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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Horror Movie Makeover: The Godfather

Tonight, I'm kicking off a brand new gimmick here in the VoH, so buckle in and prepare yourselves. Even though we all love horror films more than life itself, for most of us, there are actually other kinds of movies we occasionally enjoy, as well. I know, hard to imagine, but true. Well, what if some of our favorite non-horror films were "re-imagined" to fit into our favorite genre?

That's the goal of "Horror Movie Makeover". And we begin with what may be the best goddam movie ever made, Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 masterpiece, The Godfather.

* * * * * * * * * *

In New York's criminal underworld, the name of Corleone is spoken not just with respect, but with abject terror. Rumors persisted of Don Vito's rise to power, and how he had overthrown the ancient Sicilian cult known as La Mano Nero to attain the leverage he currently held in the realm of organized crime.

Athough Don Vito was motivated by love of his family, and the desire to beat the American pezza novante at their own game, it was inevitable that some remnant of the malicious entity behind La Mano Nero would live on, and poison both his life and the lives of those around him.

In Sicilian folklore, the Godfather was an ancient revered figure whose abilities bordered on the supernatural, and so it was that at the wedding of his daughter Connie, Vito Corleone, the Godfather, sat granting the dark wishes of his supplicants, all the while trying desperately to prevent the evil of La Mano Nero from consuming him utterly.

Though held firmly in the grip of the evil forces that have aided him in his quest for ultimate power, Don Corleone takes one solitary stand--he will not take part in the burgeoning drug trade that threatens to take over the organized crime business and transform the seamy underbellies of America's urban centers into cesspools of human degradation. Daring to deny the business offer of the mysterious figure known only as "The Turk", Corleone draws the wrath of the very entity which has placed him where he is.

One by one, the malevolent Turk and his minions cause the streets to run red with the gore of Corleone family members. The don's most trusted button man, Luca Brasi is first, and then the don himself is nearly butchered. When the don's first-born son Santino assumes control of the family, it soon becomes evident that he lacks his father's keen ability to resist the forces of evil and bend them to his will. Santino becomes possessed by the darkness, reveling in the violent power that he now wields.

With New York's gangland brimming in blood, it falls to the one man Don Vito never intended to have anything to do with his family's arcane bargain--his youngest son Michael, a student and soldier who had been sheltered from the evil secret that had made the Corleones so powerful. Siezed with a thirst for revenge, the once pure soul embraces his latent bloodlust, exacting a brutal vengeance on the Turk and his minions, and then fleeing to the native island of his forefathers, where he is drawn ever further into the web of ancient Sicilian lore.

Meanwhile as Santino struggles futilely to harness the power to his will, he too falls victim to the bloody curse, meeting his end in a hail of fire that shreds the very flesh from his bones. It is now Michael, firmly in the grasp of the bloodlust that has warped his soul after witnessing the obliteration of his Sicilian bride, who must return to the U.S. and claim the demonic birthright that was never meant to be his.

Don Vito is helpless to do anything but look on in horror as the boy he raised in the ways of the light transforms into a far more bloodthirsty, yet grim and calculating don than he ever was. It is a sinister, keen intellect that guides Michael's actions once his father finally passes on, as he visits upon his enemies the very same evils they sought to visit upon him and his family.

When the dust is cleared, the ancient Sicilian malevolence that has claimed the legacy of the Corleone family has found its greatest host yet--a once innocent soul corrupted into a cold-hearted killer, possessed by dark forces that made him an offer he couldn't refuse.


BJ Colangelo said...

BAHAHAHAHA. I love this.

B-Sol said...

"And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies.
And then they would fear you."

The Macabre World said...


Σmpire said...

GREAT! Very well-written. Thank you for posting this.

B-Sol said...

Thanks, everyone! With this kind of positive feedback, looks like Horror Movie Makeover is here to stay.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, brilliant.

Anonymous said...

RayRay - While I am sure B-Sol has noted this, the overarching theme of the Godfather, as well as Part II, is every other character underestimating Michael, except perhaps Don Vito.

It starts with his brother Sonny making fun of Michael's desire to avenge his father, chiding him that this isn't like the army, etc. Michael was a decorated Marine from the Pacific War, perhaps the worst theater for war in history; he saw more brains on his shirt in one hour than Santino saw in his life.

It continues with the police captain who smashed him calling him a young punk, and the Turk paying him little mind. Continue to Moe Green thinking he, vis a vis the Corleone Family, not having "that kind of muscle anymore."

Of course there is Carlo, thinking he could pull a fast one on Mike, but that little ruse didn't hold. And, of course, the heads of the other families, Barzini in particular, thinking they were safe from Michael's vengeance on the day of Connie's sons' christening. And Tessio, who always liked Mike, thought he could pull one more fast one.

In II, for example, the first person to fall into this personality trap is the senator, who tried to muscle Michael for his licensing fee. Too bad that showgirl ended up in peices.....

Perhaps this entire dynamic is part of the dark Sicilian power B-Sol has written about in this fantastic post.

B-Sol said...

Thanks for this Ray, I think you and I have certainly seen the movies enough times to find these kinds of overarching themes! As for "dark Sicilian powers", one could probably even argue that they are behind the very Vault of Horror itself......:-)

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