The Crazies Review: Truly, Madly, Funny
A mysterious toxin in the water supply is turning everyone in a small Midwestern town into crazed killers.
They succumb to an uncontrollable urge for violence, can run really fast and chase after the non-infected like there’s no tomorrow.
We’ve seen it all before right? Well yes, whatever’s infecting the folk in the idyllic town of Ogden Marsh is pretty similar to the virus in 28 Days Later and the like, but there’s a big injection of humour in this George A Romero remake.
Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) has his work cut out with a stack of baffling crimes. A farmer locks his wife and kid in a wardrobe before setting fire to the house – while he gets on with mowing the lawn. A father wanders onto the town’s baseball pitch mid-game brandishing a shotgun etc.
The sheriff’s pregnant wife and town doctor Judy (Radha Mitchell) has also noticed some peculiar disorders in her caseload as violence escalates and the military pour in to contain the epidemic. The couple, sheriff’s deputy Russel (Joe Anderson) and medical centre assistant Becca (Danielle Panamaker) are on the run from the trigger-happy authorities and the quick-footed “crazies”.
There are some genuinely scary scenes (there’s nothing worse than a mental hillbilly chasing after you) but being on the run from ultra-violent townsfolk and the equally mad military has never been more fun.
Banter and buddy-love bounces between the sheriff and his deputy and the infected are generous with the gore, but more time could have been spent pre-anarchy when people are just beginning to act a bit odd.
Their early bizarre acts of violence separate the “crazies” from your run-of-the-mill zombie and this is their unique selling point, but that aside, The Crazies knows what it is, doesn’t take itself too seriously and will put a smile on your blood-spattered face.