Now that the “books as original source” discussion is officially closed, it’s time to talk about the second type of remake – or what I consider the only type of remake. That is movies whose original source was another movie.
Fanboys, grab a tissue because you aren’t going to like what I am about to say regarding remakes of movies whose original source was a movie…
Who. Fucking. Cares.
There seems to be a lot coming out lately, but, reality check #231422, there have ALWAYS been remakes. And there will ALWAYS be remakes.
I’m going to go ahead and start with the two most recent (popular) horror remakes. Dawn of the Dead (DotD) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM). But I’m gonna stick with TCM for a moment.
TCM, the original, did a LOT of good for the horror genre. It was dirty, it was gritty and it introduced Leatherface; one kick ass horror icon.
When the remake word came out, oh God, the fanboys went fucking crazy!
“blah blah blah not going to see this piece of garbage!”
“blah blah blah is a classic, how could they blah blah blah…”
“blah blah blah Hooper’s masterpiece will be ruined!”
Okay, first things first, Tobe Hooper, while he has done a few movies and deserves credit where credit is due, hasn’t done anything ground breaking since TCM. So, yes, it may be his masterpiece, but what does that really mean if the rest of his stuff is so mediocre (with the exception of Lifeforce).
Whoa there, sport – I know what’s next. You are going to throw Poltergeist at me. Nope, sorry sunshine, Poltergeist was all Spielberg. All you have to do is actually watch it to know that. If you don’t agree, watch it again. If you still don’t agree, pull your head out of your ass and give it another go. Got that? Good. Moving on…
Now, back to the TCM remake. What made matters worse (supposedly) for the remake was Michael Bay was a producer! *gasp* *shock*
The Rock Michael Bay? Armageddon Michael Bay? Bad Boys Michael Bay?
How could it possibly be good? What does he know about horror? (Hey, he did direct Pearl Harbor *rimshot*)
Well, low and behold, when all was said and done, the remake was good. Damn good. It was dark, it was violent and you cared a helluva lot more for the characters than the original. The Hitman said it best in his review of the movie….
“At its best, it is a gritty, dirty, bloody film filled with suspense and its share of scares that is more entertaining and enjoyable than Hooper’s original.
There. It’s been said.
There is no good reason horror movie fans won’t enjoy the 2003 TCM — whether they are fans of the original or not.”
…and he was 100% correct.
The best part of the whole TCM remake fiasco was when many of the naysayers ate their words and conceded that the movie was actually pretty good. Good luck convincing them that it was better – even if some thought it was, they would never admit it. But that’s neither here nor there as it is simply a matter of taste. The bottom line is, they jumped the gun and were proven wrong.
Now for DotD.
When the remake plans were announced for DotD, it was the same reaction as TCM. And, like TCM, it ended up being a good movie that many fans liked.
DotD was a remake in name only. The only things it had in common with the original was zombies and a mall. Its only mistake (if you want to call it one) was calling it DotD. Personally, I think it was a smart movie as it drummed up free publicity. But that’s another topic for another day.
Now, there’s something that DotD did that the fan boys either chose to ignore just don’t care. I’d bet a paycheck it’s the former because they really, really do care – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
George Romero’s fourth installment in the Dead series had been on hold for what seemed like forever. He just couldn’t get investors. But after the releases of TCM and DotD, guess what? He got the money for his movie. Why don’t fanboys ever bring that up?
Kids, let’s give credit where the credit is due. Those remakes you love to hate pave the way for the original movies that you love.
Hollywood is a business and, unfortunately, they aren’t in the business of taking chances anymore. What remakes do (particularly horror) is test the water of the horror market and, if the remake turns a big enough profit, the “original” horror movies get to see the light of day.
Listen, if you are so against the idea of a remake, don’t see it. But see it or not, do everyone a favor and shut the fuck up about it, fanboys.