Thursday, December 04, 2008

Worst. News. Ever: The Sequel

In my previous post I mentioned the horrific news of a reported RE-ANIMATOR: 90210 pilot concept being shopped, complete with a teenage Herbert West running around re-animating god knows what. Gossipy prep school students? Reality show contestants?

Because the original RE-ANIMATOR remains unchallenged as my favorite film ever made, that news takes the cake, but today's newsflash from SlashFilm comes close:

Strike Entertainment is in talks to acquire rights to remake John Carpenter's 1988 cult film THEY LIVE.

THEY LIVE was a perfect film for its time and features one of the great B-movie action performances of all-time with Rowdy Roddy Piper as Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker who discovers special sunglasses that let him see the subliminal messages and conspiracy all around him.

Filled with action aplenty – including the five-minute alley fight between Piper and Keith David that was even parodied on SOUTH PARK – the film has become a beloved cult classic over the years and ranks with me as one of Carpenter's two or three best flicks.


Douglas A. Waltz said...

I would say that this is much worse news than the Re-Animator series. That probably won't get off the ground while this will probably get made. Look at the bright side...Bacon Salt! :0)

Cinema Suicide said...

I try not to get all wound up over remake news but there's something really wrong about remaking They Live and I'm probably the only person on earth who thinks that context is important.

Carpenter's movie was timely. It came at a time when the distribution of money in America was so out of balance and excessive yuppies seemed completely oblivious to the plight of the growing servant class. It's the sole reason why They Live's central idea that rich people can't possibly be human works. '87-'88 was a tough time, financially for the middle and lower classes and even though our present economic situation sucks a hard dong right now, no one is escaping. As a matter of fact, the people immune to the S&L fallout of the time are the same kinds of people being directly impacted by the problems today.

So my major complaint about remaking They Live, is that it doesn't make any god damn sense. There's no relevance. At all. By this time, Carpenter was the only guy still angling social criticism in his movies and this one really works because of how relevant it was. Remake it today and it's just an empty action movie. The class-war these days is so narrow that it's really just the middle class fighting with each other.

God damn it.