Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kong vs. Godzilla, Evil Dead on television leads to lots of good thoughts. And here's why they might not come true.

Okay, I didn't post anything last week, as my back decided to make up for months of neglect and abuse by crippling me a week ago Sunday.  Seriously, I couldn't sit up straight without supporting myself with my arms for five days.  Typing was not an option.

But now, I ready to go and planning to get back on track.  And the San Diego Comic Con offered up a few tidbits of speculation to get the creative juices flowing again.

First up is Skull Island, the King Kong prequel announced by Legendary Pictures.  Now, I'm all for some more Kong, as I love the giant ape, and I hope it doesn't end up the well-intended, overblown mess that Peter Jackson unleashed on theaters back in 2005.  I did enjoy the film, but someone needed to make Jackson cut about 40 minutes from the film, and question why he couldn't find anyone other than Jack Black to play Carl Denham.

My first choice for lost footage.
It should be harder to find than the original Spider Pit footage.

Now, a few websites have speculated, as Legendary Pictures released this year's Godzilla, a King Kong verse Godzilla smack-down might be in the works.  And to any executive from the studio that might be reading this, I implore you, DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!  IT WILL NOT WORK!!!

Sure, CGI will improve the look of Kong compared to the Toho original mashup, but a few problems will carry over into any attempt to reboot this mistaken idea.  And the least of which is that Kong dies at the end of the picture (though De Laurentis solved that problem in 1986, and we all saw how well that went).
The major problem is size.  Kong is not big enough to take on Godzilla, especially in the Big G's current incarnation.  And one can not write a prequel to explain how Kong (or the Son of Kong) grew to match Godzilla's stature.  Never mind that, should you follow Jackson's mythos, the rest of the great apes are dead.

Second, Kong has no answer to Godzilla's atomic halitosis.  For those of you longing for another giant monster mashup, take a look at the Toho original.  In their first encounter, Kong's attack on his "mortal enemy" is foiled when Godzilla lights up the forest around him.  And the only reason Kong manages to beat the Big G is the newly discovered giant-apes-are-lightening-rods power the scriptwriters had to insert for the battle not to be one sided.

Because all giant apes on a primitive island know who to suck power out of an electrical line.

Look, as Legendary teased that Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah, we've got enough monsters in the next Godzilla film.  And, given the Toho monster roster, the series has plenty of other giant creatures for the Big G to battle for years.  Should Legendary Pictures try to shoehorn Kong into the series, it won't make any sense, given the history of the big ape.

And they could make him a hard berry cider swilling drunkard once again.  
Please, NO!!!!!!!!

And, my final point is that the Kong story need no update, or prequel.  The film stands on it's own (even the Jackson remake) and any excuse to revisit the island sounds like a cheap attempt to jump on the giant monster bandwagon fueled by Pacific Rim and Godzilla.  I don't know about other fans, but I'd be more inclined to watch a movie with an original giant monster, full of surprises and cross over potentials, rather than a rehash of a creature that made it's definitive statement decades ago.

Skull Island is scheduled for a November 6, 2016, release.  A lot can happen between now and the release date, and I hope the studio comes to it's senses.

The other news is Sam Raimi's announcement that he's developing an Evil Dead television series with Bruce Campbell set to star in the series.  As any other fan of the series, my first response is....


But, as I thought about it, I don't know if this will become a reality.  Let's face it, while fans of the Evil Dead might be pretty intense about the series, such a base won't overcome the poor box office returns.

Yeah, the series has a cult following, but that didn't translate to success on the big screen.  Sure, one could blame the fact that Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn was released without an MPAA rating, but Army of Darkness was a theatrical flop.  As much as I love the film, I saw it during opening weekend in a theater with only five other people.  And one was a date, which quickly ended our courtship.  I'm not saying this ended our relationship, but it was the final nail in the coffin.

Though were I as cool as Bruce Campbell, who knows..

 It's a great film, but audiences didn't get it, and I think that feeling will haunt any studio.  Sure, television censorship has loosened, as evident by The Walking Dead, Hannibal and other shows.  But it remains to be seen if any cable channel will be willing to risk the money for a show that has a cult following and little else.  Given the disappointing returns of "sure hit" genre flicks like Snakes on a Plane, networks might be hesitant to pick up a series with only fringe fan following.

Look, I really want this to come to fruition.  I want to see Bruce Campbell verse the Deadites once again, even if it's on my television screen.  But while Raimi has a track record with his Spider-Man series, it doesn't mean anyone will be interested in a cult phenomenon with a limited audience.

Look, I'm just saying....

And, saying it's in development is like the same as saying the reboot will meet up with the Ash storyline earlier in the year.  Guess that is off the table now.

It feels like Raimi is shopping the idea around, hoping to find a buyer, and SDCC is the perfect venue.  But, as much as I would LOVE an Evil Dead series, I don't think Raimi will find anyone interested in funding a series that deviates from the more successful remake.  Yes, Campbell has a following, but most executives will see us as a fringe fan base, not one that will boost their ratings.

So, King Kong vs. Godzilla is a hell no, while Evil Dead: The Series is a hesitant yes.  What do you think?  Let comments on the blog, email me at shadowoverportland@live.come, or contact me on Facebook.