A zombie film by any other name—say, The Crazies—is still a zombie film. And a pretty nifty one, at that, with an ample amount of scares and gross-outs and sly humor. But a zombie film all the same.
The film starts with a wink: a desolate, apocalyptic street scene of empty streets, burning cars, and blown out businesses. Then—cue the cheery music—we're practically in Mayberry. The words "Two Days Earlier" flash across the screen.
Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) is watching a high school baseball game when the town drunk, Rudy, stumbles onto the field with a rifle. Rudy has a glazed look in his eyes and David—cool and studly under pressure—can't get him to lay down his gun. Bye-bye, Rudy.
Eventually more townsfolk start acting strange and doing unfortunate things like bleeding from their eyeballs. (I don't want to tell you what one upstanding dad does to his wife and son, but it will make you think twice about hiding in a closet while being chased by a zomb. . . I mean, a crazy.)
David begins to suspect there's a connection between the townsfolk's erratic behavior and the enormous plane that crashed in the local river. Then, the military swoops in and starts evacuating the town and quarantining anyone with a fever, including David's pregnant M.D. wife Judy (Radha Mitchell.)
The Crazies has a few great scenes—one in a car wash, one in a funeral home, and one where David stabs somebody with a knife in a particularly creative way.
But at this point, we've already seen a state-of-the-art zombie film (28 Days Later) and two state-of-the-art zombie parody films (Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.)
And just because they called it The Crazies—in fairness, it is a remake—they can't fool me. Been there, ate that brain for dinner.