The Next Great Horror Movie Turned TV Show . . . RESULTS!

Oh, blog. How I have neglected you, and how I will probably keep neglecting you for some time–I’m in the middle of a move, which, I’ve got to tell you, guys, is not exactly how I was planning to spend my October, like, it is not helping with my whole 31 Days of Halloween plan AT ALL. I won’t be fully moved in until the end of next week, and in the meantime, I’m struggling to keep up with all sorts of things, My Geek Blasphemy very much included.

But I do have the results of your Halloween poll! It’s a three-way tie, because you people hate me.

Since we don’t believe in ties around here–at least, not when it comes to first place–it is my sacred duty to break said tie and pick a true horror champion, as dictated by the Pop Culture Gods. Thus the horror movie that will (hypothetically) be the great next TV show is . . .

re

Re-Animator

This was a tough call for me. Re-Animator tied with Salem’s Lot and Nightmare on Elm Street, and I could absolutely watch all of those shows as I (awesomely) envisioned them. Of course I’m all about surreal dream sequences and teenagers solving supernatural mysteries, so obviously Nightmare on Elm Street could be a lot of fun. And Salem’s Lot seems like it might have the most natural potential to be a TV show, like, I can really see how that story could easily expand past a one-season premise.

But when push comes to shove, I’m just really excited by the idea of a gender-swapped Re-Animator. I love the idea of a couple of lady mad scientists getting into all kinds of weekly/ongoing zombie-making shenanigans. I know some people think zombies are played out, but I still think they totally work–I’m just a little worn out on, like, The Walking Dead and stuff. Like, I’m less into full scale apocalyptic stories; I’m all about the offbeat right now: iZombie, for instance, is just the best. And I’d be all for a horror-buddy-comedy (created and run by women) on TV that could be weird and gross and star some funny ladies who are up to their ears in reanimated corpses. As for who should play our beloved Dr. Hermione West . . . anyone have any thoughts? Actual Hermione Emma Watson? Is Kate McKinnon a too obvious choice? How about Jessica Williams? Ellen Wong? Ellie Kemper? Gillian Jacobs? Ruth Negga? Jennifer Lawrence? (Assume the budget is sell-your-soul-to-the-devil large.)

As far as the other contenders go . . . Let the Right One In–which actually is going to be a TV show, a fact I hadn’t realized until Teacups commented–slides in at third place; meanwhile, neither Suspiria nor Saw received any votes at all, and thus they both get Total Loser Award. So, for the record, torture porn and witchy ballet academies are out; vampires, killer nightmares, and zombie comedies are totally in!

Thus concludes our annual Halloween poll. Thank you all for playing!

Auteur Horror – Which Remake Do You Want to See?

Happy October, everyone. To celebrate my favorite time of year, I have a new poll for you today, and it concerns both remakes and how much more exciting (and weirder) they could totally be.

Remakes generally get a bad rap, but one of the problems, I think, is that so many of the reboots today are just so utterly generic and uninspired. It’s rare when anyone does anything really new with one — which made me wonder how some of Hollywood’s most unique directors, known specifically for their distinctive voices and styles, would approach remaking a well-known horror movie.

Your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to pick the horror movie remake that you’d most like to see as created by the director specified. You cannot mix and match the directors, sorry, but I have provided links so that you can glance at a few trailers, should you wish, and get an idea/remind yourself of their aesthetic. I’ve also posted links for the original movie trailers. (Though sometimes I had to use fan-made trailers or just straight clips when the official trailers themselves were useless. House of Wax and Suspiria, I’m looking at you, buddies.)

Here are your contenders:

1. David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive) directs House of Wax

Two disclaimers: first, the link to House of Wax contains SPOILERS . . . for a 1953 Vincent Price movie, so I feel like you can handle it. Second: I haven’t actually watched said movie. That’s bad, I know. I do know what happens, and I’ve seen the not-at-all close remake (boy, have I), but we’re going to stick with the original today. Honestly, I suspect that a David Lynch remake would stray pretty far from the source material too.

What would a Lynch remake look like, exactly, though? It’s hard to say. But wax museums are just inherently creepy, and Christ knows Lynch could manage to make them even creepier. No doubt it would be erotic, too. I’m unnerved just thinking about it.

2. Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak) directs Suspiria

Okay, guys, let’s be real here: this would have to be the most gothically gorgeous ballet academy ever run by evil witches. I mean, it would almost be worth actually attending, wouldn’t it? After all, what are a few maggots and dead bodies compared to such beautiful architecture and intensely baroque fashion? (I’m almost positive Jane Austen said something like that once.)

