Very few remakes of movies coming out these days are worth the effort and expense of investing an afternoon or evening. I am an avid movie aficionado and I love watching movies. I have an enormous DVD collection; it is separated by genre, action, horror, drama, comedy and holiday. Every week when I accompany my wife shopping, I purchase anywhere from one to three new DVD’s, I think she feels it’s her penance for dragging me out to the stores (most the time, I really don’t mind going, but don’t tell her). My DVD collection is well into the thousands.
The reason I am spouting off now; one of my all time childhood favorites, The Munster’s, will soon be hitting the silver screen as yet another remake re-titled, Mockingbird Lane (http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/11/16/munsters-pilot/). Seriously, could anyone play Herman Munster better than Fred Gwynne or Grandpa better than Al Lewis, the answer, NO! There is, and always will be only one Herman and one Grandpa Munster. It may be possible to recreate (notice I did not say replace) Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick), Lily Munster (Yvonne De Carlo), and Marilyn Munster (Patricia Ann Priest), however Herman and Grandpa are irreplaceable; it just can’t be done!
Recreating the chemistry between goofy Herman and wacky Grandpa is like trying to create life from a pile of ash. Most of what went on between Herman and Grandpa was ingrained as a result of years of working together prior to The Munster’s series. Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis worked together on the highly successful Car 54 – Where Are You series for three years prior to The Munster’s. Now Hollywood wants to cast a couple of actors, Jerry O’Connell (6’ 2’’) to play Herman Munster (6’ 5”), whose biggest claim to fame is Stand By Me (1986) and he hasn’t done much worth bragging about since. Final contract negotiations are underway for British, that’s right, I said British, as in Ducky, Loo, and all that Hoity Toity, British standup comedian, actor and writer Eddie “Izzy” Izzard, to play the cigar chomping Transylvanian descendant of Dracula – Grandpa Munster. Oh, and by the way, “Izzy”, as he prefers to be called, will only play the role of the keen witted sharp-tongued Grandpa Munster if the network allows Izzy to be a producer on the show (such gratitude and teamwork!).
Well, here’s to another non-genuine idea taking yet another iconic masterpiece and flushing wonderful memories down the dumper, my apologies, the “loo”! Remember the days when people would think for themselves? When you could be nurtured by fresh ideas and creative inspiration, a time when stealing another’s work and renaming it was a crime! Hey, I have an idea, come up with an original idea! Something that has not been done before, actually put some effort and work into your project, and if you must use other’s ideas (as all ideas are a product of ideas you have learned before), put a new and unique spin on them and set them apart so your work stands on its own, and differentiates itself from past ideas. After all, I admire H.G. Wells, and I could rewrite the War of the Worlds, or I could let it inspire me to recreate a completely new War of the Worlds as Stephen King allowed it to inspire him to write his magnum opus, The Dark Tower series.
In a nutshell, it’s time Hollywood stops trashing history and condemning successful movies and programs from ages past, by ill-fated attempts of remakes, and it would be a breath of fresh cinematic air, if Hollywood would take the billions of dollars spent on failed remakes and invest in “creative” projects. The more I access reality television, daytime television, the quality of movies that are being churned out, and the content of most (I did say most) of what is being produced, I am convinced media moguls and Hollywood producers are all in cohorts in creating, perpetuating, and promoting idiocracy. Leaving me to believe, with the current trend, the more I view television the more my brain cells will deplete.
At least with the original Herman and Grandpa Munster, I was taught valuable lessons in accepting people who are different than you (Herman was Dr. Frankenstein’s creation and Grandpa was a descendant of Dracula, and let’s not forget Eddie who was a werewolf and Marilyn who was a normal human). In the original, I was taught, through the many fiascos Herman created and Grandpa bailed him out of, no matter what, family sticks together. And no matter how odd we may appear to others, we should always be accepted as perfect in our own eyes and in the eyes of our family (well, in Marilyn’s case, perhaps she was a bit of an outsider, but the love was always there!).
This is my plea; Hollywood please get creative and go back to the days of originality!
Good Reads and Good Movie Viewing My Friends!