Somehow — and I don’t know legally how this has happened — there are several films that outright use the Purge as their plot. I understand how the parodies happen but there’s one movie that. just can’t figure out how no one was sued.
Then again, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Universal, Platinum Dunes Productions and James DeMonaco have finally put an end to a four-year-old lawsuit that alleged the horror smash The Purge was ripped off from another writer. On Friday, the parties informed a California court that the case was being dropped after a settlement.
Douglas Jordan-Benel brought the lawsuit alleging the film — about an annual 12-hour period where all crime is legal — derived from his screenplay called Settler’s Day. As the plaintiff navigated one hurdle after another in litigating his copyright and breach of contract claims, The Purge spawned sequels and a TV series. Jordan-Benel stated in court papers that the plot of both works was “virtually identical” and in his complaint, the plaintiff focused on the submission of his script to the UTA talent agency, which also represents DeMonaco.”
After a four-year case, the article goes on to reveal certain documents suggested that DeMonaco’s script may have predated Jordan-Benel’s. Then, a huge fight broke out over whether there was any evidence tampering, which led to Jordan-Benel gaining great access to early versions of The Purge screenplay and emails. There was a settlement and the notice of the dismissal was unusually specific and favorable to DeMonaco, with the court stating, “In light of information produced in discovery demonstrating Defendant James DeMonaco’s independent creation of The Purge, Plaintiff has agreed to dismiss his lawsuit with prejudice, in exchange for a waiver by Defendants of any claim for an award of fees and costs.”
Here are the movies that came after and how they relate to the original films:
Meet the Blacks (2016): Directed by Deon Taylor, who wrote this with Nicole DeMasi, Meet the Blacks finds that family — led by Carl (Mike Epps) — getting out of Chicago after stealing some money from drug kingpin Key Flo (Charlie Murphy in his last role). Once settling in Beverly Hills, Mike and his wife Lorena (Zulay Henao) and kids Allie Black (Bresha Webb) and Carl Jr. (Alex Henderson) discover that they ended up in town at the absolute worst time. Yes, they’re here on the day of The Purge.
The best joke is that George Lopez is President El Bama, but hey, Paul Mooney is also a Klan member, plus Mike Tyson, Tyrin Turner and Perez Hilton are in this too. It’s not exactly great, but the fact that this movie just outright uses The Purge is pretty audacious. If the racial issues of the first few movies were too under the surface for you — they are not — this movie goes all out.
Not to be outdone, Taylor and most of the cast returned for The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2, which is literally Fright Night with Katt Williams as a pimp version of Jerry Dandrige. Maybe this was the movie that Herschell Walker was really watching?
Evil At the Door (2022): For almost a hundred years, The Locusts have treated their followers to one night — three hours — where they can do anything they want to a selected home and any of the people they find inside. The Locusts have selected the home of Daniel (Matt O’Neill, Candy Corn) and Jessica (Sunny Doench, Coffin). Complicating matters is that there may be a Locust who isn’t on the same side as everyone else, plus Jessica’s sister Liz (Andrea Sweeney Blanco) is hiding under the bed trying to escape.
Like a combination of The Strangers and The Purge, the film begins with John Doe (Bruce Davison, who has nearly 300 credits, but may be best known for being in X-Men as Senator Kelly; you may also recognize him from The Lords of Salem or The Crucible) invites the cult’s member to initiate the Night of the Locusts.
A family that barely gets along being surrounded by four cult members who can get away with anything that happens. Great set-up, right? Yes, it is. The execution — CGI stabbings instead of practical effects and costumes that look like the Wish version of Ghost from Call of Duty — take away the good will that the opening created.
Fans of TV’s Dynasty and The Colbys will, at least, be happy to see John James (Jeff Colby!) show up. His next movie is My Son Hunter, playing President Biden. It’s directed by Robert Davi and stars Gino Carano so…
Director, writer, producer, editor and one of the actors — he’s Truman — Kipp Tribble did more than just two or three things on this movie. I wish that he could have followed up on pieces he set in motion. That said, he’s figured out how to pull this movie together with a small crew and a low budget.
