Whomever edited that great ‘No Signal’ montage of cell phone failure in horror movies did so too soon. There’s a primo example of it right here in the new trailer for The Crazies, directed by Breck Eisner (Sahara director and Micheal Esiner’s son) and loosely based on George Romero‘s 1973 thriller. Perhaps very loosely based? Though there’s a definite Romero vibe to this trailer, the basic character set is a bit different from the original and the overall feel is (unsurprisingly) of a modern studio horror film rather than the independent, homegrown original.
Apple has the trailer debut, in which we see Timothy Olyphant‘s sheriff and Radha Mitchell‘s doctor as a midwestern couple whose life goes more than a little insane when townfolk around them start behaving oddly. As in Romero’s version, the culprit appears to be military in origin, and some very violent methods are brought to bear to contain the spread of insanity.
I’m happy enough that this isn’t a Platinum Dunes effort, and am definitely intrigued by the Romero feel. The military action, huddled characters and masses of crazed townspeople in the second half of the trailer are all very evidently inspired by the zombie master’s films in general. Will it have the counterculture suspicion and “madness unleashed by human error!” vibe of the original? We can hope.
One mark against this trailer is the use of the cover of ‘Mad World’ that became famous via Donnie Darko. It worked really well in that film and was perfect in the Gears of War teaser. And the song works fairly well here, too. It actually marks the point in this trailer where I got a little bit interested. But that’s the problem — despite the Romero feel and liking Timothy Olyphant quite a lot I didn’t care about this at all until that familiar, loaded song kicked in.
Here’s the trailer for the new version (check it out in HD at Apple) and below it the trailer for Romero’s original. Under those is the lovely new ‘no signal’ screengrab.