Looks like I'm working double-duty on the remake front today . . . But then does Hollywood even bother making anything else anymore?
My earlier story involved the "do-over" of THE KARATE KID. While I could go either way on that one, I'm fairly sure I've made clear my pure loathing towards the current onslaught on shitty horror remakes. However, there are always acceptions to the rule and with me its THE CRAZIES.
Originally THE CRAZIES (which also went under the title CODE NAME: TRIXIE) was George Romero's third venture into the horror genre. Its plot involved a biochemical weapon accidentally unleashed upon a small town and the military's futile effort to clean up the mess . . . Which becomes increasingly bloody as the affected townsfolk are transformed into crazed killers.
Just reading that set-up should make apparent its shared similarities to Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Unfortunately, while LIVING DEAD was an intense, horrific masterpiece, THE CRAZIES greatly suffers from choppy storytelling and painfully slow pacing. I consider it be one of my biggest disappointments in my ongoing quest to track down obscure horror films for my viewing pleasure.
Hopefully those involved in the remake will be able to take advantage of the still-intriguing concept and deliver some genuine cinematic shocks. And there is reason to be optomistic, based on recent developments both behind and in front of the camera: The film is being directed by Breck Eisner, who did a competent enough job on his first film SAHARA. The lead is being played by Timothy Olyphant (HITMAN, LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD and most memorably HBO's DEADWOOD) who has proved himself to be a solid actor.
Now comes words that the female lead has been cast in the curvy form of Rhanda Mitchell, who has also proven her acting talents in such prestige projects as FINDING NEVERLAND and Woody Allen's MIRANDA AND MIRANDA. However, she is no shrinking violet when it comes to the horror genre by having starred in SILENT HILL and ROGUE (in which she battles a giant crocodile in the Australian outback).
Besides, haphazard suits never stop being creepy as all hell.