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The 10 Worst Remakes of All Time

The results of the new Twitter poll are in: this morning you voted on the Worst Remakes of All-Time.  Again, I defined "worst" as "greatest decline in quality from the film it’s remaking."  Here we go:

1. PSYCHO (1998) from PSYCHO (1960)

2. THE WICKER MAN (2006) from THE WICKER MAN (1973)

3. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (2008) from THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)

4. PLANET OF THE APES (2001) from PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

5. GODZILLA (1998): from GODZILLA (1954)

6. THE FOG (2005) from THE FOG (1980)

7. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005) from WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971)

8. HALLOWEEN (2007) from HALLOWEEN (2008)

9. THE HAUNTING (1999) from THE HAUNTING (1963)

10. GUESS WHO (2005) from GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967) (tie)

10. THE OMEN (2006) from THE OMEN (1976) (tie)

10. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003) from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2004) (tie)

HONORABLE MENTION: Death Race, The Wiz, Last House on the Left, Rollerball, The Ladykillers, The Women, The Truth About Charlie. (For the record, my own remake, Dawn of the Dead, received at least one sincere vote).

It’s important to note that this is not MY list, it’s merely the results of the voting.  Many of the movies on this list I haven’t seen (the WICKER MAN and most of PSYCHO among them).  There are a lot of things I like about Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, and a few things I like about THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake, so I wouldn’t put them on the list.  I think CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is shitty, and the original movie was great, but I’m still not sure I think it’s bad enough to make this list.  I do think the other Tim Burton film here, however, PLANET  OF THE APES, deserves it’s place on the list, as it’s a truly terrible movie from a semi-classic original. And I think GODZILLA is utter tripe (although the original isn’t as good as APES) – but I can’t fully and fairly dismiss it because I walked out of the theater before it was halfway through.

Here are five movies I wish had made this list:

1. GREYSTOKE, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, LORD OF THE APES (1984) from TARZAN: THE APE MAN (1932)

As a child, I was a big TARZAN fan.  I went to see this movie, which was my first experience of a cinematic Hot Carl.

2. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! (2000) from HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (1966)

I don’t think it’s really fair to put this movie on this list, considering it’s a remake of a TV special, not a film — but, what the hell — the original Grinch was one of the most important works of my childhood; the resultant film, however, is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.

3. SABRINA (1995) from SABRINA (1954)

I’m a huge Billy Wilder fan. I don’t think SABRINA was one of his most successful works, but this insipid remake was a travesty.

4. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (2004) from THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962)

This movie was a lot less despised than I think it deserved: it was a boring, illogical mess, and the original is a classic.

5. THE LONGEST YARD (2005) from THE LONGEST YARD (1974)

And, believe it or not, I like almost every single Adam Sandler movie.  This one’s unbearable, and doesn’t help itself out with a major role by Chris Rock, a very funny comedian who unfortunately is the acting version of a Cleavland Steamer. The original, however, is one of my favorite sports films.

 

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Category: LISTS, Uncategorized

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  • Anonymous

    The Ladykillers (1955) – one of the best films ever made – completely ruined in the 2004 version!

  • alphabetsoup

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was NOT a remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The screenwriter had never even seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And it’s a fantastic movie, to boot. So if not for the second reason, for the first, it should not be on a list of worst remakes, as it is a film based on a book by Roald Dahl, and that’s it.

  • Uh…that is “Day of the Dead was far more terrible than”…

  • Day f the Dead was for more terrible than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-that film’s only real crime was the backstory of Willy Wonka. But Day of the Dead? Pure awful shit.

  • I can’t believe that no one has mentioned Day of the Dead or The Hitcher.

  • Sorry, I meant to say “modern” remake. I’d say Chainsaw remake started a trend and that’s the batch I’m talking about. Maybe The Ring even started it. Just to make it easier, instead of “modern”, I’ll say “post-2000” remakes. And I wouldn’t consider Oldboy a remake because it’s going to say “based on the comic book by” and not “based on the screenplay by”, which is a key difference. Since Park Chan Wook changed so much about the comic book in making the original version (the only key similarity, from what I understand, is that a guy gets locked in prison for 15 years with no explanation and then is released and tries to find out why — I’m pretty sure the entirety of the mystery in the movie, the villain, and most importantly the entire ending are unique to the film), it seems less like a remake unless they’re using his script.

