Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.
You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.
Hollywood has a fascination with putting professional wrestlers in movies. From the glory days of all the movies featuring Hulk Hogan to small parts like Jesse Ventura having a role in Predator this is something that will keep happening throughout film. It makes sense. They wrestlers sort of know how to act and they already have a dedicated fan base that will go see the movie. There is one movie that always comes to mind for me when I think about wrestlers in movies though, and that movie is They Live, and it is due for a remake.
They Live is a classic sci-fi/horror movie from 1988. Even if you have not seen it I would bet that you have heard a line from it. They Live is where the quote “I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.” comes from. That quote was ad-libbed by Roddy Piper, who was one of the greatest pro wrestlers of the era that wrestled in a kilt.
So Roddy Piper (his character is never given a name) is a drifter type who ends up working construction in this city. Eventually he stumbles on to this resistance group that reveals the rich and powerful people in the world are using subliminal messages and other shady techniques to keep the poor people down. Oh, and they are also aliens because it was 1988 and why not. With the use of some special sunglasses Roddy Piper can see the subliminal messages in the advertisements throughout the city and on TV and he can also see the rich people as skeleton-faced aliens. The rest of the movie is Roddy Piper trying to shut down the aliens and take back the world.
Why is They Live perfect for a remake? With all the talk about classes and the 1% vs. the 99% that has been going on lately this movie seems perfect to lay down some social commentary and poke fun at our political system. Much in the way that Starship Troopers was all about propaganda and war They Live could be about campaigning and class warfare. Hell, one of the candidates wanted to put a base on the moon, is that really so far off from one of the candidates strait up being an alien? In addition to the great social timing the key factor in seeing through the “real world” was the special sunglasses. Google just demoed their special augmented reality glasses that have a heads up display, just throw a pair of those in to the movie that have been programmed to see through the science blah blah hologram technology brain waves whatever. Hollywood will explain the fake science, not me.
Now that you are completely convinced this remake needs to happen you must be wondering who would direct such a fine piece of cinema. No need to worry, I have you covered. Neveldine/Taylor, the team behind the Crank series and (more importantly) Gamer would knock this one out of the park. Their combination of pure action with dark humor and ridiculous style would be a perfect fit for a They Live remake. There would be awesome chase/fight scenes mixed with just enough satire and humor with a mix of visual jokes that lighten the mood just enough for you to forget you are not part of the rich group.
The only thing left is to figure out who should star in this remake. You need an action hero, and you better make him easy on the eyes so girls will still see the movie. My first choice is Chris Hemsworth. Hemsworth is blowing up right now thanks to his role as Thor (the best superhero ever) in all the marvel movies and he was spot on in Cabin In The Woods. I can see him saying the bubblegum line before going on a shooting spree and it would be great to get him out of his shell and see him act a little crazy. Also, ask any female and they will tell you he is quite fetching (or they would if anyone still used that adjective).
Making a movie that is direct social commentary on current events is tough to do well. If you fail to get the tone just right you could be left with something that only airs on Comedy Central on Saturday afternoons. If executed well though you could have another Starship Troopers on your hands. They Live has the potential to be a very timely and entertaining remake that could do very well at the box office. What do you think? Sound off in the comment section below and let me know if They Live is ready for 2012.
Justin Proper is not stalking Chris Hemsworth, he swears. Follow his totally legal antics on Twitter.