Let me just start, for those that don't know the United States DVD release of Ten Dead Men, the film Brother Chris happened to write one day, was today. Yay. Go and buy it, if you can, here.
Now to the point, I'm supposed to be working on something else, but I only really get stuff done at weekends. So I just watched Jack Brooks - Monster Slayer. It's alright, not that great. Far too much time is spent setting up the monster, and the fact that he's a "monster slayer" he doesn't get slaying until about 15 minutes from the end. So yeah, it could have been a lot better, but was kind of what I was expecting.
What bothers me though is that the people behind the film mention that they grew up on '80s horror, the link with this post's title. Yes there were many a horror film in the 80's but Evil Dead this is not. The Thing this is not. It's not the first time this reference has been made. There was a film out last year called Hatchet. It was supposed to start a new franchise so had a new slasher guy in. But it wasn't very good. And had a weird featurette about how it was made because the directer wanted to see Twisted Sister and then he befriended vocalist Dee Snider and they saved each other from cancer or something, and that made him make Hatchet, cause he was inspired by 80's horror films. But again, effects aside, that film was boring and the characters weak.
Now I know lots and lots of films get made, and there were a fair share of bad 80's horror. (The Lamp springs to mind) but why would you want to recreate those. You can have your gory effects, fair enough, but gory effects does not a great movie make. Throw in a fun character, a cool character, any kind of character, just not your token run of the mill, characters.
Jack Brooks fails because, as mentioned, it takes too long to set up. Yes we realise he gets angry, and from then on you work out he can fight monsters to "relax", so why spend an hour getting there. It should go more like: Jack gets angry. Oh Shit, monsters have come. Jack can fight monsters because he's angry. Jack has now become monster slayer, much slaying and wise cracking later Jack wins, film ends.
Instead it was more like: Jack gets angry.......he's a plumber.....an angry plumber......why's he learning science at night school.....chekovs gun......he's angry.....monster brewing.........he's still angry........comedy Englund...........angry......Englund.......angry......Englund.....Monster.....Angry...Fight..End.
And I sped up the Robert Englund comedy for you as well.
Cool seems to be lost on films these days. I finally got some feedback today for a script I wrote. They said the end was cheesy. I always thought it was cool. "I'd like to see that in a film" I thought. If Jack Brooks is what passes as cool today. I think I'll stick to cheesy thanks. It's more fun.