Most people would say that the last thing we need is more horror remakes. And even less than horror remakes in general, most would say what we can specifically do without is more slasher remakes. But those who say that are wrong. Sadly, criminally, wrong. What we need, in fact, is more slasher remakes - five more, to be exact.
I know that the remakes of Halloween and Friday the 13th scored mixed-to-shitty results. And Prom Night wasn't many people's idea of a good time. And April Fool's Day didn't even get to any theaters. But because I personally enjoyed My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Sorority Row, I have to insist that the slasher remakes keep coming!
Of course I'd also like to see Hollywood spend some time making original horror films, but if remakes are going to continue to be made, then I've got five choice candidates that I'd like to see someone take a shot at. Before you call me crazy, irresponsible, or just sad, give my picks a look and see if you aren't convinced.
5. The Funhouse (1981)
This Tobe Hooper gem is one of his most underrated films (with an exciting climax that nearly ranks with the end of Texas Chainsaw, for me). But for a lot of people, even back when Funhouse was released, it was a case of "man, nothing happens in this movie!" And it's true that The Funhouse has a long build-up that many viewers find ridiculously protracted. Personally, I love it - I love all the time Hooper spends on these kids just wandering the carnival grounds, checking out oddities like pickled cleft-headed cow fetuses and what not (and I've got to give a shout-out to William Finley as Marco the Magnificient!). But I think the world is ready for a more balls-out Funhouse. Hell, they've been ready for almost thirty years now. I read that Eli Roth may be producing a remake of this and that sounds about right to me. I love what Funhouse is but I'd like to see the movie that many people wanted to see out of this premise but didn't.
4. The Burning (1981)
While I love Friday the 13th, I don't think it deserves to have a monopoly on the summer camp slaughter industry. Especially as the series hasn't had any campers or camp counselors being stalked since Jason Lives in '86. The films have long left the trappings of summer camp behind (even though the remake took place partially on the old camp grounds it had nothing really to do with Camp Crystal Lake) and to me, that's kind of bullshit. Because of this, we need The Burning to make summer camp a bloodbath again. Friday the 13th can sidestep the whole summer camp thing as long as they have kids in the woods but The Burning is all about camp. And while the original Burning has some good moments, I think that a better Burning is very possible. The first film is awkward where it should be building tension and it doesn't even have a Final Girl. Instead it has a Final Douche Bag, who's this kind of Peeping Tom dumb-ass who gets deservedly pushed around. So does a new Burning sound good? It sounds damn hot, is what I think!
3. Pieces (1982)
Now, Pieces is a special case. Remaking this film would be like trying to remake Plan 9 from Outer Space. What makes Pieces great is how terrible it is and you can't try to fake or recreate that kind of awfulness. However, I believe that chainsaw mayhem is so woefully underrepresented that any excuse to have a chainsaw wielding maniac on screen must be taken. And what's more, a Pieces remake needs to be Pieces 3-D. I can already see the poster with a chainsaw coming right off the screen (the original poster already has a 3-D vibe of it's own, don't you think?). It doesn't matter that no one knows the original Pieces. If you put Pieces 3-D in theaters, it'll be a number one movie, guaranteed.
2. The Prowler
While the maniac of this film was a romantically spurned WWII vet, still nursing a grudge over the girl that dumped him while he was serving his country, an update of The Prowler would probably have to go with a Vietnam vet. And with that, we're already we're talking about a new category of scary. Or maybe the war veteran angle could be dropped altogether. What's really important about The Prowler is that it's called The Prowler - which, for my money, is one of the all-time great slasher movie titles. When you hear The Prowler, it's evocative of everyday, real-world creepiness. You know that The Prowler isn't Jason or Freddy, but some guy lurking around your bushes (they don't actually call The Prowler "the prowler" during the course of the original movie but the remake can rectify that - you can't forget to properly brand your maniacs!). Oh, and he still has to have a pitchfork because that's the other great thing about The Prowler - the guy uses a pitchfork. Yeah, he busts out a knife too, but the pitchfork is what sticks in my mind. Say, can we use 3-D with The Prowler, too? I don't know - which would be better in 3-D? A chainsaw or a pitchfork? Shit, my head's gonna explode!
Why this movie must be remade is that it has one of the all-time scariest slasher movie moments where a young woman is skating on a frozen pond as a killer wearing an old hag mask skates towards her in broad daylight with a scythe in hand. This scene is great (how the killer skates across the entire pond to pursue this girl, rather than sneaking up on her in a less open area, is what's striking about it) but I always felt it needed to belong to a much better movie! The storyline of Curtains, with a group of actresses at a remote home all competing for a part in a movie (with one actress breaking out of an asylum to join the party), isn't bad (today, it'd be a reality show) but while it does have its moments (well, one great one, at least), the opportunity to make "the ultimate nightmare," as the ads promised, is still there. Oh, and a creepy, sad-faced doll also figures into the M.O. of Curtains' killer and creepy, sad-faced dolls are an evergreen source of terror.
If these all sound like awful ideas to you, well, so be it. I'm sure we can find common ground elsewhere. But honestly, wouldn't it just be easier to agree with me that Pieces 3-D sounds awesome?