The Crazies (2010 film)

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The Crazies
Crazies ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Breck Eisner
Produced by Michael Aguilar
Rob Cowan
Dean Georgaris
George A. Romero (executive)
Written by Scott Kosar
Ray Wright
George A. Romero
Starring Timothy Olyphant
Radha Mitchell
Joe Anderson
Danielle Panabaker
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Maxime Alexandre
Editing by Billy Fox
Studio Participant Media
Imagenation Abu Dhabi
Distributed by Overture Films
Release dates
  • February 26, 2010 (2010-02-26)
Running time 101 Minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[1]
Box office $54,677,170[1]

The Crazies is a 2010 US horror film directed by Breck Eisner. Written by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright, the film is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, who is also the executive producer and co-writer of the remake.

The Crazies stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. The film takes place in the fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Pierce County, Iowa, "friendliest place on Earth," whose town water supply is accidentally infected with the "Trixie" virus. After an incubation period of 48 hours, this virus gradually transforms the mental state of the infected into that of cold, calculating, depraved, bloodthirsty killers, who then prey on family and neighbors alike.

The film was released on February 26, 2010 to positive reviews from critics, and was a box office success both domestically and internationally.

Plot[edit]

In the town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant), the local sheriff, is enjoying a baseball game along with most of the town. His deputy, Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), spots Rory Hamill, a local resident, entering the outfield holding a shotgun, presumably drunk. David clears the field and attempts to talk Rory down, but he remains unresponsive. When Rory raises his weapon, David is forced to shoot and kill him. The incident is declared a tragic fluke while toxicology tests are being run. Meanwhile, David and his wife Judy (Radha Mitchell), the community doctor, begin to notice other town residents exhibiting bizarre behavior, including listlessness and repetitive speech. The next night, a local farmer burns his house down with his wife and son trapped inside, killing them. When questioned, he displays no empathy and stares eerily into space.

While investigating the discovery of a pilot's body in a swamp, David and Russell discover a military aircraft submerged under the water. David soon realizes that the crash has impacted the town's reservoir and drinking water, presumably causing the residents' odd behavior. Against the mayor's direct orders, he shuts off the town's water supply. Soon after, communication services are lost in town and soldiers arrive to take all residents to quarantine at the high school. Everyone is examined for symptoms of infection via ear thermometers to detect any hint of a fever. Judy does not pass the examination and is separated from David. She explains her fever is due to pregnancy but is sedated anyway. She wakes up later strapped to a gurney and surrounded by other residents, infected or not, including her hospital assistant, Becca (Danielle Panabaker). Meanwhile, military personnel herd all the non-infected residents onto trucks for evacuation but David argues that he won't leave without Judy. He and Russell reunite at the sheriff's office and they both store on ammunition before making their way back to the high school. Judy and the other civilians are soon abandoned when the perimeter fence around the school is broken through by the infected and panicked residents. After medical personnel have left, an infected man, the former school principal, brandishing a pitchfork enters the ward and begins stabbing people on their gurneys. David and Russell arrive in time to kill him before he can stab Judy and they lead the two women out of the school.

Unable to find a working vehicle, David, Judy, Russell, and Becca make their way out of town on foot. Becca takes them to a farm where her boyfriend, Scotty, hides them in his parents' barn. Soldiers raid the farm and kill Scotty's mother before shooting Scotty when he runs from the barn to protest. As the bodies are burned, a lone soldier investigates the barn and is captured and held down by David and Russell. They demand information and learn that soldiers have been given strict orders to shoot all civilians who have potentially been exposed and infected. The group escapes the barn and return to David and Judy's home to repair an old patrol car stored in their garage. While musing through her baby's nursery, Judy is ambushed by Rory's infected wife and son. David enters the room and is tackled by Rory's son and stabbed through the hand with a pair of scissors. He breaks free and manages to kill Rory's wife, stabbing her through the neck with the scissors before Russell shoots through the window from outside to kill Rory's son. Russell enters the house to check on David and Judy and shoots the infected multiple times, claiming it was to ensure they were dead. This greatly disturbs Judy, who argues with David about Russell's state of mind.

Once on the road, the group is spotted by an attack helicopter and drive into a car wash for cover. A couple of infected activate the car wash, trapping the group, and begin attacking the car. The rear window breaks and a hose is wrapped around Becca's neck. She is yanked violently out of the car and hanged before David, Judy, and Russell exit the car and kill the infected. Judy tries to revive Becca to no avail and the trio watch as the patrol car, which has cruised out of the car wash, is destroyed by the helicopter. On the road and on foot, the trio soon spot an oncoming SUV. Russell acts quickly and disables the vehicle with a police spike strip, which causes the car to spin out and flip into a ditch. David interrogates the driver, presumably a government agent, who reveals that the cargo plane that crashed contained 'Trixie', a "Rhabdoviridae prototype" biological weapon. It was en route to Texas to be destroyed by incineration when the plane suddenly crashed. Without warning, Russell shoots the man in the head before turning on David and Judy. He angrily tells David that he saved his life three times since they left town and marches them down the road at gunpoint. After a while, David turns back to him and manages to wrestle the rifle out of Russell's hands. Knocked down, Russell realizes that he's 'not right' and begs to accompany David and Judy for a while longer. Come nightfall, the trio reach a security checkpoint. Knowing that they could not get past without being seen, Russell offers himself as a distraction so that David and Judy can continue. Russell approaches the blockade and shoots at the soldiers as David and Judy make their escape. The soldiers shoot back and disable Russell who curses them for what they did to the town before his misery is ended.

