You can’t mess with the classics. At least, you couldn’t before, but in today’s film industry, remakes, new adaptations and entirely new films are continually circulating, building from the original classics with new and unique spins. However, not all of these variations are well done.
When it comes to classic movie monsters, true horror fans hold any renditions of classic characters to extremely high standards. So when they’re done wrong, fans notice. These renditions are some of the most widely disliked, though this list is in no way exhaustive.
Here are the 10 Worst Renditions of Classic Movie Monsters.
10. Blackenstein (1973)
If the title wasn’t enough to convince you, the plot will be. Blackenstein follows a Vietnam war veteran that lost his legs and arms after stepping on a land mine. This tragic event could have ended his life, but a brilliant doctor comes up with a radical plan to attach new limbs to the man’s body. However, the doctor’s assistant becomes infatuated with the vet’s fiancée, and out of jealousy switches the DNA so that rather than gaining his life back, the man is instead turned into a monster.
Not only is the film a great disservice to Mary Shelley’s original monster, but the monster himself is more of a caricature than it is a reimagining of Frankenstein’s monster, making the entirety of this film more laughable than horrific.
9. Blade Trinity (2004)
The third installment of the Blade series, Trinity finds Blade (Wesley Snipes) wanted by the F.B.I., and at the same time must join a group of vampire hunters known as the Nightstalkers to take down what’s referred to his biggest foe yet: Dracula.
While the film itself wasn’t terrible (but not that great either), this version of Dracula left audiences puzzled. It looks like a monster, but there isn’t a single Dracula-like quality in sight. This Dracula is entirely red, with intricate, jagged features complete with shark-like teeth. It reads monster, but Dracula? Not so much.
8. House of the Dead (2003)
Zombie films are difficult to produce, especially when attempting a unique spin on the old monsters. So while House of the Dead boldly made the attempt, it ultimately fell flat. The story is about a group of college students that travel to an island for a rave and end up stranded there due to a zombie infestation.
The film itself was bashed by critics, and the zombies are a part of the reason, and were probably detrimental to the film’s success. As far as zombie films go, this will rank as one of the worst for years to come, especially in its rendition of the flesh-eating creatures.
7. Howling: New Moon Rising (1995)
This is the seventh film in The Howling franchise, and the sequel curse certainly takes over in this one. The series of films, based on a novel titled The Howling by Gary Brandner, follows werewolves as they terrorize towns and kill humans in the night.
Werewolf films are typically all about the transformation scene, and this one fell flat on so many levels. Not only was the werewolf more cartoony than anything else, the transformation in itself was laughably bad. It’s disappointing, especially considering werewolves are one of the most terrifying classic horror characters out there.
6. I Was A Teenage Frankenstein (1957)
Professor Frankenstein is a university lecturer that steals the body parts of dead athletes (that he scavenges from a plane crash) and uses them to build a hunky, athletic teenager. Of course, as one might ascertain from the title, the teen is also horribly disfigured and goes on a killing rampage.
The Frankenstein monster is supposed to be terrifying, but this film does not accomplish that feat. The enlarged eye and expression on his face leave you feeling nothing but pity perhaps, or even confusion, but certainly not fear. Plus, the makeup is restricted to the face, making him look incomplete and even less frightening for viewers.
5. The All New Adventures of Laurel & Hardy: For Love or Mummy (1999)
In this film, the classic comedy duo are attempting to save a professor’s daughter from a mummy that has been re-born. While the plot isn’t terrible, the rendition of the mummy is, landing it as one of the worst renditions ever.
Though this film is a comedy, it still falls flat in its rendition of the mummy. Granted, mummies aren’t the scariest of classic monsters, but this film’s rendition isn’t even close. While the goal isn’t necessarily horror, the headpiece on the mummy (meant to resemble a sarcophagus) completely takes away from the creature, whether it was meant to be scary or not.
4. The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
The Twilight saga’s second film introduces the werewolves to the audience for the first time, and for many, the scene was a major let down. Of course, the Twilight films are also known for their drastic, completely new-fangled renditions of classic monsters, but this one fell just a bit too short for many.
Easily the worst part of the Twilight sequel for most (though many will also disagree), the werewolves look like nothing more than giant dogs. While their means of communication doesn’t help at all (as there isn’t an easy way to adapt it for the big screen), it’s the design of the creatures themselves that leaves audiences puzzled. While it’s certainly a new take on the creature, it doesn’t quite succeed in its attempt.
3. Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)
The Wizard of Oz prequel had many problems with it, but when remaking a classic monster of cinema, it’s important to get it done right. The film’s star-studded cast (including James Franco, Mila Kunis and Zach Braff, to name a few) couldn’t quite save it, and the rendition of the Wicked Witch of the West didn’t help, at all.
While casting Kunis as the witch could have been brilliantly executed, nothing more was done than recreating essentially the same witch, and poorly at that. Kunis’ beauty could’ve been played up a bit more, but by painting her green and jutting out her chin and nose in contrast to her otherwise round features, this rendition of the witch was a complete fail in every sense of the word.
2. Survival of the Dead (2009)
Another zombie film that isn’t quite up to par, Survival of the Dead is about a zombie epidemic that hits an island off the coast of North America. But this one takes on a Romeo and Juliet story, following a family feud between those that want to kill the zombies, and those that want to keep them alive in hopes of a cure that’ll bring back their undead family members.
It’s certainly an interesting and one-of-a-kind take on the zombie apocalypse, but unfortunately, this film falls short as well. It doesn’t quite reach that horror level, and the zombie makeup in the film is lacking. Though it’s meant to make the zombies look much more human, the makeup is far too minimal to be an appropriate rendition of the undead.
1. Van Helsing (2004)
The film includes all of the necessary, classic movie monsters, but still doesn’t quite get it right, unfortunately. Though it’s an otherwise good film, starring Kate Beckinsale and Hugh Jackman, this monster-hunting film could have been great, but instead, fell flat, at least in terms of the monster renditions.
Though the film’s werewolf was a bit cartoony, it wasn’t a terrible rendition, especially given the creature’s past renditions. But the major pitfall of the film was its rendition of Count Dracula, who looked more like a sad, lost puppy than he did a villainous killer. In many scenes, the overly sexualized brides looked far more terrifying than he did, making the creature appear as nothing more than a person. And since he was cast as the ultimate villain, this was not even an appropriate rendition.
Did you find a rendition truly terrible? Include it in the comments below!