The Crazies

1973

Action / Horror / Sci-Fi

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 59%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 43%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 9318

Synopsis


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Cast

George A. Romero as Extra at Dance / High School Infirmary
Roger Aaron Brown as #3 Soldier at house
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
723.75 MB
1204*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.53 GB
1792*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 43 min
P/S 2 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Mr_Ectoplasma 7 / 10

A palpable, noble effort

In "The Crazies," a plane crashes in Pennsylvania which is carrying a mysterious virus. As the U.S. government and military step in to investigate, a combination of their efforts and the effects of the virus ignite pandemonium.

One of George Romero's lesser-praised but entirely worthwhile films, "The Crazies" is equal parts B-movie exploitation and skilled paranoid thriller. The elements that made "Night of the Living Dead" such a strong film are also present here, though in much more overstated ways: The mass terror and hysteria here is expanded to proportions not offered within the confines of a farmhouse-whereas "Night" delved into isolationist horrors amidst an epidemic, in "The Crazies," the unknown is ubiquitous. In some ways this makes for a more enthralling film, though it does lead to some notably sloppy writing and editing, which I suspect was a result of the film's low budget matching with Romero's aspirations; it's probably safe to say that more was bitten off than could have been chewed.

To some degree, the film's messiness and crash-course style is fitting to the subject matter, and its vision of the unknown igniting a mass hysteria could be read as a deliberate stylistic choice (though I doubt this). The pitfalls and weaknesses (which include some less-than-stellar performances), though very much present, are not necessarily enough to undercut the material.

Overall, I think "The Crazies" is a solid paranoid thriller, and an expansion on themes Romero would return to time and again. It is far from being a perfect film, but I feel this is more a case that the goals were too lofty for the resources available than it was that the film's core was weak or underdeveloped. In spite of its limitations, "The Crazies" manages to ramp up the hysteria and generate an unease that is palpable and unnerving. 7/10.

Reviewed by gavin6942 6 / 10

Strongest of the Three Early 70s Films

The military attempts to contain a man-made combat virus that causes death and permanent insanity in those infected, as it overtakes a small Pennsylvania town.

This project began life with Paul McCollough, who authored a screenplay entitled The Mad People. The script dealt with a military bioweapon that was accidentally released into a small town, with the military subsequently trying to cover up the incident and the townspeople revolting. Romero revealed that the military subplot was only featured in the first act of the script, and the rest of the film focused on the survivors and their attempts to cope with what was happening. The director called McCollough's script "very existential and heady".

The screenplay was read by Lee Hessel, a producer who owned Cambist Films (best known for 1960s sexploitation films) and with whom Romero had previously worked on "There's Always Vanilla" (1971). Hessel expressed interest in it and offered to finance it as Romero's next film, but only if the director would be willing to rewrite McCollough's screenplay to focus on what Hessel considered the most interesting ingredient of the story, namely the military takeover of the town, which occurred in the first 10 to 20 pages.

This is the first film from Romero with a "real" budget of $270,000 and the first time he employed a cinematographer other than himself (Bill Hinzman, best known as the first zombie in "Night of the Living Dead").

In retrospect, the best casting decision was Lynn Lowry. At this point, she had made "I Drink Your Blood" (1970) and Oliver Stone's "Sugar Cookies" (1973), more or less getting discovered by a young Lloyd Kaufman. She would go on to become a horror icon, and is part of the reason "The Crazies" is better remembered today than the other Romero films of the 1970s. Co-star Will McMillan was fairly new, having just wrapped on the forgotten "White Rat" (1972). Today, horror fans may recognize him from "Christmas Evil" (1980).

some of the film anticipates both "Dawn" and "Day", such as the group dynamics and the questionable, less-than-heroic portrayal of the military. We also get an early appearance from Michael Gornick, who would be a regular Romero team member going into the 1980s. And music from Bruce Roberts, who would go on to be a major writer of disco songs; this was his first of many film credits. Richard Liberty would return in "Day".

Arrow Films Blu-ray full of interviews with the likes of Lynn Lowry (covering her entire early career), and an audio commentary by Travis Crawford. The commentary is delivered so fast, you get enough factoids for three commentary tracks. Romero historian Lawrence DeVincentz takes us on a guided tour of Evans City, Pennsylvania. There is an audio interview with producer Lee Hessel (who seems somewhat incoherent) and behind-the-scenes footage with optional commentary by Lawrence DeVincentz. Oh, and that 4K scan? Holy smokes! I had no idea the film could look this good.

Reviewed by Sam Panico 7 / 10

A rough film (in a good way)

Shot on location in Evans City and Zelienople — 30 miles north of Pittsburgh and within minutes of the hometown of this author — The Crazies feels like a companion to Night, albeit one that has an explanation and less of the dread of having no clue as to why the world is ending.

Where Night of the Living Dead speculates that a Jupiter probe is the cause and Dawn of the Living Dead claims that perhaps Hell has run out of room, The Crazies leaves no question as to why things are falling apart. The government has created a bioweapon called Trixie that causes its victims to either die instantly or become homicidal; this weapons has ended up in the Evans City (home to the opening graveyard of Night) drinking water.

Also, the film tries to see things from the side of the individual and the government that struggles to contain the epidemic that it has accidentally started. The full fear and chaos of Vietnam and Watergate are on display here; the military men and women may be individuals, but en masse they are a frightful and faceless force that are ordered to kill American citizens — on American soil — on sight, simply because they have become infected.

The Crazies begins by subverting one of the central themes of Night of the Living Dead. Instead of children rising up to kill and devour their parents, parents are killing their children. A girl and her brother wander their house. She's convinced he is messing with her, but it turns out the father is dousing the house in kerosene. The daughter finds him, only for him to set the house ablaze. Cue opening credits as we watch the house burn.

We find David in bed with his girlfriend Judy as fire alarms go off and the phone rings. They're both called into work to deal with the fire that opens the film, but not before setting up that she's pregnant. Judy drops him off at the fire station, where we meet Clank, our third main character.

There are troops all over the hospital where Judy works, led by Major Ryder. There's a press blackout and incredibly secrecy, as a plane has crashed in the hills near the city containing the Trixie bioweapon. Colonel Peckem is ordered to contain the virus while Dr. Watts is brought in an attempt to cure the virus, which doesn't seem like a certainty, what with nuclear bombers in flight to nuke the town and soldiers that shoot anyone that tries to escape.

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