Friday, January 30, 2009

Who will save us from “The Re-Boot”?

I am a huge horror film fan; I am also a huge Comic Book fan. One thing both these films have in common is the need for sequels. In the horror film realm these follow a predictable pattern.

The first film: This is a the low budget nightmare brought to film that some writer worked years on and lost friends and family to make, it has little pieces of insanity that only the writer knows the meaning of. The raw emotions of the actors are on display not because it was originally written that way, but because the set department had $14.63 to build the set where the characters motivation is discussed. It has a dark edgy feel because budget limitations force it to be shot in the dark after the actors have been up for 18 hours.

The first film either is a smash hit or total dud, if it’s a hit the sequel is made.

The Second Film: This one goes one of two ways, the remake or new storyline.

The remake: bigger budget, flasher scenes, less interesting plot. They look at a the ideas that the writer started to include but didn’t have a budget for and strip them out of the movie. The horror scenes are flashier but less imaginative.
These normally end up as a dud watched only by the fans of the series later.

The New Storyline: This is when magic is sometimes made. They grab an idea that was born in the first movie and run with it. When it works like in Friday the 13th Part 2 which introduced Jason coming back to life to seek revenge on the Camp Counselors who killed his mother while she was trying to kill them for letting him die. This odd little loop of illogic made the fact that he was unkillable easier to follow.

This New Storyline idea also brought us Amanda, the greatest female slasher ever, from the Sleepaway Camp Series.

The Third Film: The final (blank).

In the third film the original crew is back and they are going to kill off the maniac for good, once and for all. They find something previously unknown about the maniac that is his greatest weakness. They kill him off in a way that is final and he is never coming back.

The Fourth Film: After being killed in a way that prevents him from ever being resurrected, he comes back to life. There is no plot to this one just going from one scene of teenager hacking to the next.

The Series: Odd little trivia is thrown in to explain the maniac but it’s mostly just more teenager hacking.

The WTF: About the 7th or 8th outing a director trying to make a name for himself will take the series and twist it around so bad that you wonder if the series personally harmed his family in some way and this is his form of revenge.

With the Halloween series we got Michael Myers vs the Ninjas, starring Donald Pleasance long after he had been dead. I don’t mean flashbacks, they actually tried to take scenes and out takes from the other movies and act like he was part of the action.

With the Howling series we got Line-Dancing. I’m serious there was a Howling movie that was 90% line-dancing.

With Nightmare on Elm St, we got Freddy’s Dead. Where it’s revealed that Freddy wasn’t getting revenge on the people who killed him by killing their kids. He was seeking revenge on any kid who grew up on Elm St anywhere.

After the WTF installment the original writers and producers take a sudden cut in revenue from royalties as their older films aren’t in demand anymore.

To remedy this they bring back the original cast and make homage to what they thought was great about the series.

Halloween got Halloween H2O.
Nightmare on Elm St got New Nightmare
The Living Dead got Return of the Living Dead.

The idea of the is not to make a blockbuster film, but one that will bring back some respect to the good films of the series because this is where the series should end.

Unfortunately, Hollywood can’t let a great idea die with some dignity. They steal a page from the comic book films and do a reboot with the idea of starting the series over.

But it just never works.

Dawn of the Dead was quaint, Rob Zombie’s Halloween wasn’t as good as the poorly produced original, Texas Chainsaw Massacre was worse than the bad rip offs of the original.

So now Hollywood is releasing a reboot of the one series that didn’t need to be rebooted. Friday the 13th. In the series it was shown that Jason is unkillable, the only thing you can do to him immobilize him in some way, then run like hell.

All he is now is a killing machine with a mask and a machete, he can fit in anywhere. In Space like in Jason X, on Times Square in Jason takes Manhattan (I was disappointed that he didn’t go on Broadway in that one, I would have loved to see him in a chorus line).

All they need for a Friday the 13th film is to put him in an original setting (I’d like to see Jason in King Arthur’s Court) and have him be who he is: The Unstoppable force of Evil that can’t be conquered by a greater force. He can only be slowed down through great courage and trickery.

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