10 Movie Remakes We Never Asked For (And Can’t Give Back)

There’s evidently an old saying in Hollywood: if it ain’t broke, break it.

Piggybacking on someone else’s success by milking an old idea for a quick buck — and dragging that once-great idea through the muck in the process — is a Tinseltown tradition as deep-rooted as rhinoplasty.

With some notable exceptions (The Coens’ 2010 True Grit, 1978′s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Cronenberg’s take on The Fly, to name a few), remakes are usually derivative at best, unwatchably redundant at worst.

Here are some entirely unnecessary rehashes that got green-lighted because there is no all-loving God to prevent evil from happening in the world.

10. Karate Kid

Photo via: CNBC.com

Why the 1984 original was awesome: Mr. Miyagi’s “wax on, wax off” mantra inspired countless children to polish their parents’ cars; middle-aged drunken men everywhere still attempt to unleash the crane kick with hilarious results; the film introduced the world to Joe Esposito’s inspirational cheese-pop anthem You’re The Best; the finale proved violence solves everything in the end.

Why the 2010 remake sucked: It’s not about karate, for starters (the martial art in question is kung fu); Will Smith’s son Jaden proves the showbiz gene skipped a generation; some heavy-handed production guidance from the state-run China Film Group lends the whole enterprise an air of propaganda.

 

9. Total Recall

total recall

Photo via g4tv.com

Why the 1990 original was awesome: Sharon Stone kicks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ass; Arnie’s eyes nearly kablooie out of their sockets as he hollers his trademark roar; Martian hooker has three boobs.

Why the 2012 remake sucked: no former Austrian bodybuilder with bulging eyes and zingers like “Considah it a divorrrce”; although the triple-breasted hooker makes a cameo, her elapsed time onscreen works out to roughly one second per breast. Plus she’s a little too attractive, which makes us feel icky.

 

8. Straw Dogs

Why the 1971 original was awesome: a taut, brooding pyschodrama starring a feisty Dustin Hoffman long before he became Gaylord Focker’s dad; the film’s title is never explained, which adds to its coolness (it comes from a Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu, if you must know).

Why the 2011 remake sucked: the simmering suspense has been mostly replaced with gory violence, which itself would be fine if there weren’t already a bazillion movies that pull off gory violence with much greater aplomb; 40 years ago, a cinematic contemplation of the violent urges that lurk within the human psyche was innovative movie fodder, but nowadays Grand Theft Auto is the perfect mirror into our sadistic souls.

 

7. The Longest Yard

Longest Yard Remake

Photo credits: Paramount Pictures, MTV Films

Why the 1974 original was awesome: Burt Reynolds, sans moustache.

Why the 2005 remake sucked: Adam Sandler, sans talent.

 

6. The Omen

Why the 1976 original was awesome: the little kid who is the physical embodiment of Satan looks a lot like AC/DC guitarist Angus Young; if that’s not enough, the movie is also effing scary.

Why the 2006 version sucked: this scene-for-scene remake copied everything about the original except its watchability; the demon-child looks more like Love Me Do-era Paul McCartney.

 

5. Arthur

 

Why the 1981 original was awesome: it wasn’t, really, but it was a hell of a lot better than the remake.

Why the 2011 remake sucked: Russell Brand drains all the foppish charm out of the titular drunken playboy, stumbling from one pratfall to the next; even Dame Helen Mirren can’t lend any class to this IQ-reducer.

 

4. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

texas chain saw massacre

Photo credit: Vortex

Why the 1974 original was awesome: it was a genre-defining masterpiece in splatter cinema; it was actually a “black comedy” if you ask director Tobe Hooper, but censors didn’t see the humor, banning the film in several countries after its release; the “based on a true story” conceit (not really true, but not altogether false) adds extra chills.

Why the 2003 remake sucked: it lacks all the grit, washed-out colors and low-budget wonkiness that gave the original the off-putting feel of a snuff film; this rehash was even less relevant to the franchise than 1994′s The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is only noteworthy because of its then-unknown stars Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger.

