This comes on the heels of the recent statement release from Ghost House Pictures and Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell that there is, finally and unfortunately going to be an Evil Dead remake. Read the press release here.
Now for regular readers of my blog you should know that I am a huge Evil Dead fan and a rabid Bruce Campbell fan. I may also have mentioned in the past that I hate 99.9% of most modern, recent, horror remakes and let me make this clear, before you all bring up The Thing or Scarface or something, that's what we are talking about here.
I will start with my feelings on the Evil Dead remake as it's the freshest in my mind and then I am going to re-post an updated remakes blog I wrote back in 2007 on MySpace (yes that relic of a bygone era! ha!)
If you didn't read the Press Release link yet, this is the message Sam, Rob and Bruce put out yesterday:
"We are committed to making this movie and are inspired by the enduring popularity and enthusiasm for the ‘Evil Dead’ series. We can't wait to scare a new generation of moviegoers using filmmaking techniques that were not available to us thirty years ago as well as Fede (the new director) bringing a fresh eye to the film’s original elements."
Almost everything about this statement annoys me! So much so that I have to break it down and analyse it line by line:
Scare a new generation of moviegoers?
Ok, now even if Sam and Rob are too busy descending into the sad corporate abyss, Bruce should know, as he has been to conventions and also frequently connects with the fans, that there are hardly any Evil Dead fans now who were even alive when the original came out, let alone old enough to see it! Could this possibly mean that the film is ALREADY "scaring new generations of moviegoers" ??! and I like to believe that those who were around and old enough to have seen the original when it came out are, like Star Wars fans, dedicated and definitely don't want a remake.
Using filmmaking techniques that were not available to us thirty years ago? - What does this even mean? REALLY think about it. CGI? 3D? Digital Cameras? what?? sure there are new gadgets, bells and whistles but basic film making technique hasn't changed in 50 years or more! How does The Evil Dead, a story about 5 kids who go to a cabin and get possessed by demons because they stupidly can't stop playing the same tape recording of readings from something called 'The Book of The Dead', benefit from the application of anything from the above list?
Also, the thing that MAKES the entire first film, the reason any of them have a career, is Raimi's technique. That's really all it is. Bruce is good in bits yes of course and there are extreme scenes, you don't believe you are watching, that can now whip an audience up into a delighted frenzy but it all hangs on Raimi's technique.
Creativity, inventiveness, imagination and intelligence don't need to be updated they continue to shine, they are the reason for its success.
If you disagree, name a modern horror film (or any genre for that matter) that is as good as or better than its 70s/80s counterpart or predecessor. Name a good modern film that rests entirely on its 'New Film-making Techniques'. This is not like The Thing where between the Howard Hawks original and John Carpenter's 80s version there was an enormously massive leap in what they were able to show, this is like picturing The Thing but instead of the incredibly innovative and creative practical special effects it's CGI and in 3D. Is that honestly any better? well they are, predictably and annoyingly, about to remake it so we shall see! (CHRIST can't they leave shit alone?!!!)
Fede bringing a fresh eye to the film’s original elements - Evil Dead doesn't need a fresh eye. It had Sam Raimi's eye. A fantastically inventive, guerrilla film maker at the time who achieved camera angles, special effects and all manner visual wizardry using sheer brains, determination and will power that no other first time, 20 something director has ever achieved before or since. Yes they have tried, imitated and failed but really, without Raimi directing and without Bruce starring, there is no FRESH eye to put on proceedings. Like I said, without them it's just a story about 5 kids who go to a cabin and get possessed, it's not like the story screams to be reinterpreted. Plus I think Eli Roth and about 100 other directors have already tried.
Raimi and co, drawing on influences wide and various from the past, practically invented a whole new form of shooting, editing and sound design that you could argue gave rise to the hyper kinetic, over the top style that studios apply heavy hand-idly and irritatingly to almost every flaccid turd of a movie they produce while also inspiring legions of film students everywhere to attempt the same thing (I know, I was one!)
The reason it is as popular today as it is and, in fact, grows in popularity every year is down to all of that. I firmly believe there is nothing a film maker could do to make it better, make it their own or even just compliment it. It survives and is cherished, like most of these original films, because of the time, the place but mostly because of the people involved. I don't want to see new people involved and I don't understand people who do.
This whole thing STINKS. They can't even come up with a decent excuse for a remake in their own press release!! Like all modern horror remakes, this is for the cash and cash alone as, creatively, the idea is bankrupt and that would be fine if the three of them were still struggle to forge out a career but Bruce is on a hit show going into it's 5th season, Tapert has produced a multitude of TV and Film including the highly lucrative Hercules, Xena and Sparticus: Blood and Sand and Sam made 3 Spiderman movies for fucks sake! Three of the biggest hits ever produced!
None of them need the money and as for this first time director if he really wants his first feature to be a remake of a film that was made by a handful of dedicated guys from Michigan slogging it out through endless muddy night shoots in the woods of Tennessee to eventually emerge months and months later with an original classic of horror, instead of something that he too can lovingly pour blood, sweat, tears and his life into then he isn't worth a damn in my book.
Also it has been revealed that Diablo Cody is doing a re-write.
Why the hell is this good news?!
Diablo Cody? Didn't she write a horror movie already that bombed harder than Halle Berry following up her Oscar with Catwoman? instead of the news being "Don't worry, it's going to be good, we have an Oscar Winning writer working on ED Remake" shouldn't it be - "I can't believe former Oscar Winner Cody is scraping the bottom of the writing barrel by helping to fix an already bad idea?"
If they already need a script re-write then that is a terrible sign. While I know this is a standard practice it could possibly mean the director is not the auteur of the piece, is not passionate about it or does not have faith in his ideas. I am not sure why a first time director wants to do a remake anyway, doesn't make much sense, doesn't he have his own stories to tell?
I am SO dissappointed. I thought the fans had squashed this idea when they first brought it up almost 10 years ago! I guess they just had to wait for the populus to become so appathetic and jaded they didn't care anymore.
The other reason I am so very disappointed, as a fan, is that they have dangled Evil Dead 4 in front of us like a carrot for years and years and years. Now I personally don't want an ED4, I want Raimi to take his Spiderman money and make an all new film with Bruce as the lead and with Rob producing, just like Rob Tapert SAID they were doing almost 10 years ago but I will take ED4 over a remake any day of the week. On the subject of ED4 Bruce said, as recently as the Philly Comic-Con (18th June 2011), that one of the reasons they have backed off the idea of doing it is that they would spend a year of their life making the thing, Bruce would go through the horrible and uncomfortable procedure of actually playing Ash post 50 and when it came out the fans would criticise it and compare it negatively with Army of Darkness etc.
Well I absolutely hate to say it because he's still my favourite actor but that's utter bullshit. If that's how you feel about the 4th one then why the hell do and endorse so positively, a remake? doesn't the same reaction, only potentially worse, still apply?
God the whole news is just too depressing, I had to get it all out of my system with a blog. Which I know makes me some whiny, loser fan boy frantically typing away under fake internet stars to an audience of none but it's cheaper than therapy and more fun than vomitting.
I honestly feel that they forget that while show business is, indeed and understandably, a business the SHOW part comes first. Remakes don't anger me so much for the present because I know the originals exist, I watch and own them and I boycott most of the remakes. However it's future generations who will either be confused, not know about the originals or not care... how will these classics survive? Well I for one will keep the original home (or in this case cabin) fires burning.
The End of Evil Dead Remake related rant.
OLD REMAKE BLOG FROM 2007 -
This is a blog I did a while ago and as it's relevant, it may explain a few opinions and is still basically what I think I thought I would include it here.