Films That Need Remakes: Saturn 3

All you hear about lately are films being remade.  What gets to me, besides the seeming cynicalness of the whole pursuit, is the way it seems that the better a film is, the more likely it is to be remade; which doesn’t make any sense.

Why remake something that was well-done the first time around?  As opposed to films that, for various reasons, weren’t that good?

Which remind me, there’s an upcoming remake to “Fright Night,” which is a perfect example of this tendency.  Besides bringing the special effects up to date, I can’t see what how a remake is going to improve things.  Besides, there are enough bad films (or perhaps films so bad they’re good) out there that could use a remake, so why bother with ones that are already excellent, and difficult to improve upon?

Sure, a movie made today is going to have better special effects–especially if you define “better” as “CGI”–but when you have an entertaining, and fun flick like Todd Holland’s “Fright Night” I am not quite sure what you can do today that’s going to make it any better than the original version.

Though I am pretty sure that they can make it significantly worse.  So, because Hollywood cannot seem to do it on their own, I will occasionally be listing films that, unlike Fright Night, can definitely use a makeover.

Saturn 3

Directed by Stanley Donen Scored by Elmer Bernstein Production Design by Stuart Craig

Stanley Donen, the director of  Saturn 3, would have been my last choice to direct a science fiction film.  Known more for fare like “Singing In The Rain,” “Saturn 3” was a departure for him.  That being said, “Saturn 3” is in its way a fascinating film and by no means a terrible one.  The story is essentially the Adam and Eve creation myth, with an interesting commentary on recreational drug useage, set at a research facility on one of Saturn’s moons.   It has great music by Elmer Bernstein and some of the most innovative production design that I have seen in awhile.  So why is it on the list?  Probably because of the two leads, Farrah Fawcett and Kirk Douglas.  Farrah Fawcett’s character is–obviously–Eve, but she plays the character as if she were without a single thought in her body.

So, she’s naive.  That’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but naive isn’t quite the same thing as being clueless, which is how she’s played.  I don’t recall the circumstances that brought her to the station–I believe that she was born there–but seeing that Kirk Douglas is old enough to be her father, it makes the relationship somewhat creepy.

Then–and this is going to sound a bit ageist–but Kirk Douglas was too old at the time to be doing full-on (I don’t recall any frontal; then again I may have blocked it out) nude scenes.  That’s not a knock against him more than a way of saying that there are ways that these sort of scenes can be pulled off, though brightly lit rooms isn’t it.

So, keeping as much as the production design and musical cues as possible, it should be redone, though perhaps with a bit of role-reversal (any younger male and Helen Mirren or Maria Bello) would be perfect.


2 thoughts on “Films That Need Remakes: Saturn 3

  1. Define if Saturn 3 is moon or asteroid – never explained in original. This will provide an interesting environment such as what’s the gravity like? Leading to low-g fight scene perhaps. A base under siege movie with a cyborg (not robot, as Hector has an organic brain), a small crew as kill fodder, a twist on the Adam/Alex relationship and a bolder ending. Since this would be a self-contained film it could easily be done for, say, $20 – $25 Million. Tense, claustrophobic, character-driven with a dynamic CGI Hector. Potentially a nice little sci-fi / horror hit in the making.

    1. I agree. The whole look and aesthetic of Saturn 3 is like nothing that I have ever seen in movies–even now, despite our innovations in CGI. You could do so many things with the story; little tweaks that could really make it watchable. I see a reboot in my head being made on a Pitch Black-type (in fact, I would think that David Twohy would be a great choice for director. He knows how to manage big, or small, budgets effectively as well as having a very good sense of the visual) of budget, and being a balls-to-the-wall suspense, scifi, horror hit about the role of technology (and mind-altering drugs, let’s not forget those) in our lives.

      Though the most important thing would be to preserve the look that I mentioned earlier, that whole insect-like, walking upside down on ceilings, esthetic was excellent.

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