I’m at the pub the other night having a few too many beers with some friends and of course we start talking (arguing) about films.
It’s just inevitable with my friends each of us is our own specific type of geek. I know a guy that’s really into sci-fi especially Star Trek; another friend is a huge Marvel fan; I know another dude that pretty much only likes fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and all that. I’d like to think I bring a little horror to the proceedings; what can I say, I like the blood and guts.
There’s this guy there that is a friend of a friend, he’s going out with some girl that I know and she say’s during our ‘jump scare’ movie debate, “hay Matt,” or whatever his name was, “you like horror films, right?” So this gives her new fella the cue to astound us with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the horror genre. (And they say it’s hard to write sarcasm.)
To be fair the guy knew his stuff and we got on okay and did shots talking about Dario Argento and George A. Romero and old Hammer flicks and for some reason Broken Lizard’s Club Dread, a lot. But then the conversation went on to hard gore. Now this is a subject that is rather close to my heart and I’ve be fanatical about my splatter for as long as I can remember.
Once again he knows his stuff (to a degree) and we’re chatting away until I ask, “Have you seen Tokyo Gore Police?”
To which he replies, “Nah, I don’t do films with subtitles.”
I swear on my life it took everything that I had not to lunge my beer over his head.
Now this is the point where you’re thinking ‘oh no, not another elitist prick that thinks he knows everything about horror movies’; and I think you’d be well within your rights about now and I won’t try and defend myself from that statement… Much.
What I do know is that there has over the years been a flux of movies re-made by western markets to cater for, I guess you could say a lazy demographic. And I think this demographic has missed out on some absolute classic films and have settled for tamer/inferior bubble gum trash that have been made purely to get bums on seats.
Take the Ring franchise; the original Japanese versions are superior in every aspect. Simple things like the feel of a film are lost with the re-makes; they have somehow managed to lose their grit, their edge.
That’s not to say that Gore Verbinski didn’t do a sterling job and to be honest if Ringu didn’t exist the film would have been a great standalone horror but I just don’t get how they can justify remaking a perfect film just because people don’t want to read during a film.
And it’s not like they waited a long time before the first of the American versions came out, I think it was only around four years before they jumped on that band wagon; same with The Grudge.
There are people out there that don’t even know that these classics even exist and would probably (I’m guessing) shelve said films in the store the second they saw ‘English subtitles’ in the info on the back cover.
I think that this is a shame personally because they really are missing out big time.
I’m not going to say these people are thick either, a good mate of mine has put off seeing The Raid because it is subtitled. I had to point out to him that the action is so intense you don’t really need the subtitles to enjoy that master class of modern film making.
It’s not like I have a problem with re-makes/re-workings either. I thought that the Rob Zombie Halloween films for example were absolutely brutal and helped give modern day mainstream horror a much needed shot in the arm, as with all of his films, spot on. But this was taking an original story that was thirty-something years old and giving it a fresh lick of paint not cashing in on a cult classic the second it had gone a little cold like with Ringu.
It’s the same with the Evil Dead re-work, I mean, how brutal was that bad boy?
Another film that has been given the ‘round eye’ treatment is Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy; did they really need to remake it?
When I first heard that they were going ahead with the pre-production the rumour was that Will Smith was tipped for the lead role, a statement that nearly made me choke on my cereal. Talk about world’s greatest miss-casting.
Once again, Spike Lee has done great with it and Josh Brolin is a better choice as one of cinema’s ultimate anti-hero’s but it doesn’t hit the mark like the original. There’s just something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on and I don’t think Mr Lee could either.
But this leads me crashing like a giant lizard’s foot into one Japanese franchise re-make that I am looking forward to like the arrival of intelligent extra-terrestrial life… Godzilla!
I love Godzilla (I know it’s not necessarily horror) but this film looks like the ultimate apology for that ‘thing’ that was made with Mathew Broderick. What an abomination that was. Don’t mean to swear here but, for fuck sake what were they thinking?
I remember going to see that pile of fetid shite when it hit the cinema and I couldn’t help but feel that I had been mugged when it was over. I wandered around in the foyer of my local cinema with my popcorn half eaten in my trembling hands, muttering to myself like a nutter on a psych ward.
“Why, what have they done, why?”
I’m guessing here but the reason that they weren’t re-made sooner is because they were dubbed for euro/American release and for me that only added to the charm of the films when I was a kid. It was just a sham that when America did get their mitts on the franchise they drew a cock over the whole thing.
Anyway, me and my mate Pete are having a ‘man-date’ when all the kids are at school when this monster (get it) of a movie wades on to our shores and I for one can’t wait.
Let’s just hope that Mr Broderick doesn’t have a cameo or I’m smashing the place up.