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September 6, 2010
The Crazies Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
26/2/2010 (USA)4/8/2010Village RoadshowBreck Eisner
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4Dolby TrueHD 5.1MA15+Timothy Olyphant

THE MOVIE
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Timothy Olyphant stars in The Crazies.

It wasn't until I was doing some research about the production of this film that I learnt that was in fact a remake of a 1973 film of the same name directed by George A. Romero. While George hasn't directed this remake, that duty has been handed over to Breck Eisner (Sahara), he has acted as Executive Producer.

The Crazies is set in a small Kansas town called Ogden Mash which is suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. As the town goes crazy Sheriff Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell), need to try to escape the madness, and perhaps something even more sinister.

Where this film succeeds is with the pacing which provides a good mixture of action, tension and downtime, but always keeps that level of the unknown bubbling away under the surface. Credit must go to the two lead actors; Timothy Olyphant who is turning into a solid lead actor in action films, and Radha Mitchell who gamers would likely know from the Silent Hill movie.

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There are certainly moments of gore in the film.
The Crazies isn't the best horror film of all time, nor the most stylish, but it is certainly watchable from start to finish and fans of the genre, or Timothy Olyphant, will certainly enjoy this release.

VIDEO
With The Crazies being a 2010 theatrical release this transfer is as clean as one could expect with a complete lack of dirt and film degradation present. The picture has a natural look to it with good colour reproduction albeit not with a "Hollywoood gloss" as one expects from many modern films. This gritty realism only adds to the ambience of the film and it's nice to have a horror film that isn't just about the night time scenes, but has plenty of scenes set during daytime which really shows off the level of detail which this transfer provides in the 1080p, 2.35:1 image.

AUDIO
The Crazies is presented on Blu-Ray with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (16-bit/48Khz) track and while it has its moments it's not a track which you would use to show off your surround sound system. Still the track has some moments which will have you jumping out of your seats with use of surround sound channels bursting to life and LFE kicking in.

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A house is on fire in The Crazies.
The disc also contains an Audio Descriptive Narration For the Vision Impaired audio track which is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track encoded at 448kbps. It's a little disappointing surround sound isn't provided for this track. Subtitles are provided in English and are colour coded according to who is talking on-screen.

EXTRAS
While this was a fairly successful film at the box office we have seen a lot bigger films being released on Blu- Ray with a lot less then this impressive package.

Audio Commentary by director Breck Eisner: This is a pretty impressive, fairly continuous, audio commentary which provides plenty of information about the production of this film including a great story about finding the Truck Stop location for the film and plenty of discussions about the storyline, actors, visual effects and makeup.

Behind the Scenes with director Breck Eisner (10:40/HD): This is only a little more then your typical EPK styled featurette which is made to sell the movie rather then inform. There are plenty of scenes from the film, and retelling of the story although there are some small interesting details about the production.

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A somewhat decomposed body.
Paranormal Pandemics (9:40/HD): There's nothing paranormal in this film, so we don't know why it's called this, but this featurette focuses on how the events from this film could happen in real life. There is also a considerable focus on the make up used for the film which is quite interesting.

The George A. Romero Template (9:54/HD): This featurette looks at George A. Romero's long line of horror films with commentary from movie critics. Sadly there is no participation from Mr Romero himself.

Make-Up Mastermind Rob Hall in Action (11:26/HD): It's not often that make-up artists get such an impressive featurette on Blu-Ray or DVD but this is a great look at the 3 hour process that went into creating "The Hunter" including everything from the the adhesive tattoo transfers, painting, the dentures, and eye contacts.

The Crazies Motion Comic Episode 1 & Episode 2 (27:00/HD): These two comics provide some background to the events that took place in the film. The first episode (which runs for 14:28) focuses on the plane crash and what happens in the hours after that, while Episode 2 (runtime 12:32) continues the story. These are definitely worth a watch as they add some more to the events of the movie.

Visual Effects in Motion (3:40/HD): Way too brief but this gives you a breakdown of two key sequences from the film which required extensive CG effects. Impressive, but I would have loved a lot more detail including some commentary.

Trailers (7:19/HD): Here we have a Teaser Trailers (0:35), Theatrical Trailer #1 (1:52), Theatrical Trailer #2 (2:25) and The Crazies Motion Comic Trailer (2:27).

The Crazies Featurette: X Screening Video (3:57/HD): This short video was taken at the premiere of the movie at Silverlake where the filmmakers showed off some of the special features and moments from making the film.

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The Crazies is out now on Blu-Ray.
Storyboard Gallery (9:14/HD): The title says it all really as this is a storyboard sequence from the movie.

Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (3:18/HD): Again, as the title suggests, this is a photo gallery with dozens of images from the production.

OVERALL
I'm not generally a fan of horror movies, but The Crazies was a blast from start to finisih. Some solid acting, good pacing and a few frights makes this a movie worth checking out, and probably adding to your collection.

Review By: Dave Warner

THE MOVIE
8/10
THE VIDEO
9/10
THE AUDIO
9/10
THE EXTRAS
6/10
OVERALL
8/10

Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.