The 1987 Coen brothers classic “Raising Arizona” is a one-of-a-kind comedy.
It can’t be remade, updated or in any way embellished. It stands alone, and thankfully, no one has seriously suggested extending the story.
Not all cult comedies fall into the “Arizona” camp. Take “Super Troopers 2.” The new comedy continues the saga started in 2001 by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe. The law enforcement follies were a natural fit for a sequel, even if longtime fans walk away disappointed.
The following four cult comedies are similarly open to sequels, even though it hasn’t happened yet. See if you agree…
“This Is Spinal Tap”
Let’s start by stating the obvious. “Spinal Tap” remains a perfect movie. The film hit theaters before the mockumetary format fully formed, but it nailed the genre all the same. So why revisit the material? It’s simple. We’re living in the age of aging rockers killing it on tour. These golden oldies can’t stop rocking, and they try to look forever young in the process. It opens the door to a whole new set of satirical rock commentaries. Plus, the three “Spinal Tap” “members — Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest — have been reuniting as Tap for years in a variety of ways, including a TV-based “Return of Spinal Tap.” It’s time for a new mockumentary with ambitions as big as the first film.
Why revisit this classic? It’s simple. The modern workplace is much different than it was waaaaay back in 1999. Office drones visiting Facebook rather than working. Downsizing. Political correctness. Sensitivity training. It begs for a reboot of some kind. Our woke era alone is worth a half dozen gags. Audiences all but ignored the original the first time around. This … will be different.
“Shaun of the Dead”
The zombie genre isn’t just alive and well. It’s taken on a life of its own. All the more reason to reunite Shaun and Ed, the odd couple behind this horror-comedy classic. The first film ended on an intriguing note. Ed is now a zombie, but his days of playing video games with Shaun are far from over. So what happens next? How can the duo mock the current iterations of the genre while creating new laughs and scares? Stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost remain a goofy on-screen duo. Let’s see what else they can draw from this material.
What do you do with a middle-aged Wayne and Garth? The possibilities are endless. They’d probably have their own YouTube channel by now, but they’d struggle with social media (and social cues) all the same. They moved out of their parents’ homes years ago, but they eventually returned after a series of misbegotten job failures. By most objective measures they’ve failed to transition to adulthood, but for a few hours each week their show reminds them they’re still young at heart. Yes, you’d have some pathos to go along with the gags, but that might make it all the better.