Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 | 7:07 p.m.
This week’s new remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 horror movie The Crazies, about the outbreak of a deadly virus in a small town, didn’t screen for review, so we took a look at the original for inspiration. Here are four elements from Romero’s film that we hope to see in the 2010 version:
A modicum of social commentary. The Crazies, made in the waning days of the Vietnam War, raises questions about military authority and how soldiers readjust after combat, and features a prominent image of a priest self-immolating after contracting the deadly disease.
Some mordant humor. Even Romero’s most gruesome films are shot through with a sick sense of humor, and The Crazies has its share of darkly funny moments—watch as the chain-smoking military commander realizes that his cigarette is useless when he’s wearing a life-saving gas mask.
A frenetic, unnerving pace. Romero’s early films can suffer from a threadbare feel, thanks to low budgets and hurried shoots, and the acting is often rough. But that roughness also gives the movie a sense of urgency that makes it all the more disturbing.
An old lady stabbing a soldier to death with knitting needles.
Because that’s just badass.