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September 20, 2010

Midnight Top Five - Horror Sequels/Remakes I Feel Like I Should Try Again

Every once in a while, I get the strange urge to be forgiving.  In fact, I find that one of the most difficult things about loving the horror game is that I try far too hard to love some movies that I know are total stinkers.  Sometimes I even actively hate a movie, yet randomly find myself thinking "Hey, maybe if I saw that now it wouldn't be the awfulest thing ever!".  I can not explain it, except by stating that I am certainly a horror addict.

For whatever reason, it seems that a lot of the horror remakes and sequels that hit the screens are the flicks I want to make amends with.  So, I thought it would be fair of me to take a trip down memory lane, and check out some of the heartbreaking horror follow-ups I want to make peace with.

Halloween II (2009) - I haven't been madder at a movie in YEARS than I was after I saw Rob Zombie's version of Halloween II.  I wasn't upset that it wasn't a straight remake of the middling sequel to John Carpenter's seminal slasher.  I was upset because it confirmed my suspicions from Zombie's first Halloween - that he had no interest in sticking to the supernatural tale of good vs. evil that is the heart of my favorite horror film.  He'd already tainted Michael, who was once The Boogeyman, and now he took aim at cutting down what I consider to be the ultimate survivor girl and the quintessential passionate doctor.

I mean, I was so mad at this movie that I defaced an in theater standee by writing "I'm with Stupid" on Michael's knife and drawing an arrow pointing to his stupid ripped up mask.  Like Zombie's first Halloween film - which I'll agree would have been a passable film under a different title - I simply could not look past my love for Carpenter's film and the characters within who are a special part of my horror life.

What's changed?  Well, I'm man enough to know that I was being kind of a punk toward the film.  I also read a fine post from the fellows over at Kindertrauma that defends Zombie's directors cut of the film.  Do I really think the editing room is what ruined this movie?  No, but I ain't too proud to try again.  Perhaps someday Halloween II and I will make peace.

The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) - I honestly remember one scene from this movie.  It's the one with the "waving goodbye" moment.  That's it.  I think there may have been mutant sex, too.  If there was, it wasn't effective enough to stake claim to a corner of my memory.

But I do remember the fabulous in-your-face teaser trailer, and I remember loving it.  I don't have a good reason why, but the fact that I can barely remember the film, yet remember and love the teaser, makes me want to see it again. Damn you, advertising geniuses!

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - This is probably where I'm gonna make you all gasp the most.  I can not pinpoint the reason why - it could be because it seems about 40 minutes too long, it could be that I find the ending kind of silly - but this has always been my least favorite Pre-Nicole Kidman version of the Body Snatcher tale.

Yes, I know it has Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, and Leonard Nimoy.  Yes, I know that I can overcome my fear of Veronica Cartwright and her insufferable sniffling; just like I did in Alien.  But I've never fully come to like Phil Kaufman's film.  Everyone tells me I should, and I'm sure I'll try seeing what they do again some day.

Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings - My memory of this film is really hazy - think of a flashback from the Corman/Poe/Price version of The Pit and the Pendulum, and that's how I remember this film - but I think that the film suggested that Pumpkinhead (who I was terrified of as a nine-year old) is in fact the spirit of a deformed kid in overalls who was bullied and thrown in a well.  Yeah.  THAT's why I want to see this one again - because it really can't be THAT silly, can it?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - If you take how much I hated Rob Zombie's Halloween II, and multiply it by the awesomeness of Boris Karloff, you'd have how much I hated Marcus Nispel's TCM remake when it came out.  The thing is, I'm a pretty chill dude.  I don't have that much hate in me.  Science seems to state that I can't hate that movie as much as I do.  And, like Pumpkinhead II and Hills Have Eyes 2, the fact that I barely remember it makes me want to be nicer to it.

Of course, I don't want to see that movie again.  Because I super hate it.  That's the conundrum.

