How to destroy classic movies: Ben Hur

It’s Friday night and that men’s it’s time to remake another classic movie in modern blockbuster fashion.
Tonight we’re going to remake the classic Ben Hur.
To make it easier, we’re going to reuse a few tricks we used last month on Gone With the Wind.
Let’s get started.

The plot:

Anyone who has seen either the silent or the 1959 version will undoubtedly remember the chariot race, most likely you don’t remember much in anything else about it. I watched the 1959 version a few years back and I don’t recall much else about it. While I could either rewatch the movie or look up the plot on Wikipedia or any other site, instead we’ll just stay with the chariot race as our focus.

Our movie:

While simple titles are nice, our remake needs a bit different title, I’ve come up with two.

1. Ben Hur: racing through time!
2. Ben Hur: from chariots to star ships.

While both titles sound good, I think the second one sounds more like a documentary, so we’ll go with option 1 , Ben Hur: Racing through time!
The plot in our movie is racing, chariot racing in particular.

We start our movie with a chariot race, Ben Hur is in the race, he fights to overcome a loose wheel, sabotaged reins and a lack of skill, surprisingly he still manages to come in third.
Next we get to see him currying his team (no, not that type of curry!), repairing his reins and so forth. Note that this is mostly filler scenes, there is no real plot development taking place and it could very well be cut before the movie is completed.
The next scene is another chariot race, this time Ben Hur wins the race and is treated to all the honors entitled to the winner.
Now we jump ahead a few hundred years, the next few scenes involve multiple kinds of races. From every kind of horse racing invented, to foot racing, bicycle racing and yacht racing. Each race is won by Ben Hur, always in period clothing of course.
Next we see the first car races, where we watch Ben Hur travel across country in his automobile, breaking down and repairing it himself (this is a very good place to get some product placement in if you can convince companies that were around back then to do it), as always Ben Hur wins the race.
We go from car racing to airplane racing, as the early days of aviation were filled with enterprising flyers willing to build and fly their planes in competitions there are plenty of options here.
Then we come to the early days of drag racing as well as the first car races that resemble what we have today. These scenes are quick, flashy and feature cars exploding in flames, just what people want to watch!
Next we zoom into the future with the first Earth to Mars race, twelve ships have entered the competition, one of which is flown by none other than Ben Hur, who is the underdog this time.
We watch as the ships blast off from Earth, enter orbit and fly straight towards the moon, turning away just in time to use the moon’s gravity to assist the. In gaining speed.
The flight to Mars isn’t boring either, from meteor shows that threaten to destroy all twelve ships (at least one or more should explode in enormous special effect ridden fireballs), space pirates or aliens (why not both?) also attack the racers. Ship wide computer glitches also affect our hero’s ship, but he manages to survive and repair his ship without loosing to much time.
Finally we see Mars drawing near, Ben Hur and two other ships are neck and neck, it looks like the race might be a three way tie, but one of the ships is armed and intent on winning Jo matter the cost, it destroys the ship without our hero in it. Ben Hur twists his ship away from the laser blasts, but the evil doer comes after him. With skilled maneuvers, Ben Hur manages to lure the enemy into the path of an asteroid, destroying it and ensuring that he wins the race.
Ben Hur lands on Mars victorious and we fade back to the chariot race we started with, zoom in on Ben Hur as he seems to watch the future, he smiles and the screen goes black.

I hope you’ve enjoyed remaking Ben Hur with me, I know I enjoyed it.
Feel free to comment, I’m always interested in your opinion.

How to destroy a classic movie: Easter Parade

It’s Friday night, time to rewrite yet another Hollywood classic. This week I’ve selected Easter Parade for obvious reasons.
I’ve got several interesting ideas to add to this movie to ruin it, not that it deserves being ruined, but I try not to play favorites.
Let’s get started.

The plot:

The original movie takes place in the glory days of Broadway, back when Ziegfeld had his Follies. Staring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland.
It follows Don Hewes career, as the movie starts, we find Don out buying gifts for his dancing partner, but as always happens, she decides to strike out on her own, leaving Don in the lurch, desperate to find a new partner. Enter Hannah Brown, a chorus girl who caught Don’s eye in a bar.
A period of trial and error ensues, which threatens to spell the end of Don Hewes career, but eventually everything turns out alright and they get their own show.
The old partner tries to lure Don back, but he’s happy enough with Hannah and their new show.
Hannah’s upset, for a moment it looks like everything is ruined again, but at the last moment everything falls into place the they end up walking in the Easter Parade, a year after they met, they live happily ever after we’re left to assume.
You can of course read more about it on the Wikipedia page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Parade_(film)

Our remake:

We’ve got to update things a bit, as most people have never heard of Ziegfeld or his Follies. We’ll set our movie in the future, it’s a time where several space stations and mining colonies have been established, to keep chaos to a minimum and force the miners to ignore their constant danger, there are roving bands of actors traveling from place to place. To make it more interesting, these actors mostly come from prisons where the inmates are can opt to become actors for a reduced sentence.
Our hero, Ron Hues, just found out that his fellow actors don’t want him around anymore, he foolishly declares that he doesn’t need them, he can get a new partner anywhere.
While Ron is signing documents in the wardens office of the main prison, he points to a woman in irons and says that she has more talent than the rest of the actors traveling currently, the warden laughs and turns her over to him, revealing that the woman in question was on death row, having been convicted of murdering a dozen people while running guns and drugs.