 

3. Godzilla

Godzilla evolution

Photo credits: TriStar Pictures, Toho

Why the 1954 original, and the scads of Japanese spin-offs that followed, were awesome: an allegory about the dangers nuclear science created in post-war Japan after the atomic obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — that’s damn-near poetic; features unintentionally hilarious overdubbing; Godzilla can totally kick Mothra’s ass/venom-sac.

Why the 1998 remake sucked: we already saw Jurassic Park; Matthew Broderick is only believable as Ferris Bueller; no hilarious overdubbing.

 

2. Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes remake

Photo credits: 20th Century Fox

Why the 1968 original was awesome: talking monkeys; a gorgeous mute cave-woman wearing a skimpy animal hide; Chuck Heston desperately craving a gun in a wonderful dose of real-life foreshadowing.

Why the 2001 remake sucked: Marky Mark without his Funky Bunch; Tim Burton’s all-too-predictable casting of Helena Bonham Carter; overdone CGI that lacks all the charm of the original monkey make-up. Note: the series attained some redemption with the 2011′s mostly awesome Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

 

1. Psycho

Why the 1960 original was awesome: an excruciatingly suspenseful masterpiece that exemplifies Hitchcock at the top of his game; Janet Leigh in the shower, booyah; violins shrieking “REE REE REE” is still the universal sound of abject terror.

Why the 1998 version sucked: a shot-for-shot remake of the original, but with hokey gimmicks that add nothing but viewer rage. And in color, no less. Blasphemy!

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63 Responses to 10 Movie Remakes We Never Asked For (And Can’t Give Back)

  1. And SPIDER MAN!!!!!

    • Uh, NO. The Amazing Spider-Man was awesome. Also, as we all know, Spider-Man was in desperate need of a reboot. Plenty of Spider-Man comic fans were wishing for a reboot the moment Spider-Man 3 hit the theatres.

      • Wrong. The new spider man blows. He sucks compared to tobey. And web machines on his arms how stupid is that. Spiderman has built in webs.

        • mechanical web shooters is how it was, and still is, done in the comics. i think the raimi version was silly because a spider doesn’t produce webbing from an extremity, but rather it’s abdomen

        • Problem with the mechanical web-shooters? As I mentioned in another post, blame the comics not the movie. That’s how it is in the comics. Actually, not having them is one of the things that bothered me in the 2002 movie.

      • Actually The Amazing Spiderman was not a remake at all, it was a series of comic books. Just like the Dark Knight series for Batman.

      • from a nerdy intelligent and unatheletic guy to spider man should be the case, instead we got an atheletic, intelligent, handsome nerd that became spiderman, not to mention they tried so damn hard to say with great power comes great responsibilities in many different ways, and how peter parker was a complete dick to everyone around him in the reboot as well as break the promises of a dying man to NOT bone his daughter

      • The only reason why Sony rebooted “Spider-Man” was because the rights were going to expire, and the only way to prolong the rights staying with them was to make a new SM movie, otherwise the rights would’ve reverted back to Marvel/Disney.

      • The Amazing Spider Man is a reboot, not a remake.
        They’re not trying to recreate the previous trilogy,
        they made a new movie based on the comic books,
        BTW, I don’t like comic books, but I knew they originally don’t produced
        his webs and those were his invents.

      • True, he was in need of a Reboot after S3, but truthfully I was ready for another remake after “The Amazing Spider-Man”.

    • They should change the The Amazing Spider-Man to The Decent Spider-Man. That movie wasn’t amazing in any way shape or form

    • Spider pig is better than the Spider Man remake

  2. the list of remakes we didn’t ask for was good.There was one more that should go one the list. The remake of True Grit. That role was made for John Wayne.While the new film has some merrits,just don’t screw up a classic.

    • I actually thought that both True Grits were great films. While you shouldn’t screw with a classic such as a John Wayne movie, the remake was actually based more on the book than Wayne’s version was.

