13 Movies You Could Never, Ever Make Today

Twilight, at its core, is a tale about necrophilia and bestiality. It's also not good, so it could not be made today.
Twilight, at its core, is a tale about necrophilia and bestiality. It's also not good, so it could not be made today. Jason Merritt/Getty
Every day is a new opportunity for a brand-new Twitter argument. That's nothing new. The platform was built on its ability to let users insult other people without having to get up, put on pants or get in another person's face.

This time, the argument started for the 20 zillionth time when The View host Whoopi Goldberg defended the movie Blazing Saddles from claims on Twitter that it's racist and it couldn't find an audience today.

Of course, Blazing Saddles couldn't be made today. Neither could these movies:
1. Home Alone
Kevin McAllister clearly suffers from some kind of antisocial personality disorder that causes him to disconnect himself from his family. It's not an accident that Kevin is left home alone. He clearly lives in a mentally unhealthy environment and separates from his family on an unconscious level. He could easily call the authorities at any time but he wants to remain separate. Then when his home and possessions are threatened by burglars, he refuses a second time to call the cops until he's inflicted enough pain on them to satisfy the hostility created by his abandonment issues. This movie basically tells kids, "Hey! Do you have a sociophobic disorder? Some good ol' violence will scratch that itch." Also, his mom coud just text him today and ask, "Where u at?"
2. Superbad
The Tide Pod challenge is one of the darkest memes in the internet's recent memory, and this movie created it. Two precocious teenage boys set out on a journey to buy beer for a graduation party and halfway through the movie, one of them comes upon a stockpile and sneaks it out of the house by pouring as much as he can into some detergent bottles. At the end of the movie, he and all his friends get drunk on the beer/detergent blend, fueling millennials' taste for getting wasted on cleaning products. To date, no detergent company has released a statement discouraging impressionable kids from drinking their product for a cheap buzz following the release of Superbad. This movie could not be made today because of Gen Z.
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The first animated incarnation of Dr. Seuss's Christmas classic aims to deliver a positive message about the gift of humanity and charity, but it fails right at a key moment. The Grinch completes his task of stealing everyone's Christmas, and as he leans in to listen to their wailing, he instead hears a joyous town singing and praising the privilege of being together.

"And what happen then? Well ... in Whoville they say," the narrator says, "that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!"

Then an X-ray machine appears out of nowhere to show the Grinch's tiny heart growing as it fills with love and understanding. Unfortunately, radiology costs are at an all-time high in America's for-profit health care system. The Grinch would just get a huge bill from a radiologist because he definitely doesn't have insurance, and it's not like that helps anyway. Having to pay more than double the global average for health care would just send him back to the Grinchy side of the force.
4. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
George Romero's second (and some might say best) trip through a zombie-infected wasteland is beyond just a great movie; it's a cautionary tale about greed, lust and unchecked consumerism. That's what keeps it from being remade in this day and age.

The majority of the movie takes place in an abandoned shopping mall just as the zombie outbreak starts. Three survivors manage to barricade themselves in the mall, the perfect place because it has everything they could ever need and even more to provide a life of comfort and complacency. The zombies keep trying to enter the mall because it's a reminder of their human lives, the place where they all  went, presumably, when they were living. The zombies of today would never return to the mall thanks to the dominance of e-commerce and online shopping, and shuffling zombies trying to navigate just doesn't sound like a solid movie of any kind.
5. Scream
Wes Craven's most enduring film turned the horror genre on its head by playing within the medium to create tense moments. There's no way it could work today and that goes for the rest of the sequels. The Ghostface killer always makes himself known to potential victims on the telephone with a voice modulator so the killer could be anyone at anytime. People don't make phone calls anymore. They text. They'd have to add stage directions to the text so the audience would know that it's Ghostface, and nothing ruins tension more than over-directing.
6. Twilight
The film that kicked off the teen vampire romance franchise could never get made or remade today because it's an awful fucking movie. Next.
7. I, Tonya
Director Craig Gillespie's funny and tragic film recounted two different recollections of Tonya Harding's skating career, which went on to become one of history's most infamous Olympic scandals. So it would be really hard to remake a movie based on real events or as real as the storytellers want you to know. Tonya Harding would have to get back into figure skating and make all of the same mistakes and experience all of the hardships she endured the first time around to make a remake work.
8. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper's groundbreaking slasher flick managed to do so much with so little to create something terrifying. The whole thing couldn't be made today from the ground up like the 1974 original because modern society frowns on murder except in the case of plausible defense and on the use of human skin as apparel.
9. Jaws
The summer blockbuster that created the summer blockbuster is a gripping, thrilling and even amusing tale of a great white shark terrorizing an island town full of summer tourists. They ignore the threat and a small boy is killed while swimming. It takes a few days for news to spread about the shark and the bounty on its head. If that happened today, there would be an Amber Alert that would immediately activate on any nearby phone and someone would catch and kill the shark before it had a chance to swim away.

Then again, maybe most people would just ignore it by hitting the home button and continue trying to keep their Wordle streak alive while the kid is turned into chum. Either way, it doesn't sound like an exciting time at the movies.
10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The most '80s movie ever made is this John Hughes classic about a clever teenager playing the ultimate game of hooky. It really wouldn't work today, when students spend most of their class time in virtual classrooms thanks to computers and iPads. Ferris would have to spend the movie doing his school work on his "sick day." The whole movie would just be the part where Ferris sits on his computer. He wouldn't be able to even work up a dummy or a loop video thanks to high-definition cameras and IP address detection. Thanks, internet, for ruining one more thing for us.
11. Labyrinth
This fantasy epic from the iconic Jim Henson may be a fantasy, but it would still have to obey some basic laws of logic and taste to make it in these days. Sarah has to make her way through The Goblin King's mind-bending maze to save her little brother. But if it were made today, she could just look up the meticulous Wiki site that explains the best route through the labyrinth and how to avoid all of its deadly and disruptive traps. Nothing takes the fun out of something faster than the phrase, "Lemme pull it up on Wikipedia."
12. The Usual Suspects
This one's a bit of a spoiler but it's important to understand the flaw of a modern treatment. The climactic scene reveals that Kevin Spacey's character was Keyser Söze all along, and all of the stories he told were inspired by names posted on the police station's cork boards and even office products so he could hide in plain sight. Keyser would have a much harder time coming up with enough names to build a false identity thanks to the centralized nature of modern brands and the Federal Trade Commission, which hasn't broken up a monopoly since the early 1980s. He'd have a much harder time convincing Chazz Palminteri about the time Söze lived in the Amazon where he defeated a host of Amazonian guerrillas run by a drug smuggler named Mr. Amazon by letting them execute his wife Amazon and two children Amazon and Amazon II.
13. Cruel Intentions
This diabolical, cynical tale about conniving, spoiled teenagers hellbent on destroying the honorable innocence of a model student is actually a modernized remake of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' epistolary novel of the same name. It could never be made again because it's already a remake. It's impossible to remake a remake. What would we call it? A re-remake. It remakes no sense. 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

Latest Stories