Every Friday, as a service to your weekend’s entertainment, I will hand-pick two movies that together form a thematic Double Feature. I will also throw in a Wild Card film, should you feel like expanding the event to a Triple Feature. You’re welcome.
Double Feature Theme: “Horror Remakes Done Right”
Saying that most horror movie remakes are garbage is kind of like pointing out that the color red is really red-looking, or that dirt has many dirt-like qualities. The whole argument… that movies shouldn’t be remade for an easy buck, because there is original content out there just waiting to be experienced… has become obvious and, frankly, exhausting. Movie studios are going to crank out remakes. They just are. Period. There’s too much money in it for them to give a shit what you think of their product’s quality… especially when there is a massive, hormonal line of dumb-ass teenagers right behind you just BEGGING to hand over their allowence money to see whatever cheap-thrills turdpile has been unceremoniously dumped into their local cineplex. Teenagers, after all, will always need a place to dry-hump each other in the dark. Theaters showing shitty horror movies fit that bill PERFECTLY.
The battle we SHOULD be fighting is not that they exist, but that they’re usually so terrible. They don’t HAVE to be. It’s not a law. In fact, there are actually some exceptions to the “horror remakes are shitty” rule, and thus… eloquently… we segue into this weekend’s double feature.
The original version of The Blob is a classic movie, but it is mainly a classic because it is just so very stupid. Sure, it’s got Steve McQueen (and, per the trailer, a cast of exciting young people!) as well as a nifty concept, but at the end of the day it’s really just a lot of people running away from slow-moving Smucker’s jelly. The remake, on the other hand is… well, ok, it’s kind of stupid too. HOWEVER, it does have one thing going for it, and that would be tons of gooey, nasty gore. Because of that… and because of the overwhelmingly 80’s vibe (Shawnee Smith’s hair alone will become, at least for an hour and a half, your reason for living)… The Blob remake is just solid gold good times.
Next up is The Crazies, a horror remake that benefits from the fact that most people don’t know it’s a remake. The original of the same name, shot in 1973, was helmed by none other than George Romero, and while Romero’s trademark social consciousness is present and accounted for, the film is a sluggishly-paced bore. Hindered further by acting that is decidedly amateurish, as well as production values that hover in the “industrial short film” range, the whole affair comes off as dull and lumpy. Not so, the late-00’s remake, which is slick as can be while still providing the requisite grimy chills. As a bonus, the updated Crazies features a pre-Justified Timothy Olyphant playing essentially… well… Raylan Givens, his character from Justified, but in someone’s internet fan fiction where Givens has to fight chemical-crazed zombie townsfolk. A little more serious-minded than The Blob remake, but still a lot of fun. The hospital pitchforking scene ALONE is worth the effort expended in watching this.
As for the Wild Card… Cape Fear isn’t a horror film NECESSARILY, but it does feature Robert De Niro in his balls-out scariest performance as a homicidal ex-con hellbent on revenge. With Scorsese at the wheel, De Niro chewing on every piece of scenery available, and Juliette Lewis damn near stealing the movie out from under everyone… the 1962 version of Cape Fear might as well not even exist.
To liven up your Double Feature experience, I recommend adding some props into the mix. For the “Horror Remakes Done Right” Double Feature, I suggest…
-Jell-O mold, preferably purple
-“Blob Shots” (spoonfuls of grape jelly floating in vodka)
-Gas masks, or, if gas masks are unavailable, scuba masks that you PRETEND are gas masks
Suggested Extreme Props
-Sulfuric acid, so you can “melt along” with the actors in The Blob
-Pitchforks, so you can have a pitchfork duel at the conclusion of The Crazies. Last man standing gets the remainder of the Blob Shots.