There is a lot to say about unoriginality in some of Alberto De Martino’s films, with Holocaust 2000 and The Antichrist being quickly produced cash-ins of The Omen and The Exorcist, respectively, and Operation Kid Brother is probably the boldest Bond rip-off ever. However, these films are also the best of their kind; The Antichrist is easily the best Exorcist knock-off, and Operation Kid Brother, along with De Martino’s Special Mission Lady Chaplin, probably ranks in to any Eurospy fan’s top ten list.
The Italian-British co-production Holocaust 2000 (aka Rain of Fire) is regarded as being better than any of The Omen sequels, and so, it would seem to me that to call Holocaust 2000 a lackluster version of The Omen would be just as foolish as calling Fulci’s Zombie Flesh Eaters a lackluster take on Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. I won’t go as far as saying they are better, but the aforementioned films by De Martino most certainly are not mere copies or inferior imitations of their source inspiration, yet they do have certain superior qualities and, in their own way, became influential themselves.
It is obviously smart from the business end to capitalize on successful international movies by creating other movies in a similar vein, catering to the taste of the audiences of the time, exploiting the spirit of the age. I imagine that this is what most likely gave these kind of genre films the green light from producers who probably cared more about what other movies the pitched script was similar to and not necessarily how original it was. Call this trendy, if you must, but a lot of these movies brought the source inspiration to different directions and new heights and therefore have an originality that can be discovered for those willing to look beneath the surface.