He was the first iconic zombie of modern horror cinema, but most people don’t even know his name.
Bill Hinzman, best known to horror fans for playing the “Cemetery Ghoul” in the opening sequence to George Romero’s original zombie movie classic Night of the Living Dead, passed away on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
Director Breck Eisner sat down to answer some questions about his latest film The Crazies, which tells the story of what happens to a small Iowa town that is suddenly turned to anarchy and death after a mysterious toxin contaminates the water supply.
We asked him about George Romero, the film’s political message, and why it isn’t a zombie flick.
Horror fans should note: if this film isn’t on your radar, the Q&A after the jump may convince you to head down to the theater for a viewing.
The Crazies Directed by Breck Eisner
Starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson.
Release date: February 26, 2010
A military plane carrying a biological weapon crashes near an Iowa farm town, the people start becoming infected due to the effects of the weapon, the military gets involved and everyone has to run for their lives. If this sounds like a movie you have seen before, and not just because it is a remake of the 1973 film by George A. Romero, you are probably right. But I doubt it’s ever been as much fun.
Speaking of, let’s get something out in the open before we even get started. I know The Crazies isn’t movie about zombies in the truest sense, but purists be damned, it really is a zombie movie. It is not a faceless killer running amok; these are your friends and people you know infected by something unknown causing them to act”¦ we’ll say “out of sorts.” I’ve always liked that level of emotion built into the zombie (and zombie-like) movie. If it were a typical horror movie there would be definitive bad guys. They threaten you, you kill them, end of story. No love lost. When the zombie apocalypse finally happens, the infected could very well be your wife, your friends, or your children. The survival aspect is compounded by potentially having to kill someone you know to stop them from killing you, eating your brains, lighting you on fire, chewing your face off doing you harm.
Just got out of an early morning showing of The Crazies here on the West Coast and I’m ready to talk some spoilers!
A reinvention loosely based on the George Romero classic of the same name, The Crazies is about the inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. The Breck Eisner film stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, and Joe Anderson.
I had a lot of fun with The Crazies. It was tense, had good suspense, had great pacing, was shot well and most certainly looked better than the $20 million budget would lead you to believe. The film definitely deserves its place among the ranks of well made horror/suspense films.
If you have seen The Crazies, then, it’s time for SPOILER TALK! Below are some of my spoiler-filled thoughts on the film, and as always, remember to leave your thoughts about the movie here below in the Comments section.
Now begins the media onslaught for The Crazies franchise and no matter what format your heart desires, it seems you will be satiated. Originally a 1973 film by George Romero, The Crazies now has a new theatrical remake from Overture Films, a comic book series, Facebook “tower defense” game, motion comic, an interactive game, and an iPhone app.
The Top Cow printed comic book consists of four chapters: Hopman Bog, Dwyer Creek, Black Pond, and Ogden Marsh (first two issues were released yesterday with the second two following on February 24, 2010). The comic series traces an outbreak that takes over the minds and bodies of the citizens in Ogden Marsh, Iowa, and each chapter focuses on a different aspect of this epidemic. Jeff Katz of American Original produced the comic book on behalf of Overture Films and Participant Media. The writers for the miniseries are Ivan Brandon, Josh Fialkov, Brian Reed, and Marc Andreyko. You can download the comic book covers at www.thecrazies-movie.com/comicbooks.
The motion comic is being handled by Starz Digital Media, in association with Double Barrel Motion Labs, and will be a four-part animated companion to the film based on the comic miniseries. Episode 1 of the motion comic series, “Hopman Bog,” will be available for purchase on the iTunes and PlayStation® Network platforms on February 23, 2010.