The Untouchables: Ten 80’s Movies Rumored for a Remake (But Shouldn’t Be)

The 1980’s were a magical time for cinema.  Unlike the steaming piles of crap producers green light nowadays to make a quick buck, the era of “cheesy guilty pleasure movies that you realize suck but love anyways” is long gone.  A decade that will always be remembered for Reagan, Married With Children, and the ’85 Bears has been replaced with a horrendous stretch that will recall such highlights as W. Bush, Desperate Housewives, and the ’09 Lakers.  Pardon me while I bong Drano. 

vision_quest

Before we begin, allow me to state the obvious:

Exhibit A) The 80’s were the greatest decade in the history of the world, and I would much rather see Hollywood leave it alone than beat it up beyond all recognition by releasing shitty remakes

Exhibit B) If a movie uses pre-existing characters, settings, and storyline from a previous one to tell basically the same story (with a few minor differences) it is a REMAKE.  Save the “reboot” shit for a film school dropout

Away we go….

Conan the Barbarian

conanthebarbarian

Why it could work

 The “fantasy” genre will forever be marketed towards pimple-faced virgins who love World of Warcraft, but it’s hard to deny that Conan is one badass mofo in this 1982 classic.  With the watered down pillowfights featured in the LOTR trilogy (that’s Lord of the Rings for people who have actually seen a female breast),  it would be refreshing to see this type of movie made the right way again.  By right way I mean:

  1. The hero chopping the head off anyone stupid enough to get in his way with a battle axe or broadsword in the most gruesome manner
  2. The hero banging the shit out of anything in a skirt when he isn’t slicing and dicing bad guys
  3. The hero being someone who could kick your ass in real life, not “Rudy” or “That whiny kid from The Good Son”
  4. Said sex or violence needs to earn movie an R rating within first 5 minutes of opening credits

BUT

Odds of #1-4 ever coming to fruition in a remake: ZERO

Why it won’t work

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play Conan.  From his mangling of the English language,  hilariously confused  facial expressions in times of distress, and baseball swing approach to sword-fighting immortalized the actor, and this legendary role.  NOBODY can touch it, plain and simple.

confused

Yaaaaaharrghhhhyahhhhh!

The only logical solution would be to recast Arnie, and pitch it as a sequel, but anyone who has seen his geriatric physique recently understands his loincloth wouldn’t be made of fur, it would be a Depends diaper at this point.  I’ll pass thanks.

The Last Starfighter

last-starfighter

Why it could work

Let’s be honest, it is every person’s worst nightmare to one day be conquered and controlled by the evil Ko-dan Armada.  I woke up in cold sweats at least twice a week in the 80’s pondering said scenario.  The endearing part of this film is that it gave us hope, and inspired an entire generation of kids in trailers to chase their dreams, one quarter at a time.  If just ONE of us is good enough to join the Star League and defend the Frontier, humanity can survive.

grig

Who wouldn’t want to see Grig, or hear his laugh again?

Everyone loves a good underdog movie where a person overcomes impossible odds to do the impossible, and a remake would brilliantly illustrate that winning cinematic formula.  Hell, it could influence a new crop of teens to “reach for the stars” by playing video games every waking hour of the day instead of applying for college!

Why it won’t work

Simply put, teens in trailer parks are too busy buying, selling, and trading crystal meth these days to give a crap about the political climate in outer space.  What discourages a remake even more is the mere fact that hero Alex Rogan’s  little brother Louis wouldn’t have a sailor’s mouth or mammoth collection of Playboys this time around, completely ruining the character’s credibility.  Count me out…

Teen Wolf

teen_wolf

Why it could work

With a nation of pasty, overweight teens obsessed with vampires and werewolves via the Twilight series, the timing is right.  Hollywood has shown us time and again that cashing in on the latest fad isn’t beneath them if millions of dollars in profits are involved, and this would be doing just that.  Sprinkle in a hip teen cast, and Teen Wolf could clean up at the box office if the budget is modest, and the plot more dramatic than the original.  I’m thinking Scott Howard will cry at some point while coming to grips with what he really is to appease the self-loathing goth “cutters” that plague hallways all across America.