The Binge (2020): Directed by Jeremy Garelick and written by Jordan VanDina, The Binge is about a world where no one can drink or do drugs except for 12 hours, once a year, just like…yeah, you got it. This follows the adventures of Griffin (Skyler Gisondo), Hags (Dexter Darden) and Andrew (Eduardo Franco), three guys who have just turned eighteen and are now eligible to take part of America’s one part day of pleasure.
Griffin is in love with Lena (Grace Van Dien), whose father (Vince Vaughn) is the overprotective principal of their school. Of course he ends up being an old partier and everyone is happy, yet a 2020 drug movie has none of the wacky ramshackle charm of Cheech and Chong, its plot as manufactured as the scientifically grown weed. You know where the highs are coming from, but some of those old bags of comedic hash sometimes could give you the kind of laughs that stay with you for the rest of your life. This is not that strain.
The Binge 2: It’s A Wonderful Binge (2022): Hulu has bought another The Binge film and set it at Christmas and man, we hit the algorithm right on this week. Directed and written by Jordan VanDina, this year’s Binge comes during the holidays, which seems like when it should always be if you can only drink and do drugs for 12 hours a year.
Hags (Dexter Darden) is trying to stay sober so that he can propose to his girlfriend Sarah (Zainne Saleh) while his friend Andrew (Eduardo Franco) wants to use all those powders, pills, drinks and smokes to get through the time he has to spend with his family. All while Mayor Spengler (Kaitlin Olsen) is trying to get her town — and her daughter Kimmi (Marta Piekarz) to end The Binge just as her brother Kris (Nick Swardson) escapes from prison.
It’s nice to see Tim Meadows, Danny Trejo and Paul Scheer get some work, but this movie seems like a child who has just learned to swear or worse, a college kid who comes back home for Christmas obsessed with smoking grass. It tries — the animated part is kind of humorous — but I just know we’re going to get a third one. And you know me. I’m going to sit through it.
2025: Red White and Blue (2022): I get the urge to purge a The Purge ripoff from your system, but how can you make a parody that’s 2 hours and 15 minutes long?
In the year 2025, the 45th President of the United States of America — look, this is automatically the most horrifying film of the year just with the rest of this sentence — gets back in the White House, restarts the Purge, rebuilds the wall and gets ready to Make America Safe Again.
Bill Wilson (Grid Magraf), agent of FIRE (Forest and Immigration Raking Enforcement), is two weeks from returning, getting too old for this excrement and has just finished the bust of his life taking down a Mexican drug cartel. However, some dirty agents want the evidence and plan on using The Purge to get it from his house.
This is an equal opportunity movie, making fun of Biden as a pedophile, Trump as a man reduced to filming The Apprentice and urinating online for hits and liberals maybe even more devoted to murder than the right wing gun owners they argue against. There’s something for everyone to be offended by here, mostly that this takes so long and can get away with outright being a Purge movie despite it being made by anyone other than Blumhouse.
You can watch this on Tubi.
Am I missing any more Purge-inspired ripoffs? Let me know!
I mean, one can argue that The Purge was ripped off from “The Return of the Archons,” an episode of the classic Star Trek.
This is not a test.
This is your emergency broadcast system announcing the commencement of the Annual Purge sanctioned by the U.S. Government.Weapons of class 4 and lower have been authorized for use during the Purge. All other weapons are restricted. Government officials of ranking 10 have been granted immunity from the Purge and shall not be harmed. Commencing at the siren, any and all crime, including murder, will be legal for 12 continuous hours. Police, fire, and emergency medical services will be unavailable until tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. when The Purge concludes. Blessed be our New Founding Fathers and America, a nation reborn.
May God be with you all.