Tagged in: Mad Max

Top 10 Low Budget Movies That Were Huge Hits

Hollywood is well known for lavish projects where costs are hardly an impediment. This however does not hold true for all successful films. There are some low budget movies whose success, positive audience feedback and critical acclaim, resonate till date. Here’s a list of Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits. In spite of going really low on the element of financial expenditure, they all made a grand fortune upon release.
 

Rocky


 

 
Directed by John. G. Avildsen and scripted by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky received a great response from the audience. Starring the fetching and young Stallone, the movie was a light film made within 28 days on a low budget of only $950,000. The movie’s release, in return, fetched mammoth amounts adding up to $225 million. Apart from the financial gains, the movie even won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
 

The Full Monty


 

 
This British comedy with a simple story of six unemployed men who try to make a difference in their lives by forming a striptease act proved to be quite surprise hit at the box office. The movie was made on a budget of $3.5 million, but thanks to its hilarious plot and storyline, the movie generated gross revenue of over $250 million. The Full Monty received critical acclaim, after its release and was the highest grossing film in the United Kingdom, until the grandiose Titanic was released.
 

Saw


 

 
Directed by James Wan, this $1.2 million low budget horror film was made based on the story of two men who are trapped in a bathroom and then given separate instructions via tape recorders to help them escape. The mind numbing horror and gut wrenching details in the movie received a positive reaction from the audience, allowing Saw to garner returns of over $103 million. The movie then became a franchise with seven equally thrilling parts, which were a hit with the audience too.
 

Paranormal Activity


 

 
Created on a budget of a measly $11,000, this movie created a wave of curiosity with its highly unusual yet gripping plot. The movie was originally created as an independent feature and played at film festival screenings in 2007 and a couple of years later, in 2009, the movie was officially released by Paramount Pictures. Paranormal Activity depicts eerie experiences of a young couple, Katie and Micah, who move into a home in the suburbs. Katie claims to be haunted by the presence of an evil spirit in the house, and to further investigate the disturbing occurrences, Micah and Katie carefully set video cameras all over their home. The happenings that follow are grippingly spooky. The movie is worth every second of viewing and rightfully earned over a whopping $193 million worldwide.
 

Napoleon Dynamite


 

 
Jared Hess had created a short film Peluca that was later adapted into a full-length film called Napoleon Dynamite. The protagonist and title role of Napoleon Dynamite was played by actor Jon Heder, who received a meager sum of $1,000 for his exceptional role in the movie. Later, it is said he renegotiated and was given a profit percentage of the movie. The movie was not just made on a restricted budget of $400,000, but was also filmed in a rather cost-friendly location – producer Jeremy Coon’s apartment! It created a new fondness towards the nerd kind and many movies adopted this leitmotif in their making. Napoleon Dynamite grossed $46,140,956 at the worldwide box office.
 

Mad Max


 

 
This larger than life action film was director George Miller’s debut adventure in filmmaking. The actors risked life and limb with the stunts they had to perform in the action sequences and it is said that Miller could only afford one actual leather suit for the movie, the one worn by Mel Gibson and the rest of the gangsters were costumed in pleather or imitation leather. The movie’s budget was tightly set at $400,000, but the profits it made added up to $100 million. Mad Max even entered the Guinness Book of World records for the film with the highest profit-to-cost percentage.
 

The Purge


 

 
In Purge, writer and director James DeMonaco created the perfect plot for a crime thriller horror film. The budget invested in the making of the movie, which hit theaters in 2013, was a meager $3 million. But the reviews and audiences’ response boosted its revenue to a stupendous $89.3 million! With a story that revolves around the high crime rate in America and the government legally sanctioning criminal activities for 12 whole hours, the terror that strikes thereafter is portrayed in a horrifying real manner in the movie. The enthralling dreadfulness of the plot gripped the attention of the audience and not in a pleasant way either!
 

