Saturday, October 22, 2011


MOVIE REMAKES! It seems lately, that if a movie is over 20 years old, it automatically gets thrown into the proverbial Hollywood laundry pile to be remade. Far be it for Hollywood to remake any truly classic movie such as Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942) or Gone with the Wind (1939), although I'm sure they've thought about it. While most remakes, particularly in the horror/sci-fi genre are usually awful, there have been a few successes (i.e. Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)). It seems that lately the average number of movie remakes have been increasing, particularly in the last few years with all of the franchise remakes and reboots. The latest atrocity to this long list of movie remakes is of course The Thing (2011). This movie has an interesting past, this latest version is actually a remake of a remake! No joke, the original film titled The Thing (from Another World) (1951) was a 1950's black-and-white, Cold-War/Sci-Fi paranoia film starring James Arness as "The Thing" and produced by Howard Hawks. The movie was masterfully remade in as simply The Thing in 1982 by horror master John Carpenter (Halloween (1978) starring Kurt Russell (Escape from New York (1981). While this latest version is technically considered to be a prequel, taking place before the events of the 1982 version, that claim makes no sense since the title the same? While there have been many remakes over the years there are ten that come to mind that fall completely short of it's original intention of outdoing the original and fail are the Top 10 "Worst" Movie Remakes:

#10 House of Wax (2005) - The original film titled Mystery of the Wax Museum was released in 1933 and starred Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray (King Kong (1933). When a famous London sculptor (Atwill) is horribly burned in a fire, he disappears, only to reappear in New York City with a new wax museum where he uses stolen corpses for his wax exhibits. When it was remade as House of Wax in 1953 starring Vincent Price, it was filmed in 3-D and used the same premise. Them in 2005, it was remade into a mediocre teen horror movie featuring now Supernatural TV star Jared Padalecki and Paris Hilton (of all people!?). The movie was drastically changed into a story about two twin boys, one horribly deformed, who create a bizarre wax museum (and town) encasing victims (alive or dead) in wax!
#9 The Haunting (1999) Based on the classic tale by Shirley Jackson, the original 1963 Robert Wise classic is a masterpiece of subtle suspense and psychological terror. Unfortunately, the 1999 remake directed by Jan de Bont and starring Liam Neesons and Catherine Zeta Jones is a travesty relying on cheap CGI effects and a convoluted storyline.

#8 Night of the Living Dead (1990) - While George Romero's 1968 zombie classic is considered to be one of the best and well-known modern horror classic, special effects artist Tom Savini decided to direct a remake of it in 1990. Not only did they change the fate of the major characters but the ending as well! What we're they thinking?
#7 King Kong (2005) - The original King Kong (1933) is a classic adventure featuring one of the first uses of stop-motion animation. After the success of the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy, director Peter Jackson endeavored to remake this classic film using state-of-the-art motion capture (played Andy Serkis (Gollum) and CGI effects, what resulted was a really convoluted and really LONG movie! Despite Jackson's ambitious vision, the remake got mixed reviews and moderate success. But not for Jack Black...
#6 The Omen (2006) - The Omen is one of the scariest modern horror films of all time. Released in 1976 following the same vein of religious terror like The Exorcist (1973), The Omen is about a child who will become the Antichrist! Liev Shrieber and Julia Stiles starred in this pathetic remake, which was released almost 30 years to the day and fittingly on 6/6/06. Unfortunately, the inauspicious release date didn't help the fact that the movie was awful.

#5 Planet of the Apes (2001) - Tim Burton, known for his fantastically dark films, would be the LAST person in the word to direct a remake, however, his  2001 remake of the 1968 classic Sci-Fi film turned out to be an embarrassing, big-budget, flop! In this so-called "re-imagining" of the Apes film, Mark Wahlberg is definitely NO Charlton Heston! Despite the impressive ape-make-up effects but lacking in story and substance.

#4 Clash of the Titans (2010) - The original 1981 mythological epic is a fantasy classic, however following Sam Worthington's fame in Avatar (2009), director Louis Leterier turned Perseus into a ungrateful, angst-ridden, jerk bent on revenge! Liam Neeson as Zeus is so over-the-top with his blindingly, flashy armor costume. The movie takes the original story of heroism and love and shoves it up the Kraken's ass!

#3 I Am Legend (2007) - While Richard Matheson's original vampire novel I Am Legend has been adapted into movies before including The Last Man on Earth (1964) starring Vincent Price and The Omega Man (1971) starring Charlton Heston, when director Francis Lawrence wanted to bring new life to Matheson's story he actually used the title of the story for the movie (what a concept!). Starring Will Smith, I Am Legend is downright boring. Watching Will Smith (and his dog) all by himself most of the movie, surrounded by terrible CGI vampires is exhausting! Even the campy, 70's exploitation Charlton Heston version is more entertaining than Smith's! They should've called it something else rather than ruin the original story.

#2 War of the Worlds (2005) - H.G Well's timeless Sci-Fi novel was first adapted into film in the 1953 classic Byron Haksin film. When it was announced that visionary director Steven Spielberg was set to direct a remake in 2005 audiences were highly anticipating this epic special effects laden blockbuster! It even stars Tom Cruise and a young Dakota Fanning, however the whole movie is a huge disappointment. While most moviegoers think Spielberg can do no wrong, we are reminded of flops such as The Lost World (2002) and Minority Report (1997), you can't win them all!

#1 Psycho (1998) - Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) is a monumental suspense classic! Based on the novel by Robert Bloch, Hitchcock literally created the slasher-movie genre. Of all the classic films that you would think would never be remade...BUT in 1998, director Gus van Sant (Good Will Hunting (1997)) decided to produce a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho, starring Vince Vaughn as the cross-gender confused killer, Norman Bates. What was he thinking? This movie shouldn't even be allowed to exist! It was a box office flop earning only a little over $20 million dollars but with a budget of $25 million. This is quite possibly THE worst movie remake of all time!