Thursday, February 11, 2010

(Undead)State of the Union Addres

My fellow Ghosts, ghouls, assorted undead (And lets not forget them lycanthropes!)

I feel, much like a blogger should, the need to openly, harshly and relentlessly criticize anything or anyone I feel brings me any pleasure or displeasure, just for the sake of griping. However, I am not one of those people and am fairly content with most anything, and normally very soft spoken and very polite, only subjecting things to scrutiny or hatred only when I feel necessary. This is one of those times.

I am, along with many of my closest friends (CJ Fox, Jason Popa and the rest know who they are), are huge, HUGE, horror movie fans. Dracula (Lugosi and Langella), Frankie (Karloff), Wolfie (Lon, Jack and Benicio), Jason (Hodder), Freddy (Englund) Leatherface (Hansen) Pennywise (Tim Curry) and Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) are just as iconic and lovable as say, the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz (One of the best movies of all time/One of my all time fave movies ever) to us horror fans. But here en lies the problem. They've been done once. There is no need to do them over, especially when they're called classics now. That's like repainting the Mona Lisa, and making her up like Demi Lovato.

That's right. I said it. I am most rigidly (With very few exceptions) against remakes. No problems with using those characters over, but make new stories for them to be in, that aren't dumbed down for the un-horror masses or so unbelievable that they become un-watchable (Looking at you Jason X). Case and point = the Twilights and anything with Paris Hilton (Repo The Genetic Opera and the House of Wax remake (BTW, who ever said she could act?!). That's why the whole genre can't be taken seriously. Its either sooo campy its almost unwatchable with situations and characters so unbelievable with such poor acting (Anymore) or way over dramatized to the point of either boredom or being completely unscary (Which is the whole point of the genre). I'm not saying I don't enjoy humor in horror movies, or the template upon which the Friday the 13th's and Nightmare On Elm St.'s and Dawn of the Dead's and American Werewolf In London's of the world were made on (gore, girls(naked at that!) and humor). Its what set those apart. But at the same time, they were scary and nightmare inducing even to grownups. They achieved the goal. They SURPASSED the goal. They set even higher goals. They are now THE goals. Yet people still feel the need to mess with, tinker around with, over CGI and most times completely ruin these established CLASSICS.

Then there are movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last House On The Left, The Exorcist, The Omen, Children of the Corn, Amityville Horror, Burnt Offerings and The Shining, which contained almost no humor at all, and were so scary and suspenseful, that they like the above mentioned franchises, well surpassed all standards and goals set for horror and are now classics themselves as well. They proved the horror could be done in such a way and with such class and dignity and integrity that they could compete with and be considered legit movies without falling on stereo-types and resting on its laurels. They could even appeal to people who weren't fans of horror movies. They were suspenseful, dramatic (Without being over dramatic) and scary. There's that word again. It will come up several times, so become familiar with it.

I so wish I was born earlier to enjoy this stuff, at my age now, then, and not have to worry about suffering though poser horrors (Twilight, I'm looking right at you), remakes and completely uninspired drivel like "Super Shark 4000 vs Giant Platypus". Now don't get me wrong here, as animal horrors can be done very well (Cujo), but are very few to begin with (Good ones) and very far between. Also, don't get me started on CGI. Its a crutch for poor acting and bad, half thought out storylines now, rather than peppered in to help the visual aesthetics of the movie and enhance practical makeup and sets and to provide atmosphere.

Its either no one (and I do mean no one) can come up with an original idea anymore, movie studios are interfering with directors (Take Paramount having their co-producers override their directors on 3 Friday sequels (Tom McLoughlin, John Carl Buechler and Rob Hedden), or studios are just scared of making something that they are afraid won't make money in the genre. I can count on one and a half of zombie hands how many movies I've seen the past 10 years that were original and interesting and scary. 30 Days of Night, Zombie land, The Devil's Rejects, Hatchet, Mortuary, Trick 'r' Treat (2009. Not the horrible 80's metal horror with Lemmy and Ozzy) and Dark Floors. Look at the original Japanese versions of The Ring, The Grudge, One Missed Call and The Eye. All rip apart the American remakes, and are far better than most horror movies that were American released/made during the same time. Heck, Lordi is a Swedish heavy metal band (and a 3rd rate GWAR at that) and still managed to make a better movie with Dark Floors than the Twilights and Paranormal Activity (The most overhyped movie of all time) combined.

So listen up Paramount, Universal, Anchor Bay, Lions Gate, New Line, SyFy and anyone who would dare employ Michael Bay and Marcus Nispel. Remake the movies that NEED to be remade, and leave the classics alone. Remake Black Cat, Cat People, Werewolf of London, Freaks, The Man Who Laughs, The Old Dark House, Murders In The Rue Morgue (Great Iron Maiden song aswell as a movie!), White Zombie, Black Friday, The Mask of Fu Man Chu, The Raven and the like, and stop the dumb supped-up animal vs animal movies, and make real, legitimate, scary movies. Those movies could use a remake, cause most are so out dated they won't print them to DVD or are so old and fragile that they don't dare damage them any further by remastering and printing them to DVD.

So until then, if your into horror, stick with watching the original classics, as I've seen the horror movie slate, and except for Frozen, its just a bunch of remakes in your future. Also, if you're a horror fanatic with children who would like to slowly turn them on to horror and science fiction, may I suggest Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel. I have personally watched it myself, have seen every episode, and for a 22 year old metalhead/horror fanatic, I love it (Watch it to kill time between teaching guitar lessons to kids who are late to session). Its a great way to introduce your kids to horror as it deals with such things as vampires, zombies, witches, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, wizards, magic and the like, all made for kids to understand and comprehend.

Peace out my horror brothas and sistas! \m/,

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