The Disappointing Movie:
2010's Jonah Hex is what happens when some Hollywood producer says, "Hey, remember Wild Wild West? The movie? Was that good or bad? Can you check if that was good or bad? You can't right now? OK, let's make another one like that anyway. Yeah, just go ahead and do it. I think there's $50 million in that hooker's butt, just grab that and do the movie. And pass me that brick of coke and a chisel."
"Forget the chisel, I'm gonna stuff the whole thing up my nose."
The Awesome Sequel:
The comic book version of Jonah Hex has been in a lot of stories over the years, some good and some bad, and it just so happens that this stupid goddamn movie sets the stage for one of the better ones. The basic concept of Jonah Hex comics is "ugly cowboy shoots stuff." Two-Gun Mojo, a "recommended for mature readers" miniseries from 1993, switches that up a little bit to "ugly cowboy shoots zombies." Like Zombie Wild Bill Hickok here:
Get Jeff Bridges to reprise him, because that guy can't play cowboys in enough movies.
In Jonah Hex, Michael Shannon plays a guy called Doc Williams, the ringleader of a freak circus, but he shows up in one scene and then the movie forgets about him. Well, in Two-Gun Mojo (and this proposed sequel), Williams turns out to be a deranged motherfucker who happens to know voodoo and reanimates Wild Bill to be his bodyguard. But why stop there? Get Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Black Bart, and every badass Old West outlaw to join Doc Williams' undead gang, and then have Jonah Hex kill them again. And, of course, this can't be PG-13 like the first one -- keep the tone and the language from the comic, because that's the best part:
How's Deadwood meets The Walking Dead sound?
Hell, since we're dealing with zombies, you might as well bring back Michael Fassbender's assassin character from the first movie. In that one, Hex kills the guy, brings him back to life, and then kills him again. Let's say that made him a special kind of zombie that can talk, and he hates Hex's ass. As for Megan Fox's prostitute love interest character, well, this suddenly happens less than halfway through Two-Gun Mojo, and I wouldn't object to keeping it:
"Hmm, should I have possum or snake for dinner tonight?"
The Disappointing Movie:For horror movie fans, the words "Swamp Thing" bring forth two mental images: 1) Adrienne Barbeau bathing naked in a swamp (Google it, kids), and 2) a guy in a hokey 1980s rubber costume watching Adrienne Barbeau bathing naked in a swamp. I've literally run out of things to say about these movies.
The Awesome Sequel:
For comic book fans, on the other hand, the same words are synonymous with concepts like existential horror, environmental deities, and a plant monster having psychedelic sex with a lady. As you might have guessed from the mention of woman/monster boning, this comic was written by Alan Moore, who turned it from a generic horror series into one of the most psychologically fascinating pieces of postmodern fiction ever. And while the second Swamp Thing movie came after Moore's stories had already been published, they took exactly one idea from him: the woman/monster boning, naturally.
However, this means Moore's most mind-blowing ideas are still waiting to be used cinematically. The first two movies are about a scientist called Alec Holland, who, through a combination of being dosed by chemicals and falling into a swamp, transforms into a plant monster. Despite his ugly appearance, he dedicates his life to fighting bad guys while trying to find a cure for his condition. Well, a Swamp Thing sequel based on Moore's work would start off by ending that life. The good news: He's not really dead. The bad news: He's not really Alec Holland either, because that guy died in the swamp years ago, and our protagonist is just a bunch of plants that think they are a man.
This is an autobiographical touch based on the time Moore found out he's a sentient beard.
Swampy doesn't take the news well. First he goes on a bloody rampage against the men who killed him, embracing the "monster" part of his identity, and then he spends some time laying completely still, embracing the "inanimate object" one. Eventually he realizes that not being human means he's no longer bound to his lumpy cauliflower body -- he can travel through vegetation at will and even jump to the flora of other planets. As a result, he goes from fighting gangsters that want to blow up his swamp to fighting primordial demons that want to blow up all of reality.
The sequel would start off with the same general tone as the old movies, and then progressively get trippier and trippier. Couldn't they just reboot the franchise and start a new one that goes straight to the interesting part? Probably, but it wouldn't be as interesting without the stupid parts to serve as contrast. If they tell this story as one movie, it's just another comic book adaptation -- if they make it a sequel to a couple of existing '80s B-movies, it becomes a deconstruction of the horror genre.
Check out more from Maxwell in The 6 Stupidest Ways Superheroes Protected Secret Identities and The 5 Most Hilariously Misguided Comic Book Adaptations.
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