Monday, March 1, 2010
Watching "The Crazies" with crazies
So yeah, I'm pretty sure when I saw the preview for this movie for the first time I knew I would be there opening night. To be honest, it looked like a cheap, bad acted, blood-fest horror movie. I was pleasantly surprised to find the movie actually had substance and enough story to get me through it.
First off, let me set the scene for you all so you can have the same experience both me and Ash-face had. First of all, we sat by a crazy guy. We love scary movies and love to be scared, but the fact that we were able to sit by a guy that looked like he might kill someone at any second, is service money can't buy. I've wondered if the theater put him and other crazies in the movie just to add to the effect. The guy was probably 40. He had a two backpacks with him full of stuff (I accidentally stepped on one and heard something plastic break...it was probably a plastic shiv he was going to kill someone with). During the movie, I saw him eat at least one sandwich and a bowl of soup. Yeah, weird, I know. He would sit on the front end of his seat, with his fingers interlaced and resting on his legs, and his head slightly tilted down. He looked like he was looking at the persons head down in front of him. But no, he was watching the movie with his eyes looking all the way up with a possessed look in them. He was truly creepy. The best part was that after his soup, he must have had some indigestion problems because weird noises kept slipping out of his orifices. And must I forget, I think he did about kill a few teenagers sitting behind us. They kept making stupid comments and were pretty loud. I looked over at the crazy and he was peering up at them with total disgust in his countenance. Ashley said she heard him ask them once to stop. Only teenagers are capable of disgusting even a crazy.
With that lovely addition, we watched the movie. You're probably all wondering (all four of you that read this) "Hasn't the zombie movie theme been overdone?" Yeah, it has, and to be honest, this one wasn't too much different than the rest. There was only one element to this that made me like it more than the other zombie movies: The zombies weren't the undead with enlarged brains....they were people that had literally just lost their minds. Having been born and raised in Price, UT, as well as serving a mission in Bakersfield, CA, I have had my fair share of crazies in my life. The idea that they all go crazy at once and start killing people "touched close to home" and was a bit more believable than contracting zombieism from a bite.
The story takes place in Ogden, Texas in a small farming community. One element to the movie I really enjoyed was their depiction of small town. Hollywood generally has no idea what the real country-life is like, and tends to blow it overgeneralizing "country-folk" and exaggerating stereotypes. "The Crazies" on the other hand did a great job of showing what a real small down is like. They even had the guy that "knows everything about everything and will make something up just to sound like he knows everything." I can't tell you how many of those kinds of people in Price.
Anyway, a plane crashes in Ogden, TX, which contains a dangerous chemical. The chemical makes it into the drinking water and drives people crazy. Timothy Olyphant is the Sheriff of the town and has an expecting wife. The two of them are a good team, and provided the movie with decent acting. I must say, I'm used to seeing Timothy Olyphant as the villain, so the type-cast reversal added a fun twist to the movie. The town basically becomes overrun by the gov't whose job it is to kill anyone and everyone in town so it doesn't spread to the rest of the world. This means that there are "evils" in the movie, the crazies and the government (pretty true to real life, actually).
One element that made this movie better than all the other zombie movies was the addition of a hilarious deputy. He is really good friends with Olyphant, and has some hilarious lines. Movies like this are always better when there is comic relief and not just scare-tactics the whole time.
The movie didn't seem "over-the-top" bloody, other than a certain scene with a crazy, a bunch of tied down normals, and a pitch fork. It also dropped the bomb pretty often, but not too bad, and when it did, it was somehow funny.
The downside to this movie was that it was a bit too predictable. As soon as a character was introduced, I could tell right away if they would live or die. It also added too many elements that are in every other zombie movies that we get sick of. For example, they develop a character that you really grow to like, and of course, they get contracted with the disease and somehow die heroically instead of turning into a zombie. Watch a zombie movie, and that same old story will be in it.
Technically, I can't recommend this movie to anyone because rated R movies are bad and lead to damnation. But ignoring damnation and hell, go see it and enjoy yourself. If you're worried it's too scary, I assure you that it really isn't that scary and there is enough comedy in it that you leave with a smile instead of wet trowsers.
In case you do see it, my only recommendation is to look for a crazy person in the theater and sit by him/her. I assure you, it will make the movie better.
Also, if this movie wets your appetite for good zombie movies, I've added my top 3 list of movies, #1 being the best.
3. Shaun of the Dead
2. I Am Legend
Enjoy yourselves, and tell me what you thought of the movie after you see it.