February 26, 2010
On the Big Board
||Jaded as I am to the horror genre, movies seldom creep me out these days. The Crazies is that rare exception.
||It's Justified with Zombies! This was decent but I found the similar Carriers starring Chris Pine to be more interesting.
In 1968, George Romero wrote and directed the movie Night of the Living Dead. It became a cult classic and is considered one of the best horror films of all time. He then wrote and directed three more horror films: The Crazies, The Hungry Wives, and Martin (all of which took place near small towns in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania). Then in 1978, Romero wrote and directed another classic horror film titled Dawn of the Dead.
Hollywood has already produced remakes (and plan to make more remakes) of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. If we think logically for a minute, Hollywood will probably want to remake any other George Romero film it can, instead of creating new and original horror masterpieces. The next remake to be released will be Romero's 1973 film The Crazies.
The new film, The Crazies, takes place in a small Iowa town. First, a handful of men start acting strange and try to kill other citizens of the town. Within a couple days, the whole town has turned into blood-thirsty killers. (In other words, a lot of blood and insane and unpredictable murderers, which are perhaps even more scary to watch than sane murderers). A toxin has infected the townsfolk and turned everyone crazy (hence the title). The government uses deadly force to keep everyone inside the town so the toxin doesn't spread. The plot of the movie then focuses on a small group of uninfected men and women trying to escape.
This group consists of Sheriff Dutton (played by Timothy Olyphant from Hitman), his pregnant wife (played by Radha Mitchell from Man on Fire and Silent Hill), a medical assistant (played by Danielle Panabaker from the remake of Friday the 13th), and the assistant sheriff (played by Joe Anderson from Across the Universe and The Ruins). The revised screenplay is by Scott Kosar, who also wrote the screenplays for the remakes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Amityville Horror. The director is Breck Eisner, who also directed Sahara. The make-up effects guy is Robert Hall, who has done make-up on 72 movies and TV shows (including Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Firefly). Hall and Eisner wanted the infected people to look distinct, but not like zombies. So they studied victims of Ebola, tetanus, and Stevens-Johnsons syndrome, consulted with the Centers for Disease Control, and added their own horror flair.
How does the remake differ from the original? The original is known for its low-budget feel, while the remake has a much higher budget and was filmed with better technology. The plot is very similar. The first movie took place in Pennsylvania and the main characters were firemen. The new movie takes place in Iowa and the main characters are sheriffs (probably so the main characters could have access to guns). The major question is if the horror remake will have the same ending as the original, which didn't have the happiest of endings (feel free to check Wikipedia for the synopsis of the original movie).
If the remake of The Crazies is wildly successful at the box-office, will the rest of George Romero's films be remade? Absolutely. If the remake bombs at the box-office, will the rest of George Romero's films be remade? Almost certainly. Romero already has made films that only require a screenplay update, as opposed to Hollywood developing its own original projects. You heard it here first. I'm predicting updates for Romero's The Hungry Wives and Martin in the near future. (Curt David/BOP)