Breck Eisner Interview. [THE CRAZIES director chats with HND about remakes, the government, self-censorship and more.]

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Regular readers should know I don’t do interviews all that often.  But when an opportunity to interview Breck Eisner came up, I knew it was something I should jump on.  I’ll admit, though, I was a little nervous about it at first.  I was afraid I’d end up hating THE CRAZIES; that it would wind up being another dismissible, un-endearing remake out of Hollywood and that meeting Eisner the morning after might be rather awkward.

Well, if you read my review of it you should know by now that was not the case.  I loved it quite a bit, which certainly talking to the man behind it hell of a lot easier to do.  Enjoy.  (And if you haven’t seen THE CRAZIES yet, there’s no real spoilers here, but you might as well go see it first before reading because, well, just go see the movie; it deserves it.)

Nice to meet you.

You too, Peter.  Thanks for the time.

No problem.  I’m actually doing this interview for a site called

[Laughs] Spread the word, man. Spread the word.

That was actually sort of the crux of my review, that if horror fans don’t turn out opening weekend for something this good, they’re part of the problem.

I know, I know, let’s get them there. Horror is just inherently smaller movies. You get a Shutter Island every once and a while – whether that’s really horror or not is debatable – but we don’t get the high profile movies so much, and so when they’re not high profile you don’t get the spending budgets in advertising. We’re out spent in all the other movies a hundred times, and so we’re trying to create this grassroots, online way and hopefully people come to support it.

THE CRAZIES Review. [2010’s First Must See Horror Movie.]

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Directed by Breck Eisner, 2010
Written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright

You’re forgiven for being apprehensive about a remake of THE CRAZIES, George Romero’s classic (as in age, not quality) bit of ’70s violence and paranoia.  I know I was.  After all, we live in a climate where studio (not talent) driven remakes arrive at regular intervals calculated by accounting departments, where insulting remakes are a dozen a dime and where exceptional remakes are a dime a decade.  You’ll not be forgiven, however, if you call yourself a horror fan and still turn your back on Breck Eisner’s exceptional remake of THE CRAZIES this weekend.  I don’t care what your excuse is, either; if you have more than 2 hours time to spare in the next 72 hours and you opt not to pay deserving coin to see THE CRAZIES at your local picture house, you’re officially part of the problem.

For those who haven’t seen the original 1973 film, THE CRAZIES is about a small town held under brutal government quarantine after a plane carrying an insanity-inducing, water-born virus crashes into the county water supply.  That’s it, really.  Whereas the original film was a jumbled-up mishmash of an outbreak film that was as much about a few town folk as it was the govies’ inept handling of the situation, this new evolution of THE CRAZIES has abandoned the latter part wholesale.  Instead, it focuses entirely on the town Sheriff (Timothy Olyphant), his wife (Radha Mitchell), his deputy (Joe Anderson) and his wife’s co-worker (Danielle Panabaker) as they try to survive the arrival of this colossal government fluster cluck.

Not only do they have to contend with a ‘contain at all costs’ military presence, but the rest of the townies pose an even more lethal threat.  The virus, which carries over the original film’s codename of Trixie, has the effect of transforming the infected into hideous killers swarming with varicose veins.  They’re not mindless, though.  Depending on the stage and severity of incubation, the Crazies can still talk and plot, they’re just crippled by poor impulse control.  That last bit makes for an exciting and fresh variant of dread we don’t see often in Hollywood horror: human in thought, zombie in action.

Last Week in Horror News: January 11th to the 18th

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Note: was anyone else aware that South Korea has a reality show about exorcisms?  And that its music is the SAW theme?

Also, what billiards game involves a blue pool table with no pockets and only three balls, the goal of which, as far as I can surmise, is to hit both balls after bouncing off at least two of the rails?  I really want to know what this is called as it is on TV All. The. Time.

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