BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JULY 1, 2010
Can you remake a 1973 George Romero horror film? From the sounds of the plot, the original film sounds more intriguing than the remake. My guess is that the original “Crazies” was probably a hokey, 70’s B-movie that would have been glazed over in today‘s market. But the remake has reached a level untouched by the original.
“The Crazies” 2.0 started off perfectly. A normal hick town all gathered around a baseball field when out of nowhere the town drunk strolls onto the field with a shotgun and looks to take out anyone and everyone when the local sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) steps in and shoots him down. What follows can be described as a small town investigation, leading the sheriff and his deputy (Joe Anderson) into a search for what is causing normal townsfolk to snap. The film would be perfect staying in the small town, “who will snap next” mode with crazy morticians and absent-minded bicyclists, but the film decides to fall off into obscurity with science fiction spewing its guts all over the film’s plot.
The film as a whole reminded me exactly of “Resident Evil” with viruses, quarantine, and unruly soldiers. The trailer makes the film look extremely original; the biggest reason I was so eager to see the film. By the end of the film, I felt like I had seen the entire film before. The film did have eeriness on its side however. The demented townspeople and their slaughtering of innocent victims was just what the film needed and could have used that same eeriness throughout its entirety instead of sporadically.
The quality of “The Crazies” makes it easy to view the film. Toss in some high-end shots including a woman standing in front of a lit-up combine and a surrender in front of a police barricade in the dead of night. The performances match that same quality. Timothy Olyphant proves righteous as the sheriff, as does Joe Anderson, who provides a knock-out supporting performance as the deputy, which was by far my favorite part of the film. Even Radha Mitchell as Olyphant’s wife brings in a top-notch performance.
All the parts of “The Crazies” remake were right, the only bad thing: the parts were the same as an older model. Though it strays from the original plot of the film and carries the same exact themes as the “Resident Evil” franchise (not so much “flesh eating” zombies so much as “people killing competition” zombies). The quality of the performances and production value are worth the time alone, but do not expect what you see from the trailer or any comparison to the original Romero horror film besides the bare bones of the plot.
February 26, 2010
(for bloody violence and language)