Why Crazies director Breck Eisner defends remakes

Director Breck Eisner, who is helming the upcoming remake of George A. Romero's sci-fi horror movie The Crazies, told reporters on set in Georgia this week that he believes remakes can work when they focus on areas the original simply couldn't.

"Any time you do a remake or a re-imagining, you want to have target aspects of the movie that they didn't have when they first made it," Eisner told visiting reporters. "My theory is they should have something they couldn't do the first time around that you could do differently. It's not like you're just redoing Psycho or redoing a perfect film. Romero obviously had limitations in terms of the budget. He had 275 grand to make the entire movie."

Like the original, Eisner's Crazies centers on a small town whose inhabitants have been infected with a disease that causes permanent insanity and, ultimately, death. The military attempts to contain the outbreak and also cover up the incident.

Eisner has used his bigger budget to increase that military presence while also dropping the original's military perspective. "We have bigger assets so that we can represent the government with the scale and force that it needs to be in a movie like this," Eisner said. "There is no military point of view. To me, it was much more interesting being in the point of view of our townsfolk ... with this oppressive, nameless, faceless force of the military and the bio-containment suits wandering around."

The director hopes to inject a bit of the original's social commentary into the bloody carnage, which he promises will earn its R rating. "This project definitely began under the regime of George Bush," Eisner said. "There is definitely a social commentary to the feeling of the use of military as a machine and the ends justifying the means."

Eisner added: "It's horrific and graphic, but I wanted a real quality to it. The idea is that the characters are natural and real, but underneath there are these competing agendas and human qualities. A lot of times small-town people say, 'Oh, it's perfect, everything ideal and like the '50s and everything back then was so easy.' But that's not the reality." The Crazies is eyeing a Sept. 25 release.

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