Why it won’t work

Hollywood will do EXACTLY what I mentioned above, and alienate the 80’s nostalgia whores who this should be re-made for in the first place.  Some omissions/changes will include:

  1. High school keg parties where kids are smoking pot and wreaking havoc on Rusty Thorn will be gone
  2. Boof  will have a very pedestrian name like “Betsy”
  3. Coach Finstock will not be able to tell kids about his “3 rules in life” or “the old crippled widow who scrubbed floors with a pin in her hip”
  4. DEFINITELY no urban surfing, in fears some dumbass will try it and get injured or even worse killed
  5. Worst of all, no wonderful novelty t-shirts worn by the immortal Rupert “Stiles” Stilinski

In a nutshell, no fun…check please

stiles

http://fourhorsementattoo.com/2008/06/17/steelhead-hall-of-fame-rupert-stiles-stilinski/

Vision Quest

visionquest2

Why it could work

If there’s one thing the world needs, it’s more coming of age stories based on the cut-throat business that is high school wrestling.  Louden Swain’s epic quest to wrestle state champion/”genuine geratoid” Shute is pockmarked with the perfect mix of action, comedy, drama, and musical montages that only a 1985 movie could provide. 

coach

R.I.P. Coach (Charles Callahan), you will be missed…

If you’ve never seen Vision Quest, allow me to summarize for you:

Louden runs in spacesuit.  He gets “wad” grabbed by skeezy hotel patron.  Reveals to friend Kuch he is cutting weight to wrestle ShuteA sultry drifter crashes at Louden’s house.  He smells her panties, and sees a young Madonna perform in bar.  Fat wrestling coach wearing polo underneath wrestling singlet says, “Fuck Shute!”  Forrest Whitaker’s creepy eye moves.  Grabass at practice.  Louden’s nose bleeds.  Kuch reveals he isn’t really Native American, just a big fatass liar.  Louden bangs sultry drifter.  Hotel chef Elmo gives teary speech about Pele for some goddammed reason.  Louden beats Shute.  Crowd erupts in orgasmic climax.  THE END

Pretty hard to fuck that storyline up

Why it won’t work

tl1

Your new Louden Swain

Nuff said…

Porky’s

porkys

Why it could work

It was a right of passage for every pre-pubescent boy in the 80’s to slip a copy of this classic in the VCR after mom and dad went to sleep and enjoy the gratuitous boobs and, to put mildly, “au natural downstairs” of the women in this movie.  Hell, we didn’t know what a “glory hole” was back then, or that Alex Karras would later be the dad in Webster, but Porky’s rocked, without question.  It is hard, actually impossible, to debate that a film that features characters named Pee Wee, Meat, Porky, Cherry Forever, and Coach Balbricker isn’t pure gold.  Why not let the next generation of hormonially challenged teens experience this?

porkys22

If you can’t score on a date with Wendy Williams, kill yourself…

Why it won’t work

The next generation of hormonially challenged teens already had their remake of Porky’s, and it was titled American Pie.  No need to beat a dead horse.  Time to move on…

Mad Max (1979-80’s)

mad_max

Why it could work

Car chase scenes have come a long way since the 80’s.  Although the 3,457,982 cop car pile-up in the Blues Brothers still tops all, some really cool shit could go down on the wide-open highways of the Outback in a remake.  The idea of re-hashing this title is foolproof, for you will be getting coin from the sci-fi geeks that liked the original, Aussies that are just happy to be included, and the morons who love mind-numbing trash like The Fast and the Furious.  It’s truly a win-win.

madmax2

A plus for a remake is that casting the role of Max won’t be stepping on estranged actor Mel Gibson’s toes, and could easily be dominated by a slew of different people.  Sure Gibson was pretty badass as Max, but it certainly wasn’t a part custom built for one person, like the role of Conan was for Arnold.

Why it won’t work 

An appeal of the original is the grainy, almost surreal camera work that really hooks you and sells the story quite well.  A remake would most certainly be shot in HD, and I would be willing to bet some CGI replaces actual explosions.  This isn’t a nail in the coffin, but just thinking of a motley crue comprised of pretty boys playing Toecutter and his gang certainly is.

