Tuesday Debate: Should Drop Dead Fred be Remade

By Jake and Glenn



In 1991 New Line Cinema released a movie that many thought of as a game changers. This film stars Phoebe Cates and the great British comedian Rik Mayall (who starred in the classic show The Young Ones). By now you already know the film I'm talking about is Drop Dead Fred; you probably knew because of the title of the article. There is a remake in the works of this hilarious romp about a woman and her imaginary friend. Replacing Mayall is Russell Brand, who was in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Will the audiences line up to see this movie or is Hollywood throwing their money in the trash and setting it on fire with a blowtorch and sprinkling the ashes in the Irish countryside?


Glenn/Pro: I was troubled to hear that Arlen Specter was switching political parties (because I don't want our entire Democratic caucus filled with people who believe and support Republican/right-wing policies) but I was THRILLED to hear that New Line is remaking Drop Dead Fred. Although in 1991 I was too young to see any movies in the theatre, I caught this film several times on basic cable later in this decade and each time I had the same thought: could it be remade? Now we know that the answer is literally yes, but figuratively it still remains a question. I'm hopeful for a few reasons. Acting has gotten better in the past twenty years, so I think the movie will be funny. Also, CGI and other special effects are light years beyond where they were in 1991 so the zany antics of Fred will probably be even zanier. Just like Phoeobe Cates's character mentally regresses to a childhood state in the movie, I will enjoy mentally regressing to where I was when I first saw Drop Dead Fred once its remake is released.

Jake/Con: I am inherently against remakes, as you may already know. I enjoy seeing original ideas put on the screen and do not understand why remakes have become so prolific over the last 10 years. There are millions of unproduced scripts out there, including mine, The Missing Kidney, about two guys transporting the titular kidney to a hospital in North Dakota, only to lose it which sets off a series of comical mishaps as they search for the organ. Hollywood is too busy remaking Jaws 3 to make my movie.
When I was 9 years old I saw Drop Dead Fred in the theater and loved every second of it. Phoebe Cates is the most beautiful women who has ever lived and Rik Mayall is one of the funniest men who was born last century. This duo is nearly unbeatable, yet New Line is hoping that statement is incorrect. It's not, though. Russell Brand is okay, I have no real problem with him. He's not hilarious, but he's also not unfunny. I don't know who they're getting to replace Ms. Cates, but there is no way she will be even a quarter as attractive as the classically beautiful actress. What we're going to be left with is a film that has no heart, no laughs and CGI of Drop Dead Fred getting a boner in a grocery store and knocking over a pyramid of cans. Fuck that. I'll be watching His Girl Friday on Netflix instead of watching this piece of shit remake in the theater.

Glenn/Pro: And here we come to my main point, which is that Jake and the other detractors are judging this movie sight unseen. The movie hasn't been made, we don't know who's reprising Phoebe Cates's role and we don't know who's going to direct it. If it comes out that Michael Bay is directing, the main female lead is Fran Drescher and the rating is NC-17, then I'll be the first to protest outside of the theatre like it's a gay person's funeral. But for now, the potential is so exciting and the possibility so invigorating we need to be celebrating this remake. Drop Dead Fred was the funniest movie of 1991, so even if this remake is 5 times less funny it'll still be the 5th funniest movie of the year. Last year the 5th funniest movie was Beverly Hills Chihuahua, to put things into perspective. I'm ready to move beyond movies about talking dogs and into movies about invisible best friends who become real.

Jake/Con: Fact: there has never been a remake worth seeing. This leads me to believe that the remake of Drop Dead Fred is going to be nothing but terrible. Drop Dead Fred is one of the funniest movies of all time, but it's because the actors had amazing chemistry that has been unmatched on film since. There is just no way for them to make a movie that is as good as Drop Dead Fred. If they wanted to put Drop Dead Fred back in the theaters like they did with Star Wars I'd be 100% for it and would wait outside of the theater for a week just so I would be the first person to see the enhanced version of the all-time classic. Our children are going to be forced to watch this movie so they aren't ostracized at school. I think we should all take the children into account when we're deciding whether or not a movie should be remade.

