Let me paint you a picture...
Clear your minds...
Done? It clear?
Goooooood, let me begin.
So there I was, surfing the internet, looking for something movie related that would interest my poor student mind (and stop me from doing some actual work). Then it happened, I found this place, MOVIEPILOT, and everything started to change.
Let me quickly introduce myself, my names Jon* and I've been active on the internet (you know what I mean *wink wink*) for a fair few years. I even started my own movie blog, just somewhere where I could rant over and over about how I feel about films, old, new, good, bad...anything. It was just somewhere that I could just be me, albeit under an alias (oh the irony). My site quickly grew (not in the way that any of you would actually know it but, you know) and I started getting views from all over the world, Australia, Pakistan, Japan, Canada and the one place I really would never have thought I'd be read, Hollywood itself.
* I know you were wondering why I popped the little star after my name, the truth of it is, I've never actually wrote on the internet under my real name before, so this is something new and kinda exciting (oh and the name online was Vader, but not of Darth popularity but the big man at the top of the page). I will apologise now though, I'm English and I spell things the way they are over here (hence the lack of the z in apologise). I also type in a way that makes it seem like I'm sat speaking to you, so don't be expecting a literary masterpiece!
Ahem...where was I? Ahh yes, so I found this place and popped off an email to Hannah about becoming a contributor. She quickly replied saying she'd seen my site and recommended a certain post to start off my career here on moviepilot, so here goes, hope you enjoy!
Can I just add, I write just from the top of my head, I don't sit and plan anything out, I just write as it feels natural. I don't sit and research what I'm going on about, so if there are any factual errors, then well I'm kinda sorry! Anyways enough of me just going on, here goes, wish me luck...
Remake Or Not To Remake, That Is The Question
I'm sat here pondering, the eternal thought we all have.
Well maybe not all of us, but I know it's something I think about quite a lot, is a remake always a good thing?
Lately, for some unknown reason, Hollywood feels the need to give us something we've already seen, but shown in a new light. Ahh yes, there is also the brand new thing of "rebooting" a film to bring it to a new audience.
Does it work though, that's what I know you'd like to know so let's have a look at a few from the past 10 years or so and decide together, see here at Vader Towers I know you enjoy having to think, I mean why else would you keep coming back?
What I will point out is the fact that the majority of these reboots and remakes are actually of well loved horror films, which can make things even worse for geeks like me....Enough of this though, let's get to it!
THE AMITYVILLE HORROR
So here we go on our long (!!) arduous journey together, starting with the 1979 horror film, The Amityville Horror. Based on a "true" story (hmm yeah right, ok) it follows George and Kathy Lutz as they move into a new house. Normal so far isn't it?? Oh did I mention that said house was the scene of mass murder by a dude called Ronald DeFeo Jr, who thought it was all fine and dandy to slaughter 6 members of his family, what a lovely chap.
So yes, the Lutz's move in and last a grand total of 28 days before claiming they've been terrorised by unseen forces. RIGHT, first things first sure you just realised you couldn't actually afford the place?? How about the fact that 28 days is the usual stint in rehab isn't it? Maybe somebody had a drinking problem and forgot he'd been a bit of a dick towards his family? Alright, alright maybe I'm being cynical as I don't believe shit like this but as it's a film and it's of the horror genre I shall leave my feelings at the door and carry on. Anyways, yes the family have some trouble with weird voices and the such and shit themselves and leave, which lets be honest if that happened to you and me we'd do the same thing. One thing this has going for it is a brilliant performance by James Brolin. The longer the film goes on, the worse he starts looking due to lack of sleep, and numerous murderous thoughts and weird going ons. Here's the trailer for you to have a gander at;
I don't know what's worse over that trailer? The dodgy piano music or the even dodgier voice over.
You get an idea of the film though and the trials and tribulations you get from living in a haunted house. What's more impressive is the fact that this one story somehow managed to produce 7 sequels!!! It's ok though, the Lutz's made some money out of the whole shebang so it's all good now....hmmm This then leads us onto the remake from 2005...
Ermm....right then 2005's The Amityville Horror.....errmmm ok. So same sort of story as the original but more of a basis on time (don't ask) and a mental preacher who killed native americans in the basement (ahh so that's why it's haunted...ok)
To say that this is shit would be a disservice to actual pieces of human excrement. George Lutz in the original was just a normal guy, what do we get in this??
