The Dim-Post

July 30, 2010

Come on, Cohaagen, you got what you want! Give these people air!

Filed under: movies — danylmc @ 11:05 am

According to the AV Club Hollywood plans to remake Total Recall. I loved this movie when I was ~16: It had a mind-blowing sci-fi plot, appalling violence, humor, a chick with three breasts and a cat-fight between Sharon Stone and some other babe. It just didn’t get any better – but I haven’t watched it since I was a kid on the grounds that it might not have dated well. But the YouTube clips still look pretty great:

In other film related news I/S linked to this story announcing a plan to make a film adaptation of the H P Lovecraft novella At the Mountains of Madness. This is a really great story but most of it involves the heroes walking around an abandoned city reading hieroglyphs that explain Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythology and the city’s back story to the reader. There’s really no way to film it that won’t involve removing all these elements and replacing them with scary monsters that the characters run away from, which will make it just like every other horror movie around. If you’re going to adapt a Lovecraft story I’d go for Shadow over Innsmouth, which is already structured like a modern thriller film and handles most of the exposition through dialog and plot development. A Call of Chthlhu film could also be pretty great.

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29 Comments »

  1. You forgot to mention the sequel to the Titanic…

    Comment by Berend de Boer — July 30, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  2. Total Recall is still a great movie – Verhoeven’s best work. The plot is mind-bending but actually holds together. A remake would be a terrible idea.

    Comment by gazzaj — July 30, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  3. The Colour out of Space would be incredible as a movie, provided it retained the gloomy ending.

    Comment by JD — July 30, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  4. Did Chris Carter visit the Mountains of Madness on his trip to Tibet?

    Comment by Joe W — July 30, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  5. It’s a great story but showing viewers a color they’ve never seen before could be a challenge.

    Comment by danylmc — July 30, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  6. It’s a great story but showing viewers a color they’ve never seen before could be a challenge.

    Ditto horrifying geometry.

    Comment by gazzaj — July 30, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  7. There’s already been two (pretty miserable) versions of “The Dunwich Horror” put on screen …

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065669/

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226752/

    I’ve seen the former, but couldn’t really recommend it.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 30, 2010 @ 11:23 am

  8. “Horrifying geometry” would be possible if you made the film in 3D, and deliberately screwed with the perspective. That’s if the theatres don’t mind half the patrons vomiting at every showing.

    Comment by James Butler — July 30, 2010 @ 11:25 am

  9. “A Call of Chthlhu film could also be pretty great.”

    What do you know! It’s already been done (apparently)!

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478988/

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 30, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  10. The best thing about Total Recall is watching the DVD with commentary from Verhoeven and Arnie. Arnie has nothing to say, mostly just going “ouch, dat would haf hurt!” during the fight scenes, and Verhoeven is a little too proud of how they kept it ambiguous as to whether or not is all happening (“you see, at the end it fades to white, not to black — is it the end of the film, or is it Arnie being lobotomised back at Rekall?”) but the combo of Dutch and Austrian accents makes it a joy to listen to.

    Comment by Josh — July 30, 2010 @ 11:37 am

  11. The script for At the Mountains of Madness is okay. I can send you it if you want. There is lots of walking around abandoned cities, but also lots of dicking around with time, confrontations with giant albino penguins, and a treatment of shoggoths that’s a cross between the Thing and utter insanity.

    Dagon by Stuart Gordon (Reanimator) is pretty much The Shadow over Innsmouth. It’s pretty good.

    The Call of Cthulu short film is freaking fantastic. Shot in 1920s silent movie, German expressionism style, it really captures the horrific global pattern that Lovecraft was aiming for.

    Comment by Steve Hickey — July 30, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  12. Both versions of The Dunwich Horror are execrable, but I agree there’s potential in other stories — Shadow over Innsmouth and CoC itself; and some of the third-person post-narrated stories: Pickman’s Model, The statement of Randolph Carter, Facts concerning the late Arthur Jermyn and his family, etc. These provide greater scope for interpretation.

    Most crucial thing is to get the scripts and rights out of the hands of Lovecraft fanbois and into the hands of competent writers filmmakers and film artists who get him but nevertheless know how to make a decent film. Otherwise it’ll just end up like the others — and Atlas Shrugged inevitably must.

    All that having been said, I think the most likely contenders are those which can be done up as genre beast-horror, like The Hound. Sigh.

    L

    Comment by Lew — July 30, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  13. “If you’re going to adapt a Lovecraft story I’d go for Escape from Innsmouth, which is already structured like a modern thriller film and handles most of the exposition through dialog and plot development.”

    Alternatively, you could adapt Lovecraft’s actual story, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. “Escape from Innsmouth” is a role playing adventure knock-off by Chaosium …

    And The Shadow Over Innsmouth” has been (sort of) made as “Dagon” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagon_(film)

    OK – no more geek commentary … back to (real) work.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 30, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  14. Lew, do you list Guillermo del Toro as a Lovecraft fanboi or a mad-skills filmmaker? (He’s producing Mountains of Madness and might direct it.)

    Comment by Ataahua — July 30, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  15. Schwarzenegger’s iconic role to be reprised by none other than our own Chris Carter!

    Fleeing shadowy attackers, our hero seeks refuge in a place he knows like the back of his hand… a travel agency.

    Is he at the heart of a vast political conspiracy… or is he unbalanced?

    Comment by SHG — July 30, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  16. Ataahua, unsure of the first, but certainly he’s the second. That’s good news. Must be pretty serious to give up The Hobbit.

    L

    Comment by Lew — July 30, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

  17. Must be pretty serious to give up The Hobbit

    Alternative Hypothesis:
    GdT has discovered what we Kiwi’s are still in denial about; that Peter Jackson is actually rubbish at making films… see his ‘wildcard’ picks for the finalists in the V 48-hours competition and weep.

    *runs for cover*

    Comment by Phil — July 30, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

  18. “see you at the party Ritcher…..”

    Comment by max — July 30, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  19. Must be pretty serious to give up The Hobbit.

    …about which I am still annoyed. Now excuse me while I hunt down Phil with a mini flamethrower.

    Comment by Ataahua — July 30, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  20. If you’re going to adapt a Lovecraft story I’d go for Shadow over Innsmouth, which is already structured like a modern thriller film and handles most of the exposition through dialog and plot development.

    Been done, twice – once as Dagon, and once as Cthulhu.

    And I highly recommend the HPLHS silent adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu. I’m now waiting for their “talkie” version of The Whisperer in Darkness.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — July 30, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  21. Hmmm. If Steve is recommending Dagon, maybe I should watch it after all.

    The Colour Out Of Space would also work.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — July 30, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  22. see his ‘wildcard’ picks for the finalists in the V 48-hours competition and weep.

    By definition, aren’t the wildcard picks picks from among those films that weren’t good enough to make it? Wildcard picks pretty much have to be the worst of the films that make it through, because if they were to make it through on merit, they wouldn’t need to be wildcards.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 30, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  23. By definition, aren’t the wildcard picks picks from among those films that weren’t good enough to make it? Wildcard picks pretty much have to be the worst of the films that make it through, because if they were to make it through on merit, they wouldn’t need to be wildcards.

    You have seriously failed to understand the 48Hour film judging process.

    Comment by danylmc — July 30, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  24. Yep, I/S, Dagon’s definitely worth a look. At first glance it appears to be a stupid run-around-the-town-getting-freaked-out-by-the-locals movie, but it delivers a few nasty little kicks in the gut towards the end.

    Over the weekend, I watched The Haunted Palace, the Vincent Price version of ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’. Actually pretty good for a 1950s version of the story that completely eliminates the trippier elements of the story. Also: Vincent Price is freaking awesome.

    Comment by Steve Hickey — July 30, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

  25. Verhoeven’s best work. The plot is mind-bending but actually holds together. A remake would be a terrible idea.

    Comment by gazzaj

    Verhoeven’s best work is Robocop. A stunning film, considering the lack of budget, the lack of top names in the leading roles – it’s one of the few films where I can look at the state of the society and draw real parallels to what we can see in the world today.

    The plot is mind-bending because it’s from a Philip K. Dick short story – We Will Remember It For You Wholesale. Total Recall fell victim to a studio inclusion of Arnie to justify the high budget – still looks fairly slick today – but it turned what could have been a Robocop or Blade Runner type interpretation of the story into a Hollywood action flick.

    There’s quite a few films that could have been real classics ruined by the casting of Arnie.

    Comment by dontsurf — July 30, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  26. Danyl:It’s a great story but showing viewers a color they’ve never seen before could be a challenge.

    A super-sophisticated retinal projector that could target laser beams to individual photoreceptors could probably do that.

    Am I the only one who thinks that the Stephen King segment from 1982’s Creepshow was inspired by The Colour out of Space?

    Comment by chiz — July 30, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  27. …but I haven’t watched it since I was a kid on the grounds that it might not have dated well.

    Watched it with my kids earlier this year. It hasn’t dated that well really, but for the kids it was the no-cgi special effects that stood out – even to me they’re now laughable at a 1970s-Dr-Who or Blakes-7 level. My money’s on a remake with nothing to contribute beyond a shitload of pointless and ridiculously overblown CGI. The kids will love it.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — July 30, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  28. My money’s on a remake with nothing to contribute beyond a shitload of pointless and ridiculously overblown CGI. The kids will love it.

    Comment by Psycho Milt

    In effect, that’s what the original contributed in its day.

    I’m quite keen to see it again, now. Those boobs were clearly fake, though. If they remake it, then special attention should be paid to the third boob.

    Comment by dontsurf — July 30, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  29. If I am ever rich enough to have a decent sized boatI’m going to call it The H P Lovecraft, its a gauranteed way of getting mad props from every nerd on the high seas.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — July 31, 2010 @ 12:31 pm


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