PCR past banners Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #212  (Vol. 5, No. 16)  This edition is for the week of April 12--18, 2004.

"The Alamo"
 by Mike Smith
Cinematic Cover Tunes, Sequels, and "Inspired-by's": No End in Sight!
 by Andy Lalino
D-Rice, Ache-ins Diet, and Absolutely Nothing About “The Passion of Christ”
 by Vinnie Blesi
Four Movies in Three Days, the Screening Nazi, The Alamo, The Clone Wars, Scooby Doo 2, Jersey Girl, Hellboy, Dawn of the Dead
 by Brandon Jones
Midnite Terrors .... Hellboy .... Marvel Trading Cards
 by John Lewis
Bush--The Amazing Hypnotist....Happy Horror-Days
 by Matt Drinnenberg
It Was 25 Years Ago Today....Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 12
 by Mike Smith
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Andy Lalino
Oddservations by Andy Lalino

Cinematic Cover Tunes, Sequels, and "Inspired-by's": No End in Sight!

Well Horror Fiends, in the kicked-up dust from the successful "Dawn of the Dead" ('04), the studios have made it abundantly clear that re-hashing the past is a more solid bet than wasting time thinking of original ideas. The latest 're-imagining' comes from the top; seems that Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise plan on teaming up for a remake of "War of the Worlds", originally made in 1953. I should also mention that LOTR wunderkind Peter Jackson plans on remaking "King Kong"...uh, great...

Other new films are taking themes from movies/literature and making movies out of them ("Van Helsing"). Yet other ideas come from comic books, video games (YEECH!), and even thrill rides! I've got nothing against these endeavors in general; it's just that they seem to be dominating the cinematic landscape at a time when horror really needs some original ideas. I think "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Sixth Sense" were a good place to start back in '99, but we've since seen an awful lot of non-originals lately.

Just for the fun of it, I perused the last 3 issues of Fangoria and tallied up the source material for each project, wondering just how many were taken by original screenplays as compared to various other source material. Here we go:

Cinematic Cover Tunes: "Dawn of the Dead" ('04; remake of Romero's '78 film), "2001 Maniacs" ('04; remake of the famous cult hit directed by HGL), "House of Wax" (remake of the Vincent Price 3-D classic), "The Grudge", "Dark Water", "The Amityville Horror", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "The Haunting", "The Toolbox Murders", "Willard", "Salems' Lot" (TV) Total: 11

From Literature/Movies/Rides/Games: "Van Helsing" ('04), "Alien vs. Predator" ('04), "Pirates of the Caribbean", "The Haunted Mansion", LOTR series, "Alone in the Dark", "King of the Ants", "Dreamcatcher", "Spider", "House of the Dead", "The Secret Window", "The Punisher", "Bubba-Ho-Tep", "Kingdom Hospital" (TV) Total: 14

From Comic Books: "Hellboy", "Spider-Man 2", "Man-Thing", "X-Men" series, "The Hulk", "The Matrix", "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" Total: 7

Sequelitis: "Blade: Trinity" , "Exorcist: The Beginning" , "Godzilla: Final Wars" , "The Ring 2", "Anacondas" (Say it 'aint so!), "Resident Evil: Apocalypse", "Seed of Chucky", "Ginger Snaps 2 & 3", "House of 1,000 Corpses 2: The Devil's Rejects", "Starship Troopers 2", "Final Destination 2", "Beyond Re-Animator", "Freddy vs. Jason", "Jeepers Creepers 2", "T3" Total: 16

Hey! Originals!: "Open Water", "The Village", "Godsend", "Darkness", "Mindhunters" (Renny Harlin), "Cursed" (Wes Craven), "Underworld", "Darkness Falls", "Final Destination", "Cabin Fever", "Wrong Turn", "28 Days Later", "Identity", "Frailty", "May", "Sangre Eterna", "Love Object" Total: 17

As you can see, original ideas wins with 17 entries, however if you add up the other categories which were remakes or taken from pre-existing material, they outnumber original material by far. Most big-studio movies are so expensive to produce nowadays that companies feel they need a foundation of familiarity among the moviegoing public for big money to be spent on most projects. Sorry it had to come to this. Maybe some day soon we will see a big studio collapse (like in the '60s/'70s), where horror-minded indies like American International Pictures can take root & grow. Only time will tell!

"Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics (unless otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.