiger extremely innovative as it used to be considered “unfilmable” due to the environment the film is set in.

‘District 9’ (South Africa, 2009)

district 9 is a unique sci-fi film about alien invasion. What makes it different from the others is that the aliens aren’t on Earth voluntarily, they simply end up there because their mothership isn’t working properly. It’s also shot in a very unique style as the first half of the film is a sort of mockumentary showing humans interacting with the aliens and locking them up in camps so they can be studied. It’s a nice contrast to a lot of Alien movies in Hollywood, where the human reaction is to blow up everything on screen once the aliens arrive.

The second half of the film plays more like an action flick, with the explosions and gunfire that many sci-fi fans have come to expect. Produced by Peter Jackson, district 9 acted as director Neil Blomkamp‘s feature film debut and his big break in Hollywood, which allowed him to move on to bigger projects such as Elysium (2013). It is also rumored that there will be a sequel too district 9 possibly in development.

‘Hardcore Henry’ (Russia, 2015)

hardcore henry is one of the wildest and most ridiculous action movies ever made. It’s also one of the most innovative films of all time. The reason it stood out was its gimmick: the entire film is shot from the first-person perspective, almost like a video game.

With versions in Russian and English, hardcore henry features some pretty intense action scenes from the protagonist’s perspective, making it a non-stop thrill from start to finish. It set the stage for other first-person feature films to be made.

‘Karate Girl’ (Turkiye, 1974)

karate girl is a Turkish martial arts film that was met with critical acclaim upon its release. But that didn’t stop the internet from appreciating it in all its glory. The film rose to fame when a viral video titled “Worst Death Scene Ever” was uploaded to YouTube, depicting the painstakingly slow death of the film’s villain with dramatic screams that were over-edited.

The video quickly became an internet meme and has been viewed millions of times on YouTube. Despite being the butt of many jokes, the popularity of the hilarious clip prompted many more to watch the full film, which is just as absurd as the clip. It’s now widely regarded as one of those “so-bad-it-good” movies.

“The Man from Nothing” (South Korea, 2010)

The man from nowhere was South Korea’s highest-grossing film of 2010, and with good reason. It was very well received not only in South Korea but also in the US and Canada. Originally its western release was limited to one theater in the US, but when it grossed over $35,000 it was expanded to nineteen different theaters across North America where it went on to gross half a million dollars at the box office.

The film received dozens of awards from Korean and international organizations alike. He won seven awards at the 2010 Korean Film Awards alone. With the title, it was even remade for Bollywood in 2016 Rock handsome. Additionally, Dimension Films acquired the rights to the film in 2012, and in 2020 it was announced that an American remake would be produced by Chad Stahelskiwho also directed John Wick (2014).

READ MORE: 10 underrated action movies of the 2010s

https://collider.com/foreign-action-movies-that-influenced-hollywood/ 10 Foreign Action Movies That Had a Major Influence on Western Pop Culture

Sarah Ridley

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