By the Time You Read This, I May Be Dead

Published on April 5th, 2013

If I am dead, know that I died after crapping my pants in terror.

That’s right. I’m about to go see the Evil Dead remake.

I’m not sure how you feel about movie remakes. I’m not against them myself, generally speaking.Whenever a remake is attempted, I get to wallow in my own smug hipster self-righteousness about how Hollywood is bereft of original ideas, and if I was in charge and blah, blah, blah, which is always kind of a good time. I know quite a few folks whose hatred for the idea of remakes borders on maniac religious zeal. But for the most part they don’t bother me, I just don’t necessarily see the point. I mean, did the Total Recall remake really say much that the original Schwarzenegger version didn’t, except that after five seasons of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston looks kind of weird with hair? (Side note to my autocorrect: How the hell did you know how to spell “Schwarzenegger”?)

I feel a little different about the Evil Dead remake. In theory, I should be beside myself with nerd-rage at the temerity of attempting such a thing. The movies that comprise the original Evil Dead franchise are among my favorite films of all time. I’ve seen each entry in the series at least a dozen times, and can quote Army of Darkness more or less from beginning to end. Part of my enjoyment of the new James Franco Oz movie was seeing how many Evil Dead-like moments Raimi threw into the movie. (I’m specifically thinking about the fence-posts-versus-balloon-basket bit inside the tornado, and the reveal of the Rachel Weisz Wicked Witch at the end.) I REALLY dig those movies, which should make me inherently opposed to even the idea of remaking them.


But I’m actually terribly excited about this new version. One of the charms of the original Evil Dead is the insanely over-the-top campiness of the whole thing. Even when its super scary, it’s also more than a little bit silly. You find yourself laughing with the movie almost as much as screaming. If the remake were attempting to hit it note-for-note, I’d probably be shrugging at the idea and blowing it off as another Hollywood attempt to get blood from the desiccated corpse of a classic horror franchise (see also, Texas Chainsaw Massace, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street). But the intriguing thing to me is that they’re playing it straight. And with the campiness and cheap-o special effects removed, Evil Dead has the potential to be goddamned TERRIFYING. I can’t wait to see it.

gijoeAnd look, even if it sucks, I’m going to see it with my wife, which ENSURES I will be sleeping with the lights on for at least a week.

In other movie-going news, I saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation last weekend. I am pleased to report that it did not, as any reasonable expectations would have it, suck. In fact, it was a boatload of fun, and I am hoping they can make a follow-up in the same vein. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Apparently the key to making a good G.I. Joe movie is to not include “Accelerator Suits”, to actually have Cobra Commander be the villain, and to kill off Channing Tatum in the first fifteen minutes. Sorry, Duke. (Part of me was really hoping for that moment at the end when a clumsy ADR voiceover announces that Duke was just in a coma, and he’s going to be fine. And if you don’t get that joke, you have never seen the G.I. Joe animated movie, so Cobra-Lalalalalalalalala to you.) Dwayne Johnson is always reliably fun, and Bruce Willis did a great job in his role as Bruce-Willis-in-a-G.I. Joe-movie. It’s not a perfect movie, by any stretch of the imagination (Guys, I love Wu-Tang, too, but please stop putting RZA in movies.), but it’s a good popcorn flick with some fun action and lots of cool moments.

Follow me on twitter @travisholyfield. Tell me what your favorite and least favorite remakes are, and enjoy my periodic live tweetings of the movie Roadhouse.

Travis M. Holyfield