Remakes…I fucking hate them.
Despite a few stellar exceptions (Maniac), remakes are more often than not the very worst that the film industry has to offer, which begs the question: Why the bloody fuck do they keep making these things when nine times out of ten they take a great movie and remake it into a terrible one?
Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Fright Night, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas…all indisputable horror classics, all remade into awful fucking movies. What’s next? Re-animator, Silence of the Lambs or, shudder, possibly even Phantasm (over my rotting corpse on that one).
Wouldn’t it make more sense to remake movies that were not any good to begin with? Of course it would! So why the hell don’t movie studios plunder their vaults for their top stinkers (I’m sure each studio has millions to choose from) and remake that shit? Like, remember when Ang Lee made The Hulk and Nick Nolte was in it and I hate Nick Nolte…also the movie wasn’t that good and they said “do-over” and tried again? Well that made sense, do-overs are for bad stuff, not good. Worse case scenario? A bad movie gets worse, no harm, no foul and no legion of distraught fans.
Is this making sense Hollywood people? Do any Hollywood people even read this page? If yes, why?
Fuck it, that’s not even the point. The point is that I for one am sick and fucking tired as all hell of all my faves being butchered by bad scripts, bad casting and straight up bad ideas. I mean, come on, fucking Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandrige? If I ever let myself believe that remake actually existed (Fright Night…obviously), I would never be able to get over it…EVER!
So in the spirit of helpfulness (that’s a word right) and despite my intense dislike of lists, I have compiled ten mediocre to terrible titles (by production year) that would absolutely merit a do-over and that could, theoretically, star Colin Farrell without ever upsetting anyone.
Rawhead Rex (1986)
According to the tagline, Rawhead Rex is “Pure Evil, Pure Power, Pure Terror”, but anyone who’s experienced this ill-conceived adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story and screenplay, knows this movie is more accurately just pure crap. The story of an ancient pagan god run amok in modern day Ireland had incredible potential, but the execution missed the mark by a long shot. Firstly, Rawhead himself looks like a big gray, muppety dildo with fangs and a faux-hawk in torn up metal-head rags. Yeah, it was the 80s, but seriously I know they could have made a better monster than this.
Otherwise, the whole movie lacked direction and was, pretty much from start to finish, torturous to watch, and even Clive Barker himself has been quoted as saying that he was less than pleased with the results. In my humble opinion, a remake comprised solely of Jim Henson’s stable of charming muppets would be nothing short of a great improvement and I’m almost certain no one would complain…or notice.
Graveyard Shift (1990)
Sigh…allow me to be the first to admit that Stephen King’s stellar work does not always translate well to the screen. Obviously many King adaptations are phenomenal, but other works are often too complex or layered or just too plain fucked up to really work as movies…and then there’s Graveyard Shift, a movie about a rat infested cotton mill that is so bad I’m surprised King didn’t pull his name from the project.
Funnily enough I don’t hate this movie, rather I find it amusingly awful and kinda fun to watch. But it really is just oh so very awful. Everything from the (dull as a bucket of paint) lead actor David Andrews, to the scenery chewing foreman (Stephen Macht looking greasy as a tub of fries) to the underwhelming effects are all just bad, bad, bad as it gets. One bright point, Brad Dourif has a small part as a kooky exterminator, but he’s just one man, no match for all that suckage.
So given all that good/bad stuff, a remake of Graveyard Shift should be impossible to screw up…unless of course it was one of those stupid frame by frame remakes (I’m looking at you Gus Van Sant and you’re still not off the hook).
The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Al Pacino as the devil. That phrase alone was enough to give me tingles when this flick first came out…mind you, tingles are par for the course when you’re sixteen, hell, coke commercials gave me tingles back then.
Tingles aside, the idea of Pacino letting his hell flag fly and going full demon could have made for an epic cinematic experience…unfortunately this movie didn’t quite pan out as expected. This Paradise Lost inspired tale of a young hotshot lawyer who is tempted by Satan in modern day New York is not really a bad movie, but it’s also not all that great.
