Wednesday, February 10, 2010

J.T.'s "Scary Shit I Need To See In 2010" list: The Crazies

It doesn't really surprise me that not too many people realize that this movie is actually a remake. George Romero's 1973 film really flopped at the box office.

Romero blamed it on poor distribution, but the original version of The Crazies was a little too smart for its own good..

The way it wagged a rather campy, paranoid, and accusatory finger at an inept U.S. military was tad grating on the nerves perhaps, but the beauty of The Crazies was that it was 100% believable. It is not outside of the realm of possibility that mankind will end up sealing his own fate with a weapon of his own design.

Vampires? Werewolves? Sure, you can sit safe in your home with the knowledge that you'll probably never have to run scared from some monster born of myth and legend.

Catastrophic release of a nerve agent that could end up destroying an entire population by inducing mass psychosis? Yeah... I'd start stocking up on firearms, ammo, canned goods, and bottled water tomorrow if I were you.

Most discussions about the original version of The Crazies usually center around the project being the dress rehersal for Romero's more successful zombie movies and I believe there is some truth to that.

Romero's Dead films found a harmonious balance between proselytization and scaring the bejeebus out of you and I can't help but think that if The Crazies had spent a little less time satirizing and a bit more time terrifying, we'd be heralding it this very day as one of the great landmark movies of horror filmdom.

The remake seems to be departing from the "evils of an uncaring government run by stupid people" angle to the more traditional "mysterious bad shit happening to innocent people for no good reason" angle that we've seen so much lately and that is fine by me. I don't think that this new re-imaging will suffer from shedding a theme or two, unlike Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake which had all of the zombies but none of the charm of the original film.

As long as this film is as relentless, brutal, and unapologetic as the trailers makes it out to be, I'm sure I will leave the theater satisfied.

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