25. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again (2016, Kenny Ortega)
Full disclosure – The original Rocky Horror is one of my favourite films. That, however, has no bearing on how much I hate this anaemic, sexless, sanitised and wretched remake.
Let’s get the good out of the way first. It’s lovely to see Tim Curry back on screen after his stroke a few years back, although the part of the narrator has been understandably cut down to just a few lines.
And the other good thing – Adam Lambert. I think this guy is from X-Factor or something, which would normally set alarm bells ringing. However, his brief moment singing Hot Patootie is literally the only time the film comes even close to replicating the manic energy inherent in every frame of the original.
The cast is just all wrong. Where Barry Bostwick brought a wonderful all-American confidence to Brad, Ryan McCartan simply some across as a stuttering nerd. Laverne Cox as Frank-n-Furter decides to distinguish her performance from Curry’s by stripping all the attitude and camp menace from it. Reeve Carney plays it safe by simply doing a by-the-numbers Richard O’Brien cosplay. Victoria Justice as Janet looks good in her underwear.
But the main problem with this film is it’s songs.
And for a musical, that’s one hell of an issue.
The songs themselves are, of course, wonderful. But the bloodless productions sap all the life out of them. Meanwhile, everyone seems to be singing the songs, but not acting them. In a musical, the songs are how the characters express themselves. Here, the prevailing motto seems to be ‘why sing one note when you can sing eight?’ Every song is bludgeoned to death with show-offy vocal acrobatics at the expense of the actual performance.
‘Head’ becomes ‘He-ee-yeah-ee-yeah-ee-ed’. It’s the modern way I guess. Personally, I prefer emotion over technical ability.
I don’t really know who this is for. Fans of the original will surely hate it for the liberties it takes. Young folk will be left scratching their heads and wondering who the fuck Charles Atlas and Michael Rennie are.
Maybe if we all just ignore it, it’ll go away.
26. Deadly Eyes (1982, Robert Clouse)
Deadly Eyes is the movie adaptation of James Herbert’s The Rats. Transplanting the action to Toronto, uh, sorry, I mean “New York“, it’s a solid little b-movie time-waster.
The good news – Scatman Crothers is in it!
The bad news – he gets eaten by rats in the first twenty minutes!
The rats themselves are at their best when kept in the shadows, played as they are by small dogs in rat costumes.
Here’s some more things I enjoyed.
The hero’s terribly unflattering brown leather jacket.
The fact that the climax takes place during a screening of Bruce Lee’s Game of Death.
And this pose, which is supposed to be seductive but looks like something out of The Exorcist.
You’ve seen better, you’ve seen worse, but sometimes you just want to see an evil mayor eaten by rats, and on that score, this film delivers.
I ALSO WATCHED…
27. Blood Rage (1987, John Grissmer)
I had high hopes for Blood Rage. I had heard that it was a craptacular bit of nonsense to rival JP Simon’s legendary Pieces, and for about 20 minutes it is just that.
Unlike Pieces though, which sustains it’s absurd invention throughout, Blood Rage just gets real boring real fast.
Despite being one of the goriest slasher movies of the 80s, much of the movie is spent focussing on Louise Lasser as the mother of the killer.
Never have I wanted so badly for a character to die.
She spends the whole film dressed like a 3 year old, her grating voice like nails down a blackboard, weeping a tortured monologue down the phone.
One to avoid.