What say you, Midnight Warriors?  Do any of these films deserve more of my time?  Am I ridiculous in the first place for dismissing them and/or hating them?  Can't we all just get along?  I just don't know anymore.  Guide me!


Morgan said...

Oh man, Halloween II ticked me off so bad. The first one I was upset with, but the second one made me want to chuck a brick at Rob Zombie. I know that there are a few people who like it and that's cool, but it's going to take some time for me to want to see it again.

Great post!

Bryce Wilson said...

Er... Hate to say it Mike, but I'm one of the few people who liked Halloween II, and even I thought the DC was damn near unwatchable.

Don't get your hopes up too high.

Here's what I wrote when I got the DVD:

Here's a much better funnier take:

Anonymous said...

I must stop you!!! Pumpkinhead II must NEVER be viewed more than once!! I have been in contact with Dr. Sal Manilla of the Institute of Crappy Sequels. Dr. Manilla has done extensive study of the affect of watching this film more than one on lab rats. "All the rats that had been made to endure Pumpkinhead II a second time drown themselves in their own water bottles within 1 hour of viewing this film. The rats only made to view this film once only suffered minor annoyance by the fact that this sequel did not follow the mythology of the Pumpkinhead character laid out in the first film."
He's an expert so I'm going to take his word on this, I think you would be wise to do the same.
But yeah, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is awesome. I learned never to fall asleep with my dog.
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum

Jinx said...

Halloween II made me want to poke my own eyes out with a stick. I don't think I've seen The Hills Have Eyes II so if you do watch it again do let us know what you thought of your second viewing so I know whether to bother or not. Make decisions for me, Mike!

Chris Regan said...

I agree that the Hills Have Eyes 2 teaser trailer was awesome, way better than the film and perhaps the greatest horror trailer ever produced...maybe even the greatest trailer ever!

The Mike said...

Ahhhh, so happy to see more Halloween II rage. You all are fab!

Also, Pete, you've officially killed the Pumpkinhead 2 bug. Good work.

Thanks for the comments, all!

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Wow, really? That much hate for TCM 2003? I loved that movie... thought and still kinda think that it's the best remake out there (I have my reasons, but mind you, I wrote this when I just started my blog and hadn't gotten into my "flow" yet so the writing is mucho choppy:
Anyway, you really don't need to give a Halloween 2 a second chance. Trust me, it's just as bad as you remember it.
And Hills Have Eyes 2 is very much AWESOME, see that one again. A great plot where the soldiers have to go inside the caves of the mutants. I like it a lot.
Oh, and uh, no mutant sex, but rather a mutant violently raping one of the female soldiers. Not necessarily something to look forward to, but a good scene in showing the brutality of the "Papa" mutant.

The Scream Queen said...

I say "no" on Halloween 2. I'm a completely unapologetic Rob Zombie fan who finds myself defending his movies more than necessary. I freakin' hated that movie SO MUCH in the theater and I decided to give the director's cut a chance. It just made me hate it more. I read Kindertrauma's eval as well, and I just don't agree. Scout Taylor Compton (who I love) just whined her way through the director's cut even more than the theater version.

I reviewed it here:

and here:

That said, I do dorkily love the remake of the TCM and I think you should give it another chance ;o)

timothy grant said...

Body Snatchers is worth revisiting.

H2 has some inspired moments (like the post-trauma relationship between Annie and Laurie) but is otherwise complete trash.

Hills 2 is just kind of boring.

TCM-2003 makes my brain hurt with it's badness ... the beginning of many terrible slasher remakes of the 00s. Avoid.

Unknown said...

I know I'm in the minority when I say that I despised the TCM remake...that movie was just garbage. I'm still pissed I blind bought that movie on DVD >_> And H2 was even shittier than the first if that's even possible!!!

The Mike said...

Wow, a lot of great feedback! Definitely not feeling the desire to hit up TCM and H2 any time soon. :)

Thanks for commenting all!