Remake these 80s movies!? As musician Maria Vidal sang in the ’85 flick Once Bitten: “HANDS OFF!!”
You cannot remake what is already a solid, timeless work of cinema history! Let’s take a look at four classic 80s movies which need no such treatment.
Short Circuit (1986)
Short Circuit has no need for a modern telling. What the original did was full of spirit; the kind which inspires thought and feeling about what it means to be a living, sentient being. Remade nowadays, it would be devoid of such.
The Saturn Awards nominated Short Circuit for “Best Science Fiction Film” (no win), “Best Special Effects” (win), and “Best Director” (WIN)! So yeah, it didn’t get the prestigious Saturn for best sci-fi film; but the fact it was nominated is a solid nod to how well received this little film was at the time.
For every moment of Number 5 (aka “Johnny 5”) noticing innocent animal lifeforms and declaring his desire to do no harm (“No disassemble!“), a remake would pay lip-service to this idea spouting it but then in no time having Number 5 lay waste to his NOVA enemies, rolling out Michael Bay style! Good gravy, I shouldn’t be giving Bay free ideas! What’s more, Number 5 would be all CGI and not a practical effect!
The Goonies (1985)
A group of teens get caught up in a race to find a long-dead pirate’s buried treasure while avoiding deadly traps and the Fratelli crime family. Comic capers ensue, and sometimes we have touching moments reminding us that what matters is home and friendships. You can’t improve upon what’s already been done perfectly! I dare say this movie’s 2017 win in the National Film Preservation Board’s “National Film Registry” speaks highly of its value.
One thing The Goonies has is great nuance in its comedy; something which movies today don’t really seem to try for as they bludgeon joke after joke into our heads. You’re not going to see today’s movie production world having its “Mouth” character pulling the prank with the painting asking for a kiss while sticking out his tongue. If anything, they’d find a way for Mouth to be more obscene about it, a la Jay from Jay and Silent-Bob fame for cheap, easy laughs.
Good luck finding nearly as many memorable lines too! Like Chunk’s mini-monologue about hating nature, Mikey’s wishing well plea to the other Goonies to continue the search for the treasure, or “booty traps”. You know what we’d get today: throwaway filler.
The Princess Bride (1987)
No. No, no no no, NO! Lightning struck with this movie in which a grandfather reads a book to his sick grandson. Not just any story: it has, as the grandfather proudly summarizes: “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love… miracles!” The visuals of all these things were mostly modest; the most impressive sights being the Cliffs of Insanity and Andre the Giant as, well, a friendly giant! And the score by Mark Knopfler — of The Dire Straits fame — is so good and truly memorable; it was even nominated for a Grammy in “ .
Something this and the other picks of this list have in common: heart. They all have such heart behind them; meaning you can feel and see the love the production team — cast and crew — all had in telling this cinematic tale. For crying out loud, it won the 1988 Hugo Award in “Best Dramatic Presentation”! And I’d say the strongest moment of all, which I truly DARE any modern production to try and remake, is the scene where master swordsman Inigo Montoya tells hero Westley his tale of revenge upon losing his dear father. Don’t worry, no-one could ever do it.
There is no musical artist today who could portray The Goblin King (aka “Jareth”) in as good a manner as David Bowie; not even close. Bowie was perfection as he sang and swaggered round the scenes with the grace of a cat while making himself quite known to all spectators.
What’s more, let’s face the fact that Jim Henson’s Creature Shop just isn’t what it once was! The original movie had the benefit of practical special effects; something which earned Labyrinth a nomination in the BAFTA Awards. Everything looked real because it was almost all real visuals the actors could see and touch; making us believe in the magical world before our eyes. Nowadays, Henson’s Creature Shop would probably blend practical with computer-generated backgrounds and while many of the creatures would appear real, the world around them would look fake. The magic would not happen.
But then, of course, who could forget this lil’ gem of a moment: the “Chilly Down” dance sequence! The one real flaw in what is otherwise a perfect movie.
Listen, Hollywood… When it comes to these and certainly many more 80s movies, keep your hands off! Remakes are known to be watered-down recreations; we don’t want to see these favorite stories treated in such a way. The only way a remake can be done is with heart and pulling no punches in reiterating the original story but with something not only new, but also meaningful. With this in mind, check in with Geek News Now soon for the Top 80s Classics That Could Be Remade!
Do you agree with these picks never being remade? Comment below! Check out this Geek News Now article about six general movies which should and shouldn’t be remade! Also, subscribe to Geek News Now and give its Facebook page a like!