Well, I’ll be damned to hell.
Despite the negative early word (from test screenings) and the fact that the film’s director, Breck Eisner, really only has Matthew McConaughey’s dismissible Sahara to his name, the remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 paranoia sleeper The Crazies suddenly looks pretty awesome. I’m basing this feeling simply on the following first trailer, which I’m guessing will be attached to Zombieland this weekend. As much as I swear by Romero’s early Dead trilogy, The Crazies has long been a film that I’ve championed in my own ways; Romero is always considered the zombie-master, so the similarities between the “infected townsfolk lose their minds and wreak holy hell” plot of The Crazies and the “undead wreaking holy hell” aesthetics of his Dead flicks has made it easy for stingy types to write The Crazies off, casting it into oblivion. Revisit the film, though, and you’ll see that its conveyance of governmental distrust and middle-class warfare is quietly intense.
In theory, The Crazies is a perfect film to remake; though I do appreciate its many good qualities, Romero’s film is flawed, with some heinous acting and a low-budget feel that brings with it charm to a certain point. Pump some dollars into it and cast a few skilled B-listers, and you could have a surprise on your hands. Which Eisner’s The Crazies has done (Timothy Olymphant and Radha Mitchell both deserve salutes), but I didn’t expect the film to be as hardcore as this trailer hints. Seems like they’ve gone closer to 28 Days Later territory, but that’s not a terrible thing if handled correctly. The violence in store is potentially eye-opening, and that’s somewhat unexpected. Honestly, I expected a neutered hack-job, but here I am, excited. Especially at the last shot, where that suit-and-tie prowls through a medical ward with a pitchfork. Could’ve done without the inclusion of the painfully-melodramatic “Mad World,” however; the song worked wonders in Donnie Darko, and thematically it fits in this trailer. But…..pretentious, much?
The Crazies is set to open on February 10, 2010; hopefully, it’ll treat me to a first-quarter massage just as Dennis Iliadis’ The Last House on the Left remake did this past March.
Form your own opinions on the trailer, after the jump: Bonus Radha Mitchell pic…..go ahead, try to complain:
Here's the trailer for Romero's original: