Ever since Thomas Edison’s silent film, Frankenstein, debuted back in 1910, horror movies have resided in the imaginations of those disturbed enough to actually enjoy them. According to the documentary, Nightmares in the Red, White, and Blue, between 2003 and 2008, horror movies grossed over a hundred billion dollars at the box office. Sure, one Nolan or Jackson movie could top that margin with just one film, but we’re talking horror and horror movies are typically done on a lower budget with lesser known actors. Understandably, horror is big business. Horror sales and because horror can be done on any kind of budget, we end up with a rather large pool of productions to choice from, some good and some…well…you know. The horror movies that end up flopping, not only in the box office but with fans (because lets face it, box office rating matter little when it comes to horror), sometimes carry a glimmer of hope to ever being re-imagined into something better.
These remakes/reboots can be, though rarely, actually better than the original film. Some may disagree, but the original Omen (1976) was a real snoozer, while the remake was freaking amazing. Then, there are those reboots that should never have happened because there is no reason to touch the original, or, it simply cannot be done. This kind of film would include John Carpenters The Fog (1980). Carpenter’s vision was so much better developed than Rupert Wainwright’s piss poor attempt; my first (and only) viewing of the 2005 disaster made me want to vomit, and not in the “good God, gore” kind of way. And finally, there are horror movies so horrible that they should never, never — ever, be remade, because they were bad enough the first time around. This is not a challenge for Hollywood. Please, heed my warnings and never remake the following movies– ever — for real — no joke.
5. Pinocchio’s Revenge (1996)
First up, Pinocchio’s Revenge, released back in the good (laugh) old 90’s. Defense attorney, Jennifer Garrick, (somehow) acquires a Pinocchio puppet from a condemned serial killer (opps, I think we’ve seen this before)…and then suddenly bad things start happening. Yikes, how did producers think this was ever a good idea? Pinocchio’s Revenge sounds like a cheap attempt at riding the coattail success of the Child’s Play franchise and that alone really makes me want to hate this movie.
4. Thankskilling (2008)
You know those movies that are intended to be horrible movies from the start? Kind of like B-rated flicks so horrible their actually good. Well, sometimes these already intended atrocities end up just being plain old rotten. In Thankskilling (2009) a, you guessed it, turkey rampages through a small town, killing off college kids (this is what our generation has to offer?)… the end. Oh wait, and the turkey talks because it is possessed by the spirit of a ticked off Indian warrior who was murdered some time during the good old pilgrim days. I know this movie was intended to be a horror-comedy, but if your name isn’t Stuart Gordon, Sam Raimi, or Edgar Wright, your already working uphill.
3. Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
This 1980’s blockbuster (insert sarcastic remark here) has all the trimmings for a xenophobic movie of the year award. There could have been a story here, but where the bus left the station was with the subtext. Sea creatures coming to the surface to mate with women and kill off the men…I’m just going to leave that where it is. The story could be salvaged because it already has a little Lovecraftian “Dagon” ring to it. However, even the late, great man himself was as culturally competent as Kristen Stewart is at acting (oh snap!). But really, xenophobic themed movies just seem too disconnected nowadays. If this was ever to be remade, it should only include the idea of creatures from the deep wreaking havoc on those living on the surface…hmm…sounds familiar, right? Now, if we can only find giant robots to fight them off…
2. Hobgoblins (1988)
Do I really need to explain this one? Lets just say, back in the 80’s, while Gremlins was enjoying their blockbuster success, a few other lesser known producers thought…”hmm, maybe we can do the same thing,” and thus, Hobgoblins was born. Unfortunately, but predictably, they could not do the same as director Joe Dante did, or ever will. Watching the trailer, I can’t even understand what the movie is even about. Goblins making you do stuff…and then what? Lower budget movies usually means you have to work harder in developing the story, but apparently these guys didn’t get the memo.
1. Leprechaun (1993)
Finally, we arrive with Leprechaun. If you have been keeping a mental list of horror movies you know that should never be remade because they were so dang horrible the first time around, and Leprechaun so happened to be on your list, then you, sir or madam, have excellent taste in horror. For some odd reason, unknown to myself, the 90’s was one of the worse decades for horror films. Sure, some did mange not being tarnished; movies such as, Candyman or even Scream (don’t judge me) were actually really good. But when we see films like Leprechaun…well, it makes me want to file away the entire decade. The plot surrounds an “evil” leprechaun who goes on a murder spree, after his stolen bag of coins doesn’t really feel like a sound story plot. Don’t get me wrong, you can use mythological creatures as the antagonist and still be good, but you need a solid script to back it up. Check out the movie, Wishmaster, for one of the better examples I could give of using a mythos, combined with a descent story.
Well, there you have it folks. My top five movies that should never, ever be remade because they were bad enough the first time around. Trust me, the world doesn’t need more wooden, magic little monsters; we’ve hopefully outgrown the cheap 90’s wave of horror. If you have your own suggestions, please leave them in the comment box, God knows, there are plenty of them out there!