The Crazies (2010 film)
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.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Breck Eisner|
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Edited by||Billy Fox|
|Box office||$55 million|
In the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, residents begin to exhibit bizarre behavior, such as a man entering a town baseball game with a shotgun and a neighborhood farmer trapping his wife and son in a closet and setting fire to the house. These changes are observed by David, the sheriff of surrounding Pierce County, and his pregnant wife, Judy, the community doctor. David and his deputy, Russell Clank, eventually discover that a military aircraft crashed into the town's river, leading David to suspect that the plane's cargo contaminated the water supply and is the cause of the strange behavior.
Soon afterwards, all communication services are lost in Ogden Marsh and military soldiers arrive to quarantine the residents of the town at a high school. The soldiers begin checking the temperatures of the evacuees and while David passes the infection test, Judy does not, and the couple are separated. When the infected cause a violent riot at the high school and a perimeter breach is caused, the military personnel swiftly evacuate and David escapes the quarantine where he and Russell are able to rescue Judy and her assistant Becca.
The four attempt to escape from the Ogden Marsh while trying to avoid both the soldiers, who have been ordered to shoot all civilians on sight, and the infected townspeople, who are becoming increasingly violent. They manage to obtain a vehicle to aid them in their escape, but Becca is killed by the infected at the car wash when trying to evade a military helicopter who destroyed their car. Continuing on foot, the survivors are able to subdue an intelligence officer, who reveals that the cargo plane contained a biological weapon chemical prototype called Trixie, which did contaminate the town's water source. Russell begins to act oddly and suddenly shoots the intelligence officer, prompting tension between David and Russell, until the latter realizes that he is infected.
When the group reaches a military roadblock, Russell sacrifices himself to provide a distraction and allow David and Judy to sneak past the soldiers. David and Judy arrive at a truck stop to search for a vehicle, where they discover that the military has executed the residents that were being evacuated. After killing more infected, they escape in a semi-truck while a nuclear weapon destroys Ogden Marsh. The explosion disables their truck and they are forced to walk. As the couple heads towards Cedar Rapids, they are spotted by a military satellite and the military prepares to contain the city. A news report on the explosion in Ogden Marsh is repeatedly interrupted by footage of soldiers and infected individuals before the signal is lost.
- 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, who also did makeup for other horror films such as Quarantine, Frankenfish and Prom Night. Director Breck Eisner's first visions of what the infected would look like were zombies. He and the makeup crew made many molds and sketches of what the infected should look like, with deformities and skin hanging off and so forth. Eventually, he grew tired of the "zombie" look which he believed to be too cliché and decided to go for a more realistic "go under the skin," in which the blood vessels would 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 was that they would have to 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 21 separate pieces that took 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 were the main factor. The main theme for the design was "stress." He stated he wanted the "Crazies" to look stressed out. The veins and eyes were the main focus of the design. The contact lenses covered the actors' entire eyes and required eyedrops every five minutes to prevent permanent eye damage.
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 an overall approval 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, commenting that 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 wrote that "The Crazies is a solid B-movie and one of the few remakes that actually surpasses 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 retread." Variety film critic Dennis Harvey wrote that it "emerges an above-average genre piece that's equal parts horror-meller and doomsday action thriller".
However, Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly graded the film a C, writing, "I don't care how this premise has been dressed up, we've seen it a jillion times before." Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote, "The filmmakers seem so determined to make a serious, respectable horror movie that they have only the bare minimum of fun." Amy Biancolli, writing for San Francisco Chronicle, said that the remake "boasts less of the plot and fewer characters than the original, but the hairdos are spiffier and the special effects have graduated from cheapo stage blood to the extravagant gross-outs that horror audiences now routinely 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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