Okay, Hollywood. We've already established that this is the Summer of '84 all over again. It began this spring, actually, when Freddy poked his burn-scarred face back into theaters for a hot second in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but in the past month, The Karate Kid has officially launched Jaden Smith into the pantheon of child stars, and The A-Team, well, was in theaters.
That's just the beginning; there are a whole slew of '84 remakes in the works. The official cast of the Footloose remake, which is slated for 2011, was announced yesterday. Police Academy is coming back, insofar as its producer Paul Maslansky and New Line want it to come back, although there isn't much more to report than that. Director Pierre Morel (From Paris With Love, Taken) will be directing a remake of Dune, and he's told reporters that his screenplay with Chase Palmer will be "a very true approach to the book, the original material." However, it does look like the only actual 1984 movie to make it to 2010 will be Red Dawn, which we've already established is really pissing off China.
So, Hollywood, consider this a cry of "UNCLE!" If you really must insist on remaking everything from the year 1984, let's start with these five. Add your own in the comments!
Aw, Hanks! He's so respectable and grown-up now! Remember when he was one of the cross-dressing Bosom Buddies? What about his raunchy Bachelor Party days, when he was a Catholic school bus driver named Rick whose miscreant friends threw him a celebration with nary a tiger or Zach Galifianakis in sight? As one character shouts, "Let's have a bachelor party with chicks and guns and fire trucks and hookers and drugs and booze!" It's also worth noting that bride-to-be Debbie is played by heavy metal video babe Tawny Kitaen, who was most recently seen on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Things get hairy when Debbie's ex has the prostitutes meant for the guys' party sent to Debbie's parents' house instead, but the movie retains its raunch as it segues into a battle of the sexes while Debbie and friends get revenge on Rick and his crew. Dominatrices armed with sex toys and whips, stag films with the good parts cut out, male go-go dancers in banana hammocks, a wild new wave dance party, a donkey, a case of mistaken identities, and so much more makes Bachelor Party an '80s comic classic (insofar as such a thing can be called a classic). With The Hangover 2 in pre-production, can we hope that screenwriter Scot Armstrong has taken a peek at this Party for inspiration?
Micki + Maude
Micki + Maude was one of my favorite movies growing up. Don't ask me to explain it. The idea behind Micki + Maude is pretty obnoxious, actually. Rob Salinger (Dudley Moore) is sad and frustrated that his wife Micki (Ann Reinking) keeps putting off having kids with him because her career is taking off. While he's shooting a TV segment for the local news, he falls for Maude, a sensitive and funny cellist (Amy Irving). He's in love with them both, and unfortunately, he impregnates them both. Naturally, he pretends to marry Maude even though he's already married. Director Blake Edwards, who directed Breakfast at Tiffany's and wrote many fine comedies like Victor/Victoria, A Shot in the Dark, and several Pink Panther movies, manages to bring a sensitivity and humor to what could have been a tawdry romp. Plus, the supporting cast -- Wallace Shawn as an OB/GYN, H.B. Haggerty as Maude's dad, Richard Mulligan as Rob's best friend, and a cameo by Andre the Giant -- rules.
What's more topical that a guy caught between two women he loves? Or a woman like Micki who has to make a life-changing decision that seems to go against all her previous instincts as a career woman? Let's get Kristen Wiig to play Maude, Steve Carell to be Rob, Elizabeth Banks as Micki, with Tina Fey taking a crack at the script and Drew Barrymore helming. Who's with me?
Michael Crichton's novels and movies are fluffy sci-fi for the masses, easy to turn into blockbuster movies and even the occasional roller coaster. But while his stories were often built on shaky or downright faulty science, they're downright prescient and address topics we still tackle today, like genetic engineering, rapidly mutating diseases, and the upcoming robot uprising. In Runaway, Tom Selleck plays a police officer whose job is to find and stop runaway robots. Unfortunately, an extremely evil genius played by Gene Simmons (Gene Simmons, people!) has created extremely evil robots to use as weapons, and eventually even heat-seeking smart bullets. If Killers taught us anything, it's that Tom Selleck's moustache hasn't lost an iota of its original potency. Gene Simmons is still creepy enough to have his own reality TV show. Keep the stars and upgrade the technology – deadly iPhones, murderous Roombas! – and you've got yourself a 21st century parable. Watch the clip of Gene Simmons being eeeevil below.
Brian De Palma's thriller stars Melanie Griffith as a smokin' hot porn star named Holly Body in this sexy and super-violent film set in LA. De Palma's film about an actor who peeps at a naughty neighbor while he's housesitting quickly turns into a story that's as twisty turny as Mulholland Drive. Body Double is a kind of silly '80s flick that's loaded with Hitchcock references, softcore boobs, and enough gore to make this Patrick Bateman's favorite film. Also, Frankie Goes to Hollywood performs within the context of a porn movie in the movie itself, so it's got that going for it. Although this is obviously not one of De Palma's best films, it's got enough cred that a young actress looking to seen as more serious or scandalous than before might want to take a crack at Holly Body. (Megan Fox, perhaps?)
New York City in the '80s was a messy place, indeed. The streets weren't safe, the subways were definitely scary, and the sewers were full of Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers hungry for your flesh. In C.H.U.D., toxic waste has turned some of the homeless people living underground into mutated cannibals who eat the other so-called "undergrounders." Once the C.H.U.Ds' main source of food dwindles, they head up to the streets to snack on the above ground citizens of NYC. And naturally, the government is somehow involved in this toxic mess.
As the New York Times noted in its review of C.H.U.D., "In this summer when discarded alligators have been discovered maturing in local waterways, is it stretching urban paranoia too far to contemplate the existence of other strange creatures in our midst? Not for makers of horror films." Over 20 years later, the reality of Beyond Petroleum's toxic sludge and its far-reaching impact is way more terrifying than what director Douglas Cheek put on film in 1984. How about Cannibalistic Humanoid BP Execs? It's not that catchy, but it's apt.