It’s official – I’m upset.
First, this week in remakes brought the initial casting notes on the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 classic Straw Dogs, which will see James “Cyclops” Marsden take over the Dustin Hoffman role. Also notable is that in the remake, helmed by Rod Lurie, the part of the English Countryside will be played by the Deep South. Peckinpah’s brilliant and disturbing thriller about a young couple attempting to defend themselves against a night of increasingly brutal home invasion hardly needs to be remade at this point, for two reasons.
First off, it’s simply an incredible film, vying with The Wild Bunch for the storied directors finest work, featuring such unflinching violence that it remained banned in some parts of England until just a few years ago.
And second, pretty much every film in the latest wave of home invasion thrillers, from suckscapade that was The Strangers, to the critically heralded Them, to Michael Haneke’s unnecessary but assuredly lucrative Hollywood remake of his own Funny Games, is more or less a pale remake Peckinpahs classic, owing their very premise, and often the strongest parts of their execution, to Straw Dogs.
But apparently, that’s not enough. This week also brought news from Variety that a remake of Alan Parker’s 1987 noir-horror cult classic Angel Heart is apparently in the works. An occult detective story featuring absolutely sinister cinematography, nerve wracking pacing and the freakiest sex scene of all time, between Lisa Bonet, Mickey Rourke and several gallons of blood, Angel Heart didn’t catch at the box office but has become a deserving cult classic in it’s second life on home video.
If you haven’t checked out either Straw Dogs or Angel Heart, and too many people haven’t, nows the time to take advantage of the one good thing either of these remakes promise to bring – a little more attention to the deserving originals gathering dust on movie store shelves.