Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Honestly Don’t Know What To Think About The New Fright Night

It’s funny, though I do a lot of bitching and whining about movie remakes/franchise revivals on this blog; in most cases I tend to sensationalize my reactions to increase their entertainment value.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always honest with my opinions, whatever they may be; but pretty much every post I make here has some degree of exaggeration to it.

Truth of the matter is, while I let on that all sorts of shit is sacred to me and what not, deep down I’m rarely ever more than miffed by the antics of the Hollywood bullshit factory.

Well, unless you drag Transformers into it.

You bring up Transformers 2 or 3 around me, and not only will I go on a 2 hour rant; I’ll probably end up causing a few million dollars in property damage.

That being said, I really don’t know what to think when it comes to the upcoming Fright Night remake coming out this Friday.

I want to throw a hissy hit over it, but for the life I just can’t figure out how I feel about it.

I really liked the original Fright Night.

I saw it when I was about 13, (nearly the perfect age for “that” kind of movie) and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

In my mind, Fright Night stands as perhaps the quintessential teen horror flick of the mid-80’s.

The “Rear Window with a Vampire” premise was solid.

The cast was impeccable.

The soundtrack was memorable and almost sinfully hum-able.

Most of all though, the makeup and effects work were surprisingly over-the-top and incredibly effective.

Fright Night was a great example of the familiar horror trope of a dumb story, told exceptionally well.

Despite it’s cast of name actors, and high-quality effects, Fright Night was, at it’s core; a stupid date night horror movie.

Fright Night thrived on this, reveling in every opportunity to play up the shlocky-ness of it’s premise, while at the same time wow-ing the audience with it’s undeniable special effects charms.

Pictured: The unforgettable reverse wolf transformation sequence.

As mentioned earlier, Fright Night is a film that means a lot to me.

I rarely get attached to films to the point in which I would openly defend their integrity, however in all honesty; I’m pretty sure I’d go to bat for Fright Night should the situation ever arise.

That being said, my greatest hope is that the upcoming remake does it’s predecessor proud.

Based on the (rather excessive) ad campaign for the new Fright Night, I think it’ll be okay, though probably not on par with the original.

The new one has a pretty impressive cast going for it, as well as the benefit (or “curse” if you’re a practical effects nut like myself) of modern special effects, however I think the one big strike against it is one that it really can’t help.

I hate to say it, as I myself am not quite of the original Fright Night generation; but it feels like times have changed a bit too much for a straight Fright Night remake to succeed.

The mid-80’s were a breeding ground for “fun” blockbuster horror flicks designed to entertain audiences and get teenage boys laid.

The soundtracks were dance-pop fun.

The scripts included words like “radical” and “tubular.”

The special effects budgets were bloated to the point in which rookie directors and actors were commonplace on most projects.

It was a different time, and the youth culture was in a very different place.

Thanks to Twilight, and other such dreadfully over-the-top horror teen drama fests, popcorn horror movies seem to be caught in tough spot wherein they must either be totally serious, or totally tongue-in-cheek stupid.

LOOK WHAT THEY DID TO TEEN WOLF!!!!! WAHT DAH' FAWK!!!?

The original Fright Night, like An American Werewolf in London, towed this line with exceptional grace.

While I’m on the topic, if you want an horror franchise revival being ruined by the culture of it’s time, take a look at An American Werewolf in Paris.

The movie tried to take the humor and inventiveness of the original and transpose it into 90’s youth culture, resulting in sub-par, and poorly conceived film with inferior special effects work despite the 20 year gap between the 2 movies.

What is that? A shaved monkey or some shit?

Maybe it’s the ad campaign’s fault, but something about the trailers for the new Fright Night makes it seem a little “dark” for my tastes, both visually and thematically.

Then again, given that the man that shall forever be known as McLovin is in the film, it’s hard for me to picture it being totally serious.

Oddly enough he’s cast as Evil Ed, which, if they follow the original (don’t bet on it) will mean we’ll get to see him die on-screen!

Arrrgh! ¬†I’m rambling now, and it’s all because I honestly don’t know how to feel about this movie!

Oh well, maybe I’ll just have to go see it and finally sort this shit out…

 

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5 Movies That SHOULD Be Remade

And the point of this was.....?

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.

Some of the worst examples of a remake that I can think of are A Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, and Rollerball.

In the case of the former 2, neither made any attempt whatsoever to expand on what made the original films great.

Psycho was of course a shot for shot retread, making it essentially “Psycho with Vince Vaughn” and little else.

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.

Sometimes the old ways are best...

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

Robot Jox = Rocky IV with giant robots.

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.

At the very least, a Robot Jox remake would probably turn out better than Real Steel… Or either of Michael Bay’s Transformer movies.

Anyone wanna’ come with me to see Real Steel when it drops this October?

2. The Land That Time Forgot

... Is that T-Rex drowning?

Surprisingly enough, this one was already remade in 2009, in the form of a “mockbuster” produced by the oh so infamous crew over at The Asylum productions.

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…

Anyway, The Land That Time Forgot was a classic adventure story loosely based on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs AKA The Tarzan Guy.

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.

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

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.

Pictured: The title monster.

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…

5. Them!

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.

Imagine how fucked up that would be to show up at the theater expecting Black Hawk Down or L.A. Confidential, only to end up having giant ants thrown at you a half an hour into the movie?

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.

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