Monday, April 23, 2012

10 Slashers That Could Benefit from a Remake: MADMAN (1982)

Now that we're well into 2012, something has occurred to me: it's the first year in a decade that has no slasher remakes scheduled for release. While the remakes have swooned the box office with usual great success, very few horror film movements have drawn up as much protest as the dreaded remake craze did.

It's pretty obvious, looking back, as to how studios and producers chose which slashers were deemed worth remaking - they were the slashers that were original moneymakers upon their original release. HALLOWEEN, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FRIDAY THE 13TH, PROM NIGHT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET were all monster successes and pop-culture phenomenon's. Even more cult-y slashers like BLACK CHRISTMAS and MY BLOODY VALENTINE had earned a solid enough reputation to guarantee a solid fanbase.

But when you really think about it, doesn't the thought of remaking more well-known slasher films seem to sort of juxtapose what a remake stands for? Shouldn't they be remaking films that are less-known and more dated, to bring them to a modern-day audience? While 2012 might not have any remakes on its schedule, I can guarantee you that a second wave of remakes will eventually come along. But when it does, it should be focusing its efforts on the movies that actually could benefit from a redo. As we take a break from remakes in theaters, here's the ten suggestions for films to consider a redux for, and ways to take the original movie and make it fresh and modern without spitting in the face of the original's fans (here's looking at you, Rob Zombie!).


Ah... the story of a crazed murdering farmer named Madman Marz who returns from the grave when his name is said above a whisper to continue his bloody rampage. Madman may have suffered from cheesy acting and incredibly stupid characters, but it succeeded in some ways to: technically its a very well shot film for a low-budget piece, and the actual backstory of Madman Marz is quite interesting. There is a lot that can be done with a villain like Madman Marz, and his story shouldn't go to waste just because his original effort never really took off into mainstream success.

Now, it has been thirty years since Madman was released in 1982, so the idea of a sequel is pretty much out of the question. At this point, the only way Madman Marz could actually be brought back would be through a remake. It's all a question of financial stability, and Madman is going to make more of its money back through a story where you don't have to see the original.


The core of the story needs to stay the same, but the rest of the movie should be a little different to make it less Friday the 13th-ish and more of its own beast. That means completely removing the summer camp. Yes, I said it: the summer camp has nothing to do with Madman Marz's actual backstory, so therefore it is irrelevant to the plot. Madman is the story of a crazed farmer attacking his family, meaning that the main plot sound revolve around that crazed farmer attacking different families and farmers.

Remember, most good slasher movies have something horrible from the past coming back to haunt the people of the present. It is when citizens begin to forget the horrors of what once happened that the killer resurfaces with his or her vengeance. The protagonists of the original Madman had little to do with the character himself, which was one of the film's most unnoticed flaws. They were random slasher fodder.

The kids of Elm Street are offspring of the parents that killed Freddy Krueger, thus him targeting them made sense. The kids of Crystal Lake were trying to re-open a specific camp that Mrs. Voorhees and Jason wanted to never open again. Michael Myers stalks Haddonfield babysitters to re-create his original murder. Chucky kills those he blames for his own death, or whom he could use to transform into a human body. Leatherface and his family kill people not only to eat them, but because they happened to stumble upon the family's grave-robbing secret. What is Madman's motive?

So there's something really simple here: Madman must attack a specific group of teens - either teens that moved into the Marz farm where he committed his original brutal murders, or have one of the teens be a descendent of someone who lynched him. Or... why not do both? A new family moves into town, taking up residence at the Marz estate. The family's teenage boy quickly tries to befriend a local teenage girl, who's father and grandfather led the lynching of Madman Marz. That's two people already that Madman has a strong reason for wanting dead; the others could just be their unfortunate friends. By connecting the past to the present, the story has more depth.


In the vein of the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake, the film would start with a brief flashback outlining the history of Madman Marz: in 1982, he murdered his wife and kids in his farmhouse and then was lynched by an angry mob. The next day, his body disappared... keep it very brief and dark, and don't give away too much or reveal Madman - keeping him hidden in the shadows to build anticipation and strengthen his uncanny relationship with the audience.

