I have a habit of bleating on and on about my favourite cinematic experiences, but, for the sake of keeping things new and fresh, I am now going to ramble on about my worst cinema experience.
The unfortunate winner of this particular accolade falls to The Crazies. It was viewed in one of the cheaper cinemas on a Saturday afternoon in a screen jam-packed full of tweens who were too young to be there. I sneaked into many a film when I was younger but I knew to behave. It was a long afternoon and I haven’t been back to that cinema since.
It has taken me a while to purchase the dvd because I am a forgetful soul but once the notion to watch it again came The Crazies was purchased within a couple of days.
The Crazies is a remake of the 1973 Romero movie of the same name. It will not surprise you to learn that I have not watched the original.
PLOT: After shooting what appeared to be the village drunk at a local baseball game Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) soon realises that all is not well with the town of Ogden Marsh’s water supply. As the authorities move in and all hell breaks loose it is up to David to get his pregnant wife Judy (Rhada Mitchell) and a few survivors to the nearby town. END PLOT
The plot is standard but despite its familiarity The Crazies does manage to create a fair amount of tension and jumps. There were some very strong scenes and set pieces. The fingers poking through the transportation trucks and the pitchfork scene were very effective and one is in no rush whatsoever to visit a car wash anytime soon.
As the survivors are trying to outrun the virus, the authorities, the infected and each other there is no clear villain and this helps to keep the tension high and proceedings constantly moving. It felt like a lot of ground was covered in the 98min running time.
There is very little CGI with prosthetics and makeup creating the vast majority of the infected residents. The effects are very impressive as they look real it helps to keep the film grounded.
Timothy Olyphant has always been a favourite and in The Crazies he is on typically good form. His dry delivery means that he does have some humorous moments which usually occur whenever his wife Judy (Rhada Mitchell) or his Deputy (Joe Anderson) ask him stupid questions. Olyphant is a natural leader who was born to play a member of the police force. The only way his performance could have been improved would be if he wore a sheriff’s hat.
Rhada Mitchell is perfectly fine, if completely unremarkable, and my current favourite Joe Anderson was also very good – for an English actor he does a pretty solid America accent. A solid film is most definitely elevated by the strong performances of the cast.
It’s been a few years since The Crazies was in the cinema and the terrible audience spoiled the film. On dvd it holds up well and The Crazies gets an 8/10. I have no doubt that it isn’t as good as the original and there more than likely stronger offerings elsewhere but I don’t care – as a Olyphant and Anderson fan I can’t be unhappy with it.
Yes, I am shallow. I don't care.