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The Dreadful Ten: Top 10 ‘80s Horror Films That Deserve A Modern Sequel!

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With CREED, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and ASH VS. EVIL DEAD proving themselves critical and commercial success while Kevin Bacon heads back to TREMORS on the small screen, there’s little denying that there’s a certain magic in revamping an old properties with its original parts intact. And while horror fans turn their noses upwards at the prospect of franchise-rebuilding reboots or franchise-disavowing remakes, these late stage sequels land in a nostalgic grey area and get us excited to see what crazy places the original story can go in modern times. So with these properties on the brain, FANGORIA has whipped up a list of other films (specifically, from the ‘80s) that deserve a direct sequel set in new millennium…

  1. MADMAN

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Perhaps one of the most underrated slashers of all time, MADMAN is a creepy cult classic with just the perfect mix of camp and sincerity in its corner. However, as time has gone on, MADMAN has been a great discovery for new horror hounds while longtime fans have clamored to see Madman Marz return to the big screen. While summer camps aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, it’d be great to see Marz back in action, especially considering how ‘in vogue’ ghost-hunting and creepypasta has become among the youth recent years. And who knows? If Paul Ehlers has hung up the axe and overalls, maybe Tom Candela (a/k/a ‘Jimmy Steele’)’s Ritchie could be the one warning those to heed to the legend of Madman Marz.

 

  1. THE STEPFATHER

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While THE STEPFATHER has had two canonical sequels and a remake not too long ago, perhaps the best route of continuing on with this property would be to go back to the original. Much could be rooted from the concept if one were to revisit the story of Stephanie Maine: what if her own daughter married a man who wasn’t what he seemed, and following her traumatic experience at the hands of “Jerry Blake”, could she even trust her own mind? And by perhaps by making the children at play younger grandchildren, THE STEPFATHER could mine some of the family-driven horror that drove THE VISIT to great success.

 

  1. GREMLINS

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After the satirical insanity that was THE NEW BATCH, GREMLINS has always been a franchise that has an almost timeless relevance and yet still finds difficulty in getting a third entry off the ground. However, if there’s any time for GREMLINS to return, it would be now, in a time where scientific and technological advances have reached new heights. And if that means Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates being the ones to pass on Gizmo and his creepy companions to a new generation, horror fans certainly take that over a CGI-loaded reboot to teach us the rules all over again.

 

  1. PUMPKINHEAD

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While Lance Henriksen would return to the franchise in PUMPKINHEAD: ASHES TO ASHES and BLOOD FEUD, those films weren’t near the former glory of the original, mythology-driven creature feature. The good news is that this entry isn’t seemingly too far off the list: Tom Woodruff Jr. has expressed interest in directing a new installment, and there is at least one screenplay connected to the original film floating around (written by none other than FINAL DESTINATION scribe Jeffrey Reddick). And should KRAMPUS hit it big at the box office, perhaps a producer might be so bold to bring Stan Winston’s world of witches, monsters and revenge back to the Appalachian once more.

 

  1. SOCIETY

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There’s no doubt that Brian Yuzna’s terror tale is more relevant now more than ever; in fact, it landed on a previous Dreadful Ten earlier this year calling for a small screen resurrection. However, considering where the original film left off, it might be compelling to see where Bill Whitney may be nowadays, and what companions he might bring with him in a world where conspiracy shows, OCCUPY WALL STREET and the internet exist. Besides, with certain personalities in the political and entertainment world, perhaps a new chapter in SOCIETY could offer a different league of shunting depravity altogether.

 

  1. NIGHT OF THE COMET

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One of the most fun sci-fi horror films of the ‘80s, NIGHT OF THE COMET surely left its heroes in a promising, if unsure, position about their future on Earth. But if MAD MAX can provide badass post-apocalyptic action decades after its initial installments, who says we can’t see what kind of civilization and horrors that have risen in the 30 years since the NIGHT OF THE COMET? Besides, as much fun as it would be to see a new generation of young adults up against mutants and marauders, this writer would pay good money to see Kelli Maroney and Catherine Mary Stewart kick ass in the COMET universe as older, wiser badass best friends.

 

  1. THE ‘BURBS

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Few films have gone from modest success to cult darling in the way that Joe Dante’s THE ‘BURBS has, but nevertheless, the past few years have been especially kind to the fright flick. While Rick Ducommun has unfortunately passed away, it’d be interesting to see what Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks), Carol Peterson (Carrie Fisher) Lt. Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern) and the now-adult Ricky Butler (Corey Feldman) are holding up in the 21st century, and what kind of horrors could come to their cul-de-sac  Plus, this writer knows he’s not the only one who wants to see Tom Hanks embrace the genre side of his career again after so much serious fare in recent years.

 

  1. FRIGHT NIGHT

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With most of the crew still around, sans the late, great Roddy McDowell, it’d be great to see a grown-up Charley Brewster squaring off against a new vampiric threat, especially considering he’d more-or-less be filling the role of Peter Vincent’s older, less-naive vampire hunter at this point. And should the threat be too big for even Charley, perhaps the use of black magic could bring back Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandrige in a bit of an anti-hero capacity. In any case, getting the band back together for a third FRIGHT NIGHT is still a better idea than any more direct-to-video remake/sequels, that’s for sure.

 

  1. THE THING

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“But how?!” It’s true that THE THING ended with MacReady and Childs in a hopeless stalemate, waiting to see if one or the other had been turned by the alien assimilator and likely freezing to death. Yet in a contemporary world where Global Warming is changing the climate radically, who knows if THE THING could be uncovered by a new team of scientists, or worse, thawed and back to work on a vessel to reach a new civilization. And if someone can convince a studio to go practical again, perhaps we can give THE THING a canonical successor truly deserving of its legacy.

 

  1. THE MONSTER SQUAD

 

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With THE MONSTER SQUAD now a genuinely beloved property whose addition to Netflix has brought a new generation of fans to the table, the time is perfect to revive the property. But rather than eschew the original altogether, why not bring the team back together? After all, most of the Squad is still alive, save for the dearly departed Brent Chalem, and the unholy duo of Shane Black and Fred Dekker are better than ever nowadays, proving it with Amazon’s EDGE and the upcoming PREDATORS reboot. And what horror-loving parent wouldn’t want a piece of family fright fare that treats children like people rather than pandering and talking down to them?

 

And now, here are some honorable mentions that did not make the cut…

Revive the New Flesh: VIDEODROME

What would Videodrome look like in the age of reality TV and Youtube? We could easily find out, whilst still offering a continuity to the original Cronenberg classic for tried-and-true fans to cherish.

 

On the Road Again: ROADGAMES

Basically, a choice out of necessity: if someone is going to revive the property one day, why not put Stacy Keach behind the wheel of an RV and take a cue from ROADGAMES’ director Richard Franklin’s PSYCHO II?

 

Twice In Our Skin: THE HIDDEN

Another cult classic worth resuscitating, perhaps someone might be able to persuade Michael Nouri and Kyle MacLachlan to reunite for another sci-fi horror outing. A man can dream…

 

Back on the Shelf: DOLLS

A fantastic concept that would spectacularly hold up today with certain entitled members of today’s youth, this writer certainly wouldn’t mind if Judy Bower took over the Hartwicke Home 30 years later.

 

Still Creepy After All These Years: THE BLOB (‘88)

With the cliffhanger ending never quite fulfilled, let’s bring THE BLOB back in top form, and since they’re still around with successful careers, why not bring back Kevin Dillon and Shawnee Smith into the fold as well?

About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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