Once


 

 
Once is the love story of two musicians, a street guitarist and a pianist, who fall in love and create a perfect blend of tunes together. The actors, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, are real musicians and have no prior experience in acting. But the work created by them in the movie is astounding and produced in just $150,000, this one created waves among viewers and critics alike. The movie raked in whopping returns of $20,710,513 and also received an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
 

The Blair Witch Project


 

 
The Blair Witch Project is a transfixing horror story of three student filmmakers who mysteriously disappeared in Maryland while on a trip to film a documentary. Their video footage was recovered after a year and the recording is not just eerie but absolutely bloodcurdling! Written and directed by Daniel Myrick, the movie was made on a budget of $60,000. But the massively positive reviews earned the movie its $248 million revenue.
 

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels


 

 
This 1998 British crime comedy gained critical acclaim due to its outstanding hilarious plot. The film is also said to have emerged as the project that made director Guy Ritchie internationally famous. Scripted and directed by Ritchie, the movie tells the story of a heist to rob a smalltime gang. The heist turns comic when the number of gangs, interested in making some easy money by robbing each other, increases. The budget used in the making of the film was $1.35 million, but the revenue it generated worldwide was a phenomenal $28.35 million.
 
All the movies on this list have gone all out to prove the fact that not every successful movie needs to be created with a monstrous budget, a monumental location or a cast of legendary actors. These Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits were appreciated by viewers and critics alike due to their originality and creativity and the fact that they were epics created with a relatively shoestring budget!

 
 

Whatever Happened To Team Bondi?

Half a decade after its release, LA Noire still stands as one of the most interesting, memorable action games ever made. Like an interactive feature length film, LA Noire takes you through the life of detective Cole Phelps, an upstanding member of the Los Angeles Police Department in post world war II era LA. Through the course of the game, players learn more about Phelps as he searches through the murky under dealings of 1950s Los Angeles solving murders, arson cases, and drug shakedowns.

The game’s heavy overtones of film noir, references to the Black Dahlia murders, and numerous other cultural allusions to crime Americana make LA Noire a game very conscious of its roots in the great works of the past, especially genre staples like The Maltese Falcon, L.A. Confidential, and of course, Chinatown.
 
Mixing all of this with a stellar original score produced by brothers Andrew and Simon Hale made LA Noire a critically-acclaimed, blockbuster hit and possibly one of publisher Rockstar Games’ most memorable titles, and that’s a significant statement considering.
 

What’s interesting is that such an iconic, innovative, fantastically detailed love letter to American crime dramas of yesteryear would be made by a developer called Team Bondi, an independent company based out of Australia. The studio was founded by Brendan McNamara, who had been the former Director of Development for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Team Soho Studio in London. McNamara got his chops in game development as a writer and director of the 2002 hit Playstation 2 title The Getaway.
 
LA-Noire

LA Noire proved to be a monumental success for McNamara’s new studio, even being the first game to ever be shown at the Tribeca film festival. But for all the hard work, writing, developing, and marketing that went into LA Noire’s creation and subsequent success, it seemed like Team Bondi as a developer fell sharply out of the public spotlight, right at the height of their debut.
 

LA Noire suffered from numerous development issues over the course of 2006 up to its release in 2011. LA Noire utilized its own custom-built engine which differed from other games published by Rockstar that used a proprietary engine. Overall, some estimate the game took over 50 million dollars to make, and perhaps a few burned bridges, too.
 

Following a release of the game, a group of disgruntled Team Bondi employees created their own website, listing over 100 names of developers who had been left off the credits of the game. Soon after, IGN published an article taking stabs at Team Bondi’s development practices, including slow turnover rates and excessive working hours. Then a series of confidential emails leaked revealing a contentious relationship between the developer and Rockstar.
 

