I Used to Be Disgusted

Perhaps you’ve heard the Internet rumblings that Richard Rubenstein is planning a remake of George Romero’s 1977 quasi-vampire classic MARTIN. Most troubling is the speculation, not unreasonable, that thanks to the TWILIGHT craze the new Martin will be, if not sparkly, a defanged emo version to appeal to the Hot Topic demographic. That the subtextual look at urban despair and multi-generational madness will be conveniently overlooked is a given.

Alongside KNIGHTRIDERS, MARTIN remains my favorite Romero film. Coming from a guy who spent a whole year watching zombie flicks, that might be a little shocking, but I’d trade the original DEAD trilogy for a peek at Romero’s original three-hour cut. It’s a subtle, powerful film that rewards each viewing; why remake what Romero has so thoroughly and superbly accomplished? (I know, I know, it’s the money; I’m being rhetorical here.)

This news should piss me off. It should have me foaming at the mouth in impotent fanboy fury, railing on whatever cyberforum will have me that our cinematic legacy is being ruined and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! At the very least I should stomp my feet and call Rubenstein a meanie poopie-head.

But you know what? I can’t. After watching one shitty remake after another get squeezed out of the sausage factory I simply can’t muster the righteous indignation anymore. Witness enough atrocity and eventually you become numb to them all. Hell, redo ROSEMARY’S BABY with Ashley Tisdale and Shia LaBeouf and I’ll barely bat an eye.

It just doesn’t matter any longer. With the exception of THE CRAZIES, I haven’t paid to watch a single one of these recent remakes (and for the record, I liked Breck Eisner’s take on the original–it was an entertaining if undemanding film), so there goes the whole vote-with-your-dollars theory. Trying to dissuade the masses to see them is futile, and bitching about the entire trend–especially on this site–doesn’t do a damn thing, either. (I’ll also let you in on a little secret: studios don’t give a blue fuck if you plunk down your $8.50 and think their movie sucked–they still have your $8.50.)

So another classic is getting bent over the remake barrel. Big fucking deal. We still have movies such as HUMAN CENTIPEDE (good luck finding that one on a screen near you) and SPLICE, which is enjoying a surprisingly robust theatrical release, to help weather the storm.

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