With over 100 years worth of movies to mine, Hollywood has embraced the tried-and-true practice of reboots and remakes. Though people often complain about the lack of original, new material hitting movie theaters, the fact remains that remakes are often financially successful. Some of them are even pretty entertaining - but a lot more of them range from bad to awful.
As more and more films and TV shows get remade for contemporary audiences, the formula doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon. That means for every Scarface or Dawn of the Dead, there are four times as many Red Dawns or Point Breaks. Despite those latter movies being pretty awful, they’re still not among the worst remakes ever made.
We’ve compiled those for you in the following pages, so be sure to take a look to find out if your least favorite remake ranks on the list.
This was ill conceived from the word ‘go.’ Part of the charm of many of the ‘80s seminal action films was the grandiose ideas presented with limited effects technology. The idea of Robocop has a premise that works for any generation, but how it was executed at the time could never be replaced.
It should just be a general rule in Hollywood that no one should ever attempt to remake any Paul Verhoeven film, because it will never be better than the original.
When they did attempt to put Alex Murphy through the reboot machine, he was churned out in generic black armor, looking like the X-Men Cyclops when he was possessed by the Phoenix Force.
The remake did alright financially, doubling its budget and ultimately turning a profit, but its new elements and contemporary approach failed to resonate like the original. The kind of cynicism toward media and corporations didn’t make the new one better—it just made the old one more relevant.
Years after its release the Robocop remake is nearly forgotten; whenever anyone says “hey, do you want to watch Robocop?” they’re not talking about the new version.
Sure the original film with Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis, and a budding Chris Evans wasn’t exactly perfect, but it was not the boring, grim ’n gritty schlock through muted grey tones that the new film was.
The problem with Fant4stic wasn’t the fact that it strayed from source material. Some of the changes could have been interesting if the film had a decent script and competent director. But giving Josh Trans carte blanch to make the movie he envisioned, and then taking it away and shoehorning in a studio agenda, obviously didn’t work out.
What could have been a story about family and exploration—the heart of any good story starring Marvel’s First Family—was essentially about pseudo-science and the industrial military complex. No one wants to see the Thing murder a bunch of nameless fighters in covert operations, and seeing Doom explode a bunch of heads was hardly redeeming.
While there were a lot of things that could have been done right with this film, the most right the producers could have been would be deciding not to make it at all. After all, it was a critical and financial failure.
Michael Bay has proven effective at mining nostalgia for beloved childhood properties through a million Transformers films. But when it came to his and director Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the Turtles, their efforts fell flat.
People responded with mixed reactions when news came out that Bay was even working on a new film adaptation of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s beloved creations. And details before the film’s release were not well received, especially the rumors that the Turtles would actually be aliens and that William Fichtner’s character would be the Shredder.
But ultimately the movie was just a boring CG romp in which the main stars were the computer animators. But the awful designs of the Turtles weren’t fun to watch as they did countless flips between punching and slashing at bad guys.
Despite the first film’s financial success, the second film did not resonate. They even added series mainstays like Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, and Casey Jones for the sequel, but it didn’t do well enough for the execs and they’ve since placed the franchise on hold. So, thank the maker that people’s nostalgia isn’t the only thing a filmmaker needs to make a bad movie successful.
Before Jaden Smith became a bizarre social media personality, he starred in a remake about a film that completely abandoned the title in favor of the more movie-friendly art of Kung Fu.
The movie was actually only called Karate Kid in its US release, and was put out under the name Kung Fu Dream in China.
Jackie Chan stars as the mentor in this film and does a poor job imitating Pat Morita. Smith’s character Dre moves to Beijing, China, with his mother, played by Taraji P Henson, and with two immensely talented actors its a wonder the film turned out as bad as it did.
The change in setting from the United States to China allowed for some interesting changes to the story, and there was still the “fish out of water” aspect with a greater focus—instead of Daniel learning about a culture he knows nothing about, Dre was immersed in it and had to adapt.
But the focus on young actors, especially Smith who is not very good, really caused the film to suffer. And we should just be thankful that they didn’t make another one, because damn did this movie make some money.
Ok, this movie is actually pretty hilarious when you cut out all of the chafe. Nicolas Cage really acts his ass off. I mean, it’s not great acting, but it’s Nic Cage so you get what you pay for.
The guy who famously loves comics so much that he named his kid Kal-El and once owned a copy of Action Comics #1 starred in this remake of a 1970s British horror cult classic.
In this movie, Cage gets into fistfights with women, dresses up in a bear outfit, and is ultimately tricked into becoming a human sacrifice in a ritual that a matriarchal cult hopes will boost their local economy which is dependent on the production of honey from bees.
Yes, that’s actually true.
The original film was a moody thriller, often horrifying and bizarre. It mixed themes of faith, juxtaposing Christianity with Paganism and demonstrating truly terrifying dedications to religion.
All of that is lost in the remake, which should only be watched as a YouTube compilation of the film’s funniest moments.
The Farrelly Brothers started pretty strong out of the gates, making Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary.
The crude comedies did well for them at first and earned them higher profiles, but now they’re pretty much squandered all of that good will since then.
Their last film was a back-to-basics sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, but before that they made the poorly received Three Stooges movie.
The Three Stooges were a classic physical comedy ensemble but were very much products of their time. It’s really hard to see that kind of humor translating well as it was, so Peter and Bobby Farrelly brought their trademark brand of fart jokes and slapstick comedy into the fold.
But all of the dated cameos and one liners didn’t make even a portion of this movie watchable. Plus it made the egregious crime of featuring the cast of the Jersey Shore.