Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Crazies (1973)

The Crazies

Written by Paul McCollough & George A. Romero
Directed by George A. Romero

Lane Carroll .... Judy
Will MacMillan .... David
Harold Wayne Jones .... Clank
Lloyd Hollar .... Colonel Peckem
Lynn Lowry .... Kathy Bolman
Richard France .... Dr. Walls
Harry Spillman .... Major Ryder
Will Disney .... Dr. Brookmyre

In George Romero's third film, a military plane carrying a biological weapon codenamed Trixie crashes outside the town of Evans City, Pennsylvania. Trixie leaks into a stream which acts as Evans City's water source and next thing you know it's Outbreak 1973.

Trixie has the distinction of causing "fever symptoms, delirium, and madness" in everyone it infects, and it is quite contagious. By the time the military shows up to quarantine the town, half of the population has already gone nutty. Colonel Peckem and Major Ryder lead the operation and set up a perimeter around the town, giving orders to shoot on sight anyone who refuses to cooperate or who is obviously infected with the disease. The hard part is determining who has contracted Trixie and who hasn't, and a mini-Vietnam takes place, pitting the soldiers against many of the townspeople, most of who are obviously infected and some of who probably aren't.

David and his pregnant fiancé flee from the quarantine, along with their friend Clank and a father-daughter team. Unwilling to cooperate with Big Brother, they scale their own war in hopes of finding out the truth behind what's going on. In doing so, they put themselves in harms way and pave their own path to a downbeat ending.

The basic plotline is a little thin and unbelievable, more of a blatant anti-war protest than any sort of horror movie. Although there is some gore (including an excellent bullet through the head scene), it's ineffective and there are very little thrills to be found. Rather than create a musical score that works in favor of the film, Romero used a rather drab medley of drum marches to accentuate the military theme. Much of the dialogue is muted and muffled, but the gas masks the characters wear are more to blame than the audio track. To put it bluntly, there was such an abundance of running around, rifle shooting, military mumbo jumbo and bad clothes that I felt like I was watching a rerun of the A-Team. I rolled my eyes so much I think I missed half of the picture.

I will say this for The Crazies: the scenes depicting the infected teenagers were hilarious. It looked like Beetlemania hit Evans City a few years late.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment coming from the man who gave us the Living Dead as we know it. But it could be of interest to those who want to see another side of George Romero.

This Blue Underground DVD features audio commentary by George Romero; a 14 minute interview with cult film queen Lynn Lowry (Kathy); 2 theatrical trailers; 2 television spots; poster and still gallery; and a written George Romero bio.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR: One hella good orange; the human torch; Wabbit season; The back of the President's head; Mistaken identity turns into incest; Knitted to death;

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW: This was the first film Romero shot on 35mm; Richard Liberty—who played Kathy's father—was also in Romero's Day of the Dead as "Dr. Frankenstein";

ALSO KNOWN AS: Codename: Trixie; The Mad People;

View the trailer below!

Rated R
103 minutes
United States

The Crazies is currently ranked #23,666 in DVDs at Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!



  1. been a loooong while since i've seen this one. i think i remember hearing they're talking remake on this one.


  2. Agreed, I was not overwhelmed by this film at all, it felt like a forced social commentary unlike Romeros other films. I have dillusional hopes that the remake will be better


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