The absolute best part of Mad Max is the sheer lunacy/terrifying appearance of the villains.  These guys look they crawled straight out of the fucking sewer, and you would be pissing in the wind to find a hideous Bob Geldorf looking clone to play Bubba Zanetti like the actor in the original.  The only person on earth remotely capable to reprise Bubba, Toecutter, or even Mudguts is Gary Oldman, and although legendary, he’s just one guy, and a motorcycle gang is pretty pussy if it has only one dude in it.  Next…

Red Dawn

reddawn

Why it could work

Unnecessary fear-mongering has been en vogue in the U.S. for the last decade, so a smart remake preying on this could scare the living crap out of tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists from coast to coast.  Factor in the wildly popular video game Modern Warfare 2, and this title would be a freaking goldmine.  Hell, kids would go in thinking it was made for the damn game itself.  Toss in a Powers Booth cameo to teach the aforementioned kids that “eating beans doesn’t make you tough,” and we’re all set.

Why it won’t work

There isn’t a person out there crazy enough (exception: Roman Polanski) to stir shit up right now with any other super power via a cautionary tale of what World War III may look like.  The delicate sensibilities in place these days politically would keep a remake semi-lighthearted, and have a wimpy Rocky IV type ending where the combatants realize that violence isn’t necessary, and we all can change.  From what I’ve heard (hookers), we are actually on relatively good terms with every global heavy hitter as we speak, so the whole idea itself loses the luster it had back at the tail end of the Cold War.  Ain’t gonna happen…

reddawn2

Super-size this bitch!

Death Wish (1974-80’s, 90’s)

deathwish

 Why it could work

Paul Kersey is the most epic badass of all-time, and I will argue this forever.  NEVER has a movie character been so calm, calculated, and cool while being absolutely batshit crazy at the same time.  You don’t fuck with Kersey, he fucks with you.  Charles Bronson is the epitome of coolness mixed with dementia in this classic series, and seeing him ace punks, creeps, hoods, and scumbags with an elephant gun never gets old, and neither does the simple plot most Death Wish installments feature, that anyone (even Tim Burton) could pull off:

  1. Hoodlum fucks with Kersey or his family (remember you do not do this)
  2. Kersey becomes pissed
  3. Kersey becomes the grim reaper and goes on killing spree with bats, knives, guns, and booby traps
  4. Kersey becomes epic

Rinse, repeat…below is a clip of Kersey displaying this general awesomeness

 

The “Giggler” should have known better, you don’t  mess with a guy eating ice cream

Why it won’t work

I’ll stop being such a sourpuss for a second, and agree that a remake of Death Wish would be pretty effin’ sweet.  The original series on DVD has been my poison on many drunken evenings, and it’s time this underrated title got the credit it deserves.  It’s certainly been awhile since I saw a really good “man goes off deep end after tragedy and takes a flamethrower to the bad guy’s nuts for 2 hours” story, so bring it on….

The Karate Kid

karate_kid

Why it could work

Put them in:

cobrakai

We do not train to be merciful here, mercy is for the weak

And him:

mr-miyagi

You learn karate from book?

Why it won’t work

The infamous Cobra Kai has been busy:

 

Great music video featuring the Kai, Sensei Kreese, and even Mr. Belding

Pat Morita passed away:

pat

R.I.P. Pat, you are missed

Escape from New York

eny

Why it could work

It won’t.  They took a 1981 cult classic, and completely butchered it beyond all belief 15 years after its release with the god awful sequel Escape from LA.  Don’t expect the once awesome role of Snake Plissken to have a renaissance after the surf-board riding, basketball playing hardass was emasculated in California.

Why it won’t work

Fake Interviewer: What is your favorite role ever played on screen?

Kurt Russell: Snake Plissken in Escape from New York

Fake Interviewer: What is your least favorite?

Kurt Russell: Snake Plissken in Escape from LA

snake

Director of ELA: Annnnnnnd….ACTION!!!

Snake: Got a smoke?

Director of ELA: CUT!!! Snake, you are supposed to quit at the end, to send a positive message to the kids watching!

