These days it seems every big budget summer movie is a remake or a sequel.
While this is hardly a new phenomenon, it’s alarming just how many of these films seem unwarranted given the nature of their predecessors.
In my eyes, the point of remaking a film is to improve it, or in the case of films that are severely dated; repackage them for contemporary audiences.
In the case of the former 2, neither made any attempt whatsoever to expand on what made the original films great.
Elm Street expanded on a sub plot or 2 that was already embedded in the mythology (though wisely underplayed) of the series, but ultimately came across as soulless and downright ugly due to it’s poor pacing and even worse special effects.
Rollerball… Well, Rollerball was pretty much as complete a fuck-up a filmmaker can produce… Especially when said filmmaker happens to be someone talented like John McTiernan.
I think it’s best we all just move along and pretend Rollerball never happened.
Anyway, in light of all the buzz surrounding the new embarassingly Twilight inspired Teen Wolf and Fright Night remakes, I decided to put (literally) a few minutes into coming up with a handful of movies that I actually wouldn’t mind seeing get remade at some point.
1. Robot Jox
That alone should tell you this movie is worthy of a big budget remake.
The original Robot Jox was a pretty awful low budget sci-fi film with mediocre stop-motion and miniature effects.
Despite all this, the core concept; that of robotic gladiatorial competitions being staged in place of war between nations, definitely still holds water in my book.
It worked for Rocky IV, it worked for Ip Man 2, and it would’ve worked for Robot Jox, had the production had some flash to go with it’s premise.
The end product would be dumb as all hell, but with state-of-the-art special effects, and even an ounce of the heart of Rocky IV; I think it could be stupid fun.
REALLY stupid fun.
Anyone wanna’ come with me to see Real Steel when it drops this October?
2. The Land That Time Forgot
Given that everything The Asylum produces is essentially of the “ironically bad” variety, I don’t think it’s asking too much if we pretend the 2009 version of The Land That Time Forgot never happened.
Hmm, I wonder how many times I’m gonna’ have to say that over the course of this article…
When I was young, this film was one that I could always depend on to bring a smile to my face.
Even to this day, Land has a lot going for it.
It had cool period costumes and tech (WWI), explosions and volcanoes, and of course; giant dinosaur puppets fighting German sailors.
Dinosaurs are always a win in my book, but when you put them head to head with U-boats and machine guns, well; it’s very hard to get that wrong.
In my mind, a solid modern remake of Land would play out kind of like the Skull Island segment of Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, only for 2 hours instead of… Well, 1 hour… And with less giant gorilla ice-skating.
In my eyes, more dinosaurs always equals a better film.
3. The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids’ plot concerns a meteor shower than blinds everyone on the planet who views it, leaving the vast majority of the population virtually helpless.
The remaining sighted individuals find themselves thrust into a nightmarish world of violence and danger as disorder and chaos threatens to consume the last vestiges of society.
As the icing on the cake of it all, a new threat emerges in the form of vampiric, mobile plant creatures called Triffids that consume humans and multiply at a fantastic rate.
Triffids has been remade before, but not successfully; or with a Hollywood budget.
It’s hard to argue Triffids’ premise isn’t intriguing, however the reason I’d be interested to see a remake, is because the film is kind of silly to look at by today’s standards.
On paper, the plot sounds amazing, but in execution; the film just doesn’t hold up all that well.
As with seemingly every movie I mention on this list, I think Triffids would be a helluva’ thrill ride with a new coat of paint and a few extra bits of characterization.
4. 2o,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Anyone who’s read a post or 2 from this blog probably already knows how much I love Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
What can I say other than the fact that it’s a thrilling and accessible adaptation of an amazing piece of fiction.
From a technical standpoint, few films can measure up to Leagues’ combination of Oscar winning effects work and absolutely brilliant casting direction.
In that sense, it’s hard to imagine a retread of Leagues being better than the 1954 version, however it’s one of those stories that I feel should be shared with the youth of every generation.
What I wouldn’t give to see what modern special effects could do for the giant squid sequence…
Them! is a great movie.
It’s a B-movie by today’s standards, and is indeed kind of hokey; but if you ask me, Them! is a terrific suspense thriller.
The pacing is absolutely brilliant, the Cold War metaphors none-too-subtle, and the monsters memorable, formidable, and truly horrifying.
At it’s core, Them! is about giant ants trying to take over the world of man.
One of the greatest successes of Them!, is the fact that it tells an epic-sized story without sacrificing characterization.
To that end, if Them! were to be remade, I think I’d actually prefer to see it maintain a similar scale to the original.
Modern special effects allow filmmakers *cough!* Michael Bay *cough!* to fill the screen with all sorts of crazy shit, to the point in which some of the craziness and spectacle actually loses some of it’s impact, or worse yet; ends up going unnoticed on the periphery of the screen.
While I admit it would be cool to see an army of ants bum-rushing L.A., truth be told; I found the sewer sequence at the conclusion of the original film to be more than sufficient for a climax.
The really cool thing about remaking Them!, and this is totally unrelated to the actual integrity of the film; is the fact that you could do all sorts of crazy J.J. Abrams shit with the marketing.
A good chunk of Them! didn’t even make mention of giant ants, so I think it would be kind of cool to tease the movie as a cop thriller or military action flick, without showing a frame of ant action.
Sure, plenty of people would feel robbed or jilted somehow, but if the movie ended up being half as good as the original Them!, chances are a lot of people would end up loving it.
Then again, maybe “a lot of people” don’t appreciate giant monster movies the way I do…
Anyway, there’s my list, feel free to point out some movies you think I left out.