Friday, November 06, 2009

Movie remakes

This is my regular column for the Red Dirt Pedalers newsletter.

November is coming. The weather will be turning worse and there will be days we're stuck in the house. I'm not a sports fanatic, but I do loves me some old movies.

Hollywood has about thirty different plots that we've seen endlessly. We pay big bucks to sit in a dark room watching flickering lights on the wall, so if the movie moguls want us to keep coming to their theaters, they really should offer something for us cyclists.

Imagine the possibilities if some iconic old movies and television shows were remade with bicycles as a central theme. Some, like Cannonball Run, Vanishing Point, or North by Northwest, just wouldn't work as bicycling movies. Others, however...

Route 66: Two cool guys wander along the Mother Road solving problems for a host of guest stars. One big plus comes from the simple fact that bicyclists travel much slower than automobiles. In the original program, the guys traveled in a Corvette and may have driven between Chicago and Los Angeles half a dozen times. On bicycles, a whole season could play out in Oklahoma alone. And when you consider the multiple alignments of the road over its history, the story line could include frequent dead ends and tales of characters becoming profoundly lost.

The Road Warrior/Mad Max: It says tons about our culture when a post-apocalypse story revolves around motorcycles, automobiles and the omnipresent search for fuel. This takes place in a stinkin' desert without a water hole in sight. Yep, these folks are fighting over gasoline. When I last checked, humans don't really need gas for survival, but water is a necessity. We can't last a week without it. So imagine a remake with a bunch of punk wannabes duking it out over some water. If you don't think it makes a compelling story, see Humphrey Bogart in Sahara. Keep a Big Gulp handy. You'll need it.

Christine: Sure, this was a horror move, but the bicycle version would involve a young man's slow descent into madness as he tried to find parts for an old French bike, finally losing it completely when he discovers that breaking in an Ideale 90 saddle is an exercise best left to committed masochists. Finding proper French parts for a bike was a pain-in-the-butt back in their heyday. It's infinitely worse now.

Lonely are the Brave: Kirk Douglas plays a cowboy, a rugged individualist wandering the modern west. He cuts fences. He's a throwback who just doesn't fit into the modern world. Douglas gets tossed in jail where he's beaten up, and later escapes. If you've seen First Blood, with Sylvester Stallone doing his shirtless, thespian best, you've seen the basic plot of Lonely are the Brave. The latter is a far better movie. Douglas keeps his shirt on. Substitute a battered mountain bike for the cowboy's horse, and it would work.

While the rain beats on the windows, make yourself a bowl of popcorn and watch some of the good stuff. If you have an idea for a remake, let me know!



Blogger Steve A said...

I'm not so sure that Vanishing Point wouldn't work. On the other hand, I was hooted down on my blog after a single episode of "Bike Trek."

6:07 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

"Bike Trek"? I'll have to read that.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

I shall have to ponder how one would adapt "Vanishing Point" for bikes...

7:31 PM  

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