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Movie review : The Crazies

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I’ve watched The Crazies a number of times now and it still holds up as an excellent example of a good zombie movie. The pacing starts off slow and builds exponentially. Many zombie movies ramp of the action and scares too quickly, creating an up and down feeling to the pace. Not in this movie. It slowly squeezes tighter and tighter, never letting up.

What I like most about this movie is they rely on good acting and directing to tell the story instead of hoards of zombies. This movie captures the realism of what, I would imagine, a real zombie outbreak would feel like. Seriously, what would happen if a small Midwestern town suddenly came down with zombiecitis? I’d say this is a pretty good depiction of what to expect.

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Timothy Olyphant (Justified) and Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black) have great chemistry together. That can only come from a combination of talented acting and good writing/directing. This is what quality movie-making is like. The rest of the cast, especially Joe Anderson, is relatively unknown, even to this day I haven’t recalled seeing them again, but they shine, at least once in their careers, in this movie.

They play around with the zombie mythology a bit in this film to make it seem more realistic. You’ll see what I mean. And there is a cause for how and why this disease has hit this town. But the movie doesn’t waste time on tracking down causes or secret government conspiracies. All of those details are dispensed within about 5 minutes of screen time. Maybe less.

Grade: A

What did you think about The Crazies? Share your thoughts about the movie in the comments below.

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comment 5 comments
  • jillflorio

    What are your favorite zombie flicks? I also loved Shaun of the Dead and Resident Evil. Army of Darkness is really more of a skeleton army but the Deadites are zombie-esque.
    .-= jillflorio´s last blog ..Movie review : Cop Out =-.

  • Swells

    Um…The Crazies isn’t a zombie movie, so your review makes no sense. The sick people in The Crazies A)are not dead, B)do not attempt to eat anyone at any point, and C)do not spread their disease by biting people. The sick are sick because they drank infected water. For you to compare it to zombie movies really just doesn’t work. As a big fan of the zombie genre, I can say that this movie is much more enjoyable if you take it for what it is, not what you thought it was going to be.

  • Jill Florio

    It doesn’t matter that the inflicted were not zombies per se; this movie is still a zombie-esque flick.

  • mgwynn

    you are absolutely correct, jill!

    there’s not a better quick description of the crazies… zombie-esque would provide a perfect word picture for a prospective movie fan.

    “uncontrollable, mostly mute, primitive and extremely aggressive, with a stiffened gait” from wikipedia’s zombie listing.

    “One book to expose western culture to the concept of the zombie was The Magic Island by W.B. Seabrook in 1929. Island is the sensationalized account of a narrator in Haiti who encounters voodoo cults and their resurrected thralls. Time Magazine claimed that the book “introduced ‘zombi’ into U.S. speech”.

    In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi. This film, capitalizing on the same voodoo zombie themes as Seabrook’s book of three years prior, is often regarded as the first legitimate zombie film ever made.[7] Here zombies are depicted as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician. Zombies, often still using this voodoo-inspired rationale, were initially uncommon in cinema, but their appearances continued sporadically through the 1930s to the 1960s,[8] with notable films including I Walked With a Zombie (1943) and the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). (again, from wikipedia)

    so… to sum up, the brain-eating and the disease-spreading zombie lore came much later, introduced by horror b-movies. jill was safely suggesting that if you like the zombie genre, you will like this movie!

    and i did! however, my wife walked out and went shopping in the mall. sigh.

  • cazzmitch

    we went to see this because of the brilliant trailer, what a huge disappointment it turned out to be!!!. I just hate it when the same old stuff about goverment conspiracy etc etc gets churned out, it ruins a perfectly promising film. I give this 2.5 out of 5

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