Suspiria in del Toro’s hands? Seriously, just imagine the pure decadence.

3. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums) directs I Know What You Did Last Summer

Not exactly known for directing films anywhere near the horror genre, Wes Anderson did nonetheless surprise me by creating a pretty creepy chase scene in The Grand Budapest Hotel . . . and I’ve wondered what a horror movie by him would look like ever since. A slasher, especially.

What I’m picturing here is something like this: the usual Cast of Characters, quite possibly a narrator, and of course individual objects on display: Helen’s cut off hair, the blackmail letter, the fish hook, etc. Who wouldn’t pay to watch that?

4. Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir DogsInglourious Basterds) directs Saw

Because, when you get right down to it, Saw is really a movie about two guys sitting in a room talking to each other.

Obviously, there’s a lot of horrific violence too — which I think we all know the QT could handle — but if your movie basically centers around one long and super tense conversation, I mean, who better to write and direct it than Quentin Tarantino?

5. Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) directs A Nightmare on Elm Street

I didn’t actually see the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, but I bet all the money in my pocket right now that the nightmares themselves were pretty mundane.

Here, though. Here I have absolutely no doubt that the dream imagery in this remake would be fantastic, lush and surreal and creepy as all hell. Which is probably what you want from a movie that literally has ‘nightmare’ in the title. The visuals in this thing would be stunning.

6. The Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men, Fargo) direct The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Okay, there have been, like, dozens of these remakes, and also sequels, and sequels to the remakes, and prequels to the remakes too . . . but none of them have been done by guys who have actually won multiple Oscars before. And the Coen Brothers don’t seem particularly averse to bloody violence. For that matter, they seem pretty okay with filming stories set in the South, too, and pretending that their movies are based on a real story when they’re totally not.

Honestly, though, I think it could be kind of cool. It’s like Horror for Grown-Ups! At the very least, I assume it would bring horror back to the Oscars.

7. Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) directs The Shining

Okay, I know there are some of you howling, and I get it — but this could be early days Tim Burton, and Johnny Depp doesn’t have to be anywhere near it. (Unless that’s actually a draw. Oh, how it used to be a draw.)

I can see The Overlook being super gothic and weird and hopefully all bent at really strange angles. I can absolutely see how the topiary scene from the novel could work. Burton’s mostly known for the darker, weirder side of family friendly, but seeing more actual horror from him might be kind of interesting. (Alternatively, I’m desperately curious to what the family friendly version of The Shining would look like. Honestly, I almost want to see that more.)

And . . . yep, that’s it. As always, I love to hear your arguments/reasonings, but you never need to justify your choice. Are you only interested in Tim Burton doing The Shining if Johnny Depp plays Jack Torrance? That’s fine, even if that’s not something I, myself, personally want to see. Do you think a Wes Anderson horror movie would be a hilarious disaster that you need to watch before you die? That’s cool too. You can pick for funniest sounding movie or scariest sounding movie. All reasons are valid, unless you’re actively trying to be an asshole.

The poll will be up for one week. Comment to vote, preferably on the blog, but Facebook and Twitter will work fine too. (Or if you know me personally, I suppose you can just tell me — but then everyone’s going to accuse me of cheating, and it’s going to be all your fault.) Please remember, though, that you can only vote for ONE movie. By all means, go ahead and write out your internal struggle, but I do need you to be clear on which one you’re actually voting for by the end, or I can’t count your vote for either.

Make Me Watch a Terrible Movie: The Schadenfreude Poll

Apparently, failure begets failure. I’m looking at my Best Picture Challenge that I’m miserably behind on, and while I totally have time to catch up — I just don’t want to. Considering these are made-up and deeply insignificant challenges that I’ve entirely created for myself — yeah, I think I’m just going to bite the bullet and call it a loss now, rather than stretch it out and be needlessly miserable for the rest of the year.

I’m already looking ahead to next year’s possible challenge (current contenders are Disney Princess Movies vs 80’s Classics I Somehow Missed) but today’s poll is all about punishment. Last time I failed a movie challenge, I had to (sob) watch and review Battlefield Earth. I have never properly recovered from this trauma.

Which movie (or television show) should I traumatize myself with now?

Manos: Hands of Fate
Jaws: The Revenge
The Wicker Man (with Nicolas Cage, obviously)
Showgirls
Troll 2
Spiderman 3
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
Plan 9 From Outer Space
The Room
The first three episodes of Birds of Prey

Please leave your vote in the Comments (or on Facebook/Twitter/whatever — just make sure I can find it.) I’ve linked all the trailers here, if you’d like a more fully informed decision. (I’m sort of hoping that no one has seen all of these movies, or else I’ll have to feel sorry for you.) I was also going to offer to watch the first three episodes of Cop Rock, but the total lack of availability made that impossible. (It’s almost too bad. I’m pretty sure I could have come up with an entertaining review of a 90’s police procedural where everybody sang.)