Yes Ladies, and this is for you, we get Ryan Reynolds looking like a fucking male supermodel, oh how life must have been so hard for these guys.
Here's the trailer for this....
What I do want you to do right now, is to go back to the poster for the remake and make it bigger if you can (Hey, I just write this shit!) and see if you can notice something at the top of the poster, a little line that should strike fear in your heart if you're a genuine horror fan....
"FROM MICHAEL BAY, THE PRODUCER OF THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE"
Oh yes, this is yet another abomination from Platinum Dunes, a production company created by Michael Bay, who specialise in horror films but mostly remakes of some real classics. Don't worry I'm sure over the course of this article we'll come across this company again....in fact....
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Now this is a bonafide classic in the horror genre. Following Leatherface (he's the big fuck off dude with the chainsaw in case you didn't know!) as he hacks and slashes his way through a group of complete fucking morons. When I say morons, I actually mean complete fucking brain dead idiots!!
We also meet Leatherface's family who are just as mental, hell they let the big man wear a dress to serve dinner....so not only is he a homicidal maniac wearing a mask made of leather (or possibly human skin, I dunno) and wielding a fucking chainsaw around like it's a shopping bag but he's a transvestite as well.....weird.
I wouldn't personally say it's a scary film if I'm honest, it's good but not great, it's funny but it's not supposed to be and so on and so forth, but I think you'd enjoy it if you like horror films and haven't yet seen it. Let's be honest though, if you're a horror fan and haven't seen it you must be weird.
What makes this more special though is the fact that it must have shit a fair few people up back in 1974 as it was actually banned here in the UK by the BBFC and only allowed a proper release in 1998!! Even more funnier if you do some research about it, is the fact that the director had hoped for a PG rating in the States, imagine how he must have felt when it came back to him rated as "X", which is pretty much a bad thing if you want to make some money from your picture!! After a few cuts, he managed to get the rating down to a "R". Some naughty cinema proprietors inserted the cut scenes back in and showed the film under the "R" rating, tut tut tut!!!
Have a look at the trailer....
If you notice from the trailer and the poster, they like to let you know that it's "BASED ON A TRUE STORY". Now not to ruin your fragile little minds if you believe this but....GASP, Leatherface never ever existed!! It's actually based upon a guy called Ed Gein who was a little "unhinged" shall we say. Killed, ate people and also had a liking to skin the bodies of women and wear them like an overcoat, nice guy though!!
So no matter what really happened in the film, after the fun and games of it being banned etc it's always going to live on in infamy and I'm kind of glad it does, as it signaled the start of some "proper" horror films. Unlucky for us, the same name signaled the start of a scary trend in Hollywood as mentioned before...
Yes guys and gals, the 2003 remake of TCM was Platinum Dunes' first stab (guffaw) at the remake.
Yes, I saw this the day it came out as I was rocking the cinema uniform at the time and it would have been rude not to at least check it out. Jesus I wish I hadn't.... A little bit of advice for you though, if you want to see a horror film at the cinema, don't bother going on a Sunday night as that's when all the married couples who've palmed the kids off on Grandma go and it's pain in the arse and they seem to sell out more! Same story really as the original so have to give them some credit for that I guess. Obviously there's going to be a few tweaks but it doesn't make it any better, it's shit. I know there will be fans of this over the original, probably 15 year olds who haven't seen a decent horror film before and believe this to be "scary", the fools!!!! They know nothing!!! There is one redeeming feature for this though, and boys this is just for you...
Oh yes, obviously this isn't a still from the film like The Amityville Horror one and it's a bit ruder than the Ryan Reynolds one but I'm writing this and if I want to put up a picture like this for the male population, I bloody well will do!!!
Back to where I was though, the original TCM spawned a few "questionable" sequels of which I don't want to even acknowledge if I can get away with it (TCM2 is pretty much a comedy....I'm not sure if it was intended to be that way either). Luckily for the world the remake only managed to spawn one sequel, which is just as bad and we haven't been subjected to anymore since 2006 so SCORE!!!! (Although we got a 'prequel' type thing last year that was ermm...yeah)
So there we have the first part of our look at remakes, there are a fair few more parts to this 'saga' which if it's ok with you guys, I will pop up?!
We've got quite a few remakes to still go through, with at least another 3 just to come from Platinum Dunes!!
By all means if you've anything to say about this post, pop it in the comments and I'll do my best to get back to you!
So until next time...
VAD...Ahem sorry, JON OUT.