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Snakes on a Train
Yes... Train. Snakes on a Plane was a pitch, such a simple funny one that the working title remained its name until release (at the insistence of the star, amongst others). The buzz for this film could rattle the teeth out of Martha Wray, Denture Wearer, though this sadly didn't translate to huge box office (read on =>).
But Buzz is Buzz and where there's buzz, there's The Asylum rattling behind to cash in on it. Snakes on a Train was an imitation of a film that was just a pitch to begin with, and it wasn't a good imitation at that. Words cannot express how much this movie bit, but I should say that SOAT writer Eric Forsberg was magnanimous in his response to my review, saying "I thought that this review was very funny and brutally bitter in a good, snappy way. I saved the photo of SOAT in the toilet. Who knows when I may want to use it."
Nice guy. I would have killed me... or... at least released a bunch of cobras in my Mustang. "SNAKES ON A BURNEM!"
- The Graveyard
Like SOAT, The Graveyard was a triumph of straight-to-video trash. But at least SOAT was honest about being a major rip off.
The Graveyard is either the third entry, fourth entry or a spin off of The Bloody Murder Series of corn-ball rip-offs from Mainline Releasing. The first Bloody Murder flick was about a serial killer in a hockey mask, preying upon a summer camp. Bloody Murder 2 was a virtual remake of the original with a few added insults surrounding a few other video nasties. The faux-sequel Adam & Evil would have sucked, even if it had been original. But The Graveyard, in an attempt to re-launch the series, was yet another rip-off filled remake of every previous movie in the series, packed with references to the first two films and actually managing to suck even more. Don't bury this one... it might grow!
- The Wicker (wo)Man
In the "Unnecessary Remake Hall of Fame" 2006's The Wicker Man will occupy a space somewhere on the same dusty shelf as that nineties version of Rollerball!
The original The Wicker Man was a surprising horror film that mixed in such incredibly mismatched genres as musicals and erotic thrillers into a terribly scary independent film. Acclaimed writer/ director Neil LaBute's remake is a mess from start to finish, rife with idiotic moments, arbitrary changes and tributes to the original film that feel more like Mad TV spoofs. The film is as doomed as its main character, but by the final act, you just won't give a shit. Snore.
- Black Christmas
Speaking of catheter-bag remakes (as opposed to horse shit pseudo-remakes), 2006's Black Christmas was crap on a stick.
Taking one of the most influential, yet still unsung, horror films of the 1970's (see 1974's Black Christmas) and adding in a creative team responsible, in part, for The Final Destination Trilogy and The X-Files, a quality score by Shirley Walker, a cast both talented and popular and a nude scene by Crystal Lowe and how could the show miss?
I don't know.
It did, though.
It missed like a drunk teenager pissing on the toilet seat... in his neighbor's house.
- The Omen
Okay, I see the pattern here too, but 2006's Omen remake still sucked with something akin to the gravitational pull of Jupiter.
While in many ways The Omen was a virtual scene-for-scene remake of the original, somehow it still managed to come off as dull and uninspired. The silver lining in all this is that there's absolutely no chance of Satan being scary anymore after this booger. Hell the corny stare of lil' Damien alone was laughable! This is the evil eye? This is a sour-tart pucker!
- Basic Instinct 2
While I'm still very happy to see Sharon Stone in anything (preferably in nothing), watching Basic Instinct 2 was like visiting an old college girlfriend who had gotten fat, depressed and unsuccessful.
Though Stone wasn't fat (her curves looked more plastic to me), there's no question that Basic Instinct 2 was completely unsuccessful financially, artistically and erotically. Every moment felt contrived and wasted, every line forced, every nude scene not only gratuitous, but hopelessly indebted to the superior, yet not great, original film.
Basic Instinct 2 removes even the ambiguity of the original, but keeps the TV Movie of the Week feel. I'll give it this: I liked the nudity, plastic and all... and its presence helped me keep Lady in the Water off this list... just barely.