The next scene had Ron and the woman (who goes without a name to add mystery to the story) on an outpost on the far reaches of the solar system. They sing and dance, making a name for themselves, until a deadly virus hits the station, turning the infected into murderous zombies.
Chaos ensues, high explosives add special effects, as does gunfire galore… Just about every trope related to zombies can and should be used here.
The story behind the virus is revealed: Ron’s ex partner arrived with the virus aboard a shuttle that had recently been on a station devoted to bio experiments, it has since been destroyed as a virus devastated it as well.
During zombie killing scenes there can be singing and dancing. Musical numbers should be inserted in all slow spots, the songs can run the gauntlet from sweet to violent.
There should be a showdown between Ron’s ex partner and the murderess set to music, if done right it could seem like they are involved in some kind of dance.
After all the zombies have been killed, Don and the murderess return to Earth just in time for the Easter Parade, their crimes forgiven and hailed as heroes.
As the screen fades to black, show a piece of the destroyed station tumbling to Earth, leaving the views to wonder if the virus has come to Earth to kill off all of humanity… It also allows for a sequel.

I hope you’ve enjoyed ruining a classic movie tonight. Feel free to comment.

How to destroy a classic movie: Singin’ in the Rain

It’s Friday night and time to ruin another classic movie!
Tonight’s going to be a bit of a challange, as it’s the first musical that I’ve tried to destroy. Now before I begin, I’ll admit that I’ve always enjoyed Singin’ in the Rain, mostly because it’s a look at the early movie industry as it changed from silent movies to talkies.

The plot:

A famous actor in silent movies struggles to adjust to to the new talking movies, along with his long time costar, a famous actress who has the most annoying voice in the world, but who finds her career in jeopardy because of her voice.
In waltzes a young woman who steals the spotlight, the famous actor’s heart and annoys the famous actress by throwing a cream pie in her face.
The young woman, now an aspiring actress, agrees to lend her voice to a movie to save the famous actors career, but chaos ensues when the famous actress finds out and decides to ruin the aspiring actress’s career.
You can, of course, read the full plot line on the Wikipedia page here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singin%27_in_the_Rain

Now we’ve got a lot of work to update and ruin this movie, so let’s get to it.
We’ve got to update the title, update the plot, set it in a new location and create new tensions, also we’ll work in some musical numbers.
The title isn’t to hard, we want to make it clear that it’s a remake, so it’ll remain four words long and the words must sound similar, so let’s break it down word for word. We’ll change Singin’ to Dancin’, in to on, the remains and Rain becomes Snow, now we’ve got Dancin’ on the Snow, it’s a great title, it suggests comedy, references the original, and gives us enough leeway that we can do nearly anything.

Let’s set our remake in Australia, why, you ask? Because you don’t see movies set in Australia from Hollywood, plus even though they get snow there, most people likely don’t know that (I had too look it up, I admit it).

Now that we’ve got a title and a setting, we move onto plot.
We’ll set it in the near future, when smell-o-vision has been invented. As all actors and actresses struggle to adjust, limiting their perfume and cologne, one actress refuses, instead using enough perfume to know an elephant out. An actor who owes his career to said actress, finds himself adapting to the new format easily, though he knows the actress will be the doom of his career by proxy.
Meanwhile, an aspiring actress is making waves, launches her own brand of perfume formulated for smell-o-vision and becomes a force to be reckoned with.
All three meet, the aspiring actress spritzs the famous actress in anger while singing, endears herself to the actor.
The actor, now hopelessly in love, blackmails his boss into using the aspiring actress’s smell instead the the famous actress’s, thus saving his career and spring boarding the aspiring actress to stardom.
Everything goes fine, until the famous actress uncovers the plot and decides to do her own blackmail, stealing passwords for social media sites and posting how pleased the studio was with her perfume, calling herself the best smelling actress in all of Australia, ect.
Finally the truth comes out in an autograph session, where numerous fans ask if she nearly drowned in an accident at the perfume factory.
Then we see the aspiring actress (who’s now famous) and the actor looking at a billboard advertising there latest show ‘Roses are Sweet’ on a hilltop.

Now for the musical numbers.
We’ve got lots of places we can put in song and dance numbers, we’ll need several smell related songs, at least on dance scene at the perfume factory where the aspiring actress dances between mounds of flowers while singing about them.
We may as we’ll make use of the humor in the idea by having a song about Limburger. While we’re doing humor, we can add a song about smelly feet for laughs.
One song could be called ‘Success is sweet’ or ‘Nothing smells better than success’. We could also have ‘Stinky boots’, ‘Perfumed Skunk’ and ‘Clear the Air’.

