Thursday, October 25, 2012

Evil Dead Remake Trailer

Fuck.  This.

Fundamentally, I do not understand the concept of remakes.  As a matter of fact, neither does the rest of the film-watching public, because when most people hear about a remake of, oh... let's say - "Total Recall", their normal reaction is to shake their heads and mutter about how Hollywood is completely out of new ideas.  Well, tragically, no genre has been devastated worse by the remake craze than horror, which in an appropriately disgusting and disturbing display has devoured its own history and heritage to regurgitate nearly every classic horror film to be reused and mildly enjoyed by idiot teenagers who don't know what they're missing.  Trust me, we all might have loved the new "Dawn of the Dead", but it pales in comparison with the original.  But that's really the most positive of the spectrum, since the new "Dawn of the Dead" actually isn't that bad of a movie.  The rest of the time we get utterly awful crapfests like "Halloween", "Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Omen", and I could just go forever listing bad movies, couldn't I?

Again, I simply don't get it.  Why does the world need these things?  Who asked for this?  Ask most Evil Dead fans what kind of movie they want, and they'd mention the alternate ending to "Army of Darkness" where Ash gets sent to the future.  Nobody wanted a remake, except of course, for philistines who believe the original movie's special effects are quaint.  And to you people, I have this to say:  make your own goddamn horror movie, leave "Evil Dead" alone.

Now the surprising thing about this "Evil Dead" project is that it is not in fact being made by Michael Bay's chopshop of a production company, Platinum Dunes, who we can thank for such failures as the remakes of "Friday the 13th", "The Hitcher", and quite a few other terrible horror remakes.  Its actually being made by Sam Raimi, the creator of the original film, but only in a producer role - along with the original star Bruce Campbell.  Neither are directing though, and the writing duties are going to..... Diablo Cody.  If Cody's previous horror movie, "Jennifer's Body" is any measuring stick, expect a terrible script with enough pseudo-hipster language to make you wish she went back to her day job.  But I guess we could thank Ms. Cody for making "Jennifer's Body" since that truly and eternally ended the nightmare that was Megan Fox.  But for the kids, they sure seem to be smashing forward with lots and lots of gore, because clearly they could never actually replicate the legitimately creepy atmosphere of the original.

On the other hand, when the Mayans come back from the dead in their pyramid spaceship to blow up the Earth this December, it will mean that nobody has to see this new "Evil Dead".  So really this post is more or less merely an academic discussion.

Since I don't know why anybody would want an "Evil Dead" remake since I am pretty solidly entrenched in my opinion that the original movie is a perfect horror movie and has virtually no place for improvement, I'm going to have difficulty arguing against this new film.  I mean, I can only begin to guess the motives for this crime.  Just as most people are utterly overwhelmed and unable to comprehend the reasoning behind a mother drowning her babies in the bathtub, I can't understand why Sam Raimi is drowning his own baby.  Maybe he's really pissed that we all hated "Spider-Man 3"?  Maybe he has to sell his soul on this project in order to prove to Hollywood that he can still make profitable horror films?  Maybe this is Osama bin Laden's revenge from beyond the grave?

However, I do have a few somewhat less libelous theories:

1. The 1981 "Evil Dead" has shitty special effects, so let's update them.

I'm not saying that Sam Raimi has become George Lucas with an obsessive need to change his movies every few years in order to achieve his constantly-shifting "original creative vision".  No, I'm saying this what modern Hollywood thinks.  Since horror movies are basically owned by CG, we've been told by modern special effects companies that anything made before 1990 is incredibly cheesy and terrible.  If it wasn't made by a computer, we should laugh at it.  We should cynically abandon our entire theatrical culture and replace it with new movies that fit the current fashions, and make sure the blood is CG too.

Well, that's all crap right there, and I refuse to believe any of it.  If you're unable to enjoy a movie because of the effects, then its your own fault.  Do you sit down during a theater play and laugh at how obviously the castle behind Macbeth is actually a flat and a curtain?  No, its suspending disbelief.  There's something amazing and artistically meaningful about every kind of special effect, and its amazing how much Sam Raimi was able to achieve in 1981 with almost on budget, a flaky cast and crew, and barely any resources.  And still, its special effects are incredible.  There's something clearly creepy and terrifying about the unnatural jerkiness of stop motion. The acting is hammy and ridiculous, but so clearly deranged that its actually frightening.  And many of the effects still hold up perfectly fine years later.

