Epic Rap Battles of History is one of my personal favorite YouTube programs and has made EpicLLOYD and Nice Peter household names. The series take two characters in history, sometimes fictional other times real-life historical figures, and pits them against each other in a battle of insults and wit. Exactly five to date have featured exclusively movie-based characters so I decided to look at all five of them and rank them just for fun, especially seeing as the duo have recently hinted that a new season of the series will be hitting YouTube in 2018.
For this list I watched each battle multiple times and ranked them based on the quality of their insults and their ability to work cinematic references into the raps in an effective manner. While many movie characters have been associated with the rap battles, such as Darth Vader, Bill and Ted, the Ghostbusters, and Doc Brown, they did not battle fellow movie figures and thus, for the sake of fairness, I did not include those battles on this list. Exactly five to date have included exclusively movie characters, actors, or other film-related figures so narrowing down the list was easy, ordering them was not. Hope you guys enjoy this!
Which movie-themed Epic Rap Battle is your favorite? let me know in the comments below!
5. “Deadpool vs. Boba Fett”
This entry is a bit of a cheat because Deadpool was a comic book character first, but this battle focuses on Deadpool as a movie character as it was released as a bonus video in December of 2015 to coincide with the release of both “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” and the “Deadpool” movie in the weeks and months that followed. It’s actually the second appearance of Boba Fett in the series as he was a supporting character in the third “Hitler vs. Darth Vader” battle but here he takes center stage against the merc with the mouth. While Deadpool by nature would seem to have the edge in this battle, Fett holds his own quite well. Deadpool throws out insults about Boba Fetts relevance, lack of screen time, his death in the “Star Wars” films and flaunts his own popularity and uniqueness compared to his opponent. Fett, on the other hand, takes time to insult Ryan Reynolds, who plays Deadpool in the movie, as well as the fact that Deadpool is a well known ripoff of DC’s Deathstroke and his similarities to other Marvel heroes, Fett touts how it doesn’t take much but a few likes and great design for him to be as iconic as Deadpool. While taking each other on the two also show off some killer moves with Deadpool taking on a few enemies during one verse and Boba Fett closing things out with a break dance. It’s a well matched battle that many were excited to see come from nowhere during the extended break between season’s 4 and 5.
4. “James Bond vs. Austin Powers”
This battle saw two of cinema’s greatest spies take each other on as James Bond went blow for blow against his own comedic parody, Austin Powers. This battle is unique in that it features a single character battling himself because while the Daniel Craig version of James Bond and Austin Powers exchange rhymes the battle is eventually interrupted by the original cinematic James Bond, the Sean Connery version, who begins to battle his newer self in an exchange that challenges who is cooler and better while Austin looks on. Before that interruption however the newer Bond takes jabs at Austin Powers as an ugly and unworthy spy. Bond also notes that he has remained relevant while Powers has fallen out of grace after his third film, and uses many famed Bond titles to offer some stylish lines. Powers insults Bond’s exposition filed stories and the numerous remakes that make up Bond’s many movies. Powers challenges Bond’s personality and dry nature and offers a few self-deprecating lines as a challenge to Bond’s putdowns. When older bond finally shows up he silences both spies by essentially ignoring Powers and bragging about the superiority of the earlier bond movies. It’s not the best battle in ERB’s stable, but it was one many fans couldn’t wait to see and it delivered.
3. “Terminator vs. Robocop”
Released just in time for the disaster that was “Terminator: Genysis”, this rap battle saw two of cinema’s most well known robotic creations take each other on. A callback to the early to mid-nineties video game in a way, this battle sees the two mechanized men throwing their own franchise clichés at each other to prove who the dominant machine is. This battle is noted for having some of the best costume designs in all of ERB as Nice Peter and Epic LLOYD deliver spot on interpretations of Robocop and the Terminator respectively. During the battle Robocop challenges the Terminator for his failure to kill John Connor while the Terminator pokes fun at Robocop’s humanity, or lack there of. Each of them also attack the other about the lack of quality of their later films in their respective franchises and contains some well thought out throwbacks to the quality of the special effects from each franchises earlier films as well. To top it all off, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself makes a special cameo at the very end of the battle as this rap battle served as a sponsored video also advertising the upcoming “Terminator” film at that time. It’s a well written and fun battle to watch and is among the more popular of later seasons.
2. “Bruce Lee vs. Clint Eastwood”
The only battle so far to pit two actors against each other, this battle put famed spaghetti western actor and director Clint Eastwood against martial arts actor Bruce Lee in a contest of both genres and talent. Eastwood is portrayed as The Man With No Name from the “Dollars” trilogy while Lee is shown in his famed yellow jumpsuit as the two attack each other’s acting talents and the qualities of their movies as well as some tasteful race and political-themed insults. A few notable bashes are Eastwood claiming he even squints better than Lee, playing off the Asian stereotype of squinty eyes, and Lee insulting Eastwood for talking to an empty chair as a callback to Eastwood’s famed speech against Barrack Obama that was still relevant at the time of the video’s release. The two also insult each other’s movies with Lee bashing the slow pace of Eastwood’s films and Eastwood taking a jab at Lee’s movies usually being poorly dubbed for English audiences. It’s actually a brutal and funny face off that that was among the best from season 2 and is one of the better acted rap battles that served as a tribute to the two legendary actors that fans have certainly embraced.
1. “Spielberg vs. Hitchcock”
Could there be any more worthy #1? The midseason finale of season 4 of ERB, this battle is one of the series’ truly most epic matches. On the surface this is a battle between two of cinema’s most iconic directors, Steven Spielberg and Alfred Hitchcock, who begin the video taking jabs at each other’s movies and styles, as you would probably expect. But it quickly evolves into so much more. After each of the two directors have their turns they are interrupted by fellow director Quentin Tarantino who also brags about his own style and insults the styles and talents of his two opponents. That’s not the end of it though as perfectionist director Stanley Kubrick arrives to put his own two cents in, bragging about his legacy and his visionary style. Kubrick offers few specific insults other than one small jab at Spielberg but still manages to silence all three of his competitors. You’d think that would be the mic drop moment right? Wrong! Throughout the whole battle each of the four directors took subtle jabs at divisive explosion-obsessed director Michael Bay who drops in on his much more talented competition and literally blows things up bragging about how he may not be the most talented or visionary director, but he makes a heck of a lot of money doing what he does. Despite being hated by fans and critics people still show up to see his movies which is more than the other four can say when it comes to many of their works. It’s the battle to end all movie-themed battles that puts some of cinemas greatest and most iconic filmmakers to the ultimate test of wits and style.