Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Putting The Fun Back Into The Funhouse

It was just a few weeks back that I finally got around to watch Tobe Hooper's 1981 spooks-at-the-carnival flick The Funhouse. I enjoyed it for what it is, which is cheesy early-80s trash with some genuinely unsettling moments thrown in here and there amid the schlock. The man made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre only seven years earlier and wasn't at this point a total hack... yet. For a terrific look at the movie read Adam's take on it at Club Silencio, which is what inspired me to finally seek it out.

Anyway, after watching The Funhouse the boyfriend turned to me and said "Now that's a movie that could be improved with a remake," to which I agreed. Well unsurprisingly the film is slated for the remake treatment (as is everything ever made before... oh... say 2004?), and now some dude I like has given his two cents on maybe wanting to do it (via):

“I’m talking with Universal about that one,” Eli Roth reveals. “THE FUNHOUSE is a movie where the first half is brilliant—they set up these great characters—and then they pay off none of them. You have Marco the Magician sawing his daughter in half, the brothers who run the carnival and the funhouse setting. And then it’s all about this weird mutant thing. It should be about the kids getting killed in horrible ways, put in different contraptions in the funhouse and the final girl being strapped into the ride and sent into the tunnels to be confronted by terrifying tableaux of her dead friends. A smart remake could be so much fun. Kill the kids in fabulous ways and continually reuse the bodies by making them freaks in the freak museum, sew their eyes shut, waxworks… That’s the stuff I want to do in a remake of THE FUNHOUSE.”"

Eli really gets at the problem with Hooper's original film there and it does sound like he's got the ideas... I do hope the whole death-by-elaborate-booby-trap thing is less Saw than it sounds and maybe a little more like Final Destination. It should play like a game of Mouse Trap. Most importantly it should be FUN and not soulless and hateful like the Saw films.

Anyway, Eli's got so many projects he keeps yammering on about I can't even keep them straight any more. At that link he talks a lot of Cotton, the super low-budget "Blair Witch meets The Exorcist" movie which he's producing and also brings up something called Pyscho Killer which he wants to direct and I'm fairly certain I'd not heard anything about before:

"“Andrew Kevin Walker [of SE7EN, SLEEPY HOLLOW and the upcoming WOLFMAN] wrote the script,” Roth says, “but most studios have found it too dark. From the writer of SE7EN, what did they expect? We didn’t think it was dark enough and asked Andrew to rewrite it that way. It’s basically a slasher movie from the killer’s point of view. The first 30 minutes is our maniac subjectively watching his prey, a girl who works in a pharmacy, and then stalking her as she clocks off. Then a female cop suddenly pops into frame… It’s fantastic and intense, and MGM wants to release it.”

Well hopefully he'll just get something off the ground soon. And if he does remake The Funhouse - whoever remakes The Funhouse - they have to recast Sylvia Miles in the same role, as the drunken slutty fortune teller that gives the deformed freak a hand-job for 20 bucks. She's still around! MUST HAPPEN.

On a related note, I used the less-grotesque poster from The Funhouse up there at the top because, and I am not kidding you, the other one makes me want to barf when I look at it. See it here and understand what I mean. UGH. Just wow. I don't deal with lip-trauma well, it's something that grosses me out pretty bad for some reason I don't fully understand. But that's gross. And the drool! Ugh.


Adam said...

This and "Waxwork" have remakes written all over them. I knew this was coming any day now. I could feel it in my sideshow freak blood. I'll of course see it, though I can't say I have any desire to have Eli Roth direct it. Nothing against the man, the "Hostel" films are fine, but he has to be one of the most overrated names in horror given his resume. I know you love him so, and better him than someone only familiar to music videos, but let's get some fresh blood in these bloody movies. Pascal Laugier is the one I'm most curious about. His name alone had me intrigued for the new "Hellraiser," until...

Rob K. said...

If Sylvia Miles is in the remake I hope her character bites it in a gruesome, showstopping way: I had to deal with her once at a day job in the 90s and she's a nasty piece of work.