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!

Jan 2, 2007

Ho ho uh oh

They say there's no such thing as "bad" publicity, that if people are talking about you or your product, it's always a good turn. Did the controversy surrounding Black Christmas (releasing it on Christmas day- the nerve!) get people into theatres or has word-of-mouth about the flick's overall suckitude kept audiences away? I have no idea. I can't find numbers for the film's budget anywhere, but the gross so far has been about $12 million. Is that good or bad? What am I, an accountant? I have no idea, but I'm sure DVD sales will help the movie, stinker though it is, turn a profit.

Whatever the dollar totals turn out to be, the controversy surrounding the release date did get people talking about the film. It seems Sony Screen Gems is hoping to ride another controversy train to jewels and riches:

They're remaking Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Yup, the nasty 1984 slasher about a rampaging Santa Claus, the mediocre flick whose biggest contribution to the genre is the fact that it got Mickey Rooney's panties in a twist, is the lastest horror movie up for a "reimagining". Moviehole's got the scoop:
The championing producers are David Foster (The Thing) and Ryan Heppe. Nick Phillips and Scott Strauss are also onboard.

Joe Harris, of The Tripper fame, is in talks to write the remake, which “will not be a remake of the original picture, but a total reimagining using the basic concept as a platform for a new franchise. Extreme attention has been placed on putting together a top-notch, terrifying screenplay as most films in this sub-genre (including the recently released Black Christmas) have little to no story and very weak scares. The intent is to create a dark and scary film that falls more in line (in terms of tone) with modern released such as Saw and The Descent.

We’re assured that Screen Gems isn’t just horny to ride the “make a cheap slasher movie that milks a famous title” train, but that it plans to really snap a firecracker under the rear of the Silent Night remake – hoping it’ll go ‘right off!’
Silent Night, Deadly Night is indeed a sleazy little movie, and that's one of the biggest things going for it- that mean-spirited approach to "the most wonderful time of the year". Otherwise, I can't say it's a great horror movie or even a scary one, although I do adore Will Hare's turn as the miner 49er-esque, sometimes catatonic, crazy old grampa ("You see Santa, boy, run for your life!").

I don't care much one way or the other about the original, so I can only shake my head at the fact that there's yet another remake coming down the pike. I shake my head far more vigorously, however, at the notion of turning a movie as tasteless and cheesy as Silent Night, Deadly Night into a movie as mature and well-crafted as The Descent. How odd. It's like trying to transform White Castle sliders into filet it even possible? My gut says no (especially to the sliders), but only time will tell. Either way, people will be talking about it.


Anonymous said...

I really hope that it does well enough for us to see a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, complete with 45 minutes of footage from the first movie unchanged.

What next, a remake of April Fool's Day? Leprechaun? The Texas Kwanzaa Massacre: The Beginning?

Anonymous said...

Another week, another horror remake. Is it really that hard to come up with new scenarios in which to place college or high school kids and a maniac with a sharp object?

BTW, $12 million? Not so good. It's not even in the top 10 for the weekend. Only about $1.5 per day, and it's not likely to get any hotter, given the lousy reviews. On the downside, we'll likely hear from the Catholic League and everyone else about how they were able to 'sink' this movie with their protests over the release date.

Clay McClane said...

Hey, thank God Joe Harris will be placing "extreme attention" on writing a good screenplay. Most of the time, you don't really need to pay ANY attention to the screenplay, I guess. But this time? EXTREME attention.

Mountain Dews at the ready?



Anonymous said...

What I read between the lines of that quote:
"Blah Blah Blah, same stuff we've said to you before, blah blah blah, we really are running out of ideas, blah blah blah, remember when David's friend shot himself on 90210, blah blah blah, maybe we could make a movie off of that, blah blah, Screen Gems is horny."

I just saw the original for the first time this year & I don't think it's sacred ground like Black Christmas (remember when you could say Black X-Mas & I'd didn't mean the "extreme" remake). I am just sick of the whole remake cycle. There are screen writers who aren't the same old stuff that have original stories to tell, but aren't inside the "studio system."