The poll will be open for one week, and I (the Despairing) will have to watch and review it before the end of the year. Fair warning: alcohol may be involved.

Which Show Would You Actually Want To Revisit?

I recently read that Prison Break is the latest TV show to potentially get the ‘Let’s Revisit This With a Possibly Limited Series’ deal. Other shows with this deal: The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Heroes, and — of course — Coach. Because nothing makes more sense than a revisitation of Coach.

So far, I haven’t been wildly excited about any of these show returns, mostly because the majority of them had pretty decent runs, and if you’re going to bring something back from the dead, why not start with an awesome show that was cancelled ahead of its time? (Also, some of these shows deserve to stay dead. Prison Break was a fun guilty pleasure for a while, but went off the rails pretty fast — SO many resurrections — and don’t even get me started on the giant clusterfuck that was Heroes.)

With that in mind, I’ve decided to come up with a new Monday Morning Blasphemous Poll. On Wednesday.

I’m going to provide some trailers and descriptions of seven shows. None of them lasted longer than three seasons, so you may have missed them. Based on your own experiences (if you have them) and these descriptions, which show would you MOST liked to see come back to television?

1. Carnivale

IMDb’s description: During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

No. of Seasons: Two

Starring Clancy Brown, Nick Stahl, Tim DeKay, Michael J. Anderson, Clea DuVall, Amy Madigan, Adrienne Barbeau

This show is a whirlwind of magic, religion, circuses, and weird imagery. I really feel that if it had come out ten years later, it would’ve been much more successful. Every bit of pure WTF kept you needing to watch more, and this is a show that desperately needs actual resolution. Gorgeous, creepy stuff.

2. Pushing Daisies

IMDb Summary: A pie-maker, with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.

No of Seasons: 2

Cast: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Ellen Green, Swoosie Kurtz, Kristin Chenoweth

The Facts Are These:

Cheerful, colorful, charming, and very weird — this was something I’d never seen anything like before, and I loved it. There has never been a better mix of pie, romance, and death.

Also, I apologize for the quality of the trailer. It’s the only one I could find for the first season — youtube is not being very helpful today. And I should confess I never watched the second season, though I’ve been meaning to correct that. By the time I finished first season, the show had been cancelled and I was hugely disappointed and didn’t feel up to it. Still, I’d watch the hell out of it if it came back.

3. Harper’s Island

IMDB Summary: Harper’s Island was once the scene of a gruesome series of murders. Now, seven years later, family and friends gather on the island for a wedding, but one by one they begin to die.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Elaine Cassidy, Christopher Gorham, Katie Cassidy, Matt Barr, Jim Beaver, Adam Campbell, Callum Keith Rennie, Harry Hamlin

This, my friends. This is the definition of guilty pleasure TV, and I loved it. Admittedly, it got off to a pretty slow start. I was never a fan of the main protagonist, and the creepy child was just stupid. But once it got going, Harper’s Island was unbelievably fun. Giant murder mystery! Overelaborate booby traps! One person dead per episode! At least! (Plus, by the end, some of the deaths went from ridiculous and funny to surprisingly moving and well-done. Don’t worry, though. Not too many. Harper’s Island knew what kind of show it was.)

Obviously, the majority of the characters were dead by the end of the first season, but had Harper’s Island continued, it would have done so American Horror Story style, with a new setting and a new cast (or at least new characters) every season. And people? I’d be all over that premise.

4. The Unusuals

IMDb summary: Darkly comedic drama focusing on the dysfunctional cops and staff of an infamous NYPD precinct.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Amber Tamblyn, Harold Perrineau, Adam Goldberg, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Terry Kinney, Joshua Close

Okay, this trailer kills me a little. Please, you absolutely HAVE to ignore the corny announcer guy trying to make this sound like a Very Dramatic Show and focus on the actual scenes. Sure, serious stuff definitely happens, but let’s be clear about tone: this is quirky/dark/wacky/funny, not Generic Cop Bullshit. When you hear Dispatch say, “Be on the lookout for a ninja, or a ninja-like figure,” that’s more of what to expect from The Unusuals. Awesome show, super funny.

5. The Adventures of Brisco County Jr

IMDb Summary: A bounty hunter rides the Old West, fighting bad guys, many with futuristic-type gadgets.