Glenn/Pro: I disagree about whether there has ever been an effective remake. OYIT's own Mikey just this week made the claim that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was very good. I think your concern is with the horror movies that have been "remade" and that have been awful, such as Friday the 13th (which no one saw), Rob Zombie's Halloween and the truly awful When A Stranger Calls. After I saw that movie I called the movie theatre and asked for my money back. But what about all the great non-horror remakes? 3:10 to Yuma, Angels in the Outfield and the Fly are all three great films that we wouldn't have if the world adopted your strict no remake policy. I wouldn't want to live in a world where Mel Gibson's Ransom doesn't exist and I refuse to live in a world where Drop Dead Fred isn't remade. That's right: I'm pulling out the suicide card.

Jake/Con: Mikey said he didn't like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. I also did not like it, but it was effective at least. 3:10 to Yuma was an okay movie, though. The original was made 50 years prior to the remake, which allows for a large difference between the films. The advancements between 1991 and now are not that great. CGI and digital film are the only real ones. Drop Dead Fred actually has pretty good special effects. I already know that there's no way for them to make a film better than DDF, but I will go as far to say that the remake of Drop Dead Fred is going to be so bad that gun fights will break out in most of the theaters. Glenn will not have to commit suicide, but he will be murdered by an 8 year old child after he watched the film. If you want to be murdered than let Hollywood remake Drop Dead Fred. If you want to continue to live your horrible life than sign this petition to stop this god awful movie from being made.

14 comments:

  1. That petition might as well be a "who's who" of my future victims.

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  2. This debate was the most desperate that either of us have ever been.

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  3. it might be the swine flu talking, but this may be my favorite deb8 yet. russell brand was so funny in forgetting sarah marshall, yet he kind of annoys me most of the time otherwise. i wouldn't see this movie in theatres, but i'm sure i would watch it on tv.

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  4. It is the swine flu, which is coincidentally the topic of next week's debate: "Should we nuke the entire planet instead of letting swine flu kill us all?"

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  5. NO NO NO I know drop dead fred should not be remade. when i was little it was my fave movie and i brought it on dvd. for my little sisters last week and they love it and they have watched it every day since . its the best movie ever and its soo funny my sister love repeating what he says well i get in trouble for that lol . if they remake i will be so PISSED!!!

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  6. Look, I can't even remember what I thought of Drop Dead Fred. I still get it confused in my memory with that movie Fred Savage did with the imaginary monster. But I do think this post is a good opportunity to point out our favorite remakes. I like Little Shop of Horrors. I haven't seen it for at least fifteen years, but I remember liking the Rick Moranis version and not liking the Jack Nicholson version. I love Unforgiven. I also really like Kurosawa. I haven't seen Yojimbo, but Unforgiven is so good on its own that it suffices. I also loved the Citizen Kane remake Newsies, and the Slingblade remake 8 Mile.

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  7. The Dirty Dozen is a remake of 7 Samurai. I have never seen either, but I'm sure they're both amazing.

    Let's also not forget The Producers (the musical) which is a remake of The Producers (the comedy).

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  8. Ha! I will definitely give you The Producers. I saw 7 Samurai which was awesome, but did not see the Dirty Dozen, which I did not realize was influenced by it. But I will certainly agree with you that the trend of remaking horror films or late is more horrific than the mas murdering that occurs therein.

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  9. I was wrong about Dirty Dozen. I think some Kurosawa movie was made into a western. But regardless, they are making a Seven Samurai remake according to an article written 3 years ago.

    Rashoman was remade as an episode of Duck Tales, where everybody gives their interpretation of how some of Uncle Scrooge's money was taken. *SPOILER*: The Beagle Brothers stole it.

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  10. There is no reason to remake this classic. I don't see any way Brand can match the character Rik Mayall was able to produce.

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  11. I haven't heard this debate in over two years. Looks like we were BOTH wrong.

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  12. Still on IMDB with a release date of 2014!

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  13. maybe they should remake Uncle Buck and instead I could be a ghost!

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