I truly believe that this movie might have been produced in the golden age of musicals, I don’t think that it could be made today, mostly because we don’t have the talent anymore, we don’t have character actors anymore, or at least not enough to make a great movie.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed destroying a musical for a change, I know I did.
Please let me know what you think about tonight’s effort to destroy a classic movie, I’d enjoy hearing what you thought.
Thanks for reading!

How to destroy a classic movie: Murder in the Rue Morgue

It’s Friday night again, you know what that means, it’s time to destroy another classic movie. I’ve decided to go for blood tonight, I’m deadly serious about this one, It’ll make a killing in the box office! I’m sure everyone will go ape for this idea of mine.
All kidding aside, this is an interesting movie we’re about to mutilate, so let’s cut to the chase and get to work!

First a brief look at the movie:
Its from an Edgar Allen Poe story, it takes place in Paris, France. It’s about a series of mysterious murders in the Rue Morgue, women have been winding up dead and no one knows how, until our hero, Pierre Dupin, plays sleuth with his microscope and discovers something odd in the blood of the victims, but it’s not until his fiancée is kidnapped by the pet ape of a mad scientist that he has all the clues and solves the mystery. What follows is an action scene where Pierre races to save his love from Bella Lugosi’s mad scientist and the ape, who carries the lady over rooftops to the happy conclusion.
You can read more details on the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_in_the_Rue_Morgue_(1932_film)

Our first order of business is to decide just how we wish to remake this movie.
We can do one of three ways:

One can be a completely loyal remake.
Two is to make it as a slasher/gore/horror movie.
Three we can remake it as a sci-fi epic set on another planet.

To remake it loyally would not be destroy it, to make it a slasher/gore/horror movie would work, but I’m more of a Sci-fi guy myself, so we’ll choose option three.

Next I want to talk about the setting, the reason this movie worked in 1932 was because it was set in France, Paris to be precise, a local that most people had never gone to, most would never get the chance to go there (I’m ignoring WWII here for simplicity), also contributing to it is the evil mad scientist, Bella Lugosi, unfortunately there isn’t an actor around these days that has such a spooky voice, an accent that conveys terror and his spooky looks.
Our best bet is to get an actor to play a mad scientist for laughs.

We need to name our hero, let’s call him Mike Fiinkly for no good reason.

Now that we’ve got that much figured out, we can get down to the main plot:

The place: Venus, several thousand years in the future, a human colony called Amazon 2.
To release the tension from living in a dome, amusements are key, a circus and other acts are always open, new acts arrive from other domes periodically, one day a doctor arrives with a new exhibit, an animal discovered in the Venusian jungle (it should look as hideous as possible) ,people flock to see it.
In the far side of the dome, women begin turning up dead, appearing to have undergone some kind of mutation.
Of course no one connects the new creature to the dead women, it would be impossible considering the security under which the creature is supposed to guarded.
Now enters our hero, Mike Fiinkly, with his bride, Helen on his arm, out for a night of relaxation, they watch the antics of the new creature.
Later that evening Helen vanshes, Mike fears the worst, but the police don’t, they assure him that nothing could have happened to her
Early the next morning, Mike is killing time reading, what else, Poe’s Murder in the Rue Morgue, he suddenly realized that the doctor could be a psychopath trying to recreate the story, after a tense few moments, he laughs and goes back to reading. That afternoon he’s doing his job and stumbles into enough facts for him to realize that the doctor is actually related to Poe!
With the aid of a group of vigilantes, Mike is able to find the doctor and confronts him. The doctor escapes into his laboratory, with Mike following hot on his heels, they pass by places straight out of Poe’s stories, including but not limited to The Pit and the Pendulum,
Suddenly the mad doctor vanishes! Mike looks around, but all he sees is a mirror with himself reflected in it, only it’s not him, it’s the creature, it’s a shape shifter!
What follows is an epic chase, Mike and the monster running through the lab and occasionally duking it out. Finally the monster turns to fight Mike, changing his form quickly, an epic battle ensues, it cuts to black before the conclusion.
Next we see Helen, tied to a table, awaiting her fate, then a bloodied Mike staggers in, frees her and tells her that the monster is dead, they step over the doctor’s body (he was killed by the monster shortly before Mike and the vigilantes arrived), they leave the building just as it goes up in flames. The screen cuts to a shot of Mike laying dead in the burning lab, then the movie is over, leaving viewers to wonder if it was Mike or the monster that survived.

There you have it, a classic movie ruined and a possibility for many sequels… Such is life on Venus.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed ruining a classic movie with me, I’m sure you’re dying to see what I’m working on for next week, but I don’t think the wait will kill you.
Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to comment.