No. of Seasons: One

Cast: Bruce Campbell Jr., Julius Carry, Christian Clemenson, Comet the Horse

C’mon. You know there aren’t enough campy westerns on TV with bounty hunters, SF gadgets, and mystical orbs. It was steampunk before steampunk got huge, and I bet it could look pretty awesome with more modern effects. (Or anyway, not 90’s effects.) Plus, Bruce Campbell! Who doesn’t want more Bruce Campbell?

Sadly, Julius Carry died in 2008, so we couldn’t have Lord Bowler. (Or we’d have to recast him, but I’d prefer just to create a whole new character.) But I’d absolutely watch this again in the seriously unlikely event it ever came back. Feel the camp. FEEL IT.

6. Dark Angel

IMDb Summary: A group of genetically-enhanced children escape from a lab project. Years later we meet Max, one of the escapees who now works for a messenger service in the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest.

No. of Seasons: Two

Cast: Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly, Jensen Ackles, Valarie Rae Miller, Kevin Durand, J.C. MacKenzie

Oh, that trailer. Oh, I’m dying. They actually used Meredith Brook’s song, “Bitch.” DYING.

Okay, so this is one of those shows that I still get bummed out about when I think about its early cancellation. Yeah, second season was a little rough, even if it did give us Jensen Ackles. But this future SF show about kick-ass transgenics sure knew how to change the game when season finales came around, and we left off with a pretty exciting setup for Season Three — transgenics exposed to the world, a huge standoff between our good guys and the cops, Freak Nation built — a season we never got the chance to see. Damn it.

Point of interest, this is probably the last thing I really enjoyed Jessica Alba in.

7. Veronica Mars

IMDb Summary: After her best friend is murdered and her father is removed as county sheriff, Veronica Mars dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune.

No. of Seasons: Three (and a movie — it’s NOT CHEATING, Mekaela!)

Cast: Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Percy Daggs III

Yes, this show did get an enjoyable (if mildly disappointing) movie followup. But said movie followup left us with a perfect setup for the show to come back — Veronica Mars, back to what she does best: being spunky and snooping into other people’s business. The dialogue is witty, the mysteries are fun, and the actors all have such wonderful chemistry with one another. I still could watch Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni spar back and forth all day.

All right, everyone that’s it. Leave your votes in the Comments section. And yes, I left Firefly out deliberately. You cannot pick Firefly for the purposes of this poll, or any other write-in (though I’d love to hear other shows you’d like to see revisited – they just won’t be valid nominees).

Poll is open until Monday night. Results should be up next Tuesday.

Today’s Random ‘Gun To Your Head’ Movie Poll

It’s well documented on this blog that I genuinely enjoy watching shitty movies, but there are movies that even I’M like No, no, I never ever need to see that. I was reminded of this earlier today when I was glancing at showtimes for Kingsman: The Secret Service and saw all the other, clearly inferior movies NOT starring Colin Firth that were playing. And thus a random poll was born:

The Random ‘Gun to Your Head: Rank These Movies’ Poll

American Sniper
Fifty Shades of Grey
SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

All of these movies are playing at the downtown theater where I live, and I cannot stress this enough: I will not be seeing ANY of them in theater unless one of two things happens:

A.) Someone actually pays me to go watch one of these movies.
B.) Some wandering psycho with a sadistic interest in forcing people to watch movies they have no earthly desire to see actually puts a gun to my head and says, “Watch one of these films, or you DIE.”

Both of these scenarios seem fairly unlikely; regardless, we’re just going to pretend Scenario B is a real thing that is currently happening to you. What I need from you today is a ranking: of those three movies above, which would you MOST want to see and which would you LEAST want to see? From that, I’ll manage to extrapolate your middle choice because I’m smart like that.

For example:

MOST: Fifty Shades of Grey
LEAST: American Sniper

Reason: Jamie Dornan and Spongebob Squarepants are both sexier than Bradley Cooper.

(Providing any kind of reason/commentary is completely optional but always welcomed. Although if you say that Spongebob Squarepants is sexier than Bradley Cooper, I may doubt the veracity of your claim and/or be seriously concerned about your mental health.)

Now, some of you may be thinking, Hey, asshole, I’ve already seen Fifty Shades or Look, I genuinely do want to watch Spongebob, okay? And that’s fine — everyone has different tastes, and I want to hear from you too! The same rules apply. If you’ve already seen one of these movies, go ahead and put it in your number one spot. (Unless you were dragged to it, I suppose. Then please leave a note of some kind explaining your choices.) If you’ve seen more than one, put them in the order you were most interested in. If you’d rather have someone kill you than see any of these movies, you and I need to have a long talk about your priorities.

This arbitrary poll will be open a week. Your participation is most appreciated.

