It’s easy to see why the filmmakers for this remake of the 1975 sci-fi/horror hybrid would change the tone towards broad comedy, given how the themes of the original have become a little antiquated while the movie’s secrets have long been pop culture lore. It’s also easy to see why this Franz Oz remake was panned as it was, given that it’s, well, not very funny, has a number of plot holes and story problems, and is cursed with a stiff Nicole Kidman who seems to have wandered in from a different movie altogether. However, the concept itself is so fascinating, and Frank Oz’s all-American direction is the perfect touch for the film’s visual look which goes a long way to sell some of the weaker moments. Bette Midler provides a spark of life whenever on screen, and there’s a neat, satisfying little twist at the end. In no way is this a particularly good movie, but fans of famous flops and troubled productions will probably find plenty to enjoy here as I did.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)