No worries, I won’t bitch about remakes or the latest travesty “Halloween 2007.” Instead, I’ll just have some fun and note some of the funnier moments in the recent string of remakes. Enjoy the hilarity.
Impaled by a Conveniently Placed Christmas Tree?
There were many laughably stupid moments in the remake to “Black Christmas,” but beyond the cross dressing psycho, the second killer and mysterious accomplice, the murder with a candy cane, and other assorted idiocy, there was the climax, which was pretty clear that the writers just didn’t know when to quit. After escaping Billy and making it out of the house without suffering a ridiculous death, Kelli manages to mysteriously be chased in the hospital by the surviving Billy and his accomplice. It’s bad enough that we’re supposed to buy Kelli’s doorknob is broken, and that the hospital she’s in is almost pitch black, but we’re also led to believe that there are apparently no security guards and no patients, as Kelli flees from her room screaming and hollering without anyone intervening or checking up on her. And did we mention the practically abandoned hallway? If that’s not enough, Billy is finished in the end when he falls off a stairwell and is impaled by a conveniently placed Christmas tree. Considering most christmas trees aren’t even strong enough to stand on their own let alone impale someone, it’s probably one of the funnies moments of the film.
I mean sure, no one was going to top the original classic which benefited from Gregory Peck, but they could have tried for something from the 666 date that spawned this ridiculous remake. One of the funnier aspects of this film was the quite obvious age difference between the parents of Damien played by Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles. We have to buy that they’re married, but the apparent difference in years (fifteen by my estimate) is so distracting that it’s really tough to buy them as this affectionate couple. Beyond the basically blande shot for shot product here, Schreiber and Stiles try their damndest and just buckle under the weight of the endless idiocy and mediocrity.
He did it! Of course…! Who is He?
When a Stranger Calls
Imagine our surprise in the climax of “When a Stranger Calls,” when after that f*****g cat kept appearing and ice thundered from a fridge that we see who killed those poor people throughout this film. And then wondered: Who is he? “When a Stranger Calls” failed to build any suspense on every conceivable level that it was rather pathetic. Ice crashed down, cats jumped from windows, doors slammed and creaked, windows moaned and we sat for almost ninety minutes watching Camilla Bell walk around a house, and then walk around a house… and then walk around some more until finally the psycho stalking her chased her around for a good thirty minutes ad exhaustion. But finally, when she saved the children and managed to get out alive, the killer is finally seized by cops and director West finally reveals the stalker/murderer and in a climactic shot reveals his face… as if it means something. The viewer still has no idea who he is, so there’s really no resonance to this shot beyond one last attempt to shock us. By then though, most people had fallen asleep.
The Supernatural windshield, Magic Scotch Tape
There were just so many ridiculous moments in this remake that I couldn’t list them all. From plot holes, to confusion, right down to a mysterious web cam connected without any software on a laptop, “The Fog” was brainless from minute one, and failed to muster up any of the mystique the original possessed. Yes, I LOVE “The Fog,” but the remake? Not so much. One of the biggest problems of the mess was the continuity, above anything else. Blair’s character falls into water, and appears only minutes later bone dry, she is involved in a huge car wreck and bears no injuries, and Welling’s character who whines and moans about being broke earlier in the film has his jacked up, obviously expensive truck damaged; particularly the windshield which is shattered a bit earlier in the film, and then suddenly, when he arrives in the climax, his windshield is mysteriously repaired. And it’s so noticable, you can’t help but force a laugh or two. And let’s not forget our child protagonists attempts to barricade his door with Scotch tape… which the ghosts have trouble breaking through.
When Technology threatens, always check your phone
This 2006 remake may have sucked all the brains and common sense from the original societal commentary, but it does have some inadvertent laughs and head scratching moments included that really make this worth seeing twice. Like, what was the point of the montage with Bell and Millian? Why did we have to know so much about these ghosts? Also, how stupid do you have to be to realize early in the film that the ghosts can get through your technology and still periodically check your computer just to note the progress of your friends? And in a truly heinous error of judgement, character Mattie gets away and is on the road with fellow survivor Dexter. Parking for the night, Mattie hears on the radio that the ghosts come through technology, and are ordered to destroy any technology they may have… And then Mattie proceeds to check her cellphone… which prompts a full on attack from local ghosts. Moments like this make me weary for the future of horror.
Smokey Smokes a Bee Lady, and Other Assorted Gaffs
The Wicker Man
If you acknowledge the video above you, there’s really not much else to say about Neil Labute’s remake. This video highlights the unintentional laughs, and inherent stupidity of this remake, not to mention Nicholas Cage’s stunning inability to choose a good role these days. Funny as these moments are, probably the best moment of the entire monstrosity involves Cage’s character dressing as a bear, after fighting a butch member of the bee women. He then proceeds to fight karate with LeeLee Sobieski, as well as engage in a karate free for all in his bear suit, but not before punching out a happy bee woman. I have to agree with Kim Morgan though. It may have been an awful movie, but it has become an unintentional camp classic.
Dr. Loomis’ Hair
I love Malcolm McDowell as much as the next man, but his role as Dr. Loomis was potential for greatness wasted in one fell swoop. Not only was he given horrible dialogue, inane moments, and deemed utterly irrelevant, but he was just as hammy as Donald Pleasance. As an extra touch of stupidity, the first appearance of Loomis inspires a genuine laugh, as he appears in a terrible black wig covering his obvious white hair, and gray beard. Zombie meant to set this movie down… somewhere between the seventies and eighties, I was never clear, so for good measure, Loomis appears in a terrible black wig that’s intended to make him look very young and instead just makes him look like a clown, and instantly destroys the mystique of Myers’ antithesis; and did I mention the Nazareth montage? The video above is courtesy of Andrew Kasch and his skillful editing over at Dread Central. Maybe now the Zombie geeks will love Carpenter’s original.
You’ve got to love remakes. What are some of your favorites?