Pretty much every hardcore horror fan decries the remake. We have this static notion of what these classic horror movies are, and because they were often done right the first time, we demand that newbies “rent a f*ckin’ movie!” or otherwise cease the feeding of the cash-driven Hollywood machine.
The reason it’s done is rather simple: they’re really good stop-gap productions that bring in money. Instead of relying on one or two blockbusters a year to fund the rest of a studio’s projects, they can groom an entirely new generation of mindless blockbuster directors while largely satisfying two basic human needs: the need to be a little bit scared, and the need to bitch about a product the second it has been consumed. And they can snap up some tidy little profits along the way that might sneak their way into your next favorite, wildly-underrated, hidden indie horror gem.
They can do it better: of course they can do it better! How much better would The Stepfather have been if it was set in 2006 California, and the movie was largely the same, but the titular Stepfather was marrying into a same-sex relationship? HOLY SHIT! That would be hilarious to many, terrifying to some, and might let an old story meet new eyes in more still. So with that spirit, I offer the following baker’s dozen films that should be remade, along with a quick idea, perhaps a justification, or maybe just an exclamation point. Enjoy!
. – It has a very small fanbase that enjoys the original, but it’s not sacred ground. Focus the new film in Las Vegas, focus it on the multitudes of people currently living in the Vegas sewer systems, and let the film largely unfold as it did before: chaos, Daniel Stern, and the resurgence of one of my all-time favorite acronyms.
12) TRICK OR TREAT (1986)
– The ONLY thing that needs to happen is that a new music medium needs to be gimmicked, since stoners still really like records, and I personally don’t want to scare stoners out of The Dark Side of the Moon. Quick fix: mp3’s on p2p sharing sites are being malevolently mixed (by the f*ckin’ Devil!) with EVP underlays that cause people to kill in the name of…Sammi Curr!
– instead of 900 #’s, we’re obviously talking about texts here, and then it’s the same damn script. And I want Stephen Geoffreys in it, whether he’s the new star or he’s featured in his gay p*rn exploits on some dude’s iPad.
10) FEAR NO EVIL
–I don’t care if they do a shot-for-shot or just re-release this movie in its original form. This movie is creepy, moody, stupid, funny and worth seeing on a big screen.
9) JUDGEMENT DAY
– it’s a super-obscure 80s horror flick that was the last film appearance of Cesar Romero (the Joker in the Adam West Batman of the 60s). It’s also about a couple of dumb tourists who manage to roll into a tremendously atmospheric Mexican town, full of charm and cantinas. Too bad that the traveling comet that is Hell is headed for this little town of Santana, and is going to rest its dimensional existence over the town for the next 24 hours. Get stuck in it, and you’re in Hell for a full year as it spins through the cosmos…and then you only get another 24-hour shot at getting out. Good f*ckin’ luck!
8) MS. 45
– Poor deaf-mute girl gets raped. Twice in a row. And now she viciously kills gentlemen of all classes. I like her attitude. I don’t want to sit through two rapes again any more than you, but if you want to use a story to induce unquenchable rage in a female character who wouldn’t otherwise have it, and have that characterization not play as a cheap feminization of a male character that just looked cuter with big breasts, this will work and piss off everyone in the process.
7) MY DEMON LOVER
– I barely even remember this movie at this point, but the rough-and-tumble fella from Family Ties was the star. He was a demon, or a guy, or a hybrid, and his demonic side came out every time he got horny. Fix whatever was wrong with the old one that made no one give a sh*t about it, and try again. That’s the best use of this remake power that the world has in the first place.
6) THE BEYOND
– Has anyone remade any Lucio Fulci flicks yet? 99% of the giallo sub-genre is beautifully aching to be remade into something that still looks fantastic, is still scary and even possibly makes sense! Dreams can make sense, or at least follow some f*cked-yet-apparent tangent, and gialli are no different in that sense. For me, I’d just love to see someone mimic Fulci’s eyeball gags without it being a vague homage. I demand “blatant ripoff!”
5) MOTEL HELL
– I actually think this might have missed its time already, as I’m so sick of redneck psychopaths that I’ve lost my fear of them. But had this been remade by the Zuckers or the Wayans Brothers four or five years ago, it would’ve killed. But now, if a faithful job was done with it, and Motel 6 did the promotional tie-in, it could still be fun. Oh sh*t! More fun: have Tobe Hooper remake it with the same feel that Invaders from Mars had. Oh, and regarding Mr. Hooper…
– No time needs naked, gorgeous, soul-stealing alien vampires like ours does. And no movie needs a re-do like that one does. Match. Made. In. Heaven.
3) DEADLY FRIEND
– I don’t think I ever wanted to make sweet love to Kristy Swanson more than when I first saw that movie…when I was eight or so. Basically, this love-struck nerdboy falls into the Friend Zone with Kristy, who then gets killed by her abusive d*ck of a dad. So, the nerdy fella took the computing equivalent of a Speak n’ Spell and put it in her cute, dead head, and created a murderous monster. Hell, all he’d have to do now is put a bare-bones PC running on Linux commands into her skull, and she’d be smarter than 1/2 the people who would actually see the movie anyway! Box office silver, at the very least…
2) THEY LIVE
– The movie is over 20 years old, doesn’t age well due to Meg Foster being awful and looking 100 when she was 30, and was always cool, but slow in parts and never perfect. This John Carpenter gem, which is truly one of my childhood and all-time favorites, is the kind of movie that could be played largely the same way, slightly tightened, tweaked and modernized, and be a huge blockbuster. The film’s ideas on thought control, propaganda, secret societies and complicit humans at every level are endlessly expandable, and the message would have never had a more readily acceptant audience. The remake of a movie like this could, in all honesty, be as big the 2nd time around as The Matrix was the first. Yes, I actually believe that.
1) MONSTER MASHUP
– My favorite is a bit of a cheat on the basic premise, and the movie’s actual name would give away what I want a bit too quickly, but take this: where’s Ronny Yu right now? What? Not making more movies like Freddy vs. Jason? We need to fix that right now, and I’d do it by taking one thing that I love in music, which are mash-up remixes, and applying it to film, by giving the public GHOULIES vs. CRITTERS vs. GREMLINS.
That is B-level horsesh*t filmmaking gluttony at its absolute best and worst all at once! I honestly don’t give a single sh*t as to what the story is that brings these franchises together; all I know is that I want it to happen with great urgency, I trust Ronny Yu like no one else after seeing his entire body of work, and this would absolutely be the kind of movie that would thrive with an advertising atmosphere like that of Snakes on a Plane behind it. And at the end, just to tease people for a decade, have one of those monsters from Tremors come up and suck a Gremlin, a Critter and a Ghoulie into the sand, completely ripping off the ending from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. You would see that, and I know you would see that. And I’d see you there!