Many Team Bondi employees went on the record to dispel the inflammatory accusations of the IGN article. Although, McNamara himself expressed regret over the difficulties of making the game, but still held high regards for Rockstar, a publisher that stuck it out with the developer to the end. In August 2011, Team Bondi’s intellectual assets were sold over to Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a Sydney-based production company founded by Mad Max director George Miller and producer Byron Kennedy. As for McNamara, he originally had plans to develop a spiritual sequel to LA Noire called Whore of the Orient, which would take place in 1936 Shanghai. The game seems to have fizzled out since 2013, though. As to whether we’ll see an LA Noire 2 is left to speculation, but unfortunately for Team Bondi, the company’s high debut was short lived.

 
 

Raiding The Wastes: A Review Of Mad Max

Gliding through the disparate wastelands of dunes, cliff-side highways and tattered enclaves of raider encampments, Mad Max lets players control the eponymous protagonist as he drives through the game’s impressively-sized and beautifully rendered open-world setting. The emphasis of Mad Max may not be so much on narrative, though. Instead, players receive a gratifying sense of progression through the game’s incredibly deep skill trees, which allow players to achieve an incredible quantity of challenges to unlock new weapons, armor, appearance options, and, of course, customizations for the Magnum Opus, the infamous hemi capable of functioning as a wild nitrous desert buggy or a glorified thunderdome tank, replete with all the necessary weaponry for unrestrained vehicular combat.

Vehicular play is a major element of the game, in fact. At least half of the game’s campaign focuses on driving, which makes sense given the incredible volume of terrain you will end up traversing.
 
It seems that developer Avalanche Studios wanted to create a world where desolation was expressed just as much in the sheer square miles you can explore, as opposed to having a very populated map filled with remnants of past civilization – something you’re more likely to find in Fallout 4’s crowded map.
 

So the wide open space does have an important gameplay function, as many times you’ll find yourself in tense driving battles with stray convoys of raiders. After demolishing your enemies, looting “scrap” (the game’s generic form of post-apocalyptic currency) lets you build up funds to upgrade your character, gear, or car, of which there are an incredible amount of options. There’s also plenty of combat on foot, though. Many times I felt like I was playing a blunter version of Arkham City, as the main crux of combat focuses on raw melee encounters, where any actual skill rests in judiciously timing counter attacks as you bash your way through outnumbered scenarios.
 
MAd-MAx-Fighting

This isn’t something to complain about, necessarily. It’s a combat style that works very well for the Arkham series, so if you enjoy those games, you’ll likely find Mad Max to be a familiar and gratifying experience. The game quickly hits upon a strong stride of explore, conquer, and scrap. Of that, there is nearly fifty hours of fun to binge on, so like so many other big-world games this year (Fallout 4, Witcher 3, MGS 5: The Phantom Pain – to name a few) Mad Max will supply you with plenty to do and plenty of incentive to continue doing it.
 
Mad-MAx-1

The story, however, is perhaps where the game loses its strength, and for simple reasons. For much of the first half of your experience with the game, there simply won’t be much story to chew on. My guess is that the creators intended the first twenty hours of gameplay to focus on just that – gameplay. Yet as you settle into the rhythm of raiding the wastelands, you do start to wonder just what it is you’re looking for. Narrative motives are important for keeping a game from feeling anemic, particularly in these kinds of games, where gameplay is as ample and lengthy as trying to read a George R.R. Martin novel.
 

When the story does pick up the pace, you notice that initial deficiency even more. As much as gamers love gameplay, giving them a sense of purpose is important. Incentivizing everything through endless upgrades works well for a sense of reward, but not necessarily purpose. This is probably why the second half of the game works so well as the story finally hits its stride, and when it does become more noticeable, you start to wonder if other gamers gave up before the going finally got good.
 
Mad-Max-2

Besides the excitement of the main questlines’ climactic moments, I feel like the game’s setting will always remain its greatest strength. Here, cruising through the game’s world, I really got a sense of just how much detail and effort was put into making the world varied and interesting within each region. It also should be mentioned that Mad Max is a beautiful game to experience on the PC, technically speaking. While I encountered a few graphical hiccups here and there, the game was noticeably well-optimized with a competent UI for tweaking its visual settings. Running on a medium-level SLI configuration, I was able to turn up the game to ultra, with only a few noticeable frame rate drops when things got busy on screen. Depth of view and the sheer quality of the game’s physics were noticeable gems to the experience, and oftentimes I found myself having just as much fun playing car stuntman with the game’s creative geography as I did with annihilating savages in raw brawls.
 

