When I first heard that George Romero was going to remake Dario Argento’s Deep Red in 3-D, I was pissed.
My initial reaction was a typical knee-jerk lament: “Hollywood has run out of ideas.” That’s my usual statement whenever I hear that yet another classic horror film is slated for a remake.
My next reaction was a profound sadness for Romero. He’s the kind of pioneer whose films get remade — not the kind of guy who goes around recycling others’ ideas. Sure, the God of the Living Dead could use a box-office hit, but simultaneously jumping on two bandwagons (3-D and rehashed horror) seemed like a desperate act.
Under a cloud of dismay, I decided to take a shambling stroll outside to clear my head. I came across my neighbor from down the street, gnawed open his larynx, feasted on his entrails, and immediately felt better.
My mood was further brightened when I remembered that the Romero and Argento dynasties have actually had a pretty fruitful past, and this Deep Red might just be the next chapter.
After all, Argento helped produce and score Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and re-cut it for the Italian market as Zombi. And, Romero cast Argento’s daughter Asia as a sexy zombie slayer in Land of the Dead. Although Argento doesn’t seem to be involved in the new Deep Red project, I imagine he would trust his baby in Romero’s capable hands.
Besides, a late-career gig directing a remake isn’t a sign that you’re a lame duck. If you pull it off, it can even land you an Oscar. Just ask Martin Scorsese.