How Popcorn could have been made in 2007.
As I sit here, having just finished up Last Shift for the second time (even tho I swore I wouldn't have ever watched that movie ever again after my friend Jeanette showed it to me last night and it completely scared the living shit out of me!) I'm trying to scrub my memory of that terrifying film with the kind of horror I can handle. Here I decided to put on every light on in my house, and watch one of my favorite movies Final Destination 3. Perviously I just reviewed this ten year old movie that was a huge favorite of mine when I was a senior in high school, and just recently rediscovered my love for after re-watching it on Netflix as well as being able to grab an original poster signed by the entire cast! Here I feel Victor Wong and Glen Morgan really missed the boat when Morgan went on to direct less than a year later Black Christmas. Now, I'll admit, as much as a complete and utter shit show the remake of Black Christmas is, it's still a huge guilty pleasure of mine to watch around the holidays. I felt after these fellas made one of the strongest sequels in the entire series they really could have remade any movie. As fun as Black Christmas is, I felt trying to tackle such a terrifying movie such as the Bob Clark's classic was truly the wrong route. I feel they should have done something a tad bit lighter.
This being Popcorn.
I love Popcorn, this movie is one of the main examples on why I fight saying that early 90's horror (long before Scream) wasn't terrible at all. Many people mix up believing this was an 80's movie, which I could totally see, but this was a true blue 90's horror movie with the perfect mixture of black comedy, scares, and one HELL of a killer twist. This is a film that I've loved for years (and have to yet again thank my friend Jeanette for showing it to me after all these years back when we were at school) This was a VHS cover I constantly remembered as a kid as well as it's classic tagline "Buy a bag, go home in a box."
This movie quickly became a huge favorite of mine not only for it's impressive cast (Jill Schoelen is hands down one of my favorite final girls.) and the very awesome setting of being in an old school movie theater. The movies within the movie is what really sold it for me showcasing some really killer effects, as well as a whole Phantom Of The Opera feel as the teenagers working there are picked off one by one. With memorable scenes (Such as the killer hiding behind a victim's body in the shadows and working her like a puppet so her friends think she's still alive, or the bug sucking the man's brain dry, or Bruce Glover being...well Bruce Glover...) this is a film that makes you laugh and see as a total camp classic. It isn't over the top gory, but the lack of blood is made up with creative kills. We get one HELL of a backstory involving the killer and lead girl, something that believe it or not for such a fun light hearted movie actually is taken in a very serious light and still gives me chills to this day.
Popcorn will be released on blu-ray soon and I honestly gotta say I can't wait. This is a favorite of mine to watch at screenings, and I still rock my Popcorn shirt and hoodie. It's a fun movie that's so overshadowed by the fact it was released in the early 90's. I still can't honestly hear Saturday Night at the movies without thinking of this movie and smiling. In fact I have walked in the Boston AIDS walk several times and have proudly showcased my Popcorn hoodie and pin as a tribute to the late Tom Villard. A true talent taken much too soon.
So I don't want people to go "Argh Stacy, a remake really?" Trust me, if somebody posted something like this about Waxwork I would do a hard core eye roll, but honestly I could even see that movie working as well. I'm not 100% against remakes, and I always give them a chance. Sometimes they are a fun separate movie, other times (which is very rare) they are actually better than the original, orI see them as a fun separate movie. Sadly more than often they are just lazy quick ways to make a buck and lack all the heart the original had. I would never like to see Popcorn remade but I feel if it had to be remade it should have been remade in 2007. So that being said, they have missed the boat with this remake so...it basically should never happen. But if it did, here's what I would have done...
SPOILERS AHEAD OF POPCORN!!!
1) Get either Victor Wong or Glen Morgan to direct.
- I really do like the movies these guys directed, wrote, and produced. Glen was responsible for the killer Others TV series (which in my eyes got canceled way before it's time.) as well as some of the best X-Files episodes, and Willard. Victor clearly has some killer credits behind him and was responsible for FD3 which I've all ready stated was the strongest entry in the series. Basically you are about to see a theme here where I felt instead of Black Christmas being remade by these fellas it should have been Popcorn. I feel either man could have truly done a killer job remaking this classic.
2) Cast Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Maggie/Sarah.