    Although it’s definitely true that without the other film, they wouldn’t be doing this.

  • jcove

    My husband and I agree with all the choices on this list. But most of the remakes made recently (and will be remade) are pure abominations!
    The original “Wicker Man” was a great film! It was very creepy, especially the end. The end gave me chills all over. Although I think the remake was one of the best comedies I have ever seen. I laughed so hard through the whole thing. Wait. That movie wasn’t supposed to be funny.

  • LadyFrontbum

    One good thing about TCM was ‘Song to the Siren’ in the opening(?) credits :)

  • All right guys, I can see bumming out on Oldboy, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Adventures in Babysitting – but Clue is a fucking horrible film. Remaking it in a slightly worse than mediocre version would be an enormous improvement.
    Droidguy – Saying Halloween is better than the Thing, The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc, seems wrong. Also, they may not be saying it’s a remake of Oldboy, but it wouldn’t be getting made if not for Oldboy – and it’s still a remake, as many remakes are simply reinterpretations of the original source.

  • About the Oldboy remake: It’s not a remake of Oldboy, it’s a re-adaptation of the comic book, and from what I understand, the movie is only 25% faithful to the comic. Doesn’t make it a better idea, but it’s not going to be treading the same ground as Park Chan Wook’s film.

  • I didn’t see your poll, so I didn’t get to vote. My opinions on the ones listed here:

    Psycho (1998): Lame, but a fascinating curiosity of cinema. I don’t hold very many hateful grudges when it comes to terrible filmmaking decisions, so I think the remake is kind of oddly interesting, like a science experiment, and I don’t just blindly hate it because it’s a bad remake of Psycho.

    The Wicker Man (2006): Holy shit, what a terrible fucking movie. I don’t know what a single person involved in this movie could have possibly been thinking.

    The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008): I have yet to see the original, sadly, and I thought this looked horrible (I avoided it in theaters) but I ended up getting it on DVD to review and I thought it was far better than its reputation. Similar to Psycho, you can’t let your love for the original play a huge part in judging the actual film itself. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s not terrible.

    Planet of the Apes (2001): Didn’t see all of it but what I saw was stupid.

    Godzilla (1998): Terrible, but it has Jean Reno in it, which invariably makes it at least a little better.

    The Fog (2005): Abominable. Good picture choice, though.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005): I liked it. Not perfect, but enjoyable to me. I didn’t grow up on the original, though.

    Halloween (2007): The most unfairly maligned remake in recent history, and probably (this isn’t saying much) the best horror remake thus far. However, I think the purpose of remaking Halloween is to get to make a sequel to the Halloween remake, and that’s where we’ll see where Rob’s ideas are really going.

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003): Weak. Jessica Biel in a wifebeater and jeans is the only reason to watch it. Also the John Larroquette narration at the beginning and end is awesome.

    The Grinch (2000): I laughed a couple of times. Jim Carrey’s rendition of the song is good as well. Otherwise, bad.

    The Manchurian Candidate (2004): I liked it. It’s not the original, but it’s very good. That said, I haven’t felt compelled to watch it in about five years, so maybe I’d feel differently if I’d just revisited it.

    The Longest Yard (2005): I haven’t seen the original, but this is easily my least favorite Adam Sandler movie. Oh, so bad.

    Did not see The Haunting (1999), Guess Who (2005), The Omen (2006), Greystroke, The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), or Sabrina (1995).

  • Flounder

    Great Scott!!! I hope they don’t remake Clue. I can see it now bad teenie pop music playing in the back ground while Miley Cyrus, the great actress that she is, tries to pull off Ms. White while Madeline Kahn rolls over in her grave.

    This is even more blasphemous than the rumored remake of Adventures in Babysitting staring that fat chick from that Disney show That’s So Raven.

  • The original Ladykillers is one of my all-time favorite movies. The remake made me want to cry. But otherwise, I completely agree with all of these. It’s unfortunate that major movie studios feel the need to remake classics with their talentless excuses for actors in order to make a quick buck. Other’s I’d add to the list: House of Wax, The Women, and City of Angles (remake of Wings of Desire). I’ve heard rumors that there are thoughts about remaking Clue and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, let’s hope that never happens.

  • opsin

    Oh man, I’m just all kinds of wrong today!
    I was sure I’d heard it somewhere (DotD that is), but I am beginning to fear the heard was more a read, and the somewhere was more like the internet.