  3. “Plus she’s a little too attractive, which makes us feel icky.” Seriously, who says this? Are you kidding me???

  4. I agree with everything except for Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The simple reason is, I never saw the original. I went back and saw the original after the remake and it was seriously dated. I imagine if you saw the original when it came out it was a nightmare beyond belief. But, it’s been cannibalized (heh) so many times, it’s no longer unique.

  5. halloween. nightmare on elm street. footloose. alice in wonderland. charlie and the chocloate factory.

  6. Brandon Dimmel
    Brandon Dimmel says:

    The new Red Dawn certainly has NO reason to exist. North Korea invades? Okay, that makes sense.

    • Rikki Tavishom says:

      North Korea can’t even afford to feed it’s own people, much less launch an invasion. Also, how could they invade anything? They have a population less than San Francisco.

    • Maybe they should have called it “Yellow Dawn”

    • Couldn’t agree more. Why rape a classic for the hope to make a quick buck when there are movies that need to be remade like Flash Gordon, Catwoman, Innerspace, Demolition Man, and The Last Starfighter are just a few.

      • They’re releasing Ender’s Game soon. Not a remake, but the premise is strikingly similar to that of The Last Starfighter.

  7. “Tim Burton’s all-too-predictable casting of Helena Bonham Carter” – Obviously the author is unaware that Planet of the Apes was the first time that Carter and Burton had worked together and that they had not previously known each other until Burton contacted Carter about the role. Is it possible to predict things in the past?

    • Geordi Schmidt says:

      The author is referring to just about every industry trade magazine and TV show calling Helena Bonham Carter the frontrunner to be in the movie. Carter herself gushed at the thought of taking the role. And Burton didn’t change any minds when he forewent auditioning and offered the role right out of the gate to her.

      It was like when LeBron James announced that he was leaving Cleveland for Miami. Talk about anticlimactic.

  8. Peter Gaylord says:

    AND SPIDERMAN! only because i didnt like the new actor Andrew Garfield, because the character wasnt as relatable as the original sam rami trilogy. The ego and acting Andrew Garfield gave was complete shit! Everything in the movie was great, except for the main protagonist spiderman. Even the costume was STUPID, it looked too far-fetched because how can a teenager create that masterpiece, its too much and too much lines and dots on his costume it looked to weird to me and not like the comics! Plus the director too i didnt like OVERALL THE MOVIE WAS UNRELATABLE!!! i felt “forever alone” the whole time!! i give it a 6/10 the original gives it a 9/10 because of creativity.

    • “Everything in the movie was great, except for the main protagonist spiderman.” I have quite the opposite view. Spider-Man was the one thing that wasn’t screwed up. His moves were more arachnid-like, his attitudes were more true to the character (witty banter and some trademark Spidey moments like the web in the sewers or the cocoonification in the school) and he had mechanical web-shooters just like in the comics. It’s his alter-ego Peter Parker who was botched, with his emo douchebag behavior and his highly unnerving st-st-stuttering. And everything else was along those lines: the supporting roles were poorly written, with a monolithic villain stripped of all his schizoid inner struggles, supposedly intelligent people acting stupid on a regular basis and some surprisingly underused characters (Aunt May); Ben’s death was rather meaningless, as well as Spidey’s promise to Cpt. Stacy; there were a few major plot holes; and last but not least, the two first-person sequences felt too much like a videogame.

  9. To be fair on the remake of Psycho – I read somewhere that Gus Van Sandt made it in the same spirit as young artists have to copy old masters in art school in order to learn their trade. It certainly worked – his films before Psycho were forgettable student shite, and since then he’s been making nothing but masterpieces :)

  10. The Sabrina remake should be on the list. Seriously, can anyone ever replace Audrey?

  11. Martin Greatorex says:

    The Time Machine. The 1960 original although lacking in cgi etc is an excellent example of superb storytelling & brilliant acting, especially from the exceptional Rod Taylor. The 2002 version. Millions of dollars spent and virtually everything was wrong with this film, complete soulless rubbish. The only thing worth mentioning, the time machine itself looked cool!

