Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween reboot #2 The Crazies


Evans City, Pennsylvania is the backdrop for the events of The Crazies. Outside of this small town a military plane has gone down. Hey that can happen. Well low and behold that plane was carrying a bioweapon. Opps! Well that bio weapon stuff gets into the water and the inhabitants of Evans City slowly become infected. This biological weapon infection causes a myriad of issues; uncontrollable laughter, malaise, aggression, rapey tendencies, forgetfulness and a fondness for brutal physical assault.
Not to worry as the government and military arrive to close down the town, save the people and cure this infection. Well that is what they say they are going to do. What they are really trying to do is cover everything up, destroy any evidence of the incident, round up the “crazies” and shoot the occasional towns person. Now, two firefighters and a girlfriend have to make it out of town for help and safety. All they have to do is not get killed by “crazies”, the military or infected.
The Crazies was directed by George Romero and was released in 1973. After watching it I was truly disappointed. It….well it really isn’t good.

The Crazies  2010 Reboot
Pierce  County, Iowa is the backdrop for the remake of The Crazies. As before a military plane carrying a bioweapon payload falls out of the sky. Of course it lands in a body of water that dumps into the local town’s drinking water. This bioweapon makes people all strange and eventually uber violent and black veiny. The sheriff, his pregnant wife and his loyal deputy must figure out what is going on, how to survive the infected townsfolk, steer clear of the military and escape to safety.
The Crazies from 1973 was not really good and in comparison, the remake is not too damn bad.

Best/Worst school principal.

The remake switches the firemen for cops and that works just fine. The action and investigation to what is going on works better with police officers than firemen. It also helps  when it comes to the gun play scenes as well. Sure the original guys were Vietnam veterans, and that explains their gun skills. The swap from a girlfriend nurse to local town doctor is a descent switch as well.
The villains of the film are the townsfolk infected by the bioweapon named Trixie. Yes this is another trendy year 2000+ infected people that aren’t zombies but are basically zombies. The name is the same and the effects are somewhat similar in both films. The big difference is in the original infected people acted quasi-drunk,  annoying babblers, had the giggles, were kind of sexual assaulty and occasionally violent. They never felt like a real threat in that film. They were just kind of a-holes.
The new version of the infected townsfolk all start with a similar thousand yard stare,  some absentmindedness and a bit of listlessness. Then they become a varying level of unhinged. There is not really any variation between the start and end product of the infection here per individual. A nice bit of consistency for the audience as we can see who is coming down with a case of “The Crazies” before they know it.
The unhinged bit is where the film gets good! The original film’s crazy people were just seemed drunk and annoying. Sure there were a few nuts who went all burny and killy, but not too many. The remake has infected people becoming indiscriminately violent. Anyone can be a target, but they seem to prefer non-infected people. Those poor souls are stabbed, burnt, shot, cut and dispatched in various ways. It is always fun to have the bad guy being people that the main characters know. Nobody wants to have to kill a buddy or that nice neighbor, until there is no other option.
Truck full of dead townsfolk. Check!
The military in the original is sent to contain the outbreak and keep the peace. They of course do this by rounding up the townsfolk and culling them when needed. The reboot has the military doing a similar job. They set up a town quarantine and cull the outlying population when needed, which is damn near immediate. Once again this is another film where the military and government are bad. They are trying to cover all this up in both films.  They are always messing up and ruin the civilian population’s day!
The pacing of the reboot is great! There is a quick build and then our characters are on the move the rest of the film. The only real slow down is the minor walking montage, but even then the group is every wary for approaching killy neighbors and military units. It is a good pace and has a grab and don’t let go feel to it. The original snail like in comparison. By the time the action builds it stops to cover a side story where a scientist is looking for a cure. Then there is another build just to cut back to the army base stuff again. It is choppy and slow.
Image result for the crazies 2010 zombies
Ooooh so close!
The biggest difference between the two films besides the obvious budget is that the reboot has some descent actors. Timothy Olyphant, plays the sheriff (I know a stretch with him playing a cop) and Rhada Mitchell plays his wife (more horror work for her). They are both likable and you want them to survive. Olyphant gives as good as he gets and that is always a nice touch. Having a hero make it through a nightmare scenario untouched is kind of lame. Having him take a beating and showing the after effects throughout the remainder of the film is a great touch. The original film’s cast I didn’t care about. They could have all been brutally dispatched and I wouldn’t have given a crap.
Image result for the crazies 2010 zombies

I’m going to stop right  now and take a second. A descent cast. There are likeable characters. A better story arc for said characters. A fun ending. Better crazy infected people than the original. Wow! I have to admit I am shocked. I do believe that a remake is better than the original.
The Crazies reboot is a better film than the predecessor. Yes an actual better than the original and fun reoot!

I did not see that coming.
Next in the pipe is a remake of Friday 13th

No comments:

Post a Comment