- After Jill, Mary is hands down my favorite final girl. FD3 was her breakout role, and afterwards she followed with one good movie after the next. (Death Proof, The Thing, Black Christmas, 10 Cloverfield Lane, ect.) I feel for a dark haired beauty Mary in 2007 would have played the perfect Maggie/Sarah. The sweet pretty film student that has began having strange mysterious dreams that she believes is liked to the lost film her class has discovered before the movie marathon. Mary not only is pretty, but plays a strong kick ass final girl and in my eyes is sorta the modern day Jill. I mean couldn't you have seen her play in The Stepfather back in 1987?!
3) Cast Ryan Merriman as Mark.
- Was never really a huge fan of this guy who come on, with sticking with the 2007 FD3 thing, I feel he would have done a great job playing the goofy but lovable Mark. Maggie's on/off again boyfriend who is constantly getting hurt. I honestly just want to see him get punched in slow motion with the two boxes of popcorn flying everywhere.
4) Cast Kris Lemche as Toby
- (Great photo huh?) Listen, I was going for the whole lurking in the shadows thing. Kris is actually a really great actor. It still blows my mind he was nearly 30 when he did FD3. I've been a fan of his since Ginger Snaps, but I've always thought this guy was always able to steal a scene. Just recently I've seen him popping up in more stuff, but I think back in 2007 following FD3 this would have been perfect. Playing Toby, the classic and heartbreaking villain. First off, he plays great opposite Mary (It's blown my mind they haven't acted together again.) Second, he's got the look perfect for Toby the soft spoken, slightly older film student. With the film's big reveal, I think Kris would really have been able to sell the whole backstory on why Toby is killing everyone. Not only is this reveal unsettling, but heartbreaking as well. I could see him telling Mary about the magic fire that killed his mother, and left him nearly 98% burned all over his body. What makes a great villain is a great actor who can give a great performance and I feel Kris would have been perfect back then.
5) Have Jill Schoelen as Suzanne.
- What better way to pay tribute to the original by having the original star play the step-mother. I ADORED Dee Wallace Stone's performance as Suzanne. Yet again this film's great writing is what makes it stands apart from other cheesy horror movies. Suzanne was part of the whole film cult scene but finally had enough when she learned her niece was being fed acid and was going to be seriously hurt along with her sister on stage in front of everywhere. Here in true kick ass fashion she stands up, shoots her brother in-law and saves her niece only to start a new life with her, trying her hardest to make her forget. Jill is always a treat to watch on screen and I feel really would be able to capture the moment of being a complete bad ass when she goes to the theater at night to confront the killer.
6) Have separate directors make the movies within the movies.
- Yes I'm stealing this idea from Grindhouse but man oh man what a treat these fake trailers were. One HUGE part of Popcorn that I adored was the fake movies that played. I think if they had gotten different popular horror directors to direct these short clips of these fake cheesy B movies it would have been so much fun. Get either Rob Zombie, Eli Roth, newcomer Adam Green maybe, or Edger Wright to direct these movies and put a fun cool little twist within this film.
7) PACK it full of horror cameos
- What would be more fun that having all these little cameos not only in the actual movie but the films within the film. I think using classic and memorable faces that true hard core horror fans all knew and love would enjoy seeing. No limits to who it could be. Also how much fun would it be to try and spot who's in the audience watching these movies?
8) Keep the cinematrgraphy with lots of greens and shadows.
- One huge reason why I loved FD3 was the use of the colors red and blue. It wasn't settle, but not overbearing. Just enough that if I had a film class and we had to do something about color scheme I would pick this film for it's use of those two colors. I feel had Victor or Glen directed this movie it would have been great to see the old school theater as well as keep the gothic look with lots of greens and dark colors. The more shadows the better! I love feeling like I'm watching living breathing art whenever I watch a movie! Even a horror movie!
9) Keep practical effects!!!
- I loved the eye catching practical effects shown in the original film. Some of the best were Toby's burn makeup. This was beyond realistic, as well as when he showcases how he's able to blend in with everyday people and how he has a talent for switching faces so quickly. Basically a mold maker's dream come true. I know it would have been hard for 2006/2007 but I feel they really could have pulled it off, mostly with the face switching.
10) Cast Crispin Glover to play the role his father played.
- Oh Crispin. Sweet, sweet Crispin. His father Bruce had a brief role in the movie within the movie which was the second black and white 50's film about a man sent to death who returns with the power of electricity blasting from his limbs. This was a comical but really cool little part of the movie and I think it would have been a complete riot to see Crispin take over his father's role all these years later.
So in final thoughts should Popcorn get remade? Now? No way. But had Glen and Victor been onboard with that cast in 2006/2007...ya never know. Hum, give me time, I'll make a post and see if this crew could have done Waxwork. Ya never know!