Snake (thinking to himself): God I hope this fucking gun is loaded with real bullets…

Honorable Mention:

Hellraiser

Meatballs

Nightmare on Elm Street (might be good)

Feel free to comment on which 80’s rumored remakes that make your blood boil….

-SH

*Since my favorite movie ever, The Warriors, was made in 1979 (not 80’s) and a remake is in production, expect a separate analysis of the absurdity of this soon

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Taranaich on April 7, 2010 7:19 am

    “it would be refreshing to see this type of movie made the right way again. By right way I mean:

    1. The hero chopping the head off anyone stupid enough to get in his way with a battle axe or broadsword in the most gruesome manner
    2. The hero banging the shit out of anything in a skirt when he isn’t slicing and dicing bad guys
    3. The hero being someone who could kick your ass in real life, not “Rudy” or “That whiny kid from The Good Son”
    4. Said sex or violence needs to earn movie an R rating within first 5 minutes of opening credits”

    See, this is the sort of thing that any macho Sword-and-Sorcery film should have. This is the equivalent of asking for nothing more from a World War 2 film than “tanks, nazis, spitfires and explosions”: it’s the bare minimum.

    Of course, there’s a lot more to Conan than the blood & boobs, but then, why should you settle for the minimum when you could have the most badass character in modern fantasy fiction, as well as philosophical undertones and social commentary, *and* blood & boobs? Howard did a grand job supplying both.

    “Arnold Schwarzenegger was born to play Conan. From his mangling of the English language, hilariously confused facial expressions in times of distress, and baseball swing approach to sword-fighting immortalized the actor, and this legendary role. NOBODY can touch it, plain and simple.”

    Arnold’s Conan was a joke compared to Robert E. Howard’s original creation, for the exact reasons you state and more. Howard’s Conan was intelligent, cunning, could speak dozens of languages, and was a ferociously quick and dangerous swordsman. A film based on Howard’s original stories – the same stories that have made the character popular for 80 years – would make Conan the Barbarian look like Dora the Explorer in comparison.

    It would be better and more badass in every conceivable way. Arnold’s Conan’s early life was spent picking blueberries with his dad and getting enslaves: Howard’s Conan’s was spent killing panthers. Arnold’s teen years were spent strapped to a wheel: Howard’s were spent breaking the necks of wild bulls, becoming so renowned a warrior that all Cimmeria had heard of him, and taking part in the destruction of civilized forts. Arnold’s learned to fight by being tossed in a pit and given no choice: Howard’s learned to fight by joining his tribe’s raids against enemy clans. Arnold’s learned war by being home-schooled by War-Masters: Howard’s learned war by joining mercenaries and fighting with them. Arnold’s learned of sex by having women tossed into a cage with him: Conan’s learned of sex the natural way, by being an alpha male and having girls melt in his arms like butter on a hot skillet. Arnold learned philosophy because he was a slave and had no choice in the matter: Howard’s learned philosophy because he wanted to.

    Arnold did great for the role Milius made for him, but it wasn’t Robert E. Howard’s Conan by any stretch. That’s why the idea of a new Conan film isn’t bad in itself: it’s no different than a new Dracula, or Frankenstein, or Macbeth.

    Of course, all this is for naught. We have a third-rate director, a zillionth-rate scriptwriting team, a godawful script that makes a hash of Howard’s Conan despite protestations to the contrary, one producer obsessed with making Arnold comparisons and another trying to distance the project from him, a rushed film and a myriad other problems.

  2. Comment by Steelhead on April 7, 2010 7:02 pm

    Taranaich,
    Your analysis of Conan is absolutely amazing. I never read the books, or even comics for that matter, but you definitely raise some interesting points surrounding the character of Conan originally intended to be much more than a lumbering brute that uses sheer brutality to overcome adversity. Thank you for shedding light on this (unbeknownst to me) extremely complex character. I certainly am a fan of said “blood and boobs,” and personally like the overall cheesiness of the movie because I am nothing more than a casual fan, but can see where you have problems with it.

  3. Comment by Conan the barbarian on July 26, 2011 1:46 am

    New Conan movie is up! Momoa looks more convincing Conan than Arny

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a comment