SCI FI Wire Atom Feed




Friday, February 26, 2010

"The Crazies" title may just refer to the folks that green-lit this zombie catastrophe.

The Crazies
review by Brent Sweeting

1 1/2 out of 4 stars

If a few scares, and some blood and guts is all you expect from a zombie flick, then you might enjoy "The Crazies"...right up until the last 10 minutes when it goes from average B movie, to flat-out ridiculous. I wont spoil the ending for you, just in case you insist on throwing your Friday night away, but I will tell you that the audience I saw this with got up and started walking out early.

"The Crazies" takes place in a small midwest town where everybody knows everything about everybody else, and the town sheriff is married to the local doctor. Sheriff David Dutton(Timothy Olyphant), and his junior deputy Russell Clank(Joe Anderson) are watching the local high school baseball game with the rest of the town when out of nowhere a man looking like a stoned refugee from "Deliverance" comes walking on the field with a shotgun. Sheriff Dutton tries to stop him, but he's zoned out, hostile, and the Sheriff has to put him down. This would be more than enough scandal for a town like this, but it's only the first such incident.

All over the town, people start acting strange. The first sign of trouble is a trance like demeanor, the second is unrelenting blood lust. The Sheriff determines that a plane carrying who knows what has crashed into the local marsh, and that something from the plane is leaking into the town's water supply and infecting the locals. That's when the government shows up to contain the situation by locking everyone away in containment camps. The Sheriff and his pregnant wife Dr. Judy Dutton(Radha Mitchell) get shoved into school buses and rounded up into the camp where the military personnel in gas masks begin taking peoples temperatures. The government deems any one with a fever infected, and carts them off to quarantine. Due to her pregnancy, Dr. Dutton comes up with a fever as well. Solders drag her away kicking and screaming. Now the Sheriff has to decide if he will break into the quarantine to get her out. The theme of government betrayal of the people plays heavily throughout the movie.

The casting was well done, and nobody in the film lapses into bad overacting, or stilted line reading. Timothy and Radha both do the best they can with the script they have to work with,and Joe Anderson(Across the Universe) actually finds a way to make his deputy character pretty entertaining. 

You will find traditional zombie fare such as carnage, blood, guts, gore, and even a decent number of pop out scares in "The Crazies".  What you won't find, is a solid through line in the story, or much explanation how the Sheriff intuitively is able to diagnose a water based medical infection within about an hour. This is still a zombie flick however, and frankly would have been given a lot more slack if the scene right before the ending of the movie wasn't such a flat-out insult to everyone that bought a ticket. Do yourself a favor and avoid this movie like the zombie plague.


  1. Awesome. I'm going to treat myself to a double feature tonight of Cop Out and The Crazies. The reason I say double feature is because if neither turns out to be good, I'll at least get two movies for the price of one. Nice review man!

  2. You give away a lot. But- probably no more than most. Your review was on the money- except for mentioning that technically- this is not a zombie movie. It is an outbreak movie with gore.