With a powerhouse cast which included Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Connie Nielsen and Craig T. Nelson, Devil’s Advocate could have been flawless from start to finish, but…
Some of the dialogue, as well as Reeves’ accent, can only accurately be described as cheese-tastic and although Pacino was seemingly born to play this role, his John Milton goes quickly from seductive and wicked in the beginning to bat shit cray-cray and loud nearing the end…and the END…come on now, that ending was fucking awful.
A reboot of this one would definitely make sense…but with the exact same cast cause, you know, if it ain’t broke…
In Dreams (1999)
Annette Bening and Robert Downey Jr are inarguably two of the most phenomenally gifted actors working today, both of which star in Neil Jordan’s straight up awful film In Dreams. Perhaps it’s the material they were given to work with, but both Downey and Bening seem unable to dig their way out of their shitty roles, and as such are pretty shitty themselves in this flick about a woman sharing the visions of a serial killer. Bening basically screams through the entire movie, which would probably not be a bad thing except that most of the time there’s no reason for her outbursts. Aiden Quinn (so pretty) as Bening’s long suffering husband somehow manages to escape this debacle unscathed, but only just.
The sad part is that this movie had all the factors needed to be really great, good actors, accomplished director, haunting imagery, intriguing storyline…and still somehow it turned into a smoldering pile of suck…and isn’t that just the type of movie that ought to be remade? Yes it is!
Dracula 2000 (2000)
My best gay Paul took me to see this in theaters when it was first released…and I still haven’t let him live it down.
Fuck this movie is BAD. Really, really bad. Like epically so…unless you watch it on mute. Let’s face it, the one and only thing that Dracula 2000 can boast is that it has a ridiculously attractive cast. Gerard Butler (with a perm), Johnny Lee Miller (sigh), Justine Waddell, Jennifer Esposito and on and on. Just a gorgeous young cast…acting horribly in a terrible movie…best enjoyed on mute.
If this movie was remade with an all female cast, each speaking in a different language while dressed like Elvis and shot completely in pitch dark, it would still be a vast, VAST improvement on the original…just drop the perm and that whole Judas bit and have Johnny Lee Miller play the whole role in the nude. Seriously, this remake practically writes itself.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Ok freeze…I know that lots of people really, really liked this movie, and I respect that, BUT I for one think that this flick would benefit from a bit of a reboot, and here’s why (in the form of an amusing imaginary conversation)…
Psychic Lady: “Every 23rd Spring, for 23 days, it gets to…eat.”
Me: “Ok cool, what is it?”
Psychic Lady: “(singing)Jeepers Creepers!”
Me: “No seriously, what is it?”
Psychic Lady: “Every 23rd Spring…”
The point is, I dislike the fact that there is no explanation as to what The Creeper actually is…okay it eats peoples’ parts (fuck off, not a spoiler, everyone knows that) but why and more importantly what is it?
I realize that it isn’t always important to get an exact idea of what the creature in any given feature actually is…but in this instance I found it really annoying that we find out absolutely nothing.
Also, the brother and sister team don’t really manage to gain any sympathy from me due to their epic level of stupidity when deciding to investigate the body dumping of the very villain that just tried to run their dumb asses off the road.
Oh come on, would you do that? Someone just tried to kill us, oh wait he’s dropping a corpse shaped parcel down a hole, let’s go investigate. What the fuck man, what are you Mystery Incorporated?
Scrap that shit, tell me WHAT it is and keep Justin Long…GO REMAKE!
Atmospheric setting, strong cast, Giancarlo Giannini AND Lena Olin…this movie SHOULD have been fucking awesome. Tragically, it was not.
The story of a teen (Anna Paquin, who I don’t dislike but whose casting here leaves much to be desired) and her family who relocate to Spain and (cryptically) move into a big creepy house where bad creepy things happened years ago, bad things that left behind a bunch of creepy ghost kids and blah blah blah fuck off. This house practically screams “you will die in here”, it’s an excellent set piece, but none of the cast seem to notice the inherent evil surrounding them…which kinda indicates that they’re all idiots (it’s hard to root for idiots).
