Saturday, August 16, 2008

Boycott an unwanted remake: Death Race

First bit of business: I've been lazy with the posts. Two weeks without a post is way too long. I'll try not to let it happen again for the rest of the year even thought not sure I can live up to that promise. At least one post a week will be my mantra.

Now to the serious business--another unwanted and ridiculous Hollywood remake of a cult classic film in the form of Death Race. These people will stoop to every level to ruin great films while grasping for that dollar and attracting clueless people who don't seem to realize these films have already been made.

Remakes have always been apart of Hollywood history but there is a big difference in remaking a film from the 1970s now versus when a film from the 1930s was remade in the 1950s or 1960s. Now, we can all rent the original films on DVD anytime we want, unlike audiences in the past who had to rise up off the couch and venture down to the single screen theatre to see whatever they wanted to see. Those were the days pre-IMDB, pre-video store, pre-Netflix, pre-video on demand, pre-dozens of movie channels on your TV. Remakes in that era made perfect sense because every twenty five years or so audiences were completely recycled for stories.

In 2008 it's a completely different ballgame and the 1975 cult classic Death Race 2000 is a perfect example of a greedy Hollywood remake for a quick buck. The original, produced by that b-movie genius Roger Corman, was a perfect drive-in film. Set in the far future of the year 2000 and involving a cross country road race of carnage where drivers get points for not only speed but by running over and killing as many people along the route as possible (yes!). Death Race 2000 was a b-movie satire of car culture and America's emerging obsession with televised sporting events (and one might argue it was a harbinger of the looming reality TV craze a couple of decades away). The film was violent, silly, funny, naughty and offered just about anything you might want from a late night summer drive-in movie.

Granted, I haven't seen this woeful looking remake (I've sworn them off and I hope it is a box office bomb) but I promise you it will have none of the charm and lure of the original. It will be a loud, CGI'd to the max mess that will probably make the easy to please audiences of today happy and craving Death Race 2. The sad thing is other cult classic films I love such as Near Dark, The Warriors or Race With the Devil are all in development for some crappy remake that will make me cringe in horror. These remakes have got to stop!


BB said...

But it has Jason Statham in it!!!!!

Replicant said...

Boycott I say!

Anonymous said...

Word. Boycott in progress.

I think ya might like my review of Death Race 2000.

Death Race 2000 on Analog Medium

I think I might just have been completely converted by your article. In this day-and-age, who needs any remake? No matter what. Prescient or not. It's time to move on.

Rally the troops!!!!

Replicant said...

That's what I like to hear--boycott!

Brandon said...

The Statham almost had me, but I think I'm with you on the boycott.

MC said...

For those of you doubting boycott, I have one word for you: Rollerball.

Think about that remake for a few seconds... then I think your mission will be clear.