Remakes are Killing Conversation

Her: What’s your all time favourite television programme?
Me: Oh, well, I’d have to say The Prisoner
Her: You mean that miniseries from last year with Ian McKellen and the guy who played Jesus?
Me: No. God no. Don’t make me sick. I mean the revolutionary 1960s show created by and starring the iconoclastic Patrick McGoohan.
Her: Who? Er… what films do you like, then?

Me: I’ve been watching horror films recently, as, ahem, a life-affirming thing to do before going out of an evening, with, eh, the probable exception of the truly horrible Last House on the Left… But mainly I’ve stuck to the cult classics – you know, The Wicker Man, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Profondo Rosso, Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead – as well as recent-ish one I quite like, A Tale of Two Sisters.
Her: Oh yes, I saw Last House on the Left, it came out last year. The Wicker Man was that thing with Nicolas Cage a few years ago… the Texas Chainsaw Massacre I’ve seen, it has Jessica Biel in it, and of course Dawn of the Dead was that thing directed by Zack Snyder who directed Watchmen. I haven’t heard of the others. Have you seen The Uninvited?
Me: No, no, no!!! We’re not talking about the same things at all! Last House on the Left and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre were made in the 1970s and were films of revulsion about the Vietnam War and American violence. Doing slick 21st century remakes seems more than utterly pointless. The Wicker Man was a cult British film starring the legendary Christopher Lee as a sinister pagan, and Edward Woodward: Nicolas Cage my arse! Dawn of the Dead was from 1978 and directed by the great George Romero, as the sequel to Night of the Living Dead. I haven’t seen The Uninvited because it’s a goddam remake of the beautiful, sad and terrifying Korean film I mentioned, A Tale of Two Sisters (Janghwa Hongryeon). The only reason you haven’t heard of Dario Argento’s stylish and operatic films Profondo Rosso and Suspiria is because they haven’t been remade yet – oh but Suspiria is due to be violated this year, and Profondo Rosso’s annihilation is scheduled for 2011. Then we’ll be able to misunderstand each other about those too.
Her: Never mind, they don’t remake comedies, do they? Let’s talk about that, but not about the rubbish one I saw last night. What was it called? Oh yeah, Bedazzled, with the awful Brendan Fraser and the monotonous Elizabeth Hurley.
Me: Sob! Bedazzled is an eminently watchable classic from 1967 and was a high watermark of the partnership of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Aaaaaaaaaaargh!!!
Her: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Not to mention a 2003 remake of The Singing Detective, produced by Mel Gibson: those involved can feck right off, I tell ye.
FFS I’ve just learned there was also a 2000 remake of Get Carter starring Stallone! Is nothing sacred?

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

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