The Crazies

Why are there zombies, Daddy? Well, the number one reason given is “we don’t know” followed closely by (a) virus or (b) bioweapons/waste of government or corporate origin. The Crazies falls solidly in the (b) category. The small town of Ogden Marsh wasn’t botherin’ nobody about nothin’, until a military plane crash-landed and contaminated the water supply, and gradually – well, not so gradually, actually – people in town start to act real weird, like homicidally weird. And minor things like death don’t seem to slow them down all that much.

Originally made by George A. Romero back in 1973, and barely anybody noticed. He was executive producer on the Breck Eisnerdirected remake starring, among others, the always good Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Santa Clarita Diet, among so much else) and Radha Mitchell (we’ve loved her ever since Pitch Black). And the story of the town slowly going insane, and what the sheriff and his doctor-wife do to survive, is pretty damned effective right up through the explosive ending. It’s also a great example of the deeply embedded theme of mistrust of the government that exists in so much zomfic, books and movies alike. Y’just can’t trust those guys (though, to be fair, in other instances, the military are all that’s left to save us from the post-deceased cannibals).

Check it out if it slipped by you. And feel free to skip the original; we’re pointing you only to the far superior 2010 remake. We’re especially fond of the first death on the baseball field and the extended car wash sequence. And don’t say we didn’t warn you.