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The Crazies (1973)

DVD Cover (Blue Underground)
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The Crazies
> The Crazies (1973)
> The Crazies (2010)
Genres:
Action Thriller, Horror
Director:
George A. Romero George A. Romero
Starring:
Lane Carroll Lane Carroll
Will MacMillan Will MacMillan
Harold Wayne Jones Harold Wayne Jones
Lloyd Hollar Lloyd Hollar
Lynn Lowry Lynn Lowry

5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: June 23, 2004
An army plane carrying biological weapons has crashed near Evans City, Pennsylvania, which has caused the biological weapons to get into the water supply. Anyone who is infected either goes crazy, or dies outright. Naturally, the army steps in to clean things up, but as always, they're not very humane in the way they handle it. Nobody can leave the town or enter it, due to them not wanting it to spread any further, and the soldiers decide to kill most of the infected on the spot. Since having the army kill people on the spot is reserved for zombie films, this isn't exactly the most heroic thing to do here. While the army is busy gathering everybody up and shoving them in the local high-school, a gang of five people have managed to steal an army van and escape to the woods. We have David and his pregnant wife-to-be Judy, Arty and his potentially-infected daughter Kathy, and a fellow by the name of Clank who was picked up along the way. The main storyline is broken into three parts: What will become of the town, will a cure be found, and will our gang of heroes make it out alive?

I was a wee bit disappointed in this film after seeing the Romero name tacked onto it and expecting some more classic goodness. The end result wasn't really a bad movie, but a painfully average one. The storyline found here is quite similar to George's "Day Of The Dead" (instead of zombies, here we have people infected with a virus), but it just didn't come across quite as well as Day did. I think the main problem here is the lack of good pacing with the scenes; we'll get an interesting scene or two, and then it's off to a couple of boring, pointless scenes. The movie flips back and forth between these throughout the film, so you'll either be interested in what's going on at the time or bored to tears; there's really no middle ground to be found.

The sound found in the film is another thing that irked the shit out of me. In almost every scene, the speech would be muffled to hell and back, sounding as though the actors / actresses were speaking with a towel over their mouth. Then, when the soldiers would speak, the gas-masks they were wearing would considerably muffle their speech as well, resulting in a good number of scenes where it's damned-near impossible to figure out what's being said by anybody. I watched this on the only available (at this time) DVD release, so I'm not sure if it was just a horrendously bad transfer or a fuckup on the movie-makers part, but it was very annoying.

The body-count was also a lot lower than I'd have expected from ol' Romero; now this wasn't really the main problem with the film, but I'm sure that adding in a few more kills wouldn't have hurt things. The gore fell into one of two categories, generally: laughable in the shoot-out scenes, or very nice when other methods were used to kill someone off. Whenever someone gets shot in the movie, it looks as though they were hit with a red paintball, and no holes were torn into the clothes. I'd be alright with this if the movie was low-budget or made before better gore techniques were around, but in other scenes in this same movie, the gore and effects are used very nicely. Seems as though they just got lazy with the gunshots, which was a shame.

Overall, the general storyline here is interesting, but it just seems like it was done wrong in a good number of spots. I hate to crap on one of my favorite directors, but I'm going to have to go with a 5/10 here. It's not a flat-out bad film, just boring in spots, and seemed to run twenty-thirty minutes too long.
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Bluesummers #1: Bluesummers - added 03/07/2005, 02:52 AM
I do agree with our friend the webmaster on this...partially. But if you like 28 Days Later...GUESS WHERE THEY STOLE HALF THEIR IDEAS FROM?! This is Romero's hatred of authority taken to a brand new level. I can't say it's anything brilliantly new, but if you want something that says be distrustful of the government, this is it! But definitely not the best of Romero's movies. It moves pretty nicely, has its moments, but nothing too mindblowing. A must for Romero completists, but otherwise, I say leave it be.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 10/08/2009, 02:14 PM
This movie was atrocious. The only thing it had going for it was a nice storyline. Too bad the horrendous acting, editing and special effects had to ruin that.

2/10
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