What I Want to See in The Creature from the Black Lagoon Remake
Before anything else, I’m going to open up with my lack of articles the past few days. Not only has a lot been going on personally, but the writing I have been doing is going elsewhere, sad to say, and I can’t post it on here to add to my list of brilliant musings on life, love, and movies, minus the first two.
It’s inevitable. Everything is being remade and Horror characters are getting the short end of the stick. “Hey, if we redo Ghoulies 2, we will make money and we don’t even have to think about it!” I’m pretty sure that exactly, word for word, is how executives are plotting this stuff out. No contractions. They’re also saying, “Make it PG-thirteenier! More money in that!” The Universal monsters are even getting a 21st century makeover.
Van Helsing sucked, Frankenstein gets remade one way or another regardless of who wants it, vampires are a mainstay and even Wolfman saw the light of day, even if it was sucker-punched as soon as it took a step outside to breathe in the fresh air.
So, being the optimist that I am, I believe it’s only a matter of time before every character you’ve ever loved is destroyed by the massive, screaming, blood-soaked beast known as Hollywood. Being a fan of the original Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, No, I’m not seventy years old), I thought I’d lay out how this thing should play out. That last part rhymed and it was amazing.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, a saucy little tramp with good looks, money, and a personality to boot. Oh, wait. I meant that it’s about a team of scientist visiting the Amazon. After reaching an off-the-beaten-path lagoon, they soon start to get picked off one-by-one as a bizarre, prehistoric fish-man is pissed off that everybody showed up, ate his porridge and laid in his bed, all while complaining about the service.
Being the disgusting humans they are, they want to capture him and bring him back to civilization for research. When will the humans ever learn that some hearts were just born wild? Even hearts with faces that look like this-
Now, in a remake, do we want everything exactly the same? No! People complain all the time that “they should’ve done it like in the original!” which is great and everything but this usually comes from people who didn’t want a remake at all.
I get that, but the fact is that the remakes are being made, so how should it be done? We all know (okay, some of us) know how Gus Van Sant’s Psycho remake turned out in ’98. It wasn’t bad, it was just a spot on, shot-for-shot remake of the original. “What was the purpose then?” you may ask.
Money is, nine times out of ten, the answer you’ll come to when you search hard enough. Isn’t that the answer to most of life’s questions? “How do I find true happiness?” “Where do babies come from?” “Who was the first president of the United States?” The answer is always money. So, all this being said, the following is what I’d like to see out of the future Creature from the Black Lagoon remake.
1. Scientific types playing scientists, not the d-bags from Supernatural or other pretty boy college types.
Look. I understand that this is a lot to ask. We don’t go to the movies to see ugly people. They’re already everywhere. Heck, the leading lady of the original Creature ain’t too bad herself and while I’m not saying they have to be Steve Buscemi either (I love you, Steve), I just hate it when a person is picked based on their looks and their inability to carry out the rest of the job properly (i.e., act) hinders the quality of the movie.
When The World is Not Enough came out, it featured Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist and we knew that was retarded. Not to mention her name was Christmas Jones in the movie, so y’know…that too.
All I’m saying is, let’s go for acting quality and then the looks. This is something that could be said for many movies, but especially a monster movie remake. Don’t just make it look good, make it actually good. Channing Tatum as a scientist in the Amazon wouldn’t be as convincing as someone not necessarily known for their looks. I’m not throwing any names out because a dream cast wasn’t the point of this so much as what type to go for.
2. Be Respectful to the Original, but Make it Your Own.
The problem with so many remakes these days is that to sell their new and improved version, producers will try to criticize the original. “You thought that one was good? Wait till you see ours! That one SUCKS compared to ours!”
We don’t need any of that crap. Just make it good. Don’t copy the original, don’t completely stray with the only similarities being in the name. Last year’s Fright Night remake was a good example of this no matter how little money it made or how many Anne Rice fans hated it. While keeping the story the same, as were many of the characters, it updated what should have been updated while not throwing in a bajillion pop culture references as if to say “Look! This was made recently!”
On the other hand, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake in 2003 with Jessica Biel was practically the same movie (How were they planning to make that one different?) with a prettier cast and better camerawork. LAME.
3. Don’t Give Us a New-Age, Hippie Message Just Because it Takes Place in the Jungle.
Hear me out on this one: I’m not saying I don’t love the earth. I do. It’s a great place and it’s my home world. What I am saying is that when movies are made, but specifically Sci-Fi and Horror, they seem to have a message that can mean something much deeper than something as simple as “Thing kills girl.” An underlying point that’s actually given a lot more credit in the realm of undertones.
Not everybody will watch a drama dealing with the hardships of divorce, abortion and child abuse starring Matt Damon (Matt Damon will). But some giant monster attacking a city, destroying everything in it’s path and subtly(?) making a point how much a nuclear device affected one particular Eastern country?
It’s Godzilla. I’m talking about Godzilla.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts about how much I hate overt, in-your-face messages, in particular, the one-sided kind (Most are). The most effective is the kind you may read into yourself, or perhaps one you don’t even figure out until analyzing. Creature is a fun, monster movie that has the serious potential to be scary as well as entertaining but don’t throw your “Ooh yeah, this’ll get’em” ideas in our face.
If there is a message, can we not agree a universal idea or hope is the better choice? “MURDER IS BAD” is simple and clear, if not a little trite while “YOUR RELIGION IS STUPID” might be a tad biased. A balance is possible. Something along the lines of “Take only what you need” could be used, seeing as how a bunch of scientists show up in the creature’s lair and start jacking his shizz, eating his porridge and all.
The Creature from the Black Lagoon remake is slated to hit theaters next year around May. Also, it’ll be titled simply The Black Lagoon, which I’m cool with. And I know the original was in 3D and you guys will want to go crazy on this one Hollywood, but for the love of everything, be gentle.