Cut to modern day; over thirty years later, Madman has become a legend. The modern teens don't pay any mind to the legend of Madman. Including horror movie obsessed theater students Dippy and Ellie, who also can't get enough of each other (if you know what I mean). To get Ellie in the mood, Dippy tells her the story of Madman Marz, and disobeys the legend - he says "Madman Marz" above a whisper! Then, Madman is summoned, and you can guess what happens to Ellie and Dippy.

The next morning, 17-year old Richie and his 14-year old sister Shirley are being driven to their first day at a new school. Their father suffered some legal troubles, lost his job, and the family was forced to move from their comfortable city life to the country. Richie's first day finds him being bullied by the jocks and publicly humiliated. The only friends he makes are social outcast T.P. and the sheriff's daughter Betsy.

When Ellie and Dippy are reported missing, the sheriff looks at the suspects in school, but as his investigation continues, he stumbles upon evidence that Madman Marz is responsible. "Impossible," the sheriff thinks, as he was among those that lynched Madman back in '82. But as it turns out, Madman is back, and he's targeting Richie's family living in house, as well as Betsy and her friends for revenge against the sheriff.

Soon, Richie and Betsy team up as they make more gruesome discoveries, leading to a climax where Richie discovers a pretty nasty sight in his basement...


is an R-rated story. The beginning tells the story of an insane farmer that kills his wife and kids. Definitely not a family-friendly movie, so why not go for the hard R-rating? The original film has become infamous for its cheesy gore effects, so it only seems right to amp up the effects: the car hood decapitation must stay, but there's still plenty of victims for Madman to get creative with...


Richie Steele
. Male, 17. Smart, perceptive, and gentle, and recently having come into his looks. He's still a geek, and certainly dresses like one, but he's also a really cool, kind kid.

Betsy Dubin. Female, 17. Blonde, sweet, and self-conscious girl that keeps to herself yet is still somehow popular. There's an intriguing mystery surrounding her that she does not even suspect.

Sheriff Dubin. Male, 50s. Betsy's hard-boiled father who also works as the Sheriff around town. He's well respect, but hides dark secrets and regrets. The guy who would go to any kind of extreme to protect his daughter's innocence.

Mr. Steele. Male, 40s. The once successful and wealthy Wall Street broker that has been humbled by a series of misfortunes and bad luck. He lost his job, and now has to try to start a new life. His heart is in the right place, but sometimes he clashes with his children.

Mrs. Steele. Female, 40s. Down to earth and loyal matriarch of the Steele family. She desperately wants to keep her family together, but sometimes its too hard to handle. She has really high hopes for starting a new life in a new town.

Shirley Steele. Female, 14. Richie's stubborn and rebellious younger sister; the polar opposite of him: consumed by boys and appearances. Moving has been hard on her, but she's confident she can fit in anywhere.

Dave Jones. Male, 17. Definitely a jock: someone who is popular solely because of his looks and athleticism, but not his brains. He can be manipulative and cruel, especially when he feels threatened.

Billy Murphy. Male, 17. Another popular jock, he's best friends with Dave. He's in an on-again, off-again relationship with Stacy.

Stacy Bass. Female, 17. Betsy's best friend. She's a bubble-gum chewing, gossiping girl who likes to tease her sometimes-boyfriend Billy. Her sarcastic wit and huge breasts have elevated her popularity.

T.P. Fish. Male, 17. The class geek, but no the cool kind of geek. The kind of geek that totally lacks self-awareness; bumbling, idiotic, and often obnoxious. Still, he's a good kid, and the first person in school to actually befriend Richie.

Ellie Claire. Female, 17. Mousy theater nerd who just lost her virginity to her boyfriend Dippy, and the two literally can't stop getting it on.

Dippy Sullivan. Male, 17. Plain, average-joe farm boy who has a fascination with horror movies. He wants to write his own horror movie, on the legend of Madman Marz. With his girlfriend Ellie as the star.


is a cult classic that deserves to be brought to life for a new generation. The original film is dated and cheesy, and with the right filmmakers it could be resurrected and made scary. Plus, it wouldn't need to be a Friday the 13th-rip off, but could really find a way to become something unique in its own right.

Madman should not be the same movie as the 1982 movie, but should only keep the core story about Madman and then venture out into new territory. If we wanted to see the 1982 movie, we'd watch the 1982 movie. All what the fans want is more of Madman Marz. So why not give it to them?

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