“The Big Nothing” was another highlight of Mad Max’s sandbox environment. An unmapped region, Nothing is incredibly hostile. Resources are scarce in the game, and so venturing into the only area in the map where food and water are virtually non-existent is a big risk. However, finding rare parts for the Magnum Opus was a thrilling reward, and really made the game feel “on the edge,” as I struggled to maintain hope of getting back onto chartered territory in one piece.
 

The game’s harsh weather effects are another highlight. Sandstorms ravage the landscape, forcing you to find shelter. Oftentimes, they would occur in the middle of tense fist-fight, forcing the action back into more sheltered corners while I searched out the leftover stragglers of the violent battle. It’s this harsh, desperate motif that pervades the experience of Mad Max. It’s hard to conceive this game was meant to closely tie-in with the live action film, but if you are a fan of the movie, the game will offer you a similar, yet delightfully novel action experience to expand your entertainment with this revitalized universe. 2015 has certainly been a year for “Big Games,” but Mad Max is a worthy one to try, especially if you’re looking for a grittier world than Witcher with prettier graphics than Fallout.

5 Best Open-World Games Of 2015

Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with hopping through a well-made sidescroller. But these days, games can offer us much more than just levels and checkpoints – try whole vistas and landscapes. Open world games offer a fantastic sense of immersion. Here are five great open-world games that came out in 2015.
 

Fallout 4


Bethesda’s highly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed Fallout 3 met the expectations of its rabid fan base this year, I think. Set in a post-apocalyptic Boston and surrounding metropolitan area, Fallout 4’s open world is vast, varied, and full of characters and Easter eggs to discover.

From the Red Sox’s stadium recycled into a bustling population center right out of Bladerunner to the yellow-hazed Glowing Sea, a perilous landscape of radiation and ground zero horrors, there’s plenty to see in this incredible open world.
 
Pair that with a great story, polished combat mechanics, in-depth weapon, armor, item, and settlement crafting – oh yea, and many, many player-made mods – it’s best you get started on this one before the DLC rolls out and the whole immensity of it shies you away.
 

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain


It seems fitting that Hideo Kojima’s swan song with the franchise he created would likely be the best installment the franchise will ever have. That may seem like a strong statement, but given the state of Konami, it may be unfortunately very true.
 
Luckily for us, Big Boss’s excursions into the vast Afghanistan mountain ranges and forest brushes provide a playground for stealth enthusiasts and havoc-wreakers, alike. The game is a remarkable lengthy and surprisingly non-linear affair, featuring base management, eighties music, blood-covered companions, shower-taking, and all other manner of delightful weirdness we expect from a Kojima production.
 
And while it’s sad this may be the last installment of MGS worth playing, it is a game where you feel like you’re getting far more than you payed for. Yes, even at full price. This game is enormous.
 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


For anyone that has played through the original Witcher or its sequel, Witcher 2, you’re likely familiar with the game’s silver-haired, monster-hunting protagonist Geralt of Rivia. However, when developer CD Projekt Red released the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt back in May, it effectively blew the series wide open with a huge step forward in sheer quality and depth. Wild Hunt features a truly massive open world.
 
It’s so massive, in fact, it’s actually split into giant sections of land that you can roam as you please. The environments are incredibly varied, from the murky swamplands of Velen to the impressive Free City of Novigrad. Detail is dense, with abandoned villages, caverns and corners to explore and plenty of monsters, all with their own secrets and dangers, to hunt and battle.
 
If you like high fantasy, a great story, and an incredible setting to get lost inside, Wild Hunt is all those things and much more.
 

