Scott Kosar, Ray Wright
Starring: Timothy Oylphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker
Budget $20M Box Office $55M
IMDb 6.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes 71% Metacritic 55/100
Ahhh The Crazies. I saw this cover and thought “Oh, my people! Is this a home video?!” Just kidding. I am a little nuts though. Lol. No, not really. Okay, maybe a little. Anyways, I had tried to watch this movie once before and only got through about the first fifteen minutes. So, I wanted to give it another shot. I couldn’t believe how much money it made when I looked it up before I watched it. To me that is usually a good sign on a horror flick.
In this film, “the crazies” are people that have been infected by some virus. At first, it makes them stand there all blank and wide-eyed, looking totally creepy, if I do say so myself. It truly is this weird zombie like effect but without the standard hunger for brains.
The first to notice the odd behavior of the townspeople of Ogden Marsh, Iowa is the sheriff David, played by Timothy Olyphant, and his pregnant wife Judy (Radha Mitchell). David and his deputy then try to find the reason for the newfound virus that seems to be infecting the township at an alarming rate.
David and his deputy soon find that a military aircraft has crashed nearby and that it was carrying some sort of cargo containing a pathogen, which has now infected their own water supply for the town. On top of that, since it WAS a military aircraft that crashed, the town soon comes until military control. The town is hoarded into holding centers and tested for this virus. If they pass, they are taken to one area of the quarantine station and if they test infected, they are taken to another area. Unfortunately, David passes the infection test but, his wife, Judy, does not, and she and David are split up.
Now, remember, the town is under military control, so it is now like a police state. (I know some of the people out there think this is the way we should actually be living but, [I pause while I catch my breath from laughing my ass off] there is NO WAY anyone in their right mind would be okay with MPs (military police) coming into their homes and tearing their families apart just because they MIGHT be sick. All roads in and out of town are blocked off, no one is to come in or leave until the problem has been resolved.
The resolution? The military has been ordered to destroy all human beings in the town. Eradicate them. Kill them. Yes, kill them. Everyone. Every single person in the town. Every single living being in the town. Men. Women. Children. Even the family pets. All are to be dead before the military leaves the area. So, in order to survive, David must figure out a way to escape quarantine, find his wife, develop a plan to leave the full quarantine area AND get out of the town, ALL without getting caught and killed or infected by this strange virus.
So, do they escape? And what about Judy? Will she and the baby survive? Will the baby be affected by all this in any way? And where will they go if they do make it out alive?
Watch and find out.
So, as far as horror movies go, this wasn’t bad. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a zombie film, as these infected people are not actually ever coming back from the dead. But I will say that the way they stand and stare is creepy as hell. It reminds me of all those K2 videos that the news stations were playing for a while where the people were using K2 or Spice or whatever and walking around like drooling zombies, standing on the sidewalk with their eyes barely open like a heroin addict that just lit up a vein. This was very reminiscent of those images. And I have to be honest, that kind of thing really gives me an uneasy feeling. It’s not that it scares me so much, even creeps me out isn’t really the right description. It’s unsettling. That’s what it is. And it’s because that look, that behavior, that blank stare and emptiness and absence of soul, it’s just unnatural.
Now, the whole police state idea…that scares the shit out of me. I grew up in a second-generation military family and my father was a cop for my young childhood. From a very young age I was taught about my rights as not only an American citizen but, as a human being. I was regaled with spirited talks from my father on the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, on their meaning, the spirit behind their conception and what IDEALS this country strives for and to represent. So, the idea of a bunch of our own soldiers (all of whom I appreciate, support and defend by the way) coming into my town, seizing control of the town’s authority, bursting into homes and dragging us out, taking us and stuffing us all into containment areas with the sole purpose of complete genocide, yeah that tends to make me a little jumpy and paranoid. That is just way too similar to events like what Hitler did during WWII or the millions of lives Joseph Stalin snuffed out.
Interestingly, I think while most people are going to be focused on these infected people, I’m one of the odd balls that just couldn’t seem to get past the whole police state and quarantine factor. Even now as I write this, it makes the hairs on my forearms stand up. And to try to escape from a scenario like that? THAT is scary stuff. I mean, these soldiers are trained to kill and here these people are trying to run away…and runners are the enemy. Plain and simple.
I will say that while I couldn’t get into this movie the first time I tried to watch it, this time I actually did like it. Now, it won’t be one that I’m going to grab as one of my favorites on a dark night with a cup of hot cocoa and a fire to curl up and watch in the shadows of my living room. However, it was certainly worth seeing and I do believe I will be watching it again at some point. I happen to like Timothy Olyphant. I like his sarcasm and he has this way with his delivery that’s like it makes him slightly arrogant but, you can’t help but like him, ya know? (Personally, I thought he was perfect for the role he played in Scream 2.)
I did like the violent scenes in this film. The kill scenes were good and the gore was fun. Nothing looked cheap although, to be honest, this is probably a B-Rate horror film. At the top level of B-Rate but, B-Rate nonetheless. Which is totally fine. Most horror films don’t make it to A-List ya know. But this one was definitely worth the watch. I mean, at least once. If for no other reason than to see the gory kill scenes.
So, I hope you do take the time to chill out with some popcorn, soda, milk duds (whatever blows your skirt up) and sit back a relax. Keep in mind this is NOT Oscar material. But if you are a horror lover, this will be a decent flick for you.