Apart from that, the idea behind Darkness isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but the concept of people attempting to bring on the end of the world, just because they can, is intriguing enough to merit another shot at not sucking.
Less dense characters, way more backstory, better dialogue and perhaps a less obvious villain (seriously at some point I thought he was gonna do the whole Mr. Burns finger tapping thing) should all add up to a remake worth watching…which is more than I can say about the original.
I Know Who Killed Me (2007)
Hmmm…okay, some (most) people may think that the main thing wrong here was the casting of troubled young actress Lindsay Lohan in the lead, and although I don’t completely disagree I do think there’s more to an unsuccessful film than just one actor. That being said, this is undoubtedly one of Lohan’s most robotic, least charismatic performances and that does negate a large percentage of any chance this movie had of being any good.
Also, this flick has an air of misplaced superiority about it, like a jackass who thinks they’re hot shit but really they’re a total tool…this movie is a tool in a designer outfit (insert reality star comment here), pretty to look at but still dumb as fuck.
Of course not everything is bad, there are quite a few things about this bad movie that are kinda great. The movie really is pretty to look at (apart from the gore) and I actually love that I Know Who Killed Me is bathed in shades of bright red and electric blue, it’s a nice change from the atypical off white, dingy gray and pea soup green colors that show up in nearly every other psychological horror film.
I’m trying to think of something else that was great, but I can’t…I think it was just that one thing…huh, weird.
Anyway, this could very well be remade into a pretty decent movie, under the right circumstances maybe even a really good one, and all that needs to change is, you know, everything…except the color scheme.
The Unborn (2009)
Contrary to popular belief, it is not easy to take an interesting premise, a 16 million dollar budget, Gary Oldman and (utterly delicious) Idris Elba and make all of that into a wretchedly bad movie. That my friends is called talent.
Perhaps a little less talent behind the scenes is necessary to reboot this story of a young pregnant woman haunted by a dybbuk (hebrew demon) who has taken the form of a little boy (who is also her great uncle who died during the holocaust). The movie quickly becomes formulaic and silly, turning into just another uninspired, lame ass haunting story with some Yiddish words thrown in for flavor. Even Gary Oldman (who I’m pretty sure could walk on water and make the blind see) could not give this thing any credibility, again just proves how impressively bad The Unborn ended up being.
BUT…the raw material is there, the concept is there, so the movie is pretty ripe for a remake and if whoever takes over fucks it up, well, no one will care anyway.
My Soul to Take (2010)
Wes Craven directed this 2010 stinker…that one sentence actually makes me wanna cry.
Wes “Nightmare on Elm Street” Craven wrote and directed a movie so terrible that I had to watch it three times to ensure that the shittiness wasn’t just in my imagination. I was totally disillusioned…and then I started to pretend like the movie didn’t exist and I was happy again…yay.
This tale of seven 16 year old kids born on the same day who supposedly each have one of a serial killers multiple personalities is not an uninteresting concept and of course the movie is well filmed, but as for the rest…The actors, most of whom are relative unknowns, do what they can with the material they’re given, unfortunately they aren’t given much to work with. The script and by extension, the dialogue are the two greatest flaws of My Soul to Take, and unfortunately the entire movie is dragged down because of it.
Craven has written his characters dialogue that may have sounded edgy circa 1998, but is so far removed from today’s vernacular that the actors are barely able to conjure one genuine moment between them. One character, at the moment of death is asked who he wants to say goodbye to, and he utters “my unborn child”, the response to that is “fuck your fucking unborn child”, riveting stuff. And as for the villain, he chants “Fear ye the Ripper”….ummm, okay…seriously?
Completely re-written remake necessary? Indeed!
So there you have it horror fans, do let me know what you think of my choices, and as always give a girl some virtual gropes and click that Like button.