The Crazies is a 2010 American science fiction horror film directed by Breck Eisner from a screenplay from Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. The film is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name and stars Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson and Danielle Panabaker. George A. Romero, who wrote and directed the original, served as an executive producer. It is about a fictional Iowa town that becomes afflicted by a biological agent that turns those infected into violent killers. The film was released on February 26 and grossed $55 million on a $20 million budget. The critical summary on Rotten Tomatoes calls it "tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent", and it received mixed reviews on Metacritic.
|Directed by||Breck Eisner|
|Based on||The Crazies|
by George A. Romero
|Edited by||Billy Fox|
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Box office||$55 million|
In the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, residents suddenly exhibit bizarre behavior, such as a man entering a baseball game with a shotgun and a neighborhood farmer trapping his wife and son in a closet then setting the house on fire. These changes are observed by David, the sheriff of Pierce County, and his pregnant wife, Judy, the community doctor. Sheriff David and Deputy Russell discover a military aircraft crashed in the town's river. This leads David to suspect its cargo contaminated their water supply, which could have caused the town’s strange behavior.
Suddenly, all communication services are lost in Ogden Marsh. Soldiers arrive to quarantine the residents of the town at a high school and check the temperatures of the evacuees. While David passes the infection test, Judy does not which causes the couple to separate. After the infected riot at the high school with a perimeter breach, the soldiers abandon the town. Escaping the quarantine, David and Russell rescue Judy and her assistant Becca.
The four attempt to escape from Ogden Marsh while avoiding the soldiers who are ordered to execute all non-soldiers and the increasingly-violent infected. They obtain a vehicle to aid them in their escape, but Becca is killed by the infected at the car-wash while evading a helicopter after the aircrew destroyed their car. Continuing on foot, the survivors subdue an intelligence officer who reveals the cargo plane contained weaponized biological called Trixie which contaminated the town’s water source. Russell begins to act abnormal and executes the intelligence officer which causes tension between Russell and David. Russell then realizes that he is infected.
After the group reach soldiers blocking the only road, Russell provides a distraction and sacrifices his life so David and Judy can bypass the soldiers. David and Judy arrive at a truck-stop where they discover that soldiers have executed their 'evacuated' neighbors, and David hears over a soldier's radio that a bombing run is set to occur in ten minutes. After killing more of the infected, they escape in a semi-truck while a nuclear bomb destroys Ogden Marsh. The explosion disables their truck, forcing them to continue on foot. As the couple heads toward Cedar Rapids, they are spotted by a satellite while soldiers contain the recently nuked remnants of their town. A news report on the "chemical plant explosion" in Ogden Marsh is repeatedly interrupted by footage of soldiers and the infected before the signal crashes.
- Timothy Olyphant as David Dutton
- Radha Mitchell as Judy Dutton
- Joe Anderson as Russell Clank
- Danielle Panabaker as Becca Darling
- Christie Lynn Smith as Deardra Farnum
- Brett Rickaby as Bill Farnum
- Preston Bailey as Nicholas Farnum
- John Aylward as Mayor Hobbs
- Joe Reegan as Private Billy Babcock
- Glenn Morshower as Intelligence Officer
- Larry Cedar as Ben Sandborn
- Gregory Sporleder as Travis Quinn
- Mike Hickman as Rory Hamill
- Lisa K. Wyatt as Peggy Hamill
- Justin Welborn as Curt Hamill
- Chet Grissom as Kevin Miller
- Tahmus Rounds as Nathan
- Brett Wagner as Jesse
- Alex Van as Red
- Frank Hoyt Taylor as Mortician Charles Finley
- Justin Miles as Scotty McGregor
- Marian Green as Mrs. McGregor
- E. Roger Mitchell as Fire Chief Tom
Additionally, Lynn Lowry, who portrayed Kathy in the original film, makes a cameo appearance as an infected woman on a bicycle.
Much of the film was shot in central Georgia, and Lenox, Iowa, with settings including the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Priester's Pecans in Perry, Georgia, the Fountain Car Wash in Macon, Georgia, areas in Dublin, Georgia, Peach County High School in Fort Valley, Georgia, and areas of Cordele, Georgia (the truck stop used during filming is an old TravelCenters of America site). The film was produced and distributed by Overture Films. The special effects were created by Robert Green Hall. Actress Lynn Lowry, a star from the original film, makes a cameo in the remake billed as "Woman on Bike".
The makeup for the film was designed by Almost Human Studios; they also did makeup for other horror films such as Quarantine, Frankenfish, and Prom Night. Director Breck Eisner's early visions of the infected were zombies. He and the makeup crew made many molds and sketches of the infected, with deformities and skin sloughing. Eventually, he grew tired of the cliche "zombie" look, and went with a realistic "go under the skin," in which the blood vessels appear to be bursting forth and face and neck muscles and tendons tight and wrought. Eisner described this look as "hyper alive."
The director's one and only rule for the makeup design -- they research in medical books and consult medical professionals for the design of the infected. Lead make-up artist Rob Hall said "If we were to pitch something to Breck, about, if you know, one side of his face should look like this, Breck would immediately want to know what disease it came from, and what version of reality it could be implemented into Trixie. But the most important thing was to make sure it felt real. Make it feel like you could get it, too." The basis of the makeup the crew used was mainly rabies, tetanus, and Stevens–Johnson syndrome.
Each "Crazy" design had about twenty-one sections requiring over three hours to apply for the final effect seen in the film. Robert stated the final effect in the film seen was not just the makeup, but the lighting, camera angles, and post-production effects. The theme for the design was "stress." He stated he wanted the "Crazies" to look stressed. The veins and eyes were the main focus of the design. The contact lenses covered the actors' entire eyes and required eye-drops every five minutes to reduce injuries.
The film premiered on February 24, 2010 in Los Angeles and received a wide release in the North America on February 26, 2010. The film opened at #3 behind Cop Out and Shutter Island with $16 million. By May 2010, the film has grossed an estimated $50 million worldwide. The Canadian DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released June 29, 2010. The DVD and Blu-ray Disc + Digital Copy combo pack was released in the North America on June 29, 2010 and in the UK on July 19.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 71% based on 148 reviews and an average rating of 6.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent, The Crazies is a horror remake that, unusually, works." On Metacritic, which assigns a rating to reviews, the film has an average score of 55 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.
Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune awarded the film 3½ stars of 4, adding he "greatly prefer this cleverly sustained and efficiently relentless remake to the '73 edition. It is lean and simple." Eric M. Armstrong of The Moving Arts Film Journal states "The Crazies is a solid B-movie and one of the few remakes surpassing the original." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the film 3/4 stars touting the film as "extremely solid stuff – about as good as you could hope from a B-movie re-tread." Variety film critic Dennis Harvey states it "emerges an above-average genre piece equal parts horror-meller and doomsday action thriller".
However, Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly graded the film a C, adding "I don't care how this premise is dressed, we saw it a jillion times." Mike Hale of The New York Times states "The filmmakers seem so determined to make a serious respectable horror movie, they have only the bare minimum of fun." Amy Biancolli, writing for San Francisco Chronicle states the re-make "boasts less of the plot and fewer characters than the original, but the hairdos are spiffier and the special effects graduated from cheapo stage blood to the extravagant gross-outs horror audiences expect."
A motion comic was released on February 17 via iTunes. A four-issue comic book miniseries was also released chronicling how the virus' spread. The next week, an iPhone app, Beware the Infected, was released, and Starz Digital Media released a Facebook game.
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