I guess I’m realizing it’s possible not everyone has seen all these movies and was thinking about this actively during those years, so I’ll outline the basic hooks of all of them:
La Horde: A bunch of police storm an apartment building to avenge the death of a colleague at the hands of a drug dealer and his crew. They fight their way through the apartment building floor by floor, battling gang members but occasionally getting a bit of respite from a local resident. But then zombies come and the cops and gang members must form an uneasy alliance and fight their way back down to the garage to escape.
Attack The Block: A gang of small time hooligans steals from a nurse. When an alien crashes down, they wind up angering the drug dealer who controls the block by wrecking his car. They must defend their apartment block floor by floor against the aliens and the drug dealer, getting occasional respite from local residents. They must form an alliance with the nurse in order to survive.
The Raid: A bunch of cops storm an apartment building to take down a drug dealer. They fight their way through the apartment building floor by floor, battling gang members but occasionally getting a bit of respite from a local resident. Our police protagonist and his gang member brother must form an alliance in order to survive.
Dredd: Two cops are ordered to investigate an apartment building to take down a drug dealer. They fight their way through the apartment building floor by floor, battling gang members but occasionally getting a bit of respite from a local resident. Also a bunch of dumb nonsense happens and one of them is psychic.
These movies are all VERY SIMILAR in terms of structure, tone, location, protagonists, major plot points, and action style. Die Hard isn’t one of these because (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) it’s much more subdued in how it deals with action compared to these movies. These are “door-busting” action and die hard is much more metal gear solid, shoot when you have to type stuff.
Assault on Precinct 13 has a lot of these elements, the uneasy alliance, the single dominant location, but without the apartment block, which I might point out is an extremely specific central device for four films to have, it doesn’t have the same feeling.
So how did these all come to be?
Dredd very clearly watched either The Raid or Attack The Block or both - those were both smaller budget films from european directors with limited release but strong acclaim. The director said he started writing his script in 2006 but come on, guy. Go ahead and pretend you had an apartment block in there all along.
It’s hard, but not impossible, to imagine that either the director of The Raid or Attack The Block watched La Horde, but that movie only had an extremely limited release outside France (in 2010) until streaming, and then people saw it on a larger scale.
What the heck did La Horde watch, if anything? Is it possible these ideas all just sprang up independently? With that extremely similar central core it seems unlikely. Is La Horde secretly the inspiration for all the other movies?
There was an Assault on Precinct 13 remake in 2005, maybe that’s a clue. But I also feel like I’m missing something, and I’m also missing more of these similar movies because I’m blanking on it. So yeah, that’s where I am with all this!