Monday, October 26, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: Chris Garrett

Horror Movies Re-Imagined, Reboots & Remakes
Who will survive when Hollywood is finished with them?
By: Chris Garrett

Thanks to creative minds of once young and aspiring directors, and writers such as Stephen KingWes Craven, Sam Ramey, Clive Barker, and so many more that it would take me years to master a list of whose home made nightmares and visions in horror cinema still give us a reason to leave the lights on before we go to bed at night.  With that being said, who would've known that the monsters they created could never be controlled!  Every generation has a mind blowing horror film that took the crown of being one of the best horror films ever and some even hold that title up to today's horror films.  Let's face it.  Hollywood lacks talent.
            These low budget and risk taking films went from being big screen successes to horror movie icons!  But what happens to these films when the glory is all gone?  Here is our list of some of the most successful franchises today that have being strong for decades, and a list of the not so fortunate.

Warning: Contains 26 year old spoilers!

On November 9th, MGM Studios released Child's Play.  Just don't let this befriending title fool you.  Child's Play is the story of a serial killer known as Charles Lee Ray, who has finally been cornered by law enforcement.  Ray's infatuation with voodoo rituals has led him to desperately perform a ritual upon himself.  Pretty boss decision!!  Trapped in a toy store and nowhere to go, Charles Lee Ray transfers his soul into a "Good Guy Doll," which is an on-screen version of a Cabbage Patch Kid or Teddy Rubskin.  While the world was relieved to hear of the physical death of Ray, a stupid mother decided to buy a "Good Guy Doll" off of a damn homeless guy and bring it home to her son for his birthday.  Andy Bartley was excited to get the most popular toy brought into his house and soon realized that this was no ordinary doll mom brought home.  Soon Charles Lee Ray, also known as Chucky, began to reek havoc on Andy and his family, including anyone in between.  His dark sense of humor and creative ways of killing have made Chucky a household name to fear and love.  MGM Studios didn't agree with the story and violence and refused to claim the film on anything.  But Universal Studios saw opportunity and bought the rights to Child's Play from MGM to release sequels.  The first film did great, but when Universal released CP2, it was like hitting JACKPOT on a slot machine.  The movie was larger than life to adults and kids.  Universal made big bank with marketing the first two films with everything from Chucky dolls to bobble heads.  Child's Play 3 was released in 1991 and disappeared until '98 when Universal decided to focus on the star of Child's Play with the release of Bride of Chucky, where we got to see even more punch lines and some awesome kill scenes, but the film was more comical than it's first three in the franchise.  In 2004, we get to see more of Chucky and, right when the thought of the cabbage patch serial killer was no longer cool, Don Mancini decided to stop writing all of the Child's Play and Chucky films and start directing because Don Mancini can write a mean script and would make a badass Director 0_0!!  And just like that!!  Don wrote AND directed Curse of Chucky.  Without a doubt, our favorite foul mouth killer doll is a survivor!!!!

Now this is going to be shift because I'm not a fan of the slow moving mama's boy we all know as Jason Vorhees.  If you don't like that, then you can go cry in a corner, and then write your zine about the dude.  Friday the 13th was released in 1980.  It was about the tragic drowning of a child at Camp Crystal Lake.  Years later, the camp counselors began being picked off one-by-one by the most dangerous person besides an angry child child who survived a drowning and that is HIS MOM!!  However, in the 29,000 sequels to follow, Jason Vorhees decided to relive mom of her duties and have a little fun as well.  I've lost count of how many sequels, but notice that, for a man who has no car, he sure can get around.
            Through his Friday the 13th films, he managed a wonderful killing spree in Manhattan, and just like our friend Chucky, the franchise started focusing more on Mr. Vorhees with films like Jason Goes to Hell and Jason (in which both films were so horrible they were amusing).  In early 2000, our favorite campfire killer had the chance to go blade to blades with Elm Street's favorite dream destroyer in Freddy vs. Jason.  In 2009, Friday the 13th was remade for the new generation and it did well.  So well that a sequel is in the works.  I may not like you Jason, but apparently others do.

In 1986, Wes Craven gave us a reason to be afraid of having nightmares with the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street.  The story of a small town community taking justice into their own hands and burning a man alive for hunting the town's children.  After his fiery death, Fred Kruger was resurrected by dream demons and now seeks his revenge through children's nightmares.  In the '80s and late '90s, Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street had become a phenomenon with a chain of sequels along with a television show titled Freddy's Nightmares.  The movie had become a household name, thanks to toys, comics, games and other merchandise.  The only horror movie franchise that I can think of who thought it was cool to market a serial killer as a kid's play friend. :D
            Robert England played the role as Fred Kruger in all films.  After Wes Craven's New Nightmare, the franchise was on a hiatus until the early 2000's when New Line Cinemas released the ultimate slasher death match, Freddy vs. Jason.  The film was fun, but fans of both franchises - Nightmare and Friday the 13th - were not pleased.  As far as we know, Robert hung up his trusty glove of knives aver the film.  So, in 2010, Warner Brothers wanted to reboot the series and changed our boogie man from Robert to Jackie Earl Hayley.  They were so certain that this would take off off, that WB signed for 3 more movies.  But, sadly, the reboot had fans wishing it was just a bad dream.  And so here we are, four years later, trying to forget about Nightmare on Elm Street.

In my opinion, Pumpkinseed had all the qualities of having a badass franchise and decently awesome sequels.  The story of a man that summons a demon to kill all that had a part in the death of his son.  It was just a good monster movie.  Even the movies second sequel, Blood Wings, was pretty good.  But, sadly, SyFy Channel bought the rights of the film and began releasing the other sequels as TV movies.  Have you seen a TV movie from the studios of the SyFy Channel?  Worst. Idea. Ever.

About the author:
Being the last surviving child on Elm Street, Chris Garrett is a natural storyteller, delivering nerve pounding tales of hope, heart break and moshpits since 2004.  He is an independent author and freelance comic book writer.  His work includes the teen angst zine and poetry series The Stupid Nerdy Notebook and has scripted short comics for Scairy Tales Publishing based out of Atlanta.  He is also the co-creator of The Finleys characters and comics, along with J.R. Mounts that will be printed in 2015 by Scairy Tales Publishing.  When not writing or being with family, Chris enjoys eating brains and crawling out of graves in local cemeteries.

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