As I write this, Nightmare on Elm Street is mere hours away from its first midnight screenings and it’s about to roll before critics, which means we’ve been arguing about remakes for four years now. I’ve spoken out both for and against remakes in the past. I’m very much against remakes of films that are still amazingly awesome, which is a short list – one that immediately comes to mind is The Thing. Turn off the irony alarm, I know it’s a remake.
But with the big horror franchises, I’ve been okay with reboots, basically because most of the sequels sucked hard ass. When a franchise has fallen to the point of breaking the fourth wall, boxing people in the middle of Manhattan, or delving into the depths of cross-dressing, you’re in a bad spot.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ten movies that are either ripe for a remake because they can be improved upon or have good ideas buried under a pound of shit.
One of the first Friday the 13th-inspired slasher films, there’s no reason why you couldn’t bring Madman Marz back to the big screen. Marz is a crazed axe murdering mad man (hence the title), who is summoned out of the woods by a cocky teenager at a summer camp. Soon, the scarred maniac is slaughtering teens. A solid idea that’s obscure enough to make a comeback.
9. Season of the Witch
Let’s just pretend it was never called Halloween 3 and we can move this title into the remake zone. A big reason why people hate it is because it doesn’t feature Michael Myers. There is something here though, if you focus on the idea of an evil corporation and dangerous Halloween masks.
Maniac has a reputation for being dark and brutal with those that saw it at a young age. As a horror fan who didn’t see it until my twenties, I can assure it is neither dark nor brutal. The idea itself isn’t alarmingly original, which is why it’s perfect remake fodder for Hollywood. It has some brand recognition, few fans to upset, and the groundwork already laid. To modernize it, you’d want to just stick with the general idea and up the violence to modern standards of excess.
7. Night of the Lepus aka Rabbits
If a movie about giant killer piranha can get remade, why not giant killer rabbits? As a kid this was a staple of my Saturday viewing, simply because it was always on for some reason. Is it a good movie? Not by a longshot. But is it a hilarious opportunity for a unrepentant modern mixture of cute fuzzy bunnies and face ripping violence? Hell yes.
6. The Milpitas Monster
I dredged this one out of the forgotten depths because it’s topical. The Milpitas Monster is a giant creature formed out of the waste of the town of Milpitas. With everyone from James Cameron to Al Gore shedding tears about the environment, this is a no-brainer. Hell, make this one in 3D with Cameron at the helm and you have a tailor-made eco-horror flick.
5. Godmonster of Indian Flats
This is a strange one that surfaced on YouTube last year. It involves a scientist who plays God with some sheep and ends up creating a gigantic sheep monster that lumbers slowly around, chases kids away, and eats their lunches. Fast forward from that innocent time to a day and age when cloning animals is real, the film becomes much more relevant. Plus, they could totally update the disgusting monster design, which actually isn’t that bad to start with.
4. I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will remember this one about a troubled youth whose troubles double when he also becomes a werewolf. Imagine a Teen Wolf movie where instead of slamming some dunks on the basketball court, the teenaged werewolf is driven to the throats of school mates.
3. Slumber Party Massacre
Horror plots don’t come much simpler than this – a psycho with a sharp object wants to kill naked co-eds. This particular killer prefers a power drill as he terrorizes a bunch of girls who enjoy not wearing clothes. Nudity and gore would be requirements! There is plenty of opportunity for strangeness and comedy as well, as shown by the sequel to this movie, where the killer used a power drill that was also a guitar and dressed like a rock-a-billy singer. You know, so he could rock while he drilled your face out.
2. Humanoids from the Deep
A not-forgotten but hard to find classic, Humanoids is about some disgusting sea creatures who emerge from the depths of the ocean to rape and impregnate women. It was notable at the time for being directed by a woman, but still overflowing with gore, violence, and nudity. The film was remade in 1996 without the gore or nudity, which is total bullshit. Honestly, I would settle for a re-release of this film on DVD and Blu-ray, but if someone had the balls to really go overboard with the sex and violence, this would be a brilliant film.
1. Rawhead Rex
One of Clive Barker’s best stories was turned into his worst movie, a film that he was completely unhappy with and, having seen bits and pieces of it, I can see why. There is a comic adaptation of the story that is amazing and sick and violent and gross, just like the story, and if done right, a Rawhead Rex movie would be stunning. The monster himself is a 9 foot tall humanoid who likes making a snack of children, tearing people limb from limb, jerking off, and pissing on priests- there is no way this doesn’t make a tremendous film.
There are ten remakes there I would gladly pay $14 to see in a theater, as long as they were violent and full of nudity, of course. So while some films shouldn’t be remade, there are a bunch that not only could be remade, but should be remade.
What do you think?