Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, Livia Peterson, and Al Diaz are hosting the Best and Worst Movie Remakes Blogfest. For a bonus, you can list the best and worst song remakes you’ve ever heard.
One of the worst movie remakes ever is the 1962 mangling of the classic The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The 1921 original, starring Rudy Valentino and based on the best-selling antiwar novel of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, is an absolute masterpiece. But the remake is absolutely terrible. It has almost nothing in common with either the book or the original film adaptation, which was one of the best book-to-film adaptations ever.
Now the film was set during WWII, not WWI, and Julio, instead of joining the Army to prove his manliness and mature beyond his idle playboy lifestyle, smuggles messages in magazines for the French Resistance. Makes absolutely no sense. With such an altered setting, the whole story falls apart and isn’t the same anymore.
It rightly lost almost six million dollars at the box office. The 46-year-old Glenn Ford was also way too old to be playing a guy in his twenties. His leading lady was also way too old for the role. And in the original film and book, Julio’s younger sister Chichi is still alive and well at the end, never in any danger. In the remake, she’s killed off. Nice job completely rewriting the storyline to try to make it more modern!
Dishonorable mention: Any remade Three Stooges short that was like 90% old recycled footage, in Columbia’s efforts to exploit the Stooges and cheat them out of their money. How lazy and broke do you have to be, only using 5 minutes of new footage and liberally padding it out with footage from years ago? Don’t even get me started on the four shorts where we’re supposed to make believe the back of Joe Palma’s head is the deceased Shemp.
One of my favorite movie remakes is The Mark of Zorro (1940), the sexy Tyrone Power’s remake of the handsome Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.’s 1920 film of the same name. I think I like the sound version even more, since it feels a bit more developed (in spite of a somewhat clunky romantic subplot). I really was feeling all of the characters and the main storyline. It didn’t feel like some lazy remake that was just the silent version with the lines now spoken.
Worst song remake: Any modern-day poptart or boygroup’s joke of an effort to cover a classic rock or oldies song. Prime example: Hilary Duff covering “My Generation” and changing the iconic chorus line to “Hope I don’t die before I get old.” That talentless poptart isn’t worthy of shining my favorite band’s shoes! Any of the four of them had/have more talent in their pinky fingers than she has in her entire being!
I have no words for the new Johnson & Johnson commercial featuring some London children’s choir crooning “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” Did anyone in Guns N’ Roses actually sign off on that travesty?! Who associates one of the signature songs of a hard rock band with children and families?!
Some of my favorite remakes:
This is one of the only worthwhile songs on the Deep End Live! album. At least a few songs made it worth the price (I paid $8 in 2003, I think).
You don’t have to tell me that one of these things is not like the others in my list of favorite bands!