Interview: Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies

Filmmaker Breck Eisner, director of The Crazies (Anchor Bay, DVD $29.98, Blu-ray $39.98, released on June 29, 2010), stopped by Disc Dish to chat about horror, science-fiction films and the business of genre remakes, which appears to have no end in sight. The Crazies is a remake of George Romero’s cult horror favorite.

DD: All one needs to do is look at your credits to see that you’re a horror and sci-fi guy.

Eisner: As a kid, I loved horror and sci-fi stuff and, yeah, I’m a genre filmmaker. There are times that genre films get a bad rap, and I don’t like that. You can get as much potential through a character’s emotional journey in a horror film as you can anywhere else.

DD: What were some of your favorite movies growing up, ones that you would remake if you had an opportunity, as you did with The Crazies?

Eisner: Oh, let’s see: John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Omen, The Exorcist, The Shining… all great. And as for sci-fi, Star Wars, of course.

DD: And would you dare attempt to remake any of them?

Eisner: With The Crazies, it was more of a gut decision to try a remake. You think about it, you watch it, and then you decide. For me, there has to be a reason to remake a classic film. Does it have relevance today? Is there some kind of limitation in the original that opens it up for remake?

DD: Well, there’s certainly lots of talk about you on the Internet — about The Crazies and the upcoming projects you’re developing, like Flash Gordon. What’s your feeling about being a director in the Internet age, where the fans often get the word out on stories before the filmmakers and their films?

Eisner: I’m not afraid of the Internet, and I don’t have the ego to think that I’m important enough to be written about. Of course, I appreciate that people like to talk about movies and my movies, also. But my interest in making movies is about making movies, not me.

DD: And speaking of you and the Internet, the word is that you’re moving ahead with a remake of Carpenter’s Escape From New York.

Eisner: That’s what it looks like! I hope I can do Snake Plissken justice….

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.