Crazyhead: Buffy Done Misfits Style (Review)

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Brought to you by the same man who created the brilliantly off-kilter “super heroes” doing community service series; Misfits – Howard Overman, Crazyhead  is kind of like a British Buffy with attitude living in Bristol.  She is also part of a double act consisting of two 20-somethings who have a special skill.

Amy has been plagued with visions and hallucinations. She has been on medication to control these annoyances and had just come off her meds.

She soon learns she can see demons. On a night out when she goes outside for a cigarette Amy sees her first one.  When the demon, who is in a human body, realizes Amy can see him, it chases her. Amy steps into a pothole in the car park surface, trips and is knocked out.

Raquel, another 20 something girl, arrives with a retractable baton and beats the demon soundly. The thing runs off and Raquel takes Amy to hospital. There she meets Callum Waverly, the hospital psychiatrist.

Amy’s savour explains that they can both see demons and defeat them. She tells the injured girl that they should team together to take on these demonic creatures.

Afterward, a demon tries to kill Amy at her workplace; a bowling alley, and she escapes the building. The demon goes after her and runs right in front of Suzanne’s car. Amy’s roomie and best mate hits the creature and it dies.

The thing possesses Suzanne and Amy calls Raquel to help.

Fans of Misfits will recognize the style and delivery that Overman brings to the table. (Misfits was a summer replacement programme for the wildly popular Skins on E4 in the UK.)

This new demon hunting series has already been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  While this is almost inevitable, what with one of the two heroines being a blonde attractive young woman, it is a bit off the mark.

Although to be fair, the presence of an  Angel-type demon protagonist, who has history with Raquel,  does make the comparison even more likely. However, the demon hunters here are destined to work as a team.  Amy and Raquel will, it seems, eventually double-team the creatures with the help of Sawyer.

This is more Misfits meets Shadowhunters.  The demons in this verse are violent and when they die they jump to another body. Some have magical powers and their leader is a professional man named Callum. (Played by the splendid Tony Curran from Defiance.)

Crazyhead is earthier and grittier than Buffy and it lacks the pop culture references that Joss Whedon thrived on in the American series. The other big difference is that this show takes place in the UK.

The language is coarser (There is a lot of “effing and blinding,” aka swearing, going on here.  If the use of the “F” word offends you stay away.) and the action does not include any martial arts type fighting.

Choreographic fight sequences are short, sharp and rely on brutish endeavors, there is no wire work here, except for that flying baseball bat. Overman’s demonic warriors are street-thugs versus Bruce Lee wannabes.

Both young women are more “lower class” with Raquel being hilariously un-pc. She actually gives Amy a nipple pinch to “seal the deal” and this puts the wind up the “new girl.”

This is comedy horror delivered more along the lines of Overman’s Britain and less like Simon Pegg’s Spaced or Shaun of the Dead England. In another world Raquel would fit right in with the community service gang in Misfits.

In essence, Crazyhead is rude, crude and socially unacceptable. It is also funny as hell and worth the time spent watching it. Like Misfits the jokes are not overly sophisticated but they earn a lot of chuckles and belly laughs.

(On a sidenote: For those who have never seen the superlative E4 series Misfits, stop right now and head over to Hulu. The entire series is on offer and well worth the binge. While the series went downhill a bit after Robert Sheehan left, it is brilliant telly.)

Crazyhead is not Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it is not really Misfits either. It is, however, a slight blend of both; delivered with a dry, and what some Americans will find coarse, British wit.

Cara Theobold and Susan Wokoma have a brilliant chemistry together and may well be the best new double act on television. These actresses knock it out of the park.

Head over to Netflix right now and start watching this six episode treat from across the pond. You will be glad you did.

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Author: Michael Knox-Smith

World traveler, writer, actor, journalist. Cinephile who reviews films, television, books and interviews professionals in the industry. Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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