FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Feb 10, 2006

Stop the presses!

Today at his excellent blog Clueless Observations Chadwick H. Saxelid posted a link to an interview with Sean Cunningham at Fangoria**. According to the interview, the upcoming Friday the 13th flick isn't going to be a proper sequel, but rather a remake of the original Friday. Man, and to think: I wasted so much time ruminating on plot possibilities.

Is nothing sacred, Hollywood? Hmm?

Well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this, really, but I am. In my opinion, it takes a pair of brass ones to remake a classic. Said brass ones have no bearing on the final outcome, but you gotta admire that moxie!

This'll be somewhat of a trendy re-imagining, with more emphasis on Jason this time around. He was ludicrously tacked onto the ending of the original purely for shock value (and it really is a killer shock, regardless of how silly it is) and no one expected him to become so popular. Poor crazy ol'Mrs. Voorhees. Does no one care for her anymore? Jason! Jason! Jason! That's all we ever hear. Where is the love for Mrs. V?
I'm honestly curious as to how this is all gonna pan out, and this is one remake I won't miss. I might even- gasp- be looking forward to it. I'm definitely warmer to the idea of a remake more than another crappy sequel, really.

And right before our eyes, the Friday the 13th series becomes a big, fat, bloody mobius strip. Just think, in 2026 or so I'll be writing a blog entry about the forthcoming remake of Jason X!

Actually, that's kind of a sad thought in a few ways.

**WARNING: graphic photo of hideous shirt accompanies interview


Unknown said...

Well, great . . . I was really worried the studio was going to put out a bad sequel or something . . . this is so much better . . . (/sarcasm)

Sigh . . .

Anyone else think that part of the decision behind this was made so New Line can further wrap itself around the Friday the 13th elements from the previous Paramount films . . . ?

Oh, and that it's a bad idea . . . ?

John Barleycorn said...

I'm psyched for the remake. Unless it's produced by a bunch of idiots, it'll be good. Sure, the original has its value, and Mrs. Voorhees is amazing, but some of the effects are kind of cheesy.

For instance: lightning flashes, but the budget is too low to produce fake lightning. So they flick the a lightbulb on and off. Huh? That's cheesy.

Plus this whole series isn't about quality necessarily. It's about Grade B Horror. At least Carpenter put the kibosh on remaking Halloween. They can toy with Friday the 13th all they want, but if they fuck with Halloween, I'll get pissed.

Maybe if they remake Part 2, our good buddy Amy Steel will return for a cameo! Hope for that at least!

Des said...

Let me guess: a worm-like demon will crawl out of Mrs. Voorhees's decapitated head at the end and crawl into the lake.

Another pointless remake! Yay!

Unknown said...

"Sure, the original has its value, and Mrs. Voorhees is amazing, but some of the effects are kind of cheesy.

For instance: lightning flashes, but the budget is too low to produce fake lightning. So they flick the a lightbulb on and off. Huh? That's cheesy."

Sure, looking back on it now, with 2006-eyes, I could see how some people would view some of the original Friday the 13th as (supposedly) "cheesy," but keeping in mind the kind of money the producers had to work with, what was accepted in film-pop-culture at the time, and what the filmmakers were trying to do with the movie, I think it's incredibly naive to say that a remake's warranted because of this.

Here's a thought for New Line (and pretty much any other studio out there): instead of spending the time, energy and resources remaking something that's already been done, why don't you put some effort into an ORIGINAL production (I'll even accept a sequel here for crying out loud). Do something new(-ish). Maybe even start a new franchise.

Remakes fall into one of two camps normally. 1) The studio is making a quick play for some money by tying into the original somehow (the blasphemous remake of Dawn of the Dead), or 2) the filmmakers get to make a big budget "fan film" (Peter Jackson's King Kong).

Can't we rise above that?

John Barleycorn said...

