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Real Horrorshow – Maniac Cop and Hellraiser

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Everything is becoming a TV show nowadays. We’ve got “The Exoricist,” “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “The Walking Dead,” “Ash vs Evil Dead,” and recently announced “Tremors,” “Critters,” and “Child’s Play” series. It’s in horror’s blood to make all manner of sequels and remakes, and this isn’t the first time our favorite franchises have seen life on the little screen (think “Friday the 13th: The Series” and the other “Tremors” TV show…). But this is the golden age of television, baby. What once was guaranteed crap can be the next bold new vision. And anything is up for grabs.

Tremors

I just wanted to make sure you know that this picture exists

Whether it be a sequel, remake, or reinvention, these shows have often done more justice to the legacy of the franchise than the actual main franchise. I mean, seriously, look at “The Exorcist” TV series. Now look at Exorcist II: The Heretic. Now look back at “The Exorcist,” with its deep characters, surprising twists, and genuine moral struggles. Now look at Exorcist II: The Heretic, with its inception machines and Pazuzu hallucinations. It’s only a matter of time before a horror franchise implodes on itself. It just takes some longer than others. Television is the new hotness, and for good reason. It gives a franchise grasping at straws a new lease on life, a new method to tell a longer and more complex story that’s no longer hampered by severely restricted production costs. I mean shit, I’m pretty sure a Game of Thrones episode costs at least 4-5 Bugattis.

So with that all being said, I wanted to throw my hat of infinite wisdom into the ring. Welcome to my new monthly masturbation session, “Real Horrorshow.” Here I’ll be reminding you that I’m very important and incredibly smart by giving you my take on what shows should be the next to grace our mobile devices (or televisions, if you’re old and still do that). I’ll be doing two titles a month pulled from the worlds of film, book, comic, or whatever I feel like. But wait, there’s more! I’ll also be throwing in what new and exciting direction I think they should take the franchise. And as a bonus, I’m even throwing in what network/platform should be presenting it. It’s the whole package, all yours for the low low price of stroking my ego. So without further ado, here’s the first installment of Real Horrorshow!


Maniac Cop

Maniac Cop: The Killing meets The Shield with zombies

When Larry Cohen wrote Maniac Cop back in 1988, I doubt he thought that the future of police/community relationships would become so polarizing. While once the idea of a murderous cop was shocking, a parade of “bad cop” shows and real life officer involved shootings has changed much of the public’s perception of our men and women in blue. Now before you get triggered and start calling me a, “cuck SJW libtard,” my brother-in-law is a cop. Acknowledging that the relationship between the police and communities has become tense is just a fact. It’s not a political statement to mention that Black Lives Matter matter exists. How you feel about all that stuff is your own business.

Looking at it through this modern lense, “Maniac Cop” is a great opportunity to offer a new take on the traditional corrupt cop/serial killer story. This time around, Officer Jack Forrest isn’t just cheating on his wife. Jack is many years dirty, somewhere between the level of Dark Blue and Training Day. Though never actually accused or convicted of anything, Jack is a pariah in the newer, mostly reformed modern day NYPD. He’s seen as a living relic, an irremovable coffee stain on the department’s paperwork back from the days they all used to drink on the job. He’s not the cliché, “rough, but gets the job done” stereotype. He just exists, a pile of squandered potential solely dedicated to making it through another day.

Then the murders start. Victims seem to be random, with no apparent rhyme or reason other than location. The only commonality is that witnesses claim the killer was wearing a police uniform. But these aren’t your typical officer involved shootings. This is brutal, grotesque, savage murder. This new kind of terror brings tension between the police and communities to a breaking point.

Maniac Cop

Grrr… stoooooop resiiiiiiistinggggg…. grrrrrr

With a new slew of sweeping reforms and IA inquiries designed to root out the last traces of corruption, Officer Forest embarks on the noble quest of saving his own ass. The only way to stop the department from digging too deep and sending his ass to prison is to bring this “Maniac Cop” in. But the more he investigates, the more he finds details that don’t add up. Victims are mangled with an inhuman strength, blood under their fingernails is decades old, and the suspect seems to shrug off inhuman levels of pain, heat, and cold. The deeper Jack digs, the more the evidence of something supernatural begins to pile up. Already under the scrutiny of a distrustful department, Jack finds himself more isolated from his fellow officers as he delves deeper into the case.

What would set “Maniac Cop” apart from other typical cop shows would be the relationship between Jack and the community. Often times we see black and white, the good guys going after the bad guys. People in the community that are distrustful are wrong, as our hero always has the best intentions at heart. In this vision, Jack isn’t a knight in shining armor. He’s grimy, dirty, and self interested. His connections come from a career of underhanded dealings, and people only help him out of a lack of other options.

