Re-Animated: Straw Dogs for Sale – Now with Skarsgård!

I’m not one of these vehement purists who believe that movies are sacrosanct, bemoaning any and every “blasphemous” attempt to re-make/re-model the movies of days gone by, not even when said “days gone by” were fairly recent (read: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Sure, there are some movies that, for one reason or another, I don’t think should be re-made–Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Easy Rider, Jaws, etc.–but I’ll live if they are. That being said, I’m very interested in seeing the upcoming re-make of Sam Peckinpah‘s controversial classic, Straw Dogs.

Director Rod Lurie recently released the poster for his Straw Dogs re-make, and it seems to be catching a lot of flack for being a re-make (in and of itself) of the original Straw Dogs poster.

Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. I’ve seen far worse posters with far worse taglines. No, I don’t think the poster for the re-make is as good as the original. Yes, it does seem like Skarsgård was thrown in at the last minute as an added bonus. But, I get both the nod to the original poster to appeal to fans of the original movie, and the use of Alexander Skarsgård‘s image to appeal to a younger audience who might not be aware of Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. It makes sense. This poster doesn’t enrage my inner fanboy in the least, unlike the poster for Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which made me want to throw boiling oil in Tyler Perry’s face . . . more so than usual, anyway.

Accordingly, my feelings about the poster are on par with my feelings about re-makes in general: it is what it is. I’m more interested in what this poster tells me about the commodification of Alexander Skarsgård, who is not, in fact, the star of Straw Dogs, James Marsden is.

"Orange mocha frappuccino!!!"

Still, upon seeing Skarsgård on the poster, my first thought was, “That Hansel is so hot right now,” which in turn made me laugh, cause Alexander Skarsgård plays Meekus in Zoolander (James Marsden is also in Zoolander, as John Wilkes Booth).

Skarsgård’s sepia-toned visage photoshopped into the frame of James Marsden’s broken glasses is a clear signal that the studio thinks Skarsgård can sell a movie.

So, congratulations to Alexander Skarsgård, apparently you are officially a viable product.

As for the film itself, I’m a fan of the original Straw Dogs and already wanted to see the re-make. I’m interested to see Lurie transport the story of a timid man’s descent into violence from the quiet English countryside to the deep South of the 21st Century. I think it could work. If you haven’t seen the original, you should check it out. It’s one of my favorite Sam Peckinpah movies.

What say you? How do you feel about Rod Lurie re-making Sam Peckinpah’s classic?

Check out the trailers for each.

And for good measure:

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3 responses to “Re-Animated: Straw Dogs for Sale – Now with Skarsgård!

  1. Bryan Parrill

    Did not know he was in Zoolander.

    I always find it funny when you go back and watch something from 5, 10, 20 years ago who you’ll see in a bit part who is now in fact your favorite actor.

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