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Necessary Evil: Carpenter Vs. Zombie

09.30.2016by: Mike Catalano

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Welcome back, friends! Time to get down with another round of horror that has to happen! I hope you had fun with our last Necessary Evil which came up with an updated version of the 1986 haunter, Witchboard. Today, we've got an idea for a new and different type of horror movie... one that you could say was ripped from the horror headlines! Horror master John Carpenter has been popping up in horror news lately, the most recently being an article where he expressed his true feelings towards Rob Zombie's Halloween remake. Let's just say that the man who created Michael Myers wasn't the biggest fan of ol' Zombie-boy's trashy rehash. This got us thinking: what if a horror hack trying to remake a horror legend's masterpiece became a horror movie in and of itself?! Confused? Let me explain...

IDEA: A horror film about a hotshot horror director trying to remake a horror legend's classic at ANY cost!

OUTLINE: Rick Spectre is a punk rock singer who happens to be a huge fan of the macabre. He ends up directing a very low budget horror film revolving around his band, The Things, which ends up becoming a cult hit. He soon becomes a sought-after horror filmmaker in Hollywood. He ends up meeting and marrying a hippie wannabe actress named Flower Jupiter, and OF COURSE casts her in all his movies. Although most of his films aren't treated kindly by critics, Spectre still is able to develop a fan base thanks in part, to his previous rocker image.

One day a huge opportunity lands in Spectre's lap. A big studio wants to do a remake of the 1978 horror classic "Hammer Head" from genre master Jack Hammersmith. The film centered on a wronged carpenter who was accidentally impaled in the top of his skull with the back of a hammer by a bunch of kids dressed as zombies on Halloween night. The following Halloween, someone wearing a mask with a hammer lodged into the top of it begins stalking and murdering the kids one by one with a bloody hammer. Spectre is stoked to do the remake, but has to obtain the rights to it from Jack Hammersmith. He meets with the horror master and divulges his ideas for the remake. Hammersmith thinks the entire thing sounds stupid and refuses to give up the rights.

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Spectre is crushed, but is very determined to get the movie made... his way... no matter what! One night, he visits Hammersmith at his mansion with the hopes of somehow convincing him to go along with the remake. Again, Hammersmith slams Spectre for his idiotic re-interpretation of Hammer Head and the overly vulgar, white trash depiction of the other characters. Hammersmith is very old school (and very old as well) and despises any form of new age horror. His insults hurt the spineless Spectre who lunges at him. He knocks Hammersmith over, causing his head to smack the pointed edge of a thick oak table. He hits the ground and begins convulsing as blood spurts from the top of his head. Spectre looks on until Hammersmith's motions cease. He is dead.

With Hammersmith gone, Spectre is easily able to secure the rights to Hammer Head away from his estate, telling them that the remake will "honor" the horror master's legacy. Production soon begins as Spectre gleefully starts treading his messy footprints all over the classic original film. Hammer Head gets a pointless backstory, featuring Flower Jupiter as his mother and all forms of the original's subtly are cast aside. Spectre's typical crew of sub-par actors are all given parts to play. Lastly, the mask worn by Hammer Head is given a much grimier update. After wrapping a late shoot one evening, Spectre is heading up the front walkway to his home and notices a dark shape staring at him from across the street. Something appears to be sticking out of the shape's head. Spectre fumbles with his keys and inserts one in the front door. He looks back up and the shape is gone.

As shooting continues on the remake, more strange things happen. While watching a scene through the camera lens, Spectre thinks he sees a quick flash of Hammer Head swipe across the screen. A weird knocking sound intermittently disrupts shooting and no one can find its source. Then, the set design of Hammer Head's tool shed suddenly collapses on Flower. This is the last straw for Spectre. He needs to take a break, thinking the stress of this big Hollywood remake is getting to him. He tries to exit the lot, but the door is locked. Then, all the lights go out. Using his phone as a light, Spectre shines a path for himself as the rest of the crew starts to panic. Something solid smacks into Spectre's hand, knocking the phone to the ground. The light remains face up and shines on the visage of what appears to be someone wearing the original Hammer Head mask and holding a hammer. An actor runs toward the light and is at once grabbed by Hammer Head and beaten to death with the hammer. Spectre screams and runs off.

The remainder of the film follows the old school stalk and slash mantra as all involved with the remake are dispensed one by one. Spectre is soon the only one left and finds a fallen security guard's gun. Hammer Head appears, hammer raised. Spectre fires the gun at him and the masked killer drops to the ground. Relieved, Spectre stands over Hammer Head, but notices no bullet holes. He looks at the gun and realizes that it is a prop and the security guard was merely an extra for the movie. Hammer Head immediately pops up and buries his hammer in the top of Spectre's head. His body is discovered later on with a film real next to it. The studio watches the reel, which shows footage of Spectre and everyone else being stalked. Hammer Head is gone without any insight into his true identity. Years later, the reel is turned into a found footage movie and is a huge success!

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WHY IT COULD WORK: It's pretty obvious that John Carpenter and Rob Zombie have their fan bases in the horror community. The idea of old school vs. new school in terms of horror movies is a topic that has never been discussed before even in the meta-like Scream series. I also can't remember there ever being a horror movie made that was actually ripped from the horror headlines, so there's a cool sense of originality here.

CHARACTERS: I really like the idea of Brian Cox to play Jack Hammersmith. He's a great actor and has been in our beloved genre many a time. For Rick Spectre, for some reason I see someone like James Franco in the role. Lastly, for Flower Jumpier, let's pull out all the stops and go with Tara Reid!

CONCLUSION: I reiterate, NEVER has there been an actual horror movie based on a news article within the horror movie community! The fact that we have a well-respected master of horror films going up against a schlocky type of horror filmmaker who alienated many fans by stubbornly sticking to a routinely lame template could stir some major interest! Plus, the whole horror movie centered around the remaking of a horror movie may drum up some meta appeal.

I'm definitely interested in your opinion on this type of horror movie concept. Are you Team Carpenter or Team Zombie? Do you have room in your black heart for both? Kindly blast them bullets below! And if you have any ideas that you think should be made into horror reality, let me know at mikecatalano@joblo.com.

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Extra Tidbit: Do you think John Carpenter could kick Rob Zomie's ass in a fist fight? I kinda do!

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