Even better, the weird effects actually fit "Evil Dead" as a movie, since most of the violence is occurring to humans who have been twisted into zombified deadites.  Their skin is rubbery, they bleed strange colors, everything about them is unnatural.  "Evil Dead" is one of the best horror movies ever made, still scary even today, and that's mostly because of the effects.  Plus there's the excellent use of the camera in POV chase shots.  What the heck is chasing the heroes?  You have no idea, but you're seeing the heroes flee from this indistinct monster's eyes.  The original is not merely technically successful, its a work of art.  Only the biggest idiots on the planet would think they could improve upon it.

2. The original is too funny and we want to make a really scary horror movie.

No!  No!  No!  Wrong!  Absolutely wrong!  "Evil Dead" is not a funny movie, you're thinking of "Evil Dead 2" and "Army of Darkness".  All of the biggest setpieces in this trailer appear to be repackaged directly from the first movie, such as the infamous Rape Tree*, the degeneration of the flesh, and the body horror.  There's more realistic blood in this remake, and it seems a lot darker in tone, but it also looks to be a Hell of a lot less fun.  This is why modern horror sucks, its all so deadly serious all the time, or its a bad parody.  Meanwhile "Cabin in the Woods" actually does a great job of capturing the tongue-in-cheek nature of a lot of old horror movies.

Of course, the original "Evil Dead" really was nothing but eighty-five minutes of exhausting horror.  Things start poorly, then one girl almost gets raped by trees, then things keep getting worse and worse.  But the terror is as psychological as it is visceral.  There is a lot of gore, but the demons seem just as interested as toying with the humans as they do simply killing them.  Unlike the sequels, in "Evil Dead" there is no hope of escape, the evil is outside, its inside, its inside your loved ones, and the only reason you haven't been turned into a zombie yet is because your fear is making it laugh.  That's fucking scary.  There is no escape.  Even at the end, Bruce Campbell's character essentially gets killed.

Yeah, in the sequels Bruce Campbell's Ash becomes a wonderfully cheesy action hero with an endless supply of one-liners and eternal feats of badassary, but that's not "Evil Dead".  In "Evil Dead" he's just a college student trapped in a cabin with his zombified friends.

Oh, by the way, the remake is going to suck without Bruce Campbell.  And you know it.

3. Teenagers today don't know about "Evil Dead" so they would never see the original anyway.

Fuck that.  I was born ten years after "Evil Dead" was released, and I found out about it.  Nobody has an excuse to be ignorant about such a great movie.  More importantly, why not just release the original movie to theaters again?  Why make a new movie at all?  Just make "Evil Dead: 3D" or some other marketing gimmick.  It would be a scam, but it still would be true to the original.  But "Evil Dead" should be more popular than ever now that "Cabin in the Woods" did such an excellent job lampooning it just a few months back.  This is why I don't understand remakes, if you want to make more money off the original intellectual property, just release the original property again.  Its not like publishing houses are asking George R. R. Martin to rewrite "War and Peace" for the 21st century are they?

Do you know why they would never do that?  Because "War and Peace" is a long-respected piece of art too culturally significant to ever tamper with.  Well, why don't movies get the same treatment?  If Hollywood wants to argue that they're making art - which is an argument I buy - they should treat their films like art.  Not cheap products to be raped every few decades or so.

Conclusion:  Fuck Remakes.  Fuck Hollywood.  Death to Videodrome, long live the new flesh!

* Yeah, there's a Rape Tree.  "Evil Dead" is a truly insane movie, and that's why its great.


  1. I feel you Blue. Most of my favorite movies were made before I was a twinkle in my father's eye and I still loved to watch them. And you know how I watched them? My older cousin, who was probably the only person outside of my mom who I respected, would take me to these movies whenever a one of those small movie theaters would show old movies from the 80's & 70's and I fell in love with them. I hate too much CG in a horror movie, BECAUSE it looks fake. You know when the monster pulls the guy spinal cord out you know it's fake and because you know it's fake you don't care. But because those old horror movies have no CG and every thing is hand made there's a certain realistic feel to it and you can immerse yourself into it and give yourself the fear that the movie is going for. Screw you hollywood you can kiss my hairy golden-brown ass.

    And to Nicholas: A Robocop remake? *Drops down to knees while dramatic chorus sings in the background* NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU BLEW IT UP! YOU BLEW IT ALL UP! DAMN YOU! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!!

    1. On the bright side, finding out about the Robocop remake made me finally get around to seeing the original, which I had been meaning to do for a while.
      Here's where I found out about the remake.