A Brief History of Unnecessary Film Remakes

Ah, cinematic remakes. Remaking an old film isn’t a terrible idea per se — sci-fi films like The Fly and The Thing, for instance, have often benefited from more convincing special effects, while others that just didn’t work at first have occasionally been rescued by superior direction or acting the second time round. But generally, such films are few and far between, and outnumbered by the out-and-out stinkers. However, we’re not looking at either of those categories here — instead, inspired by this morning’s news that Spike Lee might be rebooting Oldboy, we’re focusing on the special Hollywood genre that’s the completely unnecessary remake. Generally, these are recreations of films that were well-loved and pretty much perfect the first time around. Here we present ten of our great cinematic head-scratchers — some of them are terrible, some of them are passable, but they’re united by the fact that there’s no reason for them to exist in the first place.

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (aka Turkish Star Wars) (1982)

Strictly speaking, this wasn’t unnecessary — from a Turkish point of view, it was wholly necessary, as their film censorship board wasn’t letting the original Star Wars into the country. As far as the rest of the world goes, however, the idea of a reworking of George Lucas’ classic that involved splicing “borrowed” footage from the original with a karate-choppin’ (and decidedly old) Luke Skywalker and a spiky-helmeted Darth Vader wasn’t exactly the stuff of cinematic legend. It is, however, hysterically funny — if the climactic battle scene doesn’t make you giggle uncontrollably, you have a cold, cold heart.