Remakes were just remakes before 2003 - no big deal - then came Platinum Dunes's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," and well...here we are, still stuck in the year 2003 - remake-wise, anyway. So, this week, let's go back to a time when remakes weren't the new trend in town.
Dr.LoveGore's Favorite Horror Remakes BEFORE 2003
In No Particular Order..
8. Night of the Living Dead (1990)
One my favorite remakes to exist happened due to the original movie not having a copyright. George A. Romero wanted to cash in on some of that money he missed out on from his 1968 game-changer. He wrote the 1990 film, and gave directing duties to his sfx collaborator, Tom Savini. The original may be the better film, but the remake has some charisma to it. Bill Mosley reinvents the "They're coming to get you, Barbara" line with goofiness - and it works. The Barbara character has a change that fits for the better as she's not just a traumatized woman with little dialog this time...she's more of a warrior in the remake.
7. Phantom Of The Opera (1943)
It's not the color that sells me on this film. I love black and white movies. “Phantom Of The Opera" 1943, stars Claude Rains as Erique the Phantom, a man that got the shaft by having his music stolen. He confronts the thieving bastard and gets disfigured when acid is thrown in his face. I felt Claud Rains's performance was very strong. The makeup of his scarred face could have been more meticulous, but Rains, having respect for World War 2 soldiers coming back home maimed, was against going all the way with the makeup. That's an honorable decision.
6. The Thing (1982)
This is a favorite of many Horror fans. "The Thing" is a sfx show. The acting amongst the cast is so strong I wouldn't blame someone for liking the movie for that reason alone. It's hard not to like this picture. As a kid, the blood sample scene scared the fuck out of me. I had no idea what the name of the movie was until I was grown. Ironically, as a teenager and adult, I stayed away from "The Thing" because it sounded to me that the name was pure laziness. After watching it, I thought the name was genius because it actually made sense. From that point on, I never judged a movie by it's name.
5. The Blob (1988)
My mother told me the original scared her senseless when she was a child. I have to think the remake would have done the same to me. Luckily for my peanut sized brain at the time, "The Blob" 1988 passed me by. The thing is...I was grossed out by mushy shit as a kid. Blood and violence didn't disturb me, but squishy matter just didn't sit well with me. Director Chuck Russell went from "A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" to "The Blob." Chuck, come back to us, please.
4. Tie - Dracula (1979)/ Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
I like both these movies. The 1979 version was an eye-opener...horror-wise. I thought the movie would play out the classy angle and nothing more. I was jubilant when the horror kicked in. This movie had bigger balls than one might expect. Donald Pleasence is great as he is in every movie I've seen him in. Frank Langella was a decent Dracula, even if he wasn't the scariest. The film has strange cinematography, with some scenes seeming in color, and others almost drained of color completely. This look is an acquired taste.
The 1992 Francis Ford Coppola directed film is definitely different from John Badham's '79 version. Coppola's is apparently closer to the book. A book I'd like to read eventually. Anyway, Gary Oldman does no wrong in my eyes. The fx are fuckin remarkable even by today's standards, and to be frank...Bram Stoker's Dracula -1992 was one of few films holding it down for Horror Genre in the early 90's.
3. The Fly (1986)
David Cronenberg doesn't give a fuck! The original "The Fly" movie is interesting, but leave it to Cronenberg to say "Well, a man turned into a fly should be the most disgusting thing in the world...and I'm gonna show you." Maybe not his exact words, but he probably thought or said said something like that. Jeff Goldblum is a fair actor, but more than likely anybody could have been turned into a fly in this movie and it would have been just as disgusting.
2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
This is one of those movies where...I saw its ending before seeing the whole film- the last 30 to 60 seconds to be exact as possible, and I still got sucked in so much that I didn't think it came from the same movie. I was seriously hoping Mr. Sutherland was able to escape the horror this film put all of the rest of its characters through. This is a story that's been remade a few times because it's so rich. Most movies should just be left alone, however, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" can be updated countless times for each generation without evacuating bowel movements on the previous version.
1. Tales From The Crypt - “And All through the House” - SE 1 EP 2 - (1989)
Some say actor Larry Drake was underrated, I think to Horror fans he was well known. He was the whacky Dr. Giggles, but before playing a mental patient, he was an unhinged, Santa suit, wearing maniac. Dude could really reach for the nuttiness. Also, the beautiful, late great Mary Ellen Trainor (who was underrated in my opinion) held her own against Drakes Slaughtering Santa Claus. Her character was no saint herself, but she did have a daughter to protect in this segment which makes viewers root for her. I like the 1972 segment as well, but this 1989 version is pure, slasher fun. Now I have a question...why hasn't director Robert Zemeckis ever directed a full length slasher film?
What's your favorite remake BEFORE the year 2003? Let the Doctor and everyone here at Beyond The Void know!!!
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