Holy mother of fuck, I think I re-discovered my love off pissing people off on the internet today. Some people (using that term very loosely here you neck-beard having, fedora wearing Reddit posters) who may or may not have actually read my take on remakes got butt hurt as only people with the anonymity of the internet and 20+ years of pent up virginity can. So, I decided I should back up my bold claims with some evidence. I present to you 5 remakes that do the originals loads of justice and, in at least one case, may have blown the original out of the water.
5- Halloween (Rob Zombie)
Trashy? Yeah, kinda. A vehicle for his wife’s ass? Without a doubt. Am I complaining? Not one bit (as people who’ve followed us for a while know, we love ass here at Drunk in a Graveyard). I should mention before I speak any further on the subject of Michel Meyers that I’m not actually that big of a fan of the Halloween franchise. I’ve never found the character to be particularly frighting, so I quite enjoyed the upping of brutality levels that Zombie brought to the plate. No, decimating a truck stop bathroom stall with Ken Forees’ face might not be as subtle as the original Shape’s shadowy stalking methods, but you can’t argue that it isn’t entertaining to watch and gives Zombies version of Micheal Meyers an attitude and style all his own. I might be overstepping my bounds on this, one of the holiest of holys’ and member of the original slasher trinity, but I think that this generational update will fair well over the test of time, especially once people set aside and forget their hate for Rob Zombie just because of his background as a musician.
4- Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder)
If I have to hear another person go on about music video directors and how horribly they cut movies, I might have to cut someone myself. Honestly, what year was this movie made? 2004? Not 1978? You mean that modern directors may have actually started out directing things like music videos and the like because holy shit, we live in a post-MTV generation? Go figure. You have to cut your teeth somewhere right?
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, I thought this was a really good re-telling of every ones’ favorite mall madness zombie film. Yes, even with the running zombies. This may actually be the only movie I will accept this non-logical sprinting zombie thing because, like the Romero film, this is drenched in style all it’s own. Plus, Ving Rhames (lets not bring up that horrid Day of the Dead remake. Someone should be beaten for letting that happen and I like to pretend Mr. Rhames owed the mob A LOT of money to actually associate himself with that… thing) kicks ass and takes names throughout this movie. Put aside your hatred for Olympic medalist worthy zombie sprinting and check this one out if you’ve been avoiding it. I doubt you’ll be have as many complaints as you thought you would.
3 – The Thing (John Carpenter)
Believe it or not, one of the holy grails of sci-fi/horror crossover movies is a remake. I thought this was fairly common knowledge but every time the subject of remakes come up , someone needs to be reminded that blessed John Carpenter did not create this story. Unfortunately, I can’t compare it to the 1951 inspiration The Thing from Outer Space, as I’ve never seen that one, but I can tell you about how this is one of my favorite movies in any genre. And not just for the manliest, jealousy inducing beards ever committed to celluloid. Dividing critics upon it’s release, The Thing gained it’s current cult following slowly upon it’s release to home video and more than likely (I can’t say as I was a wee bit young to participate in debates when they raged freshly) direct comparisons to the original petered off, allowing it to stand on it’s own merits (funny how that works right?)
‘Fun fact: This movie was filmed roughly 14 hours away from where I currently sit, meaning that if this film were real, I’d be a gross, inside out beastie pretty shortly.
2- Evil Dead (Fede Alvarez)
Yeah, that’s right. I’m pushing all the buttons I can. I loved this movie. Guess what, I love the shit out of the original for pretty much the same reasons. These movies have always been check your brain at the door, grab a rain coat and prepare to have fun movies. Alvarezs’ take is no less fun for me that Sam Raimis’ original. Yeah, the actors are pretty generic and not the most emotive when not pissing there pants in fear, but really folks, was the acting in the 1981 film Oscar worthy? Yes, we all love Bruce Campbell and his Chin of Doom but Marlon Brando he ain’t. That’s perfectly fine with me as I didn’t walk into the theater expecting anything other than buckets of blood and some deadite action and I got both in ample supply (the end scene is one of my favorite scenes from any horror movie released this year.) If you held out on seeing this in theaters, I heartily recommend checking this blood-soaked trip to every ones favorite secluded cabin in the woods out once it hits home video next month.
1 – The Fly (David Cronenberg)
I’ve been really torn with Cronenberg since just shortly after The Dark Knight Rises came out and he went off in an interview about how he feels that Nolans’ take is “still Batman running around in a stupid cape “ which gets my hackles up just a little bit. But that’s just me being a fan boy and I like to think that I’m mature enough to set that aside.
What Cronenberg achieved with this re-interpretation on the classic Vincent Price movie is incredible, taking an already fantastic, beloved movie and re-shooting it through his unique lens to bring it to a modern (at the time) audience. From the casting of Jeff Goldblum as the scientist who creates a flawless (he thinks) matter transfer device to some of the most stomach churning gore effects of the era, he really grabbed the brass ring on this one. I’d be really surprised if anyone reading this list has yet to see this work of horrific art, but if you are one of the few, go do it now. You will not be disappointed.
As always, this list is personal opinion. Do you think I’m way off the mark here and want to engage in an INTELLIGENT conversation about it, hit me up on twitter (@drunkgraveyard). I’d be more than happy to talk about remakes, relaunches and anything genre related in general.