    As I say, feels far more like homage than a remake, and totally dig the way you went about it, as like you say it means they both work as seperate entities. The original has always been a real favourite of mine, and it’s one of the very, very few remakes I like.

    And to answer Aisura304 there, indeed, Oldboy is happening. Spielberg and Smith back together to make that… Despite some of the really odd remake choices, that almost takes the… everything up for offer in reward for idiotic plans.

  • Kitty, I can’t agree about disliking the original Wonka…. But, I will say this: that thing scared the living shit out of me when I was little. I had seen movies like The Howling and The Thing … and I enjoyed the “thrills” but never got upset.
    Then: the FUCKING OOMAPH LOOMAHS.
    I mean, come on: weird, orange slaves that emerge from the bowels of a mad man’s factory and SING AS THEY GREASE CHILDREN TO EXPLODE!?!? I saw the thing at day camp and told a counselor how upsetting I found it … and she said “well she was being greedy.” I left, nodding. But felt MUCH worse deep down. Cause, hell, I’m greedy sometimes.

  • I heard (and it could be completely false, I don’t know) that they were going to remake the Korean movie Old Boy. Don’t know if you have seen it or not but just the thought of a remake enrages me to no end. I also heard that Will Smith is suppose to play the lead, which makes me want to dig my fingernails into whoever eyes that thought that would be a good idea.

  • Ross – I loved the new Star Trek.

  • “It’s definitely a remake, but a remake done how I think a remake should be done – same premise, but a different story.” It seems like too many studios want to sell a movie remake on the value of its source material rather than on the merits of the remake itself. I’m always skeptical of remakes…I’ve even heard rumors of a direct remake of Seven Samurai (Fuck That!), but The Magnificent Seven was an innovative reimagining of the story. That being said…

    What did you think of the new Star Trek (if you’ve even seen it)? I’ve never been a huge Trek or Abrams fan but I thought it was great. As a remake it seems to meet your criteria although I’m curious if it is your kind of movie.

  • I agree with just about every movie on that list. Except for the Dawn of the Dead remake. I was actually impressed with it. And no I am not just kissing your ass James. Because when I first heard they were doing a remake of it I screamed to the heavens “Why God Why?!” but then my husband and I went to the theaters to see it and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I thought it was close enough to the original to be called a remake but far away from it to stand on it’s own. The only thing that I didn’t like so much about it was the fast zombies. Personally I like slow moving zombies (think they give you a false since of security). I think they are scarier. And lets face it, if I had to deal with those running zombies my ass wouldn’t last 15 seconds.

  • Opsin – No, I wrote Dawn of the Dead as “Dawn of the Dead” before we even brought it to the studio. It’s definitely a remake, but a remake done how I think a remake should be done – same premise, but a different story. That way you can enjoy both films as completely separate things.

  • opsin

    “I don’t think the Haunting remake is shot for shot.”

    Ah, maybe I’m misremembering it. Haven’t seen it since, I just remember most all of the key elements being reused, but, in colour. And it’s even longer since I’ve seen the original.

    Oh, and it has to be said, Jeff Vintar’s post in which he told me that that’s what happened with I, Robot disappeared, so I understand if you don’t want to say anything!

  • James: You never see the new Get Carter and I’ll never get anywhere the Two Jakes. If we stick to that, it’s proof that blogging saves lives.

  • I was in a theater with some friends seeing Psycho and Leonard Maltin sat behind us.
    On exiting, I looked at his face and I’ve never seen that kind of rage in all of my life.

  • opsin

    And since it got mentioned, I wound up really enjoying the new Dawn of the Dead, but was under the impression it certainly wasn’t written as, and possibly the direction wasn’t embarked upon as a remake. Just one of the those old ‘studios adding the name to it’ jobs ’cause it sort of fit – being a homage.

    Like Jeff Vintar’s script for a sci-fi movie, that then became I, Robot as it would give Proyas some cash to play with.

    I certainly don’t think of it as a remake.

  • Finally, one of my (typically out of the realm) answers makes a list! However, sadly, you disagree with it! lol

    But, we do agree Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake shouldn’t be on the list – or, at least you personally wouldn’t put it on the list. However, my reasons are presumably different. I have a biased opinion about the movie, for two reasons: 1) I’m a fan of Rob Zombie’s music and movies. 2) My Cousin-in-law was in the remake – So, of course, both reasons had me automatically view the movie through different eyes! ;)

    Once again, I haven’t seen a lot of the movies listed, so I should probably stop playing the poll game and just be happy with reading the results!

