Remake Notes: The Hitcher

I’m not much for the recent trend of Hollywood remakes, but I’m definitely up to reading about anything the original creators have to say about the trend. Aside from King Kong and a few others, I’ve rarely felt a movie really could benefit from a remake. Unless the theme is connected somehow to timelessness, its really hard to see a new era making an old statement with old ideas. I mean, would it ever make sense if anyone ever did an Easy Rider remake? God forbid I just inspired someone.

Well, over at Arrow in the Head, a GREAT site for anyone who is a horror/genre/action film fan with over 800 reviews brilliantly written by Arrow, there’s an interview with the original author of the 1986 genre classic The Hitcher. Now I’m not going to steal this guy’s interview- chances are if I did he’d hunt me down and break a bottle of JD over my head, so I’m just going to give my readers an excerpt with the link. This excerpt, by the way, is probably one of the best-written comments on the remake craze currently shaking (and possibly breaking) the industry. Here it is, from Eric Red:

The word that comes to mind about this horror remake trend is “cannibalistic.” It reminds me of the cannibalism Indians and serial killers practiced by eating the heart and flesh of an adversary to supposedly absorb and gain his strength. The remake guys think that by remaking a film, they somehow gain, through perception or box office, creative ownership of a brand name that was established by other people who took the risk to do something original and do it well.

and he follows up by saying:

But it’s cool getting a film remade. Any way you cut it, it means there’s something enduring in my original script that has stood the test of time to be redone for a new audience. Screenwriters never get the chance to have scripts made twice, and although compromised, the script to “THE HITCHER” has basically been made twice.

I get to see two sensational actors play the best bad guy I’ve written so far. Playwrights get multiple productions of their work all the time, but never screenwriters. It’s a unique experience. I had it only once before years ago with a short film script called “TELEPHONE” that was filmed several different times by different people, including me.

Is “THE HITCHER” remake going to be as good as the original? Hell no. Is the remake my script? Basically. Is the remake going to be a wild ride for the audience with some great scenes? Probably. The bottom line for me is it’s an undeniable thrill to see the billboards, bus ads, TV trailers of a film that started with me all those years ago as a kid in Texas. With “THE HITCHER” & John Ryder, I have created a horror icon that’s gone the distance, and I’m proud as hell of it.

Check out Arrow in the Head for more great horror-related news and reviews!