FILM REVIEW: The Crazies
15 • 101 mins • 26 February
Director: Breck Eisner
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mirchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker, Christie Lynn Smith
Well lookie-lookie, boys, looks like we got ourselves a remake! Now, you might not remember the original The Crazies, boy – but Grandpaw here saw it back in 1973. Directed by a fella from the big city, Pittsburgh, called Georgie Romero or some such, it was wilder than racoon that’s git all drunk on t’moonshine. It was about a small town in Asscrack, Idaho, see, that get all gnarled up by some kind of infecshun that turns ordinary folk into homicidal killers. You had grannies knitting people’s eyes out, crazy farmers, an’ preachers settin’ emselves on fire, like them bhudists. Then the military turn up, an’ everything gets FUBAR.
The remake’s a diffrent beast tho’ – in this one, the military are only a fleeting presence, while the main story’s all seen through the eyes of the sheriff (Timothy Ollyphant) and his woman (Rhada Mitchell) as they try to escape. She’s in the family way, mind, just like the original, but she doesn’t share the same fate. Also along for the ride is Deputy Russell (Joe Anderson). While the shocks are original, gory and well mounted, by the end, you realise this director Breck Eisner ain’t got what it takes to pull the trigger. This film rilly wants t’be the Dawn Of The Dead remake (openin’ with a Johnny Cash song, flashy visuals, political an’ social messages gutted an’ tossed, replacing Georgie’s choice library cuts with an amped-up soundtrack) but thanks to a noo-clear cop-out of an ending, it just ain’t. Unlike directors like Georgie an’ Zack, Eisner’s pants don’t contain two nut-sacks to knock together, and he’d rather squeal like a pig than do anything truly nasty to his belov’d characters.
Which don’t mean to say you won’t have any fun at the drive-in – we were hollerin’ our heads off at some points, like the attempted clean getaway from the world’s soapiest ghost train, and that good ole fashioned forking sequence y’all saw in the trailer. But come on son – what’s the point in havin’ a purdy mouth if you ain’t gonna go all the way? Billy Joe Hamblin