Minor problems with shipping has delayed getting to The Untouchables with Robert Stack. I had been hoping that it would have showed up sooner, but them’s the breaks. The first entry for The Untouchables will be next week.
This week, though, a look at an idea for remakes. Hat tip to @DiscordianKitty for the idea on Twitter. Her idea, “Instead of remaking great movies, they should remake bad movies based on good stories but did not meet expectations.” The idea has merit. Today, when finding a favourite movie to watch is a matter of checking streaming services, it is the terrible and the unpopular movies that get the short shrift. Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, is never going to be unavailable. It is too much a classic film to let slip into obscurity.
A few ground rules. The big one is that if there is another film in the franchise, the franchise gets excluded. Cult classics also don’t count for the list; they have a charm on their own. B-movies will only be added if they are truly dire; the nature of a B-movie meant it was a backup feature, not the main draw, and didn’t get the attention, budget, or cast a feature would. This holds for direct-to-video films and TV movies; only the most dire will be mentioned. And while Mystery Science Theater 3000 did show cheesy movies, the worst they could find, it’s too easy to list something just because it was featured on the show.
The ten movies that deserve a remake, in reverse order:
10 – Overdrawn at the Memory Bank
I almost left this off the list. Originally based on the John Varley short story of the same name, the movie was made for public television, with a corresponding budget. It will be difficult to bring the gravitas that Raul Julia had, but the story does deserve a second attempt to be brought to film.
9 – Gigli
The only film on ths list I haven’t seen, Gigli suffered from studio interference, wanting to take a dark romantic comedy story and turn it into a star-driven vehicle for Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck to cash in on their tabloid-exploited relationship. The film tanked with word of mouth giving warning about the quality. The original plot may be salvageable and, without studio meddling, could be a decent film, Just don’t re-use the title or turn it into a star vehicle.
8 – The Black Hole
The Black Hole came out in 1979, but harkened back to older science fiction movies, which was the film’s main problem post-Star Wars. Expectations were hard to manage. The movie is really a Gothic horror film with science fiction trappings, something Disney wasn’t going to green light at the time.
7 – Ator the Fighting Eagle
The main issue the movie had was pacing. There was a lot Ator was trying to do and limited time to get everything out. While the movie might be better served as a TV series, it could be remade with an eye on ensuring that the pace is kept moving. Turn it into a series of two or three films if needed.
6 – Battleship
Battleship was several good ideas turned into a mediocre, by-the-numbers slog. The movie’s biggest sin is bringing the USS Missouri in the final quarter. The name of the movie is Battleship; bring in the battleship early.
5 – Howard the Duck
Howard is the only franchise film on the list. I have it here because the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced Howard in a post-credit sequence at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy. The main issue Howard had was relying on practical effects, though CGI wasn’t a viable option at the time. With today’s rating system, Beverly’s job can remain the same as in the comics. There was a plan for a Howard TV series helmed by Kevin Smith, but that has been cancelled.
4 – Plan 9 From Outer Space
While it is tempting to add more Ed Wood movies to the list, Plan 9 is the one that really qualifies for inclusion here. Plan 9 has several problems, from low budget to Bela Legosi’s death to needing a good editor. There is a nugget of a good idea, but Wood’s imagination could not be matched by his skill or his budget.
3 – Dungeons & Dragons
Wizards riding dragons fighting! Rogues skulking about! What could go wrong? All of it went horribly wrong. The direct-to-DVD sequels were far better, able to meld mechanics and plot. The catch will be to not feel like a D&D inspired by-the-numbers fantasy novel. It’s a fine line to walk.
2 – Super Mario Bros
Don’t just take my word for it; Steven Savage has words on this movie. The movie wastes so much talent and ignores gameplay and even the colours of the iconic characters. A remake that follows the plot of any of the Mario games would be an improvement.
1 – Manos: The Hands of Fate
There is a dark horror film lurking in this minimal budget film that wants to come out, even if it’s as a student film.
Did I miss a movie? Do you disagree with my choices? Please, leave a comment below.