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Why remake Straw Dogs?


Cover of "Straw Dogs"

Cover of Straw Dogs

The original 1971 movie Straw Dogs shocked the world’s audiences with the high amount of violence on screen. More to the point, the personal issues raised in the film stand today; those of how women are treated as second class citizens in some zones.

The movie was also, quite brilliant. Director Sam Peckinpah made a film that hit you like you’ve just walked into a fast train. You gripped the theatre seat to ensure your own safety.

Dustin Hoffman played the part of a man-mouse whose motivation caused his character arc to change to man-mountain. He was going to defend his wife, whatever the consequences.

The director also wrote the screenplay, which stands the test of time, to make magic on the screen.

Susan George became the face to be seen leading her to a series of quality films. So realistic were her rape scenes that many thought they were real rather than acted.

The movie was banned for a while, but this only proved to hype it up further. Looking at it today, it’s no longer the shock film it was back 40 years ago as we’re beaten with similar shock tactics on a regular basis. What the studios can do with CGI, special effects and our mind. now goes beyond the pale.

So why make an updated version? I really can’t see the point. It almost certainly can’t be bettered, which leaves it struggling from the get-go. There are enough great screenplays of movies not yet made that we don’t need to rehash the past. For no particular reason, the location has changed as has the occupation of the man-mouse.

I haven’t seen it yet and I hope they’ve completed a great job, but what chances have they of beating the original: none? They could have built a few new elementary schools with the budget. I’ll go rent the DVD and try not to pre-judge, but that’s a difficult ask when an entirely and different new film could have been made. I suppose all of us still alive, who saw the original, will go now and a new audience might be tempted to download the original.

I wouldn’t mind, (actually, yes, on reflection, I do ,) but they’ve used the same film poster with minor changes. Why, oh why?

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