F@#K REMAKES – HorrorHound Weekend…Part 2

blobSaturday night during this recent HorrorHound Weekend, some friends and I were hanging out at the hotel discussing the future of the world and other such stimulating topics, when a guy came up to join our little group. He was passing out little buttons that said “Fuck Remakes” and went to give me one, asking if I liked remakes. When I replied that not all are bad, he withdrew the offer. I then noticed he was wearing a t-shirt with the same moniker. Then the discussion began. Now, it is kind of ironic that while I’m reaching an age where grumpiness and generally being an asshole becomes a normal mood, but at the same time, I’m a lot more tolerant on topics and ideas that in my youth I would have rallied against, much like this recent addition to our group. When I threw out titles like Carpenter’s The Thing or Cronenberg’s The Fly, or Chuck Russell’s The Blob, he blew those off commenting that he thinks the studios would be better off putting time and money into projects that were original. I totally agree with him on that, as well as some of the other points he was making.

The_Thing_posterThe only point that I was trying to make was that you can’t be completely against remakes because there are some good ones out there and to take that kind of stance that every remake is going to be garbage is the kind of thinking that makes people so close minded that they miss out on a lot of things in life. But he was having none of that and stuck with the saying on his shirt. That is where I was having issues with his point of view. Anytime he made a point about how remakes suck, when I would reply with something that just contradicted what he said, he either blew it off or said something even sillier. Kind of hard to have a discussion when you get that every time. I asked him how he knew all these remakes were bad if he never see them. “Oh I see them all”, he quickly replied. So I asked, “so….you continue to go see and pay for, thus supporting, something that you despise and want other people to take a stance again.” Once again, blows off that comment and goes back to his original comments.

Ah…to be young and ignorant again. Gather ’round kiddies…Old Man Kitley has something to tell you. I felt that same way years ago. “Screw this” and “screw that” and “I’m not going to bother with those kind of movies”, or whatever. In the end, all that does is make you stay close minded and possible miss out on some wonderful opportunities. And not just with movies either, but in life as well. I’m not telling you have to love every movie. Trust me, I don’t. And I’m very leery about any remake coming down the line, especially when they come from Hollywood. But I hope that we can be a little bit more open and at least give some things a chance before we quickly write them off. And yes, I still am working my way out of having that kind of mindset on certain things still to this day. But I’m making progress, I swear.

For those that do think that we should ‘fuck remakes’, here’s a few examples why I believe that remakes are not the evil of humanity that some like to make them out to.

  • Not all remakes are shit. In fact, some of these are considered classics. Carpenter’s The Thing, Cronenberg’s The Fly, Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu, Jim Mickle’s We Are What We Are, Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead (even though I know the crowds are still divided on this one), Franck Khalfoun’s Maniac, and the list goes on.
  • One of the best things remakes do is bring attention to the original film. Fans might seek out the original film just so they can compare it to the original, or some might not have even known there was an original, which then in turn might seek it out. In other words, it brings the original to the forefront.
  • Remakes also give the originals a chance to have a new and updated/upgraded release on DVD or blu-ray. I still believe that had it not been for the remake of My Bloody Valentine, there would have not been any interests by the owners of the original film to not only re-released it, but to go through the trouble of getting an uncut version put back together for the fans.
  • Remakes also have that chance of giving up-and-coming filmmakers, like directors, writers, actors, makeup artists, the chance to at least get their foot in the door, where they can show their talents. Sure, the creative element might be a little tightened, but it gives them their chance to show what they can do. And if it is successful, then they have a shot of doing something else that they want to do, that they might not have had otherwise. Sure, it is a stretch, but it does happen.

The bottom line is that yes, a strong percentage of remakes are not worth our time. But I refuse to just draw the line in the cinematic sand and say ‘fuck ’em all’. If that meant losing the chance of another remake like The Thing or The Fly, then I’m willing to let the rest slide through. So let’s leave the juvenile way of thinking back in grade school and start using your brain a little more, shall we?

I’d love to hear any thoughts out there on the subject if you’d like to jump in.

13 thoughts on “F@#K REMAKES – HorrorHound Weekend…Part 2

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Jon! I don’t see how any self respecting Horror fan could ignore one of my all time favorite films, Carpenter’s The Thing. Great article, and, as always, keep up the supreme work!


    • Thanks Ryan. This guy did mention that the Carpenter film isn’t really a remake, but another take on the same source material, which is true. But I just didn’t like the black and white attitude he had and even worse, was preaching.


  2. Hey Jon
    I too agree we do mellow out as we grow older. At one time I was totally against remakes, my thinking was if it’s not broken why fix it.? Besides The Thing, The Fly and The Blob I dd think The Evil Dead was quite good, Let Me In was decent enough but wish the CGI was a little ligter.Regardless I always gve the original a rewatch.


  3. Good points one and all Jon. I’d say the ratio for remakes is pretty much one good one out of every ten or so which isn’t the greatest but like you said all it takes is that one great movie to (kinda sorta) balance things out. Personally I’ll give just about anything a fair shot…you can apply the time honored philosophy of “always the expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed” and see what that does for you. Personally it’s the odd ball remakes that I enjoy the most like the American remakes of popular J-Horror films like The Grudge, The Ring and my personal favorite Dark Water. I thought all of them were better than the Japanese originals. Also Jim Wynorski’s remake of The Giant Gila Monster (simply titled Gila) completely blew me away with a sincere and heartfelt tribute to monster movies from the ’50s. So yeah there are good remakes out there…sometimes you have to dig a little but sometimes that’s half the fun!


  4. I find the best ‘remakes’ are the films based on a literary source material; The Thing, The Fly, et al. I’m usually less impressed with re-imaginings of films originally written for the screen; the new Halloween, the new Texas Chainsaw franchise etc. These seem more pointless to me. There an interesting versions of Dracula all over, but remakes like The Blob are few and far between. Mind you, that’s just me. How big of a button would I need for – “F**k Most Remakes – Let’s Have a Drink and Hash It Out!”


    • That’s a really good point Doug! I had never thought of that before, but now, casting my mind over a list of remakes, it seems to hold true. Wonder why that is?


    • See Doug…I wouldn’t have a problem with your FMR statement (mainly because its true) but that it is not black and white. Sure, the good ones aren’t as plentyful as we’d like, but they are out there.


  5. I am disappointed when I hear someone is planning to remake a perfectly good movie instead of coming up with something original. It just reeks of cash-grabbing. But even the guy with the button watches the remakes and compares them to the original–he just seems to have less fun doing it than most of us.

    Sometimes the remakes surpass the originals, sometimes they don’t, but remakes don’t change the originals–you can watch them whenever you want (and as you pointed out, Jon, you may be more likely to own a good copy of your beloved original movie)!


    • Unfortunately Cate, Hollywood is all about the ‘cash-grabbing’. These guys want to make money and they know investing in a remake, no matter how bad or un-original it might be, has better odds at making money than an original idea. Yeah, that sucks, but that is the way it works.

      And to your second comment, it reminds me of quote from Stephen King (who might have been quoting someone else) when someone asked if about a recent Hollywood adaptation of one of his books, how he felt about them ruining one of his books. His reply was (looking over at his bookshelf), “no…they didn’t ruin it…it is still sitting safely over there on my bookshelf.”


  6. I agree with you. I still cringe when I hear about a movie I love being remade, but I’ve gotten over getting angry about it.


    • I think that is the whole key, Jerry. Remakes are going to happen. We just don’t want to blankly disregard it. Doesn’t mean we have to support it, since there are too many other great movies out there to see besides that one.


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