The latest TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE films were pretty decent re-envisionings.
THE HILLS HAVE EYES a lesser but not bad effort. THE OMEN was totally unnecessary. THE WICKER MAN is the worst for having so much wasted potential.
I want to see BLACULA remade with Samuel L. Jackson as Prince Mumwalde.
And an Ed Gein inspired film starring either Steve Buscemi or Michael Berryman.
The recent remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a soulless, purely commercial piece of shit. When a movie made on almost no budget by an unknown director is still popular decades later, it probably has a quality that cannot be duplicated by a major studio with a marketing division and focus groups.
On the other hand . . . what about Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter starring Ralph Fiennes?
In most cases, I think it’s ridiculous to remake a movie that is already a classic (or cult classic). Remakes should be reserved for movies that maybe had an interesting premise but a poor execution, or a true re-imagining. I’m also willing to accept multiple versions of more complex material, the way you can have many different productions of a play that may focus on different aspects of the material, and explore many facets of the characters. Antonioni’s Blow Up was semi-remade as De Palma’s Blow Out, but other than the basic premise, the plot and execution of the second film was quite wildly different from the first. At the other extreme, Gus Van Sant’s shot-for-shot remake of Psycho was a bizarre exercise. It wasn’t bad, exactly, just wholly superfluous.
Updating the hairstyles or “Now with more gore and nudity!” (or “Now with less gore and nudity and more PG-13ness!”) do not qualify as “reimagining.” I’m looking at you, Rob Zombie. Leave Halloween the hell alone. It’s perfect just the way it is. We don’t need to know more about Michael Myers – he’s a stabby guy in a mask.
I’d like to see a Robert Vaughn-voiced computer square off against the Domestic Goddess. It’s called a joke. Like having Mr. T in “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” I’ll explain that one, too, if you wish.
How many remakes have there been of Invasion of the Body Snatchers now? There’s a new one coming out starring Nicole Kidman soon called Invaders or something. I saw an ad for it the other day. The original film only came out 50 years ago, but here it comes again for the umpteenth time. Maybe that’s one of those basic fairy tale-type stories that bears repeating over and over because it expresses the deepest fears of a culture. It’s not like they’re relying on the reputation of the previous *Body Snatchers * incarnations as a marketing tool like they did for The Omen: Again!
I’m 50/50 on this one: Hollywood’s out of ideas, or is the idea still scary?
This is the third remake by my count. (And, for the record, Kevin McCarthy from the original has reprised his role as the guy screaming that “You’re next!” twice – once in the 1979 remake and once in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. There must be a clause that says he has to do this once every twenty years or so.)
I don’t know why. I’m not very fond of Finney’s book. Its ending is absurd and unrealistic (and no one’s ever used it in the movies), even discounting the unreality of the situation. The premise was hardly original with him. When Robert Heinlein wrote The Puppet Masters (a far better treatment that predated Finney’s book), he apoloogized for using again a premise that was shopwor and hackneyed. But, of course, he was Heinlein, and turned it to gold. Maybe one day they’ll do a decent job of filming it. It’s been done twice already (The first was an unacknowledged rip-off that Heinlein brought a suit against. The second time had its moments, but wasn’t really intelligently or consistently made. Reading the screenwriter’s lament about it, I’m amazed it came out as close as it did. At least it wasn’t the travesty Starship Troopers was,)
film students keep saying how it’s embodying the paranoia of the times and is against Communism. But, as Heinlein’s note shows, the premise goes back well before the Cold War. It’s a very human statement about alienation, and the fact that they’re remaking it after the Cold War ought to put the boot in the explanation that it’s simply a Cold war paranoic fantasy.
It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of Body-Taken-Over-by-Alien stories they could adapt, or fiulms they could remake. Campbell’s Who Goes There and Philip K. Dick’s The Father Thing come to mind, in addition to those above. Isn’t Philip K. Dick supposed to be hot propetrty for the movies right now? In the movies, it seems as if every damned British SF movie from the fifties was about people being possessed by aliens – Nigel Kneale’s Quatermass TV serials-the-movies were all about that. no to mention The Trollenberg Terror/Crawling Eye. And The Man from Planet X.
So why does Hollywood keep remaking this second-rate (IMHO) book, when there are so many others, even on the same topic? Because they’re deficient in knoeledge of the literature and they like to go with “a sure thing”. Even if it’s crap.
To be fair, even though anti-communist hysteria reached a climax during the early 1950s, fears about communist saboteurs and infiltrators go back all the way to the 19th century. Even before the Russian revolution, there were genuine anarchist lefties plotting to stir up worker revolts, and there were periodic police round-ups of dissidents and undesirable (i.e. immigrants) on the grounds that they were just possibly in league with violent anti-american conspirator cells (hmmmnnn, the more things change…)
Anyway, I actually agree with you that ‘Body Snatchers’ has a much broader appeal than simple anti-communist sentiments. It’s about the loss of individuality and being forced to adhere to the tribal community. I’ve actually heard an argument that the 1950s film was not anti-communist, but anti-McCarthyist: hysterical fears about communist infiltrators were anxious to cast out and demonize anybody who doesn’t absolutely fit in with the 'American way of life."
But getting back to the original topic, when oh when oh when are we going to get a big-budget remake of Cannibal Holocaust with the tagline “Based on the film that ‘the Blair Witch Project’ completely ripped off”?