And The Winners for the Next (Imaginary) Wave of Charlie’s Angels Are . . .

This one was interesting. Going into the weekend, it looked like Team 2 had it in the bag — enough that I already went ahead and picked out pictures for the winning actresses — but some last minute votes for Team 5 tied things up. And then I was fretting because I wasn’t sure I could break that particular tie. Luckily for me, however, I stopped in to say goodbye to my mom before I left work, and she told me she’d had trouble getting her vote to show up. So, I asked her which team she wanted, and her vote broke the tie.

The next awesome ladies of Charlie’s Angels:

amber

Amber Tamblyn

kristen

Kristen Bell

rinko

Rinko Kikuchi

Team 5! (I kind of saw this as being the slightly quirkier Charlie’s Angels group. In particular, I was seeing more Bang Bang than Mako Mori and more Casey Shraeger than Joan of Arcadia. Veronica Mars, clearly, is Veronica Mars. But obviously that’s all up to interpretation.)

Team 2 (Tracie Thoms, Maggie Lawson, and Rosario Dawson) came in a close second place. Team 1 (Emma Stone, Alison Brie, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Team 3 (Kat Dennings, Jennifer Lawrence, and Ellen Page) tied for third. Total Loser Award, sadly, goes to both Team 4 (Taraji P. Henson, Sandra Oh, and Kerry Washington), and Team 6 (Jewel Staite, Cobie Smulders, Karen Gillan), for neither team got any votes.

People who voted for the winning team, feel free to gloat. People who voted for the losing teams, feel free to grumble. And thank you all for playing.

Poll: Who Will be the Next (Imaginary) Charlie’s Angels?

We’re all pretty tired of remakes, right? Right, so guess what today’s poll is about? Yes, exactly, an imaginary remake of a television show that’s already had one failed television remake and two commercially (though probably not critically) successful films.

c angels

So, here’s the thing: I grew up on reruns of Charlie’s Angels, and I own and enjoy both the ridiculous Charlie’s Angels movies, and I don’t know that we necessarily NEED yet another remake. Like, we could just have new stories featuring awesome women doing awesome things. BUT if we were going to do one anyway, I think I’d like it to be a little less ludicrous. Like, I don’t particularly want Dark, Gritty, Everybody’s-Miserable-all-the-Time Charlie’s Angels. There can absolutely be humor, and in fact, I’d prefer it — no one’s looking for Se7en levels of bleakness here — but I’d also rather it to not be completely absurd, like maybe it could have a shred of credulity so that the whole idea of women detectives didn’t seem like a joke.

To that end, I have proposed six different teams of leading ladies who could be the Next (Imaginary) Charlie’s Angels. It’s quite the assortment of varied talent, I think — we have actresses with geek cred, actresses who have believably played law enforcement in the past, comediennes with considerable acting chops, etc.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (PLEASE ACCEPT IT) is to pick which team you would be most interested in seeing. (It could be for either a film or television series. Whichever you’d be more interested in.) You cannot mix and match the actresses to make your own team. Or, you can, obviously, but then your vote is not counted, and you’ll make me sad, and why would you want to make me sad? I’m already sad because my handy ‘Add Poll’ button does not appear to be working, so now I have to write the whole survey out and it’s not going to look nearly as official and perty, and people will probably yell at me because they can’t just click a button to answer. Please don’t contribute to my despair.

Your choices are as follows:

Team 1:

Emma Stone (Zombieland, The Amazing Spiderman 1 & 2)
Alison Brie (Community, Scream 4)
Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Die Hard 4)

Team 2:

Tracie Thoms (Cold Case, Death Proof)
Maggie Lawson (Psych, an awesome episode of Justified)
Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Unstoppable)

Team 3:

Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, Thor & Thor: The Dark World)
Jennifer Lawrence (Days of Future Past, Hunger Games 1 & 2)
Ellen Page (Inception, Super)

Team 4:

Taraji P. Henson (Person of Interest, Smokin’ Aces)
Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways)
Kerry Washington (Scandal, Django)

Team 5:

Amber Tamblyn (The Unusuals, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Heroes)
Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim, The Brothers Bloom)

Team 6:

Jewel Staite (Firefly & Serenity, Higher Ground)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, Agents of SHIELD)
Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy)

This poll will be open for a week. Friends on Facebook and Twitter, I will attempt to count your votes if you leave your answers there, but I’d really prefer it if you’d comment here on the actual blog site itself. Just makes life easier for me. Also, depending on interest (like, if more than three people actually respond to this poll), I might have a followup poll next week on who should voice Charlie. Spoiler alert: all of the choices will be women. That’s not up for debate.