    • Yes what made the original great was the ending where were he went back and got the 3 books and you never know what 3 books he took. The new one has a computer with all the knowledge of mankind in it how stupid is that.

  12. nightmare on elm street should be number 1 here.

  13. Wicker Man. The Haunting. I did once hear a rumour that someone was going to remake Some Like It Hot with Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt. Thank god it was just a rumour!!!

  14. Geordi Schmidt says:

    The author should have added “The A-Team” and any other TV show remade into a movie. The shows were great for the era in which they were produced. They just don’t work on the big screen because, unlike movies, most of us have watched TV almost every day of our lives.

  15. Geordi Schmidt says:

    And let’s not forget that other giant monster classic that was trashed by Hollywood — King Kong. The original 1933 classic had its issues (I cringe whenever I see what black actors had to endure in such films) but it still is great to watch. The1976 remake was atrocious and helped convince Hollywood that man-in-a-suit monster flicks just won’t work in the USA. Even Peter Jackson’s version had its problems, namely that we all wanted Naomi Watts to just shut the hell up and that the big gorilla was just not really that likeable, especially when he was casually throwing blonde after blonde to their deaths.

  16. How did you miss that farce of “Stepford Wives”?

  17. Rollerball:

    The 1975 version had James Caan and John Houseman. It was a story about government and big business, where big business takes over government and runs the world. Individuals innovate, invent, and discover, not corporations. The game was intended “to show the futility of individual action” and it showed exactly the opposite. Individuals CAN make a difference, even in a corporate world. The message of the movie was thought to be ridiculous in 1975. Today, its relevance is scary.

    The 2002 version was about a Russian mafioso who wanted to make the highest-rated TV show ever. You cannot tell that from the movie. The actual movie is nothing but badly-choreographed action scenes with inane pointless dialog. I know that’s the story because I read it. And even then, it’s a dipshit trivial idea compared to the original. The violence was pointless and the acting horrible. The only redeeming moment in the movie is a very brief flash of Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’ breasts in a shower scene that was cut from the theatrical release.

  18. What about the original Star Wars? I know that it technically wasn’t a remake but a re-release, but we still didn’t ask Lucas to introduce Jabba just for the infamous Hutt to repeat pretty much everything we heard in the cantina. Besides, Jabba was mobile in the rerelease, but in Return of the Jedi, he ould be moved at all, that’s part of the reason why Leia was able to kill him. Oh, and don’t get me started on that “Greedo shot first” crap. I could go on for hours.

  19. The 2001 Planet Of The Apes didn’t use CGI apes!

  20. In response to the title…yeah people didn’t ask for them, but they got them anyway, so stop bitching about it.

    I liked the remake Godzilla movie. I also like The Longest Yard remake.

  21. LOL! You act like Hollywood gives a shit whether you asked for something or not. Hollywood doesn’t give a damn what you want. It’s their money, they’ll make what they want. You are free to decide whether to see it or not, but spare me the “we didn’t ask for it” bullshit.

  22. Rollerball

  23. Can anyone identify the actress on the cover of this article? My weapon of mass ejection would be eternally grateful.

  24. I feel your comments are very biased. If you like the originals of these, and you give good reasons to LIKE the originals, you should give equally as good a reason to DISLIKE the remake. Being a shot-for-shot remake, in my opinion, is no valid reason. I don’t know a lot about cinema, but I do know movies from a viewer standpoint, and I have to say the Omen and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are two films that benefited without the ‘aimless’ approach and strange, pointlessness of the their originals. The remake of ‘The Omen’ also has a ton of symbolism, which is just awesome.

  25. Charlieness says:

    That was Tim Burton’s first film with Helena Bonham Carter… How was that predictable that he’d cast her!?!?!

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