Hollywood has made no attempts at hiding its fetish for remaking old films. What better way to cash in on some quick bucks than to bring in fans of an old classic for a rehashed take on something that really had no business being remade. In light of the recent news of WWE Films remaking the cult-classic Leprechaun with their resident Irish midget, what better time than now to rundown the 10 worst movie remakes of all-time.
While the original Godzilla series was in no way a brilliant work of art, it serves as one of the cultural milestones for Japan. Many claim the original film was made partially as a metaphorical response to the atomic bomb and the sheer devastation that it brought to the Japanese society, but the 1998 remake starring Matthew Broderick lacked any sort of depth that its predecessors contained. Godzilla was just a vapid Jurassic Park-lite, filled with pointless explosions and little actual drama or development. Basically a colossal dino-sized circle jerk, it received an overwhelmingly negative response. The movie was so bad that the creators cancelled the planned sequels, although there is currently another remake in the works (of course).
Not exactly a masterpiece to begin with, the 1984 original was at least packed with charismatic, talented actors that made up for what the film was lacking in story. The 2011 remake however, had no Kevin Bacon-caliber acting and was overall just a poorly contrived remake of a film that needed no rehashing. Plus country star Blake Shelton tread into the danger-zone with an awful countrified take on the original Kenny Loggins penned theme song. Was it substantially worse than the original? Not really. But did it need to happen at all? Definitely not.
The 1968 sci-fi film starring Charlton Heston made a bold cultural statement that shocked viewers. Even little Bobby Draper of Mad Men found himself enamored by the poignant commentary that the film provided. Tim Burton’s 2001 remake was sleek and shiny, but lacked the emotional effect of the original thanks to a ridiculous cliff-hanger ending that even some of the actors, like Tim Roth, didn’t truly understand.
This 2010 remake of the beloved ‘80s classic contained quite a few deviations from the original. For starters there’s no actual karate in the film. Jaden Smith’s character learns the art of kung-fu from Jackie Chan’s updated take on the legendary Mr. Miyagi character. The roles and story have been changed for the worse—and nobody even sweeps the leg.
Even with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell involved, this 2013 remake retains none of the intelligence and quirk that propelled the original film to its massive cult fan-base. Intelligent characters are traded in for dull sacks of meat whose sole purpose is to provide on-screen torture and gore. This remake takes everything that made the original stand out and dilutes it into your standard gory horror film.
The original 1956 sci-fi film was a classic of the genre, but by the time this series was given its fourth film adaptation in 2007 with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the story was worn out and placed on the back-burner for flashy action shots. With McCarthyism still fresh on the minds of many U.S. citizens, the original was a poignant commentary on the current state of affairs, but this remake contains none of the flare that made the original so memorable.
When this 2005 adaptation of the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner was released, I admittedly had no idea it was an adaptation. The film, starring Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac, probably would have fared better had it not even referenced the fact that it was based on the stellar, politically charged film starring Sidney Poitier. While Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher share an undeniable chemistry on screen, this is a less than impressive comedy based on a powerful film that analyzed the weighted topic of interracial relationships.
The 1981 classic was one of the last great hurrahs of stop-motion film—a Ray Harryhausen original. The 2010 remake proved to be one of the first colossal tumbles of the 3-D craze. Even director Louis Leterrier claims that “it was famously rushed and famously horrible.” Yikes. Leterrier goes on to state that this 3-D adaptation of the ‘81 classic “was just a gimmick to steal money from the audience.” Usually with bad films we get a bit of a run-around from those involved, claiming that it’s got some sort of redeeming qualities. Nope. Few things stood out about this vapid film other than the flashy effects and gimmicky 3-D.
Once a beloved British horror film, the first thing that comes to mind now when one mentions The Wicker Man isn’t the brilliantly shot, terrifying original, but rather the unintentional comedy brought about by Nicolas Cage’s adaptation. The meme-producing bits of comedic excellence found in this film range from a laughably awful bee-torture scene to Cage punching a woman in a bear suit. I’m not making this up. The only way to see how awfully hilarious this movie is is to see it for yourself.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is arguably one of the most groundbreaking films of all time. It set a new precedence for what was acceptable to be shown on film and changed the horror genre forever. So of course the natural reaction to a stellar film is to create a near shot-for-shot remake with exponentially less talented actors right? Well at least Gus Van Sant thought so. Van Sant’s 1998 remake may have been shot in color, but it lacked the vibrancy that made Hitchcock’s film an instant classic. Shoddy acting from Vince Vaughn and Anne Heche seals the deal on this terrible remake that proves that some stones are better left unturned. Especially when that stone is actually a classic film from one of the most beloved filmmakers of all-time.