It seems like every horror movie is being remade these days, from classics such as Carrie to the low budget sleazo stuff like Mother's Day and I Spit On Your Grave.
I've been hoping for original horror movies, and remain optimistic that Cabin in the Woods will help spark an original horror movie trend, but apparently there's still quite a few remakes in the pipeline.
One is the remake of Maniac, which made my jaw hit the ground for several reasons. First, it's one of the sleaziest horror films ever made, to the point where even hardcore gore fans were offended. When Maniac was released, at least one reviewer today was totally sleazed out by it, not understanding the whole point is this is one sleazy, down and dirty gore film.
Now for the second jawdropper: Elijah Wood was picked to play the lead. Knowing the original pretty well, this seemed absolutely absurd to me. Joe Spinell, a well known character actor, played the lead in the original, and in it he's a grubby, sweaty, disgusting slob.
This is not Elijah Wood, who's a really cute looking kid who truly could have come from Middle Earth. But again, actors always want to stretch and branch out, and this is really a stretch believing somebody that innocent looking could be a demented serial killer.
So Maniac is shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and what are the reviews so far? Well, apparently not too bad according to the Hollywood Reporter. This is apparently a more "arty pretensio" Maniac, which is clearly a long way from the low budget original. The director, Franck Khalfoun "presents a slasher film with a twist by shooting the entire movie from the killer's point of view." And this being the new millennium, he's doing high tech stalking these days instead of roaming the streets trolling for hookers.
So apparently this new Maniac raised things up a bit from the original, but there's certainly going to be horror fans that will be offended by this. The original wasn't supposed to be arty-farty, but rather, make you want to take a good, long shower once it was done. Granted, remaking Maniac may not be as blasphemous as rebooting The Exorcist or Halloween. For many horror fans, it may indeed be a disgusting, offensive hunk of sleaze, but that's exactly what fans of Maniac love about it.
A friend of mine runs Grindhouse Releasing, who brought the original Evil Dead, Cannibal Holocaust, and the original Maniac back to theaters. He sent me a hilarious review of Maniac from a newer horror fan who thought it was complete junk and didn't get where it was coming from at all. As I told my friend at Grindhouse, considering how much Maniac has offended people since it was released in 1980, the worse the reviews, the better. Does the same hold true for the remake?