Monday, March 1, 2010

The Crazies are coming..

The set up: The Crazies opening scene is of an anonymous main street somewhere in America in flames and ruins. Flashback two days and we are in Ogden Marsh, IA. Johnny Cash sings We'll Meet Again over scenes of cornfields and the town folks getting ready to attend a high school baseball game. In other words we are in Hollywood's version of fly over country where the town sheriff (Timothy Olyphant) is married to the beautiful town doctor (Radha Mitchell) . The peaceful facade doesn't last long. The first hint of violence to come is in the form of the former town drunk stumbling onto the ball field with a shotgun. The sheriff is forced to shoot him in front of the what is more than likely the entire town's population. I couldn't help but think what would have happened if Sheriff Andy had been forced to shoot Mayberry's lovable Otis instead of locking him up overnight to sleep it off. Needless to say things go downhill fast and the residents of Ogden Marsh soon realize they are all slowly going "crazy" and cut off from the rest of the world.

The Good: The Crazies was number three at the box office this weekend behind the Avatar juggernaut which weighed in as number two. I expected as much because it is really a very solid horror movie. I won't dwell on the acting as it was neither great nor sub par. I don't think Timothy Olyphant has ever risen to the level of his performance as the charming, sleazy drug dealer in 1999's GO. I was impressed by Joe Anderson's performance as the deputy desperately fighting to hold onto his sanity. I looked him on IMDB and still cannot place him precisely even though he has been in movies I have seen. The Crazies also managed to impress by what was left out. There is violence a 'plenty but it never reached the level of torture porn that saturates movies like Saw. It's just enough to give you nightmares.

The Bad: I'm over the government conspiracy plot device. I lost some of my interest in this movie when it moved from the small story of the town slowly unraveling to scenes of the government swooping in with a classic cover-up. I would have preferred the dark menacing story taking place among the town's residents. Interesting scary things happen when you put things like power tools in the hands of "crazies". I won't even try to describe the creativity of the funeral parlor director when he catches the "crazy". Let's just say I would have liked more of that and less of quarantine camps and abusive soldiers. Also in the end the lengths the government went to seemed over the top.

2 comments:

m36 said...

"I couldn't help but think what would have happened if Sheriff Andy had been forced to shoot Mayberry's lovable Otis instead of locking him up overnight to sleep it off." You've got the makings of a great new script right there! I love it.

Mocking Movies said...

Quentin Tarantino does "The Andy Griffith Show" anybody?

 
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