Remember when Hollywood was actually not afraid to try new things? When originality was not considered a bad word? If indeed, there ever was such a time. Here are five franchises that are long past their sell date and should just go away.
1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original was without a doubt a masterpiece, famously being rejected by the BBFC despite its am lost complete lack of explicit content onscreen, and like most horror masterpieces it spawned endless sequels and ripoffs, most notably the 1986 sequel, again directed by Hooper, which was famously described by British critic Kyle Newman as seemingly not just coming from the same director, but someone who never even saw the original.
Having now been rebooted twice, it’s finally time to put this franchise to rest. The impact of the original has been destroyed the cheap franchise cliches and overall stupidity that slasher films usually employ.
Lionsgate have the rights to the franchise after Platinum Dunes left it out to dry, but have yet to announce a new instalment. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Similar to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, John Carpenter’s Halloween was not only one of the finest horror films on the 1970s, but of all time, its impact strengthened by its decision not to include onscreen violence or gore, leaving everything to the viewer’s imagination.
If only the sequels had understood the meaning of the word ‘subtlety’. “You’re talking about him as if he were a human being, that part died long ago’, says Doctor Loomis in the fourth instalment. Or in the director’s cut to the (sigh) sequel to the remake, in which an unmasked Myers shouts ‘Die!’, reflecting how we feel about the franchise.
Clearly realising that the series was going down the ‘endless supply of sequels route’, Carpenter ensured that the third film, despite having the title Halloween 3, was a completely different story in a completely different setting, the idea being that future instalments in the franchise would each serve as their own standalone story with no relation the the other films. Too bad it bombed…
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street/Friday the 13th
When it comes to awful remakes, 2009’s Friday the 13th and 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street wins first prize. And as if they even needed reboots when there’s already been too many instalments in each franchise. Michael Bay continues his quest to destroy Hollywood by having his company Platinum Dunes turn out crap remake after crap remake, but hey, at least they diversified right? By stepping away from the horror genre and making just what the world needed, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.
Thankfully, since the hate crimes against cinema that were their versions of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, no further instalments have been announced. Guess they’re too busy killing off other franchises.
You know when they make a film that they know nobody wants, that will male no money, and that the world is better of without, but seemingly just make it for the sake of making it? Case in point. Nobody wanted a Leprechaun reboot. Nobody.
How could they remake such a classic…oh wait, nobody liked the original. Or the five sequels. The only saving grace that they had was Warwick Davies’s fun performance as the titular badass leprechaun.
WE Films continue their tradition of making crap films with wrestlers who can’t act, with Hornswoggle or whatever he’s called taking the lead. Like anyone cares.
Director Zach Lipovsky will next film an adaptation of Capcom’s classic game Dead Rising, so hopefully this will be his chance to redeem himself. But probably not.
Hellraiser is often cited as one of the great British horror films so it’s shame that Clive Barker abandon his film career quite early on. An okay sequel was made before the series was moved stateside and turned into yet another generic slahser franchise. The fourth entry was set in space in an attempt to diversify, but sadly the sci-fi setting was not utilised.
The latest entry was filmed over a period of only eighteen days and ran for a meagre 75 minutes, a clear sign that it was made with no passion or interest whatsoever. Pinhead actor Doug Bradley was wise to refuse to return. The poster said “from the mind of Clive Barker” but in Barker’s own words: “I want to put on record that the flic out there using the word Hellraiser IS NO FUCKIN’ CHILD OF MINE! I have NOTHING to do with the fuckin’ thing. If they claim its from the mind of Clive Barker, it’s a lie. It’s not even from my butt-hole.” Seems appropriate.