Posts Tagged ‘Evil Dead’

As the Crank Turns

March 8, 2012

If I haven’t done so, I will do it now. Let me state for the record that I do not like horror films, in particular I don’t like horror films made from 1970 to the present day. I find them to be heavy on gore and chase scenes and light on plot and characterization. Don’t worry, there’s a reason for this disclosure and it has to do with this week’s blog entry.

Exhibit A
There will be a remake of the campy horror film Evil Dead.  Reports state that the remake will be more dark and more gory than the original. Also, the role of Ash, which was played by Bruce Campbell in the original film, will be recast as a female. Well, it worked with Battlestar Galactica, so I guess the director decided to try it in Evil Dead.

Exhibit B
a game and crowd-sourced film, most likely the first of its kind in the world, had its premiere in Cincinnati recently. The film was made via a smartphone scavenger hunt. People were invited to upload images of people, places and things in the Cincinnati area. Three hundred people participated and 2000 images were uploaded. The company that made this film, Ripple FX Films, is an independent production company that wants to “…put the audience at the center of the art.”

The Point of Exhibits A & B
Exhibit A shows how, once again, the powers that be in Hollywood have decided to greenlight a remake. Exhibit B shows how, once again, the independent filmmakers are striving to creative imaginative and original films. Really, it is necessary to redo Evil Dead? For fans of the film, part of its charm was its low budget campiness. Now there will be a version with lots of CGI effects. Like that will make the film better? As for independent filmmakers, they regularly show their dedication to storytelling and they do it with less resources and more imagination then the studios. Go independents!

“You’ve written about this before,” you must be saying now. “So, what else is new? Hollywood is a business, you know.”

Yes, I’ve written about this before, of course if the powers that be would stop with the redos, I would stop writing about this. Yet, the fact remains, Hollywood is a business and the tension between art and commerce has been going on since the days of Charlie Chaplin. Still, it is possible for the studios to create an original film and make money, as well. Burlesque, The Help, Shrek, Twilight are all recent original films that did well at the box office. So, the powers that be can’t blame it on the recession or throw up their hands and say it is just a trend. In fact, Ripple FX Films was brave enough to solicit images from everyday folks and the people at that company created a film out of those images. So, suits how about taking a line from the independents, putting the lid on all the remakes and making something original?  Don’t worry, you’ll make money. After all, Burlesque, The Help, Shrek, Twilight made money, lots of it and they were all original.

Tune it next time to As the Crank Turns, when our resident blogger will rail against a remake of Planet 9 from Outer Space. (That is if the suits actually decide to greenlight Planet 9 from Outer Space.)



I Never Met A Slasher Film That I Liked

October 13, 2010

Recently, Nightmare on Elm Street the classic slasher film from 1984 about “the son of 10,000 maniacs” who visits people in their dreams and kills them, was redone. I didn’t see it because I don’t like films of the slasher/horror genre. While my tastes in film are of the escapist/Hollywood variety, slasher films don’t do it for me.  I need more to a movie than some homicidal maniac/malevolent entity who kills, torments or both with all the gory details displayed in living color. (Sometimes in 3D)

Since I came of age in the 1980’s, many of the people I grew up with lived for movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, the Friday the 13th series and low budget films like Evil Dead. Yuck. Still, what is it about horror films that appeals to people? Well, here’s what I think.

1.)Vicarious thrill. As crazy as it sounds some people just like seeing movies that feature running and screaming, slicing and dicing, blood and gore.  While the protagonist and companions are being chased and slashed by the homicidal maniac/malevolent entity, the viewer gets all of the excitement without the harm. He or she is sitting at home or in the movie theater, safe from all harm. Hopefully they are smart enough to realize that what they see in a movie, stays in the movie. There already is too much violence in the world, there is no need to add more. Of course, there are other ways to get some excitement in your life, but that’s a blog entry for another time.

2.) Morality play. How did the protagonist fall victim to the villain in the first place? By going camping when you shouldn’t, not leaving that house when they should, not noting what day it is, not realizing that it is all a dream, hitting a pedestrian on a deserted road and not reporting it, etc.* If the protagonists were more aware of their actions, they would not fall victim to the villain.  That can be expanded to our own lives. If we were more aware of what we do, there would be less trouble. So, let that be a warning to you. Be aware of your actions and a homicidal maniac won’t come and get you.

Just know that no matter who’s staring in the film or who’s doing the special effects, horror movies aren’t my cup of tea and they never will be.


*Plots of Deliverance, Amityville Horror, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and I Know What You Did Last Summer