Seems like every week we hear about another classic horror movie being remade. Poltergeist, Gremlins, Friday the 13th, The Blob and the list can go on and on. We know we can’t fight Hollywood’s lack of originality, so let’s go ahead and embrace it. In this series of blog posts I will go into detail about which “Classic” horror film should be remade next. Yes I put “Classic” in quotes. Most of the movies I pick won’t be considered “Good” but that’s even more reason to remake them.
The Movie- The Howling (1981)-directed by Joe Dante
The American Werewolf in London stole the thunder for a lot of the other werewolf movies of the 80’s but this movie was the first of the great werewolf movies of that time. It was Joe Dante’s first big budget Hollywood movie and was written by the great John Sayles. Let’s not forget the fantastic creature makeup effects of Rob Bottin. The movie was a big success based on a tiny budget and spawned not one but seven sequels! SEVEN SEQUELS! All very horrible, but still that’s a lot of sequels. It’s a dark, gritty movie filled with sex, gore, sleaze and a ton of satirical comic undertones.
WHAT’S THE PLOT OF THE MOVIE-
(Mega Spoilers- I’m going to pretty spoil the whole movie.)
The movie was originally based on a novel by Gary Brander and stars 80’s horror icon Dee Wallace who plays a reporter named Karen White. After being stalked and attacked by a serial killer, she suffers a fierce trauma that causes her amnesia. Her doctor recommends her to go to a special secluded resort called the “Colony.” Karen and her husband end up going there and they slowly find out everyone at this resort are shape-shifting werewolves. Her husband is bitten and turned into a werewolf. She then finds out the serial killer that was after her from the beginning was a werewolf all along and behind this whole thing. She barely escapes this Colony but finds out she’s also infected. She decides to go on national TV and reveal to the world that werewolves are real. After transforming she’s killed on live TV and that’s how it ends.
WHY SHOULD IT BE REMADE?
Many consider the first movie a classic but let’s face it, it’s very dated. The practical effects are excellent but everything else is very 80’s. Even the pace is slower than normal horror movies. Now if they ever do a remake I’m hoping they keep most of the practical effects. I still haven’t seen a good CGI version of a werewolf on film yet. Personally I think the plot of the film feels a little too convoluted. I’d make the remake closer to the original novel. The story in the novel is a bit more streamlined. One thing the movie did better than the novel was the ending. The novel basically ends with Karen burning down the werewolf town and escaping, but the movie had a bit of an ironic twist to the ending. Karen turning into a werewolf and dying on tv is a great twist. That ending is pretty dark and sad, but brings that punch that could have been some awesome sequels but they dropped the ball big time.
That ending sets up a world where werewolves are now revealed to the world but the sequel never really did anything with that. The sequels can go even bigger and have werewolves go to war with humanity in an epic scale that we’ve never seen before. We’ve seen swarms of vampires and zombies take over humanity in movies but can you imagine a movie where a swarm of werewolves attack a city. The sequel can set up the start of a werewolf war with humans and by the third movie you can have a post apocalyptic world where werewolves have taken over and humans are fighting to stay alive. I doubt Hollywood would ever go that big unless the first movie is a hit, but the possibility for a great werewolf franchise is there.
If you have any ideas for which horror movies should be remade, tell us below and I’ll try to fit it into an upcoming blog entry.