Sunday, 25 January 2009

Question and plea

The Day The Earth Stood Still
Planet of the Apes
The Stepford Wives
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
War of the Worlds

Why is it that only the best original sci-fi films get re-made?

What's the point? Even when the new version does have something new to offer, there's almost invariably some degree of disappointment when comparing to the original. I think there's a paradox here rooted in the Hollywood funding model - it's precisely because these original films had that magic element that keeps them alive in the collective mind and allows them to survive their wormhole transit to the present day pitch meeting.
Exceptions? OK, for my money the re-make of Solaris might be a better piece of cinema. It's shorter and better paced while just as eerie, as a result I've actually watched to the end unlike the original.

Meanwhile, there are films out there too corny or too mediocre ever to inspire Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves - yet these are surely more deserving of a re-make than their recent projects. Surely there's room in the cinema industry for a re-make of Teenagers from Outer Space, for example? This b/w film, in which Pod-People teenagers give away their alien origins by being too polite and smartly dressed, is surely due for a re-make - it would be a great way of sending up those Daily Mail-style hoodiephobia attitudes... sadly while there are now at least four versions of Bodysnatchers (here, here, here and here) I doubt there's a re-imagining on the books for this B-classic.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% Why do they remake the great ones? Especially War of the Worlds, that was a mistake, imo, to remake.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Agreed - even though there were a few things that I liked about the re-make, I couldn't see the point. I've got a soft spot for the original, strings and all, as a scene from it gave me nightmares as a young child (as people are warned to evacuate, Martian death ray sweeps through window). It's a lovely film and I worry that fewer people will see the originals after they've been re-made.