Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Just making sure." - The Crazies (2010)


“Just making sure,” says Deputy Russell Clank (Joe Anderson) in a matter of fact tone as he pumps lead into the dead bodies of a woman and boy infected with a secret biological toxin that turns people into murderous “crazies.” Now, that’s a clever survivor – unlike many stupid, so-called survivors who fail to make sure a zombie is dead, or stand around to see if a bite victim is going to get better, as many have in the plethora of zombie or zombie-like movies released in the past ten years. "Just making sure." I like that - and I laughed out loud. If you’re going to watch another zombie-like horror flick, you might as well have quick-shooting good guys. The Crazies has that plus more.

Often gripping, The Crazies follows your standard zombies-caused-by-biological-weapon plot. The government fucked up. The plane carrying their killer virus to a disposal site crashes near the peaceful Iowa town of Ogden Marsh. People get infected and start shooting, burning, sawing, and impaling fellow townspeople. Government steps in and tries to contain the disaster – and you know what that means. So Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant), his gorgeous wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), and Deputy Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), try to escape before the final dust off.

To embellish the standard shocks and gore, you have the radiant, kick-ass Mitchell – one of my favorite horror/sci-fi heroines. (She acquitted herself well in Pitch Black and Silent Hill.) I love how her beautiful eyes turn cold and determined when she head-shoots a hideous "crazy." In addition, the film features some artful cinematography of wide-open Iowa farmland and empty two-lane roads disappearing into the distance. This worthwhile little horror entertainment opens with a gripping appearance of a shotgun-toting farmer at a high school baseball game, and it also includes a terrifying scene involving a "crazy," a pitch fork, and panicking victims lying strapped to gurneys.

10 comments:

Simon said...

Now I will see it.

Hokahey said...

I was certainly entertained!

J.D. said...

You've convinced me! This sounds really good and I love Radha Mitchell as well. So, there's that.

Hokahey said...

Yes, thanks J.D. It's a good little horror movie - and the nice thing about these movies is that they are expeditiously edited - usually not much more than 90 minutes. This one is 110 minutes. So the makers know that going on too long ruins the suspense - until like Scorsese with the over-long Shutter Island.

FilmDr said...

Yes, thanks in part to your review, I will watch this film this weekend. Are the crazies technically zombies? I wonder if you could make a connection between the crazies and the various people who freak out in real life and start shooting everyone they can? Does the film demonstrate a form of population control?

Hokahey said...

FilmDr. -

The image of the man approaching the baseball game with a shotgun definitely seems to be a pointed comment. There are "crazies" in the news all the time. The way the disease/aberration spreads is zombie-like. The military's control of the population is one of the most frightening parts of the play - shades of the Holocaust, clearly.

睡衣 said...

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Yuba Guy said...

Your review confirms my suspicion: the real crazies are the people who will spend two hours and $7.50 that they'll never get back. I vote for life-affirming films.

Hokahey said...

Yuba Guy - Thanks for your comment. Many people feel that way, but I get a lot of enjoyment from a fun, low-brow entertainment like this one. As for the money, I don't spend money on cigarettes, alcohol, magazines, music CDs, video games, and a lot of other stuff people spend money on monthly - so I can easily afford to spend money on movies.

Hokahey said...

Thanks a lot, 睡衣! Thanks for visiting.