“Red Dawn” remake is filming largely in Michigan.

So I’m cruising through my collection of RSS feeds when I come across an article on IO9 with set pics from the upcoming remake of Red Dawn, a movie I really don’t see a need to be remade. It’s most notable for two things: 1) It was the first movie with a PG-13 rating and 2) it once held the Guinness World Record for most acts of violence in a film.

For those of you fortunate enough to be young enough not to have seen the film, or who just never got around to it, it was a 1984 flick about World War III where the Russians manage to invade and take over America practically overnight only to be foiled by a bunch of high schoolers who take up arms and set up a guerrilla resistance to defend their sleepy Midwestern town. Supposedly it took place in Calumet, Colorado, but it was actually filmed in New Mexico with Las Vegas, NM standing in for Calumet. I don’t remember a whole lot from the movie as it’s been decades since I last watched it, but I do recall thinking at the time that it was a stinking pile of shit. Granted I was 16 years old when it came out and hadn’t developed the refined sense of criticism that I posses today, but my opinion probably wouldn’t change much if I were to watch it again.

So anyway, as I said previously, I’m reading the IO9 RSS feed and it comes to an article about set pics from the remake. Just as I’m about to roll my eyes and scroll past it, because I just don’t give a shit about this movie, my eyes alight upon the following:

The Red Dawn reboot rallies to re-educate the workers of Pontiac, MI to fight corporate corruption. Check out some new set pics and video, which show the anti-captalism propaganda plastered across the streets after the Chinese and Russians have invaded.

As many of you know Pontiac is my home town so my reaction to seeing that was, what the fuck? They’re setting the remake in Pontiac? That’s hardly a sleepy midwestern rural town and there aren’t any mountains in the damned state (in the original the kids hide in the mountains until they form a plan). Turns out that, no, the film isn’t set in Michigan, but it is largely being filmed here. The actual setting has been moved to Spokane, Washington and the invaders this time are the Chinese, with help from the Russians later on.

Apparently they just started shooting back on the second week of September and are using a number of different cities as locations. In addition to Pontiac they also had some major action taking place in Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Detroit, and a few other locations further north. I suppose if I’d been paying attention to the local news media I’d already know all of this as they did a story on it back when filming started, but that would require actually watching the news.

I have no idea if this version will be better than the original, word has it they’re upping the action and perhaps the rating, but I’m duty bound to watch it now if for no other reason than to see my hometown dressed up in Chinese propaganda posters. It also looks like they’re looking for extras so perhaps I’ll dash off an email and see if I can’t score a little time in the background of a scene or two. Been meaning to start paying attention to the film industry in Michigan for the chance to be an extra and now is as good a time as any. In the meantime I’ll keep an eye on the Red Dawn 2010 fan site for more location pics so I can giggle at the surreality of Chinese troops invading places I grew up in.

There can be only one… again!

This could be good or bad. I loved the original Highlander when it came out despite it being a relatively cheesy movie. The sequels pretty much all stank to high heaven as it is difficult to do a sequel when you’re supposedly the only immortal left at the end of the first movie. I enjoyed the TV series enough that I bought the first four seasons on VHS a few years back, but never completed the whole series. It’s always seemed like a story that could do with a well thought out remake at some point.

Now it looks like that’s going to happen:

Summit Entertainment is bringing back to the big screen the 1986 sci-fi cult hit “Highlander,” with “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway on board to write the script.

[…] Summit acquired the rights to remake the cult classic from Davis/Panzer Prods. Peter Davis, one of the original producers of the 1986 film, also will produce the new film.

Davis said the new “Highlander” will not just be a remake but will incorporate more backstory elements and prequel aspects that will be fleshed out to expand the story line in a way that is inventive yet faithful to the original story.

He also said romance was key to the series’ popularity and would be a central theme in the new film.

“I would hate to think that people viewed ‘Highlander’ as a sword fighting movie because it’s much more than that,” he said. “The issues of an immortal falling in love with a woman and knowing she’s going to grow old and die in your arms, those are very romantic issues to deal with.”

No word yet on casting or when they hope to start filming, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see how things develop.