Posted in Monday Mayhem

The Crazies

The Crazies is one of those movies that stick with you. Having written a short summary in a previous post, I decided to expand on that summary and give you the real deal. And, since it is Monday Mayhem, what better way to continue the series than with this great movie?

I’ll leave the reviewers to review the movie. I’d rather spend time talking about the film’s fascinating nuances.

The Crazies Movie Poster
The Crazies Movie Poster

Not your typical brain-bashing, gut-chomping zombie movie, The Crazies is an interesting study for a number of reasons. The first thing the audience realizes is the contagion does not come from a virus. The classic zombie infection is the usual virus that gets spread by a bite. Then, humans become their own worst enemies and tear at each other in a cannibalistic frenzy. Not in this story. Remember that saying, when traveling don’t drink the water? If any time that applied, it applies here. The water made the people all crazy. There’s a reason for that, but I won’t get into it.

This is a mind-blowing concept. If anything is true about humanity, it’s that we need food and water for sustenance. If anyone or anything messes with our fuel, we become different people. Anyone can prove this by giving kids sugar. What do they do? They bounce off the walls. Add those same sugars to the foods they eat and what happens? Yeah, they bounce off the walls. The film highlights the fine balance humanity possesses with their life source. Any tinkering with it will jumpstart a catastrophic chain of events that will render society at the mercy of the toxin.

Welcome to Ogden Marsh
Welcome to Ogden Marsh

Another point the movie makes, which some may construe as a sensitive topic, is the government’s involvement with mind control. I say a sensitive topic because in some respect, some may feel we’re already under that control (the foods we eat, the entertainment we consume—but that’s another post for another day). In the movie, as the townsfolk ingest the water supply, an all-seeing eye high above the clouds appraises the situation. The audience gets the government’s perspective on the matter, as it escalates to worse and worse levels by the hour.

You see, what the government wanted to know is just how far and how fast would the contagion spread if released in a controlled environment—a town. I won’t reveal anymore of the movie’s plot because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone wanting to watch it. But I will say this: How far along are we in replicating the movie’s plot when last year, the papers reported of those zombie attacks in Miami and the authorities blamed them on bath salts? Sounds far-fetched, right? The film made it clear: control’s an illusion that soon would destroy those who think they can tame it.

The Road Sign
The Road Sign

The final point the movie made in a less than overt way, is appearances can be deceiving. The zombies in this movie are different. Make no mistake, they are zombies. And therein lies the rub. What the audience expects as the traditional zombie appearance, the movie turns on its head. They do not have rotting flesh. They are not dead. They talk.

However, they have no control over their actions. They have a dead stare. And they have evil in their hearts, which spills into the horror they administer to those who have not changed.

Have you seen The Crazies? If so, what did you think of it? Have you heard of the Miami zombies? Do you know of any other movies that portray townsfolk as zombies? Go ahead and throw in your comment—I don’t bite.


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

13 thoughts on “The Crazies

  1. Hi Jack, Great review and look at the character of Mathilda. Yeah, it certainly launched the career of Natalie Portman. the other great performance in the movie, alongside Jean Reno is drug addicted detective, played by Gary Oldman. amazing performance.

  2. Good review. The Crazies isn’t breaking the mold or anything, it just doesn’t fall into the predictable and frustrating cliches that so many horror movies fall victim to nowadays.

  3. Haven’t seen it but “experiments” gone awry is not an uncommon plot. Andromeda Strain come to mind.

    The thing about that is, it’s well within the realm of possibility.

    Our ostensible “government” has experimented, without their knowledge or consent, upon members of the military and the civilian population in the past and continue to do so today.

    What else would you call the introduction of genetically modified organisms into our diet, without our consent, which have the ability to modify genes in the people who consume them?

    Eugenics is no longer a hot topic and that’s no coincidence. What you don’t know can hurt you.

  4. My sister and I went over to Lenox Iowa to be extras in the baseball scene. We sat following lame directions “stand up” “look scared” “point”, and watching the hapless crazed killer Rory repeatedly tromp across the baseball field. By the twelfth time, we were rooting for Rory. Just to get it over with.

    Closeup, Timothy Oliphant is pretty cute. But seriously, he would need at least another eighty pounds to be taken seriously as a real Iowa sheriff. Our boys are corn fed.

    1. What an awesome experience. Thanks so much for sharing!

      And yep, I did think sheriff was a few pounds light for his part. But boy, was he a great choice for the role. How can anyone forget his mind blowing performance in the morgue? I know I can’t!

  5. excellent movie, was actually filmed a hop, skip and a jump from where i live. Filmed in Iowa. I did like the different take on zombies in this one, made it creepier because they weren’t mindless, there was even that group that organized themselves into that killer group. also, there was no decay to show who had turned, ie. the tension between the sheriff and his deputy.
    its hard to talk about this movie without revealing too much so i’ll shut up and let your readers watch it for themselves.

    1. That’s exactly how I felt when writing this post. I would have loved to have revealed more of the plot but I had to hold back. I’m with on the relationship between the sheriff and his deputy… I had to tie my tongue to prevent saying more of the awesome dynamic between them. And let’s not forget the car wash scene, the house scene, and all the other scenes that made this film special. It’s creepy in a good way.

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