Bloodborne


Unfortunately, there are few times when you can rave about a great open-world horror game, but that’s exactly what Bloodborne is, and you’d be doing yourself a favor to check it out right now. Too often, games are more about button mashing than skill. That’s where Bloodborne comes in and kicks your ego into submission.
 
Bloodborne’s gothic setting of Yharnam is host to a variety of Victorian viscosity and demonic beings. Its Lovecraft get-up is a turn of taste from director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s previous dark fantasy work in the Dark Souls trilogy, although the ample difficulty of enemies and foreboding sense of tragedy it instills in you is plenty par for the course. It’s not a game for the faint of heart, but it is a truly special one to experience.
 
It’s also far more accessible than Dark Souls, which is significant.
 

Rise of the Tomb Raider


By the time Tomb Raider: Underworld came out, I was one of many that thought it was time for Croft to hang up her pistols and call it a day. When developer Crystal Dynamics created a reboot of the franchise in 2013, however, it completely revitalized the series, giving players a whole new open-world experience to the Tomb Raider games, along with a fresh start into Croft’s genesis story as a young talent in the business of “archeology.”
 
Rise of the Tomb Raider picks up right where the acclaimed reboot left off, switching up settings from the forest-laden island to now the harsh, tundra mountainsides. A dedicated platformer with great gunplay to boot.
 

Honorable Mentions


Mad Max, Just Cause 3, and Xenoblade Chronicles X all could have been featured on this list. These are truly massive games, although I don’t think they offer as much variety. They’re worth checking out, though.

 
 

The Witcher 3 Stuns With New Cinematic Trailer

Polish developer, CD Project Red, caps off a summer of impressive reveals for its upcoming action, role-playing, fantasy game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, with a chilling new cinematic trailer.
 
The trailer opens with Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher himself, witnessing a group of soldiers about to hang a young woman. Since Geralt’s morals are black and white — “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it makes no difference,” he says — he decides to intervene by killing all of the soldiers, whom he calls “monsters.”
 
witcher
But hold on a second? Didn’t the soldiers say the woman had been found guilty “for the murder of the wounded, looting, cannibalism”? If that is true, then things are not as clean-cut as Geralt wishes them to be. Who is the real monster here? The soldiers? The woman? Or Geralt?
 
It is an interesting introduction to the world of The Witcher 3 and a great way to emphasize the morally ambiguous choices that players will make throughout the game. Moral choice in video games have often stumbled for their lack of ambiguity: usually just a simple good or bad choice. Since Geralt says, “If I’m to choose between one evil and another, I’d rather not choose at all,” it seems possible that players might have to make choices between the lesser of two evils, or decide to walk away.
 
The_Witcher_3_Wild_Hunt_Geralt_of_Rivia_fighting_bandits
 
This would add to what is already an impressive story-focused game. In its E3 gameplay demo, the developers emphasized the emergent story-telling style of The Witcher 3. For example, players could be hunting a griffin when they are sidetracked by a group of bandits in the woods. Players can take care of the bandits and then continue on with the hunt without the game pulling them out of the mission.
 
Perhaps the only hiccup in CD Project Red’s promotional campaign was the news last month that the game would be delayed from its original fall release date. It will instead be released for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC on February 25, 2015.
 
Witcher-3-screen-three
 
It joins a list of other high-profile games, including Batman: Arkham Knight, The Order 1886, The Division and Mad Max, that have moved out of the traditionally release-heavy holiday season to an unusually crowded first quarter of 2015. This has upset many gamers wishing to see more content on the new generation of consoles.
 
In an explanation for the delay, the developers stated that the studio needs more time to fully create the open world of the game. Since they have boasted that The Witcher 3 will have the biggest living fantasy world ever created, this isn’t an unreasonable claim. The third installment of this series is more than thirty times bigger than its predecessor and 20% bigger than Skyrim.
 
So what do you think? Are you excited for February to get your hands on The Witcher 3? Did the latest cinematic trailer give you goose bumps? Let us know in the comments!