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Which Horror Films “Should” Be Remade? (Volume 1: The 1980s)

The same calls go up every time another piece of horror remake news hits the twitter pipes:

“That movie doesn’t need to be remade!”
“There are no original ideas left!”

…and on and on. (That last one I made up; Twitter doesn’t allow bolding or italics.)

But as someone who sees all of these films, I find that a good percentage of horror remakes are actually (get this) good movies. Your own choices will vary, of course, but Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Thing (1982), The Fly (1986), The Blob (1988), and more recent examples like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and Dawn of the Dead certainly have their fair share of supporters. And that’s not even focusing on indie remakes like this year’s (rather excellent) Jim Mickle film We Are What We Are. (Additional reading? Here’s a piece I wrote in 2006 called “Seven Horror Remakes That Don’t Suck!“)

So clearly we’re talking “best case scenario” with a question like this, but here goes:

What 1980s horror film would you like to see remade?

Below you’ll find my list of suggestions, followed by a bunch of good ideas from my friends in the twitter cloud. (Stop back next week for the same question on 1970s horror films. We’ll get to the 1990s eventually. It won’t be pretty.)

Alligator (1980) — This flick is actually a blast. Funny tone, great cast, some crazy carnage. It’s probably one of the best Jaws knock-offs you’ll ever find, thanks in no small part to the screenplay contributed by a youthful John Sayles. I just think we should have a lot more movies about mutated alligators who run amok in city settings. Plus I want to remake the infamous swimming pool scene by adding a slide.


Blood Beach (1980) — Look at that poster. Just look at it. Savor the taglines too. I would kill to write a remake of this movie. Not kill anything literally. Just time, probably.

Fade to Black (1980) –A lonely outcast who is also an unhinged movie geek decides to exact cinematic-style revenge on those who have crossed him.

The Funhouse and/or Hell Night (1981) — Stupid teenagers run afoul of mutated man-beasts in colorful locations. Hey, movies have been re-made on less than that. (See 2009’s Sorority Row.) (Actually, don’t.)


Galaxy of Terror (1981) — Arguably the finest of Roger Corman’s cheesy but amusing sci-fi / horror trifecta (the others being Forbidden World and Horror Planet), this one features a wacky cast and some of the most bizarre death scenes you’ll ever see… but man I just love movies about people getting devoured by alien monsters, and “Galaxy of Terror” has such a cool ring to it.

Humanoids from the Deep (1980) — This 1980 cheeseball was already remade as a 1992 cable flick, but given its premise — monsters climb out of the ocean to “mate with” human women — I think it’d be interesting if this time around the humanoids were all females.


Near Dark (1987) — Lest you think that this is just a list of subpar horror flicks that could be “improved upon,” here is some evidence to the contrary. Frankly I’d like this fantastic horror film to be remade just so it would shine a spotlight on the original. Easily one of the coolest vampire movies I’ve ever seen; a quality team could expand on this low-key but fascinating horror/romance in very interesting ways.

New Years Evil (1980) — A killer goes slice-happy during a live TV broadcast. And yes, he kills people during each midnight across every time zone. Come on. How could you not remake that? Also gotta keep the super-funky theme song.

Silver Bullet (1985)  — Not a bad little werewolf flick starring a young Corey Haim and a normal Gary Busey, but I agree with filmmaker Ti West and film critic Eric Vespe: a new version that sticks a bit closer to Stephen King’s “Cycle of the Werewolf” would be very welcome indeed.

Since it’s always fun to get a wide variety of opinions in discussions like these, I tweeted this.

You can read all of the replies by clicking that tweet, but here are a few of my favorites.





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  1. Joe T says:

    I would do killer clowns from outer space. One of my favorites

  2. Jonn Milenko says:

    C.H.U.D……or …..Night of the Comet

  3. plugray says:

    The Funhouse (1981) and Funland (1987). Of the two Funland could certainly use the redo as the first movie was a bit of a mess.

  4. I wish that they would take movies that bombed, but had good ideas that weren’t fully realized on screen.  An update to John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, but the 80s cheese just adds to the creep factor.

  5. Barry says:


  6. PheFo says:

    Why remake any of them? Why not just give them the HD remaster treatment and re-release them in theaters? Hell, I would pay IMAX prices to see “Near Dark” in a theater. Or, I don’t know, come up with something new! Do any of these movies really need to be remade for the sake of adding an iPhone to the plot?

  7. Mister Vega says:

    None of them! Leave em alone.

  8. 8-Bit Miata says:

    The Wraith (1986)

  9. The genre is seriously lacking in horror anthology films… classics like Twilight Zone: The Movie, Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, Monster Club, etc. all deserve a solid reboot, at the very least. The number of quality unused short stories out there that could be tapped for movies like these is incredibly vast… to me, it seems like a no-brainer.

    • PheFo says:

      I totally agree, but I would rather have these as regular television series than a 1-shot film. “Tales from the Crypt,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Outer Limits,” “Perversions of Science,” etc. Even more kid friendly shows like “Goosebumps” and Are You Afraid of the Dark” were great for short stories without the extra filler that comes with movies.

  10. matt says:

    The original Near Dark is a classic and should be left alone.

  11. Near dark would make an excellent remake because of its strong central theme, great characters and haunting juxtaposition of youth and innocence with horror in a way not many movies have ever done. Galaxy of Terror however is more of a time and place cult classic that doesn’t quite stand up to the test of time in the same way, plus you’d never be able to get the worm rape scene done in Hollywood today.

    • Throb Marley says:

      I disagree with your assertion that the worm rape could not happen in today’s cinema. The remake of Evil Dead had the tree rape scene in it still. With the things that have been put on screen in the past decade (Human Centipede…nuff said), it probably wouldn’t even cross the censors radars at this point.