Re-Makes or Sequels

A Sardine on Vacation, Episode 70

“Instead of writing new Sardine articles, you should re-make the original book,” Joe T. interrupts my thoughts.

I can’t do that.

“I was thinking of doing it.”

First, you want to plagiarize me, now this.

“They’re always remaking movies.”

That’s unfortunate.

“You’re not one of those fuddy-duddies,” Frank Weathers joins in, “who didn’t like the Psycho remake because the first one was sacrosanct and couldn’t be improved.”

“I didn’t like it,” says Joe.

“The original or the remake.”

“The remake. I never saw the original.”

You’re putting words in my mouth, Frank. Yes, Hitchcock’s Psycho is incomparable. And it seems no one can stop anything from being remade. If it’s better, okay, good. I watched the Gus Van Sant remake up to the point Marion Crane gets into the shower.

”The second Batman, Christian Bale’s, was better than Michael Keaton’s,” Joe adds, “although, I preferred the television show.”

“The Sard would cringe if Citizen Kane was remade,” says Frank.

I’ve little or no intrinsic interest in remade films. They don’t whet my cinematic appetite.

“Caesar Romero was a better Joker than Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger,” Joe opines.

“Joe, you're flagged,” Wal-terr cries out. “You have to be out of your mind to think that.”

“I can’t keep up with the Spider Man remakes,” says Frank.

A Sardine on Vacation might sell a couple hundred copies the second time around,” says Wal-terr.

“The original book was given away to people than anyone actually buying it,” says Joe.

Do you think the book could be better if it was remade?

“I don’t want to hurt your feelings,” Joe whispers.

“Anything to make it interesting to a regular reader would be an improvement” says Wal-terr.

“I’d start by getting rid of Wal-terr,” says Joe. “Replace him with a woman.”

Anything else?

“I don’t think I should’ve married Antigone.”

“Wait til she hears that,” says Wal-terr.

“You better not say anything.”

“She could read this column.”

“She doesn’t read much except for what’s on Twitter.”

Logged-in Public: There should be only one Public. Ditch the Newspaper-Reading Bunch. They’re nearly extinct.

“What about the God-Fearing Public?” asks Joe.

They weren’t in the original book.

“You could eliminate some of my background.,” says Wal-terr. “I don’t want my kids to know about my wild years.”

“You have kids,” Frank exclaims.

“No. In case I ever have any.”

“Just as long as the Sard doesn’t fiddle with my appearances in the columns,” Frank goes on, except for the one about hairpieces.”

Well, I’m not touching the original columns. Besides, these new columns are sort of a sequel to it.

“Did you like the sequels to Psycho?” Frank wonders aloud.

“The remake had sequels?” Joe exclaims.

“The original. There were two of them. Then a fourth, a made-for-television movie. And a television show.”

A long time ago. I didn’t mind the second one.

“Will these columns be in a book?” Joe asks.


“You can’t,” says Frank.

“Why not?” asks Joe.

“The law of sequels states that you can’t make a sequel if the previous work was not financially successful.”

“That’s a law?”

Like Batman and Robin are real crime fighters.

“An unwritten law.”

One that has been violated more than once.

“Like what?”

The Exorcist II: The Heretic. It didn’t do much business. Critics hated it. And no one vomited pea soup. But Exorcist III was made, about fifteen years later. Again, it received little attention.. Fifteen years pass and another, The Exorcist: The Beginning, was made. In two versions. So, we’re talking about multiple sequels after flops.

“That doesn’t disprove the law.”

There are others.

“Why didn’t they just remake The Exorcist?” asks Joe.

Frank thought that would never happen, but the Sardine believes one is in the works.



Bob Castle, a.k.a A Sardine on Vacation has regularly published articles for Bright Lights Film Journal since 2000 and in 2020 his novel, The Hidden Life, was published.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Friday, December 15, 2023 - 21:04