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Archive for July, 2013

Remake Week Movie #6–Frankenstein Unbound (1990)

Frankenstein_UnboundAlright… This might be cheating, as this is a reimagining and not so much a remake. That said, this is my blog and I’m counting this one as part of Remake Week.

Frankenstein Unbound tells the story of Dr. Joe Buchanan (played by John Hurt), who in the year 2031, in an attempt to create a safer weapon for the military accidentally creates a tear in time and space and finds himself and his amazing electric, computerized car transported back to 1817 Switzerland.

In ancient Switzerland, Buchanan meets the famous Dr. Frankenstein (played by Raul Julia), who has already created his now famous, mythical monster. Said monster has killed a child, and a young girl has been accused and found guilty of the boy’s murder through Witchcraft. Buchanan tries to convince Frankenstein to tell the authorities the truth and save t he girl’s life. Ignored by Frankenstein, Buchanan tries to get the help of Mary Shelley (author of the famous Frankenstein novel, and played by Bridget Fonda). Frankenstein and his Monster turn out to be difficult to deal with, though – one insane with power, the other a beast of a man who has not been explained the very basics of life). Buchanan almost gets lynched for the murder of Frankenstein’s fiancé, a crime the monster committed – and said monster saves Buchanan from this mob, only to take him to Frankenstein’s castle to help in the reanimation of Frankenstein’s freshly dead Fiancé. Instead of helping, Buchanan tricks the Monster into helping him reopen the time space rift, propelling Frankenstein, the Monster and his self far into the distant, bleak empty future. – a future where human’s are no more. There is a bit of a twist at the end, that while weak, I won’t spoil.

Just a note: The late Michael Hutchence, then lead singer of the Australian rock band INXS plays Percy Shelley.

This movie has a half decent cast, and while entertaining, is really quite weak. Was it worth watching? Sure. Should you go out of your way to see it? I don’t think so.

Check out the trailer below:

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Remake Week Movie #5 – Fright Night (2011)

FrightNight2011We decided to take on the 2011 remake of the 1985 classic Vampire film, Fright Night last night and were not disappointed.

Fright Night tells the story of Charley Brewster (played by Anton Yelchin, now famous as Chekov from the Star Trek reboot) a teenager living in the suburbs of Las Vegas. Charley discovers that his neighbour, Jerry Dandrige (played by Colin Farrell) is actually a Vampire and must defeat him to save his family and friends.

Initially Charley just thinks Jerry is a normal guy that just moved in next door – that is until former best friend, Ed (played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) opens his eyes to what is going on around him. Ed and Charley have become distanced and do not hang out any more, but Ed blackmails Charley to come with him to one of there mutual friend’s place to check on him as he seems to have disappeared without a trace. When they get there they find no trace of either their friend or family. It is here where Ed reveals that Charley’s new neighbour is a Vampire – something that Charley refuses to believe. Events at home, between himself and Jerry change his mind when Jerry asks him if he could borrow some beer for an upcoming liaison between himself and a girl – Charley obliges, and notices that Jerry cannot go past the threshold of his open door… Everyone knows a vampire cannot enter a home without being invited.

Soon things ramp up, and Jerry, being a Vampire starts feeding more and more and more people that Charley knows start disappearing. Jerry discovers that Charley has learned his secret and tries to get to Charley and his family, in any way possible. Charley seeks the help of a world famous occult/vampire hunter/Vegas Magician guy, Peter Vincent (played by David Tennant who at first just kicks him out, but eventually looks over a pile of information Charley left behind and realizes Charley is dealing with a real Vampire and decides to help… well, is forced to help when Jerry forces his hand. A note: in the original Fright Night, this character was played by the late and very great Roddy McDowall, and was the host of a late night horror movie show.

What follows is an action packed human’s versus Vampires battle(s) that is actually quite entertaining. There’s a cool battle between Charlie and former buddy, now turned Vampire Ed that in a way made me sympathetic to Ed. The final battle between Charley, Jerry and Jerry’s new brood of freshly changed Vampires is exciting and in a way pays homage to the original.

Is this better than the original? Oh, hell no. Is this movie good? Oh, yes. I found it a fun, entertaining Vampire movie and would not hesitate to recommend it as a watch.

Check out the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #4 – Psycho (1998)

Psycho98Okay, I watched this movie this morning before work, because my buddy that watches these movies with me had no interest in re-watching this movie as he hated it. I watched it back in 1998, and while I barely remembered watching it, I do remember that I liked it. Re-watching it today, I think I have to suggest that my friend re-watch it himself, because this is a damned good movie.

Anne Heche revises Janet Leigh’s iconic role of Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $450,000 dollars from her employer in an attempt to get her boyfriend out of debt so that they can start a life together free of debt. Taking off to go visit him, she decides to stop at a roadside motel, the Bates Motel when he journey takes longer than anticipated. Once there she finds she is the only guest at this lonely hotel. She meets Norman Bates (played very impressively by a young Vince Vaughn), who take a liking to her, gets her a room right next to the office and invites her to dine with him. They have an awkward but friendly visit, and Marion goes back to her room. Soon we see that Norman has put a secret peephole in the wall between the office and the room that Marion is in – we learn this by watching Norman spy on her while… pleasuring himself.

Soon crapp hits the fan,and in a good recreation of a very iconic bathroom/tub murder scene, Marion end up dead at the hands of… someone. Soon we see Norman running from the house to Marion’s room, in distress and finding her body. Hmmm… Interesting. Next thing you know, Norman is cleaning up the room and dumping Marion and car in a swamp.

