The Crazies (1973)

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Movie Review
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The Crazies 1973

Directed By: George A Romero

Starring: Will McMillan, Lane Caroll, Harold Wayne Jones, Harry Spillman, Lloyd Hollar, Richard France

Subgenre: Survival

Synopsis: A biological weapon is accidentally released on a small Midwestern town, causing its residents to become homicidal.

Thoughts: While George Romero is famous for his Dead movies, he has certainly given the horror genre many other films as well.  The Crazies is one of his earliest non-Dead movies.  While the look of the movie has not aged well, the story may be even more poignant today. 

The fact that the villain in The Crazies is actually the people’s own government might make this Romero’s most frightening movie.  Previous generations feared the evils of communism and the Cold War was the basis of many movies.  It was amazing foresight by Romero to portray our own government as a potential enemy as many people have the same feelings today, almost 40 years later.

The acting in The Crazies is not as strong as some of the other movies from Romero’s early years which resulted in more of a disconnect with the characters for me. My favorite character was the doctor looking for the cure, played by Richard France.  France would appear in Dawn of the Dead as well, as the doctor on TV.

It seemed as if Romero used more close ups and lingering shots in The Crazies than we would see in later movies such as Dawn of the Dead.  They seemed a bit out of place at times, but that goes hand-in-hand with not being connected with the characters.  The strongest aspect of The Crazies is easily the concept, which made it an excellent target for being remade, which it was in 2010.

Like many movies in the 70s and 80s, The Crazies had an alternate title; Code Name: Trixie.  Trixie was the name that the government gave to the weapon that was accidentally released in the movie.  I think that Romero did well to go with The Crazies.

While The Crazies looks dated, it is very interesting to watch today and compare to our current political and social environment.  When looking at Romero’s other “statement” films, it shows that he was very much in tune with the world around him.

  1. Zombease says:

    This is a favorite of Jake from our crew. Have you seen Martin? It’s amazing.

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