Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does that make me crazy?

Between his first two zombie flicks, George Romero made a few other lesser known horror flicks including the Crazies. You are likely to hear more about this one, as it is being re-made for release this year. It has a similar feel to a basic zombie movie, where a terrible illness begins to spread and threatens to overwhelm the authorities, thanks to mistakes, human nature and the chaos created by the outbreak. In this case, the accidental release of a supposedly innocuous virus starts turning citizens of a small PA town into raving lunatics. Turns out the virus is an engineered super-virus for which there is no cure. Bad news for PA.

This one is fun, but not essential viewing. The pace is a bit off, as the terror of the situation is diluted by focusing on people who rather successfully hide from the authorities. There is a lot of blood and violence but it is cartoonish by today's, admittedly base, standards. I didn't love the ending, which equivocates between hope and despair, without really choosing. Realistic, but a bit unsatisfying.

On the plus side, there are some enjoyable grindhouse performances, including the pissed off scientist, the girl going crazy and the loony Dad in scene one. There is also a subtext of the violence wrought in Vietnam being revisited in the homeland. Apocalypse junkies can get their fix in a fairly fresh way here. Watch it now so that you can knowingly complain about how the old one is better than the new one.

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