  • carrot

    Quarantine was an absolutely unnecessary remake of the excellent [REC].

  • Jordan – No, of course I’ve seen the original Wicker Man. Many times. I’ve never seen the remake, likely never will.
    Opsin – I don’t think the Haunting remake is shot for shot.
    Bondfool – No, I knew you were joking.
    Ross – I think they’re doing a new Tarzan now. Hopefully it will be cool.
    Wolves – I love the original Get Carter, but have never seen the remake. I think because both versions have been seen by so few people, it didn’t garner many votes.
    Pootie – You’re not hallucinating. There was a TV movie called It Happened One Night with Marlo Thomas, a remake of It’s a Wonderful Life (!). That said, I don’t think TV movies really count — if they did, the David Soul/Scatman Crothers remake of Casablanca would definitely be on this list!
    Miss Kitty – Quite a few people hate Dawn. Your friend isn’t alone. But it’s not as widely hated as some of the horror movies above. Also – You HATED Willy Wonka??!

  • Flounder

    I’m surprised that the 2005 remake of King Kong or the 1999 remake of The Mummy didn’t make it on the list. Cause both of those remakes were crap. And for those who are still questioning Hollywood’s sanity, they are making a Mummy 4, so tear you eyes out now and save your sanity.

    Also I hated Meet Joe Black, which was a remake of Death takes a Holiday.

  • MissKittyFantastico

    I have a friend who hates Dawn of the Dead, but she always complains about Zack Snyder’s directing, not your writing.

    And the thing about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that I think it was made for people who didn’t like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I hated the original, but I enjoyed the remake and I’ve met a few people who feel the same way.

  • PootieTang

    Maybe I just had some bad chili and was hallucinating, but I could’ve sworn they remade It’s A Wonderful Life with Marlo Thomas. If so, that tops my list. Poseidon was pretty crappy too. They remade Halloween a year after each the original?…..and yeah I’m just being a wise ass as I know that’s just a typo. And how dare anyone criticize any film featuring Maggie Grace dammit! An

  • I’m surprised there’s no Get Carter. And sad not to see the Bad News Bears.
    I’d tell anyone to give the original Bears a re-watch. It’s a really great movie. The comedy is crass, hysterical, offensive and yet that always totally goodhearted; I kinda think Tanner is the spiritual father of Eric Cartman. Even more surprising is that the damn flick is subtle and affecting in dramatic moments — in particular the way it deals with the relationship between the driven coach and his son (which culminates in a moment of violence) is just brilliant.
    Of course, sitting through the remake was like watching Paris Hilton play Lady Macbeth. Or something.

  • I love these poll blogs, keep ’em up. I was also a huge Tarzan fan as a child and would love to see a decent modernization.

  • bondfool

    I hope you don’t think mine was the sincere vote for Dawn of the Dead. I was just kidding. STOP CRYING!

  • ThatGermanGuy

    I like Charlie & The cocolate Factory :'(

    BTW, did you see ‘Mean Machine’, the british, Guy Ritchie produced remake of ‘The Longest Yard’, starring Vinnie Jones? It’s definitely better than the Adam Sandler version (which came out a few years after this.)

  • opsin

    Wow. Not only had I forgotten The Wicker Man (like Planet of the Apes,I’m not really a fan of the original but can tell the remake is an abomination), but hadn’t remembered that Owen Wilson was in the remake of The Haunting. I watched that when it came out and was really disappointed, which given it’s almost shot for shot says something, but most definitely didn’t remember it having him… Sort of changes how I think of it.

    Of your picks, The Manchurian Candidate is one I just hadn’t known had been afflicted… One of those total ‘wtf?’ cases. Was it really even remotely necessary? As for Adam Sandler vehicles, I’m off the mostly hate camp. Only one I can stand is Punch Drunk Love, but I can’t say he’d come close to my pickfor casting a remake of Longest Yard.

    I wish I had a clue what the hell was going through the minds of Hollywood Execs… Or what minds I’m left believing they may have.

  • Wait, wait…

    You’re never seen the ORIGINAL Wicker Man?

    SEE IT!!! Seriously.

    Brilliant.

  • zandermagic

    The Longest Yard, YES! I love the original, the remake is such crap.



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