Monday, June 27, 2011

Voodoo Rob's first top ten list - Remakes

The topic today is the dreaded remake. Purists love to hate them. Teenie boopers with no concept of the past love them. Me, I'm in the middle. There are some that are good, some that are as good as, and some that are better than the original. I have to agree with the purists in some cases. Some movies just have no need to be remade. But some, could use it for sure. What makes a good remake? There really isn't one thing I can put my finger on. But it is clear when the film makers just didn't get it.

Top Ten Remakes(in no real order):

1. The Thing 1982 - An amazing movie that many don't even know is a remake. A total revamping of the 1951 movie, The Thing from Another World, John Carpenter's redo is better on every level. Though the original is a good watch, this one far surpasses it.

2. Batman Begins 2005 - Ok, so not really a remake but a reboot. Regardless, it is so many times better than Tim Burton's disaster that Batman 1989 should be make illegal. And Tim Burton should be forced to read the Batman Begins script 100 times as punishment for his crime against comic books.

3. Halloween 2007 - This is another of those rare cases where I think the remake was better than the original. With all the added back story and the pure fierceness of Michael, Zombie really took the story to the next level. I re-watched the original not too long ago and it just didn't strike me the same way that Zombie's did. I know, horror purists are getting pissed now. And to make that worse, I thought Zombie's Halloween II was by far the best entry in the Halloween series. The only real complaint I have about both, which I understand the critics blasting of, is Zombie really doesn't write young people dialog very well. And only in a perfect world does a cheerleader wear a Slayer shirt.
Honestly, people love to hate this movie. But the thing is, say what you will about it, there is no arguement that it is better than any of the later Halloweens. I don't understand how people can talk trash about Zombie's Halloween but defend Halloween H20.

4. I Spit on Your Grave 2010 - A good remake of one of my favorite movies. The violence was really well done and updated, it wasn't made silly, and the lead actress did a great job(not to mention her fantastic buttocks). I only had a few small complaints here. It needed more sexy nudity. They whole "I'm back, seducing the badguys" element was gone. Also, they switched the setting to the South. It's that Hollywood media bias against the South. Cause rape and terrible things only happen in the deep South right? That nonsense aside, it was a good watch.

5. Friday the 13th 2009 - You know, I like Jason. He is a cool looking and fun killer, but I just have never enjoyed the earlier films very much. I think 6 is by far the best, when it had gone in a really different, supernatural direction. This remake managed to take the best elements of the early films, combine them with some boobies, and make a fun movie. Also, it did a little something I love in horror movies. It made most of the cast super annoying. Maybe you aren't supposed to root for the killer, but sure enough I had a great time seeing most of these turds get it. The dude from supernatural, one of the only non-annoying characters, was a good lead and carried the movie well.

6. Dawn of the Dead 2004 - This movie had A LOT going against it. First, it was a remake of my all time favorite movie. Second, it had an annoying, militant gangsta type in the main cast. Third, it was flashy and had those stupid running zombies ala 30 Days Later. But even with all those things, the movie still ended up being a good watch. Why I think it worked was because it was so different than the original, it was really only a remake in title and the mall setting. None of the same characters, totally different plot, and no attempts to recreate old scenes. So it was like a whole new zombie movie. A decent one at that.

7. The Blob 1988 - The original was a fun little movie, cool nothing but nothing great. The remake was pretty much the same way. Fun movie, cool monster, nothing great. But this one had Shawnee Smith in the lead. That is my money's worth right there! Also, the deaths were much cooler and I like the sequel that never happened hinting ending.

8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 - When I first heard about this movie I was pissed off. I felt there was NO need to remake it. And after the disaster that was TCM 4, I just knew it was gonna be total crap. I went to the cheap theater with a total bias against the movie and walked out disgusted and hating the film completely. Yeah, I let bias get the better of me. Not sure why, but later I gave the movie another shot and really enjoyed it. It was true enough to the original with a few new twists. Though I missed the Nubbins, the sheriff was really fun and the lack of annoying Franklin was even better. Plus, Jessica Biel in a cowboy hat....mmmhmmm. I won't even put on a front, I like eye candy and expect most horror films to have it. Any straight dude that says he doesn't want hot girls in his movies is lieing, trying to sound sophisticated, or trying to impress a girl.

9. Piranha 3D 2010 - I will admit I have not seen the original since I was a little kid. But I wasn't overly fond of it. After watching the remake I went back and tried to watch the original and didn't make it but a few minutes in. The remake was so much fun I think it ruined any potential the first one had for me. The remake had amazing amounts of nudity, violence and gore. The cast was really good too. I highly recommend this one. It's fun, it's silly, and doesn't make any attempt to take itself seriously. The film makers really captured that 80s vibe here.

10.  The Ring 2002 - Time to piss the purists off even more. The American redo of the Japanese film Ringu was better on every level imaginable. Ringu was entertaining, but not the least bit scary or creepy and the victims looked silly. The remake was better written, far creepier, and had amazing effects. It really upped the supernatural element and had me on edge the entire film. It was one of two movies that have actually creeped me out in my adult life. I think being a remake, and a remake of a foreign film, people have a bias against it. They want to believe the original is better. It was so scary to the Japanese because of an ingrained cultural thing about ghosts of that style. They are iconic over there. To an American that style of ghost was about as iconic as Elvis to a caveman. The remake added an American flare to it, making it actually scary to a western audience.

Some honorable mentions include: House of Wax, The Shining, Psycho, The Wolfman

To be continued with my top ten list of BAD remakes!


  1. I second many of your choices, and I always respect people going out on a limb when they know their opinion might be unpopular. After avoiding Halloween II for a while because of negative buzz I finally saw it and found it quite amusing with the different path for Dr. Loomis. And I totally agree about Piranha 3D, that it some over the top gory fun, love the Jaws reference at the beginning with Dreyfuss; and what's her name from Adventures in Babysitting looks hotter than ever to me. Though I also watched the original recently and enjoyed it more than you did. I also really like the recent Dawn of the Dead, despite also being annoyed by running zombies, because to me what's so scary about zombies is how one's not that threatening, it's when they start to group that it gets scary. But the remake of DotD had some great characters and hilarious scenes.

  2. Aaron! It is great to hear from you. I've been missing seeing your blog here lately.

    But you are obviously a man of fine tastes. I liked Halloween II all around. I personally thought all the maskless hobo Michael stuff was really cool and totally different.

    Maybe I'll give the original Piranha another shot, I think I just tried too soon after watching the remake. Literally a day or two.

    And you nailed it with the zombies. Its that slow moving, alone not too scary, thing that makes zombies scary. Its like the Mummy. He was so scary cause he was slow...yet always managed to catch the people.