Okay, well people have noticed that Marion has disappeared (with a lot of someone else’s money), and are looking for her. First onto reacjh the hotel in a quest for Marion is private detective Milton Arbogast, played by William H. Macy. He questions Norman on whether or not Marion was at the hotel. His questioning trips up Norman a few time, making Norman agitated. Not satified with the answers he got from Norman, Milton decides to do a little more investigating – which leads to tragic results. Soon Marion’s sister and Marion’s lover enters the search putting even more stress on Norman. Norman starts making mistakes, and despite trying, isn’t able to take care of this latest incursion into his little world with a well placed stab of a knife or a good bludgeoning. No, the gig might be up for Norman.

So, better than the Hitchcock original? No. Good? Very. Watch both.

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #3–Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas_chainsaw_massacreGood remakes may be hard to find, but I’ve been doing pretty good lately.

2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM), revisit’s Tobe Hooper’s ground breaking horror classic of (almost) the same name (add “The” to the beginning of the original), and gives it a great, modern refresh.

Inspired very loosely on the horrendous crimes of Ed Gein in 1950’s Wisconsin,  TCM tells the story of a group of young 20 somethings on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas. Along the way they stop and pick up a dazed, confused woman who is walking around in the middle of the road by herself, almost unresponsive. They take her into the van in order to get her some help, but in a short time she kills herself using a pistol that she had concealed… Forced to look for help from authorities, they drive into a small town…and perhaps Hell on Earth.

What ensues is a battle between this group of youths and a hillbilly clan that seems un escapable. Call the Sheriff? Sure – too bad he’s mixed right up in this hillbilly killer family. No matter where they turn, the group finds themselves deeper and deeper in crap -  One by one, they fall gruesome victims to Leatherface and his family.

If you haven’t seen the original, you can still watch this movie without missing anything, but seeing the original’s stature in the horror world, you would be doing yourself a dis-service. Is this better than the original? Well, it really is good – maybe not as important as the original – but possible as good. Jessica Biel does a great job (and looks great), and the rest of the cast is good to.

Watch it!

Here’s the trailer:


Rebooting Remake Week

Hi Folks;

Well remake week didn’t go as well as planned when I was distracted after two movies – Well, I plan on putting up 7 remakes (including the two already posted), though maybe not all in a row.

One reason why they may not be in a row is for example the THING from 1982 – my buddy that watched these movies wants to watch the prequel that came out in 2011 first – no problem, but that delays that viewing by at least a day – gonna’ try to get him to watch that prequel tonight so we can go onto the remake.

So, sorry for not powering through 7 days of remakes, but they are coming… starting now!


Remake Week Movie #2 – Dawn of The Dead (2004)

DawnoftheDead2004One could easily argue that  George A. Romero’s 1973 film, Dawn of the Dead was good enough and didn’t need a remake. Well, that can be said about almost all remakes – I mean, why would you bother remaking a movie that sucked in the first place? At least in this case the remake doesn’t suck.

A sequel to Romero’s genre defining film Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead tells the story of a group of survivors of a Zombie outbreak, forced together through necessity that have found refuge inside a shopping mall.Initially encountering a hostile group of armed mall security guards that reluctantly allow them to stay in the man, but only after relinquishing their weapons. These guards, run by a twitchy nervous asshole by the name of CJ soon have the tables turned on them. The group hangs out in the mall for as long as possible, with one couple expecting a baby at any time. Soon it’s revealed that a couple member so f the group had been bitten – They have to be dealt with. Not to spoils anything, but the birth scene and following events is awesome. Add to this a new group of people that arrive via a delivery van (a soon to be Zombie amongst them).

Lot’s of action and death and destruction, a few explosions and more than a few zombies and then a cool escape…this is a very good remake of a very good original film.

Filmed primarily in Canada, I saw a lot of familiar actors that you don’t see in many American productions, I thought this was a neat addition (hint: I’m Canadian),Is this better than the original? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. Very watchable, I know more than a few people that consider this their favourite Zombie movie, and it’s easy to see why.

Check out Dawn of the Dead, you won’t be disappointed .

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #1–Rob Zombie’s Halloween (2007)

Halloween2007Call me a heretic or call me crazy, but I like this remake better than the original.

In 2007 Rob Zombie released his remake of the classic, influential 1978 Slasher-Horror film, Halloween. The original starred an unknown actress by the name of Jamie Lee Curtis and the better known Donald Pleasence. Both movies tell the story of Michael Myers – a child who killed his family when he was 10 – now 16 years later, he’s escaped the criminal asylum where he has been held… HE’s heading back home to find his last remaining family member, his sister – oh, and he’s racking up a big body count along the way.

Rob Zombie kept true to the original story, but in my mind created a much more watchable movie. I’m sure much of that is due to the time that has passed since the original was released – hindsight is 20-20 they say.

Now, don’t get me wrong: while I thing the remake is a better movie, I still like the original, and without a doubt the original is a much more important movie – Just not as well made. I feel that the family background of Michael is more fleshed out in the remake, and the acting doesn’t seem as forced… Except in the case of Sheri Moon Zombie’s portrayal of Deborah Myers, Michael’s mother – Sheri can’t act and I really hope Rob Zombie figure this out soon. The always great Malcolm McDowell plays the role of Dr. Samuel Loomis, the role originally played by the late, great Donald Pleasence.

So, as remakes go I say this is definitely a good one. I watched the original and this remake back to back – a fun way to compare.

What do you think?

Here is the Trailer:

 

And here is the trailer to the original: