Friday, August 7, 2009

Trailer Trash: "The Stepfather" remake

Let Penn Badgley do his laundry in peace!!!

One of my favorite eras in American horror movies is the late 80's. The booming home video market offered new distribution models for movies that would otherwise never see the light of day. And the traditional slasher mold had been shattered to bits by A Nightmare on Elm Street a few years before (and had reached the point of diminishing returns on its own around the same time) so horror filmmakers started getting creative and thinking outside the box, trying out new scenarios and taking the bloodshed out of the summer camps and school dances and into less expected situations.

And of course there were all those glorious shoulderpads.

One of my favorite examples of a horror flick that tried something new and pulled it off with aplomb is 1987's teen-angst serial killer thriller The Stepfather. An unexpected and effective mix of classic suspense, shocking violence and kitchen-sink melodrama, the movie starred a then-obscure Terry O'Quinn (now a huge star thanks to Lost) as a serial monogamist who went from town to town marrying different women until one plucky, gravel-voiced Shannen Doherty lookalike (Jill Schoelen) figured out his game.


Terry O'Quinn

The movie actually drew critical praise, especially for O'Quinn (who was a damn hot daddy), and the "phone in Shelley Hack's face" revelation scene is a certified classic. Now some asshat in Hollywood has decided to go and piss on the film's legacy by giving it what will likely be a half-assed and of course completely unneeded remake. (Again, if it ain't broke and was made after, oh, 1975 ... don't fuck with it, fellas.)

The remake stars Dylan Walsh (aka "The other guy from Nip/Tuck") as the titular schizo and Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley as Jill Schoelen. Yes, they've turned our final girl into a final boy, likely because Disturbia made bank at the box office and this remake clearly owes more to that movie than it does the original film that inspires it.

Anyway, here is the trailer for the remake. Aside from "copious shirtless Penn Badgley", can anyone tell me what the point of this might be?


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9 Comments:

Blogger yourpalgigi said...

For the love of all that is holy (or unholy) NO!
As for the point, there really isn't a good one. But Hollywood has this 20 year thing, where nostalgia tends to make them go in 20-year cycles. I bought a book about how to break into Hollywood and it actually suggested rehashing what was popular 20 years before for screenplay ideas. So what was popular in the late 80s will be popular again (like the "Wall Street" sequel).
That's all I can think of to explain, but I doubt I'll go see it,since it's ALREADY BEEN DONE. How will they possibly recreate, much less top, the part where he's covered with blood, then sees the cute little dog come in...
Just add it to the list of all the "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th" remakes.

August 7, 2009 2:54 PM  
Blogger rustyspigot said...

Uh, yeah, this seems completely pointless. And I hated Disturbia with a passion. Now if it was Chuck Bass... no, it would still suck.

August 7, 2009 3:32 PM  
Blogger Vinnie Rattolle said...

Two good things here. First and foremost, because of the remake, the original film is finally getting a DVD release (HOORAY!). Secondly, Walsh (who I was familiar with long before "Nip/Tuck") is a great actor, and perfectly capable of following in the footsteps of O'Quinn. That said, this has to be THE most pointless remake of all time. The original is really only dated by some pop music heard in a scene or two (as well as by the fact that nobody has cellphones or the internet). If they wanna remake and improve a bad movie from the last 30 years, fine, there's plenty to choose from. But remaking one that's not only beloved by horror fans, but which also garnered heavy critical aclaim?! WTF?!

August 8, 2009 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed The Stepfather- this was just as a great as the first. Dylan Walsh did a great job filling the shoes of Terry O'Quinn http://bit.ly/dicg8I

January 27, 2010 8:40 PM  
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