by John Bikowski
‘You can’t polish a turd.’ The quote from Christine is well-taken advice. I have spent many a summer day trying to no avail. As a result, I decided to collect something else. Speaking of shining turds, I have news for filmmakers everywhere: If a movie really sucks gopher gas, don’t remake it unless you offer something new. Furthermore, if a film was fine the way it was originally released, then why don’t you do something else? Case in point: Night of the Living Dead being remade in 1990. Did we really need this? This brings me to the film Diabolique. Now, the original is considered by many a classic of suspense and mystery, so why remake it? I’ll tell you why – to give box office drawmeister Sharon Stone something to bitch (I mean act) in. Without ruining any surprises, the premise is that the childlike Isabelle Adjani’s adulterous husband (Chazz Palminteri) is humping and abusing Stone, among other bimbos. Adjani and Stone decide that the best way to the root of the problem is to disregard Lorena Bobbitt’s punishment advice and destroy the entire body. After a languorous poisoning and a forceful drowning, they dump Chazz in a nasty piss-infested swimming pool. Strangely, when the pool is drained, the body is gone. Was someone watching them and planning blackmail? Are supernatural forces at work? Will homosexual tensions flourish? Diabolique will keep you guessing even if you caught the original. The remake showcases on-target acting, crisp editing and bizarre camera angles to retain your attention. You could do worse at the theaters these days.
If you prefer a less polished, grungier film with a budget equal to the lip-gloss bill for Diabolique, check out House On Sorority Row. Sometimes it’s nice to watch a film starring no one in particular. The general premise is similar to Diabolique in that a murdered body hidden in a pool disappears. However, the implications are much gorier and more eerie. A group of sorority girls accidentally guns down their domineering old house mother. To avoid blame, they chuck her in the swimming pool. Anybody out there have a conscience? Didn’t think so. Anyway, as in most horror films of the early ’80s, the young ‘uns start suffering from severe bodily mutilation (one by one, of course). Look for the nice severed-head-in-the-toilet bowl bit. All the signs point to murder by the deceased old lady whose corpse is MIA. Has she returned from her watery grave for revenge, or is someone (or something) else chopping the crap out of everyone? They don’t make slashers like this anymore. It seems that nowadays producers moronically believe that we want to see psycho paperboys and rabid Roto-Rooter men. Yeah, right. Make some new movies!