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Five Classic ’50’s Horror Films That Could Benefit from A Remake

I was a teenage werewolf movie poster
Poster for I Was a Teenage Werewolf

This will no doubt be a controversial opinion, but not all horror films from the 1950’s are good. Some are definitely considered classics, but are known mostly as classic B-Movies. That doesn’t mean they weren’t entertaining and some definitely had points that were relevant to the time in which they were made. But many of these movies did not explore their points to their full potential. Even if they were entertaining features, there was room for improvement. Remakes of the 1950’s movies were popular in the 1980’s and it’s possible that they’re coming back, given recent remakes like Gila, Plan 9 and of course Godzilla. With that said, here are five movies from the era that could benefit from a reboot.

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

The remake of The Wolfman didn’t work, mostly because it couldn’t decide whether or not to feature a practical or CGI werewolf. But while there have been a couple of good movies in that sub-genre in recent years, it hasn’t had the shot in the arm that it needs. Given that Teen Wolf is currently a hugely successful TV series, now would definitely be the time to revisit the original 1950’s movie about a lycanthropic science experiment. The original is incredibly hammy, which would allow for a new version to be more intentionally humorous while still bringing the scares. Much like a certain other werewolf we can think of.

I was a teenage werewolf 1957

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

The success of the recent Godzilla remake proves that the giant monster genre has life in it yet, kaiju or not. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms was one of the more entertaining bad monster movies from its time and could totally make for a fun reboot. The effects by Ray Harryhausen were some of the best of the stop-motion era, but it would be interesting to see the different creature designs that could be achieved today. With the amount of giant monster movies and reboots over the years, it would be a neat idea to return to one of the stories that defined the genre.

The Beast from 20,000 FathomsThe Incredible Shrinking Man

With Ant-Man on the way from Marvel Studios, it would be interesting to see a return to the original concept. Based on the novel by horror master Richard Matheson, the original movie is definitely dated and cheaply made, but the concept shines through. There are a lot of different directions the story could go in and there are so many possibilities for different scenarios with today’s effects. The source material definitely still holds up to provide modern filmmakers with something to work with. The original’s tone was a mixture of horror, action and science fiction that lends itself to today’s big budget filmmaking.

Incredible Shrinking ManEarth vs. The Flying Saucers

While Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds was not the success everyone was hoping it would be, that doesn’t mean there’s not life left in the alien invasion genre. In fact, it’s been ten years since the Spielberg remake of War of the Worlds and there hasn’t really been much like it since. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers featured excellent stop-motion effects by Ray Harryhausen. It would be interesting to see how the effects would be handled now. But it would be even better to see Earth vs. The Flying Saucers dealt with on something of a more limited budget. Found footage is probably not the route to go, but there are a lot of possibilities here. A little more complex character drama could sell the audience on the situation. But again, it shouldn’t go so far in that direction that the characters are insufferable, which was one of the major issues with War of the Worlds. 

Earth vs the Flying SaucersThe Creature From the Black Lagoon

It’s probably strange to see a classic Universal film on this list, and it’s strange to put one here. But the rest of the Universal classics have been remade endlessly. While that’s not enough reason to support a remake, that doesn’t mean a remake of this title couldn’t be great. The original is very much a movie of its time, and the pacing is choppy, but the creature design really works. It’s the type of feature that just isn’t made anymore. A successful Creature From the Black Lagoon remake could single-handedly revitalize the monster movie genre. That’s almost enough reason to take the risk. There have been numerous attempts to remake this one over the years, with a variety of directors from John Carpenter to Breck Eisner. But none of them came to be. However, with the right direction, this could actually be scary again. The monster design is crucial, naturally, but it could also be an atmospheric unnerving movie of a different sort than most of what we’re seeing right now. A smart update of Creature From the Black Lagoon could be the best way to resurrect a long-dead section of the genre.

Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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