When I have kids they are gonna think of Leatherface as this pro-wrestler sized monster & I'm gonna have to learn'em aboot a character from the 70s that was simple, but had alot of depth. And they are gonna think Agnes was the molestifed (you know you are gonna use that word) daughter/sister of Billy. Then I'm gonna have to learn'em again & they will look at me & say "Dad, you are old." Then I will have to make them go chop firewood . . . even if we don't have a fireplace. Remakes are making my life difficult.

As far as the original SNDN goes, I like the half an hour with Linnea on the antlers & the decapitating sled ride. Other than that, . . . eh.

Anonymous said...

I remember all the fuss when the original "Silent Night, Deadly Night" was released back in 1984. But those who know know that the original Killer Santa was born in 1972. It was in the original film version of "Tales From the Crypt," in the eposode titled "All Through the House." Joan Collins terrorized by a psycho Santa? It doesn't get much better than that.

Heather Santrous said...

These are the types of movies I think should be given the remake treatment. I could be wrong but I don't think SNDN would be as "popular" as it is now if it wasn't for the blow up that happened when the film was first released. There is room for improvement. Then again, what some people call an improvement others feel like it is a total waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Off topic but I had to say now when ever I go to see a horror movie I have to stop here. I have to see what our dear Final Girl says.

Feels great to see another girl who loves horror movies. Every girl I know thinks I am insane to like them.

Right now sci-fi is going to show Darkness(2002) with Anna Paquin and I want to see it. Story line looks good but reviews I am seeing online are horrible. What to do...

Stacie Ponder said...

Josh: My heart belongs to SNDN 2...I love that movie! I can't believe how much footage from the first film they threw in there- practically the entire thing. But man, the NEW stuff in SNDN 2? Golden, my friend. Golden.

Bit your tongue on an April Fool's Day remake, though, or Hollywood might hear you. And believe me, I will go all ten kinds of King Kong all over Hollywood's ass if I hear anything about it.

That means I'll get really big, climb buildings, airplanes or something. I may even kidnap Naomi Watts. Don't fuck with me, Hollywood!

Ray and Heather: I agree with both of you. Even in the heyday of the slasher into the decline of the sub-genre, there were original films...granted the genre got tired because the films felt repetitive regardless, but it wasn't remake after remake. Why "reimagine"? Just...imagine a little more and come up with something new. That said, as Heather mentioned, there ARE plenty of movies out there that COULD perhaps use a remake. Movies that were thisclose to being good the first time 'round but ultimately came up short. Why not try to transform something barely mediocre or forgotten into something good? Why bother with the "classics"?

As I said, I don't much care for Silent Night, Deadly Night and I think it's a meddling film at best (decapitated sledders and Crazy Grampa aside), but in some sense it IS a classic of the genre. Is it untouchable? Meh, I don't know. But I can think of gobs more movies that would be BETTER suited to a remake.

Craig: Isn't it sad when a press release has to practically say "No, really, we swear...we're TOTALLY gonna try to write something good this time. Honest. We're paying EXTREME attention!"

I mean, I'll watch anything, I guess...but how low have our collective standards sunk? I'd like to believe there'll be a decent screenplay for once, I really would.

All these new movies have to have press release after press release until the movies all blur together and the quotes sound the same. It's the movies that you don't hear much about beforehand: The Descent, for example, that just shut up and get the job done. Again, don't TELL me you're going to kick my ass, just fucking DO IT.

Shut up and make your movie.

OK, ali, I'm totally and completely flattered, thanks!

I've yet to see Darkness, but yeah, I've only heard terrible things. I say go for it, though. I would- I can't help myself when it comes to horror movies. Hmm...maybe I'm insane...

Anonymous said...

Attention Hollywood, if you are confused by "Going King Kong", perhaps you should check out the Kokomo Comic of yore.

Or just put Kokomo on a very loud speaker when you remake April Fool's Day, which you no doubt are considering.

By the way Hollywood, you will regret remaking April Fool's Day. Please instead consider remaking Laserblast.

Anonymous said...

Imagine instead of reimagine? That sounds risky...