LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - “The Crazies,” a remake of George Romero’s 1973 horror movie, opened at No. 3 at the weekend box office in North America with better-than-expected sales of $16.1 million, according to final data issued on Monday.
The story of a small town where a toxin causes the residents to become insanely psychopathic and the army comes in to contain the epidemic also received a surprising amount of positive reviews.
Director Breck Eisner, in the follow-up to his 2005 feature debut “Sahara,” recently discussed his version.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE ORIGINAL THAT MADE YOU WANT TO DO THIS REMAKE? YOU DON‘T STRIKE ME AS A HORROR GUY.
Well, I‘m not a horror guy in terms of obsessing about horror, but there are horror movies that I loved as a kid growing up. I saw (John) Carpenter’s “The Thing,” and it was an amazing experience for me. I couldn’t sleep for two days. It was that paranoia and distrust of people close to you that really stuck with me, and I decided that “Crazies” was the kind of movie that taps into the same terror and that same deep-seated fear of being ostracized from people close to you. That’s the basic core concept that drew me.
It’s very plausible. There are a lot of biological weapons that are sitting around, sitting around waiting to be destroyed. And that exists in the former Soviet Union, it exists in this country and it exists in other countries. So I think the setup of the idea of that spill is very plausible. The license we took with the scale and the speed it happens is exacerbated for movies. But the concept is unfortunately very real.
DO YOU THINK THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT WOULD ACT THE WAY IT DOES IN YOUR MOVIE?
I would hope not! I think movies are a way of creating stories that focus on the extreme of a situation and that they hopefully start a discussion about these things that exist. And I would hope that the government wouldn’t go to this end. But if you think about it, if it means that the toxin gets out of the town and spreads into the world, well there are certain extreme ends they would take.
I THINK THAT MOVIES LIKE THIS SHOW A MISTRUST OF GOVERNMENT THAT IS PREVALENT IN THIS DAY AND AGE.
This movie for me was a response to the George Bush presidency, post-9/11, Iraq War. I think the populace lost faith in the government to fight just wars, to fight wars that are a benefit to the broader world. The movie is definitely influenced by the post-9/11 world. Like Romero was influenced by Vietnam, we were influenced by today’s wars.
WHAT‘S NEXT FOR YOU?
“Flash Gordon.” Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are working on the script right now. We’re on the second draft now. It should be in the studio in a month or two. I‘m very bullish on it. But it’s a giant movie and will take a long time to do.