While I agree with Brother D's wish for quality original films, it should be realized that at this point, horror is in desperate need of another Scream to liven the genre. That may sound ridiculous and insulting to some, but the impact Scream had on horror films is outstanding. It changed everything, mostly for the worse, but still, it injected a much-needed jolt of life into clunky films.

Now studios just want to remove the grain and gristle from older horror classics so young audiences will drop $10 and hopefully, maybe, rent the originals. But honestly, studios don't care about that, unless they happened to produce the originals and somehow can garner royalties on the sale or rental of a previous film.

And I stand behind my comments regarding Friday the 13th and its remake. It's true the original film was cheaply made and, if one is into special effects, might need a contemporary boost in that department. I don't think for a minute that that's a valid reason for remaking a film, though.

But still, the Friday films are, when all is said and done, lacking integrity. They pumped out sequel after sequel. Some of them were decent, some of them were terrible, written in a weekend and ripped off other, more successful films (I'm speaking specifically about Part 9, which ripped off Invasion of the Body Snatchers with no shame whatsoever).

If the series had any credibility or integrity, this remake would be out of the question. But if the series had credibility and integrity, they wouldn't be so damn enjoyable to begin with, as the running time would be consumed with the director's desire to make a quality film instead of his ambition to make a quick buck and churn out bloody, plotless horror scenes that are decidedly low-rent and therefore hugely entertaining.

So yeah. That's that.

Oh, and I really enjoyed the original and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Maybe I'm alone here.

Unknown said...

In some ways, you're definitely right. The F13 films were rather slapdash and put together to capitalize quick, make handfuls of cash, and run. A lot of the "warm fuzzies" we fans have assigned to the films come from nostalgia and retrospect.

But a remake is still a bad idea.

Scream, love it or hate it, did bring horror back around to the mainstream. Unfortunately, it kind of WB'ed the horror landscape for awhile - pop songs, pretty (mostly white) boys and girls, weak chills and even weaker thrills. For better or worse, Scream definitely had an impact.

Two things prevented me from enjoying the Dawn of the Dead remake. 1) Zombies don't run, and 2) call it something other than Dawn of the Dead. The storyline was different enough to maybe warrant being called something else - it didn't NEED to pretend to be a remake . . . unless the filmmakers weren't confident in their own movie standing on its own . . .

John Barleycorn said...

"Warm fuzzies" is a great way to put it - in fact, tonight, I plan on watching Friday the 13th Part 2 because I heart that movie. Why? Because it's the best sequel the series had. Is it good? Fuck no. It's still a bad movie with poor acting (except for Amy Steel - she really put terror into her role) and a shoddy script, but it's enjoyable.

It's just as enjoyable as I imagine a Friday the 13th remake would be. So they're gonna change a few things - isn't that exactly what they did with the sequels? Take the original movie, add a few new characters, up the body count, revolutionize the gore, and call it a sequel? When it really comes down to it, isn't every Friday the 13th sequel a remake of the original? Or, more accurately, a remake of Part 2 since Jason takes the lead?

Yes, you're right: Scream WB'd the horror genre. But now we've got gorehound douchebags like Eli Roth turning back the clocks to a time of less censorship and more brutality, except Roth brings stark gruesome modernism to the table, cheapens the genre, and furthermore alienates the public from it. Nobody wants to see torture. But everybody wants to see Drew Barrymore sliced to shit. Without movies like Audition to mix things up, I think horror as we know it would be finished if not for Scream.

Re: Dawn of the Dead. 1) Zombies can do whatever the hell a director wants them to do. You've got to admit it upped the action quotent of the film, made it more thrilling. Lumbering dead wouldn't have done that. And 2) It was a remake. That's why they called it a remake. The core elements of the original were thus: Zombies overrun a mall; social commentary ensues. The remake whitewashed the latter part and focused on the thrilling aspects of the former. Still, it's a remake.

P.S. I am enjoying this debate. Sorry, Stacie, for mobbing your comment box with it.