Monday, June 29, 2009

beware the moon, lads. and beware the remake

hey everyone

well, this sounds like a remake too far. the interwebnet thingie is buzzing with tales of a proposed remake of the brilliant, just under 30 years old classic film An American Werewolf In London. i suppose the only surprise, going on just how many films tend to be either remakes these days, is that it has taken them so long to have a go at this.

the conventional initial reaction to a remake would be "oh no, not again", followed by "i am not going to go and see this". well, in regards of the latter, clearly some people are going to see these remakes; enough at least to make enough money for them to keep churning them out.

in fairness, sometimes the remakes are not all that a bad idea - the recent efforts at "restarting" classics like Firday 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could at the least be seen as attempts to reclaim the films and their reputation from some rather horrid, cheap and cheerful sequels. even then, though, you get the problem - as respectable as those efforts might very well have been, they simply do not live up to the quality of the original.

there has, in a sense, already been a remake of this particular classic, as the rather rubbish An American Werewolf In Paris had little to do with being a follow-on from the original, and everything to do with simply re-telling the story (poorly) in a different city and replacing the astonishing special effects of the original film with some horrid computer generated (of if you will 'CGI') man to wolf transformations.

the original film was outrageously funny, scary (i didn't sleep properly for weeks after seeing it) and dazzling in regards of the astonishing transformation of David Kessler into a werewolf. no werewolf film before or since has shown the transformation quite like it, certainly not as terrifyingly or, most importantly, in such a believable way. if the sequel failed to capture the humour or the horror, it's difficult to see how a straight remake is going to manage it.

beyond the special effects, the biggest problem any remake faces is trying to cast this. the original was a real, if perhaps accidental, ensemble effort - even the most minor parts were cast and played to exceptional levels - even dear old Rik Mayall sat playing chess in the pub! who on earth they could find to 'replace' or cast in the roles made famous by David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter and Brian Glover will be interesting to see.

if this remake goes ahead, and nothing has been confirmed as of yet, i will no doubt see it out of curiosity. that said, it was the same kind of curiosity that led me to watch the remake of The Wicker Man. you kind of knew that they wouldn't quite get it right in recreating that one, and so it was. we can only hope that they either deliver a decent homage to this much loved classic, or at least clock that they can't deliver anything close to the original and thus ditch the project.

stick to the roads, lads, and beware the moon..................
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