Colin Wilson's tongue in cheek comedy novel about Space Vampires, titled aptly enough, THE SPACE VAMPIRES, is finally having new life breathed into it.
When, earlier this week, Entertainment Weekly announced,
Chiller to remake Tobe Hooper's space vampire movie Lifeforce
I thought, 'Suits me as it could be a whole lot worse.'
What would be worse? Well, they could leave Tobe Hooper's shit version of Colin Wilson's superior novel as an eternal fait accompli.
While Colin Wilson's novel was intentionally fun and madcap (Space Vampires after all), the story and characters were also compelling.
Tobe was unable to translate the gory comedy of Wilson's novel^ and instead, took himself ridiculously serious.
So the movie winds up being a cheesy camp turd when it could have been fun. Hooper repeated this mistake the very next year - 1986 - with INVADERS FROM MARS~. Only nobody likes that piece of crap because he couldn't get Mathilda May to walk around naked in it.
1986 was also the year that saw the release of Tobe's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2. But it was a dud as well because he couldn't get Mathilda May to walk around naked in it.
And that's pretty much the reason why every single movie Tobe Hooper was both attached to as a director and actually allowed to complete as a director, ever since, has been a dud: he couldn't get Mathilda May to walk around naked in it.
Nobody in my experience who claims they are a fan of LIFEFORCE, actually likes it. Every single person who has ever raved of it only has a single focal point: Mathilda May walked around naked in it. I don't care if you are the biggest STAR TREK or X-MEN geek I've ever met, you aren't turning out for LIFEFORCE to get a fleeting glimpse of actor Patrick Stewart. No, the entire movie is a button tapping fast forward to the next Mathilda naked shot: one long tribute to Mathilda's beautiful youth and nothing more.
It's important to understand that this isn't a personal attack on Tobe Hooper. Some fans are nuts that way, unable to separate the artist from their art, or what they call art.
Having lived in Hollywood for over 10 years, I've met many people in the movie industry and a definite tell of a person is the judgement of those who have worked with him/her.
By all accounts regarding people I've spoke to, Tobe Hooper is a pretty decent guy on and off the set.
Then again, Mick Garris is renown for being a nice guy on and off the set, and he is also renown for making the worst (invariably Stephen King) movies ever made.
That doesn't make them bad people. You'd probably love to have dinner with them and talk movies and you'd both realize that you love horror movies for the same reason. Hell, you'd probably talk long into the night.
But being a fan alone isn't enough to make a good movie.
It's a fact of life that some people are good at their job and some people suck. Some people who suck at making movies don't care. Others suck at making movies but really wish they didn't and are forever trying to find out why they are cursed (which for me makes movies like BRUTAL MASSACRE: A COMEDY, hilarious! OMG! I know these Pendrekis!). And when these filmmakers suck they go to Hollywood to make movies so they can keep a roof over their head.
Since we must have remakes, can we also have superior remakes of THE TOMB? STARSHIP TROOPERS? MYSTERYMEN?
Those authors all deserved better treatment.
And speaking of authors deserving better treatment from remakes. Since we are having a POLTERGEIST remake released this month, how about finally giving credit to Richard Matheson for the story?
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