Saturday, 28 April 2012

Hollywood Babble On & On #890: Let's Help MGM... Again

MGM has to do remakes.

I accept that.  They need to bank some money, and Hollywood's convinced that remakes are the only safe way to do it.  

What I don't really care for is their strategy of remaking movies that are thought of so highly by fans that any remake will be guaranteed to get a hell of a lot of resentment and unkind comparisons with the original.

They're getting deeper into casting for their remake of Carrie, despite the franchise's history of dropping bombs like a B-17 over Berlin, and they've contracted Sam Raimi to oversee a remake of the 1980s haunted suburbia classic Poltergeist.

It's obvious that the folks at MGM aren't listening to me, since I posted a blog about movies they should remake almost 3 years ago that I updated last year.

Let's try another round of helping MGM come up with movies they can remake that won't offend movie fandom and maybe someone there will listen.  Join in yourself by looking at the film's on their roster.

The Comedy of Terrors.  The original was a black comedy about a crooked undertaker who blackmails his assistant into helping him boost business by making more customers.  Their plans go awry when one of their victims refuses to stay down.

Slapstick and murder, how can you go wrong?

The Conqueror Worm (AKA The Witchfinder General). A fictional story inspired by the real life of Matthew Hopkins a 17th century lawyer, extortionist, and murderer who manipulated witch hysteria and both sides of the English Civil War to great profit and power.

Now a new angle would be to make the casting more historically accurate.  The actor who played Hopkins in the original was Vincent Price, but the real man was only 27 when he died.  So you could have a hot young actor like Benedict Cumberbatch playing the manipulative and psychopathic Hopkins running amok in the English countryside.  Costume dramas do big business on TV, so why not one on the big screen?

Destination Moon.  The original was made in 1950 and was considered groundbreaking realistic science fiction for its time. The original's concept of private industry paying for a lunar expedition seems more realistic now considering that the US government's pretty much given up on space exploration.  Do it in a very straight docudrama style with the added element of competing against rival expeditions and you might just get a damn good movie.

Donovan’s Brain. The original is probably unfairly remembered only for having future first lady Nancy Reagan as the female lead, while it's actually a pretty good sci-fi thriller for its time.  The premise is simple, a doctor is working on a machine that can keep a brain alive outside the human body, but he can't find a test subject.

That changes when a plane carrying corrupt mega-millionaire W.H. Donovan crashes near his house.  The doctor can't save Donovan's body, but uses his machine to save the titular organ.  But that's just the beginning, Donovan's malevolent mentality starts to reach out, forcing others, especially the doctor himself, to act out his plans of revenge.

The Food of the Gods. Based on an old H.G. Wells story about mysterious chemicals that cause animals to grow to enormous size.

Giant rats, chickens, and wasps?  Come on, it's a no brainer.

Sometimes They Come Back.  Based on a Stephen King short story about a high school teacher whose students start getting bumped off and replaced by the ghosts of the bullies who terrorized him and killed his brother years earlier.  He's forced to delve into some serious darkness to stop them.

The original was a 1991 TV movie that had a bit of a second life on home video that spawned two sequels that really had nothing to do with original, and were summarily forgotten.  So it will be fresh to most viewers.

Witness For The Prosecution.  A blend of comedy, mystery and courtroom drama about a lawyer eager to make a comeback after a heart attack by defending a young man accused of murdering a wealthy widower.

It's loaded with great parts for actors adept at comedy and chewing up the scenery, can be done cheap, (it has like 4 major settings) and has a nice twist at the end, and as a well done period film, can be replayed on TV into infinity.

If you have your own ideas for movies that MGM can remake, leave them in the comments, so I'll steal them and sell them to the studio as my own. BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you.

    Do cheap movies.

    Make movies like independent filmmakers do. Cheap, easy to make.

    Also, there are plenty of books that have not been adapted. Louis L'Amour has tons of 'em.