David and Judy arrive at a truck stop to search for a vehicle. While there, David discovers to his horror that all the people who had been evacuated out of town were corralled there in large trucks and burned alive. Inside the depot, they fend off three infected and manage to escape in a semi-truck. Over the truck's radio, they intercept a signal which begins to countdown. At zero, Ogden Marsh behind them is destroyed in a massive explosion and the truck flips in the oncoming shockwave. David and Judy survive the wreck and are able to continue further on foot, making their way towards Cedar Rapids. A view from a military satellite focuses first on the couple, then on the city before the text 'Initiate containment protocol' appears, signifying a new containment attempt.

In the credits, Bruce Aune, a real newscaster from KCRG-TV 9 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa reports that an explosion originating from the Dakon Pendrill chemical plant started a massive fire in Ogden Marsh. He says a perimeter has been set and civilians are not being allowed into the area. A Trixie-infected individual appears on camera just before the signal is lost, hinting that David and Judy were carriers for the virus and inadvertently spread it.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

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).[2] The film was produced and distributed by Overture Films.[3] The special effects were created by Robert Green Hall.[4]

Makeup[edit]

The final stage of the Trixie disease took three hours in the make-up chair to complete.

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 has 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 has 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 has 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.[5]

Release[edit]

The film premiered on February 24, 2010 in Los Angeles[6] and received a wide release in the North America on February 26, 2010.[7] The Canadian DVD and Blu-ray Disc were released June 29, 2010.[8] 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.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviews for the film have been generally positive. Based on 146 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an overall approval rating of 72%, with an average score of 6.4/10. The site's consensus states the film is "Tense, nicely shot, and uncommonly intelligent, The Crazies is the rare horror remake that works."[10] By contrast, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a "mixed or average" score of 55% based on 30 reviews.[11]

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."[12] 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."[13] 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."[14] Variety film critic Dennis Harvey also praised the film, writing "While not a slam dunk, this revamp by helmer Breck Eisner (of the enjoyable but underperforming Sahara) emerges an above-average genre piece that's equal parts horror-meller and doomsday action thriller.[15]

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."[16] Mike Hale of The New York Times wrote a mixed review stating "The filmmakers seem so determined to make a serious, respectable horror movie that they have only the bare minimum of fun."[17] Amy Biancolli, writing for San Francisco Chronicle, wrote 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."[18]

Box office[edit]

The film opened at #3 behind Cop Out and Shutter Island with $16,067,552.[19] By May 2010, the film has grossed an estimated $50 million worldwide.[1]

Nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite Horror Movie Nominated

Merchandise[edit]

On February 23, 2010, an iPhone app, Beware the Infected, was released.[20]

Comic book[edit]

On February 17, 2010, iTunes released a graphic novel adaptation of the film.[21] A comic book was also released chronicling how the virus was spread. It went on for four issues.

Browser game[edit]

On February 24, 2010, Starz Digital Media released a Facebook game based on the film.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Crazies (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-07-20. 
  2. ^ ‘Crazies’ remake filming under way in Perry
  3. ^ "Exclusive: Rob Hall Talks Effects on Remake of The Crazies". DreadCentral. 
  4. ^ "Exclusive photo: THE CRAZIES love Fango!". Fangoria. 
  5. ^ The Crazies DVD Special Feature(s): "Paranormal Pandemics," "Rob Hall make-up featurette," "Behind-the-scenes with Breck Esiner"
  6. ^ "Massive Image Gallery: The LA Crazies Premiere". DreadCentral. 
  7. ^ "The Crazies (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Crazies Hit Canadian DVD and Blu-ray in June". DreadCentral. 
  9. ^ The Crazies (US - DVD R1|BD RA) in News > Releases at DVDActive
  10. ^ "The Crazies Movie Review, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  11. ^ "The Crazies reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  12. ^ Phillips, Michael (2010-02-25). "'The Crazies': Remake bests the master". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  13. ^ Armstrong, Eric M. (2010-03-10). "'The Crazies (2010)'". The Moving Arts Film Journal. 
  14. ^ Burr, Ty (2010-02-26). "'The Crazies' movie review". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  15. ^ Harvey, Dennis (2010-2-25). "The Crazies Review – Read Variety's Analysis of the Film, The Crazies". Variety. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  16. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (2010-02-25). "The Crazies". EW. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  17. ^ Hale, Mike (2010-02-26). "Movie Review – The Crazies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  18. ^ Biancolli, Amy (2010-02-26). "Review: 'The Crazies'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  19. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 26–28, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  20. ^ The Crazies By Petrol Advertising
  21. ^ "Trailer for 'The Crazies' Motion Comic Book". BloodyDisgusting. 
  22. ^ "The Crazies Comic, iPhone App, and Facebook Games Are Here". DreadCentral. 

External links[edit]