For the station, I’d like to see this one brought to life on AMC. Host to series like “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” and “The Killing,” AMC has shown they have a real talent for complex ideas, grey characters, and a good dose of violence. Let’s be real, this wouldn’t be “Maniac Cop” without buckets of blood. In the lead role of Jack I’d like to see Manu Bennett. His rough demeanor and raw physicality would be crucial to capture a cop that’s used to using his power for his own personal gain. He would have to be a believable match for the Maniac Cop, who I would love to see portrayed by Dominic Purcell. Purcell has made a great career out of playing characters who get their point across in only a few lines. Now I expect that for the sake of the series the undead Officer Cordell wouldn’t be be purely silent, but would certainly be a man of few words. Purcell’s intimidating demeanor and ability to convey emotion physically would be perfect for the role.


Hellraiser: The Twilight Zone on Crack

Time has not been kind to the Hellraiser franchise. Just watch any of the films from the 90’s and beyond (excluding Hellraiser: Inferno, which was surprisingly decent). We’ve had Hellraiser in space, Hellraiser in renaissance france, Hellraiser in dreamland, Hellraiser as a cult, Hellraiser online, and I don’t even know what the fuck Hellraiser: Revelations was. I have a few theories on why the franchise got hit so hard with the shit-stick (other than the typical horror franchise decline in quality), but my chief theory is that the Cenobites just don’t really work when you overly explain them. Getting little tidbits into their world is fine, but the more that you give logic to their machinations the less they seem to be an unfathomable evils. It’s like learning that Cthulhu is a fan of jasmine tea and only really wants to destroy the world to get back at Chad (Chad knows what he did).

At this point, the Hellraiser canon has gotten so convoluted and pointlessly stupid that trying to build off of it would be like building your house on the backs of a bunch of crocodiles. So let’s all just agree to let the past be in the past, and start over with an entirely new telling of Hellraiser. The Cenobites are still an enigmatic race obsessed with the most terrible extremes of human sensation, and maybe they can still even be humans who have become unrecognizable warped. Other than that, let’s go ahead and scrap the whole LeMarchand storyline. He can still be the dude that created the box, fine. But let’s just forget about the sex demon and blowing the Cenobites up in space. We can also forget about the fake Hellraiser internet game, the Pinhead cult, when the Cenobites tried to take over the earth… pretty much most of the series.

“I’m practically BEGGING to be forgotten!”

What I want to see is a “Hellraiser” anthology series. Each episode is a different person, having a new encounter with the Cenobites. What’s more, each encounter could be with a different Cenobite. Hell is a pretty big place, and we’ve already seen that there are multiple puzzle boxes. Why can’t each of them summon a different one of Hell’s overseers, with their own ideas of extreme pain. Chains and hooks are scary and all, but I can only see so many people get their skin ripped off before it stops being shocking. I know that horror loves their iconic characters, but let’s see some new faces with their own sights to show us.

Just imagine more hooks and chains involved

As an anthology, “Hellraiser” can avoid the over-explaining that destroys so many good horror stories. The individual episodes would be pieces of a larger puzzle, painting a picture of a much grander Hell with a number of competing personalities and motivations. It would be fertile ground for episode crossovers, allowing the creators to explore characters without having to be stuck with them season after season. Free to introduce and trash new ideas as needed, the mosaic of suffering would be legendary, even in Hell.

I’d really like to see “Hellraiser” come out on Netflix, as the anthology style makes it perfect for both short viewing sessions and a dedicated binge. Though maybe too violent for the main Netflix audience, they have taken some bold chances on shows in the past. Besides, they already have “The Upside Down,” might as well have the “And Blood Every Which Way.” Casting wise, just cast Doug Bradley as Pinhead. No arguments. As for some other Cenobites, I’d love to see what Eva Green would do with the role. Her performance in “Penny Dreadful” has me convinced she can master some seriously fucked up characters. I’d also like to see Freddie Highmore embody a less physically menacing, calculating Cenobite. Really, the sky’s the limit. As for the person incurring the Cenobites’ wrath, I suggest Logan Paul. Eddie Murphy that shit, have him play every character that gets Hell’s special brand of spa treatment.


Well, that’s it for my first month of Real Horrorshow. Let me know what you think, and tell me how much of a self-important asshat in the comments below. Tell me your much better ideas, and how much better you are at coming up with them. Describe exactly how small my manhood is, and exactly why my girlfriends would prefer yours. See you next month!

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