Thursday, July 7, 2011

Horror Movie Review: The Crazies

The Crazies

Starring: Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, and Lynn Lowry

Directed by: George Romero

Written by: George Romero and Paul McCollough

Production Company: Pittsburgh Films

Release Date: March 16, 1973

I went to rent the 2010 The Crazies and in the back of my mind I knew there was an original version and sure enough, there was. I wondered if I should check it out, or if it was one of those good ideas done poorly and brought back out and redone better situations. Then I saw it was written and directed by George Romero. It's easy to forget Romero has done non-zombie films with the popularity of his zombie films and the fact that his name has become synonymous with zombie. So before watching Breck Eisner's The Crazies I decided to give George Romero's a shot.

In Evans City, people have started going crazy and the military storms in to get control of the situation. They knew there was a possibility of something like this because of a military plane carrying an experimental biological weapon crashed nearby. The weapon causes insanity, sometimes to the point of homicide and suicide, and eventual death.

The Crazies involves two stories. One, the military's attempts to control the outbreak and find a cure. The second, five citizens of Evans City unwilling to be herded into the local high school who try to evade the soldiers, the affected citizens, and the infection itself.

With the five runaways, Romero creates a similar feel as found in his zombie films as they are unable to trust others and are not completely sure they can trust each other. The tension is a little increased, though, as they also must avoid the military who have the organization and weaponry to capably hunt for them.

The most interesting aspect of the film is the military trying to get the disease, known as Trixie, under control before it goes beyond the city and becomes public. Romero's social commentary shines brightly here as the military's interest in keeping their mishap and their work in biological weapons a secret prevents them from effectively dealing with the situation. A voice print identification system makes coordinated communication almost impossible. Lack of planning for the situation increases their need for communication. In fact poor communication and military doublespeak result in two cure possibilities being lost.

The Crazies is not that scary a movie missing the atmosphere created in most of Romero's zombie films and lacking the gore often associated with horror films lacking atmosphere. But it's an entertaining and interesting film. Check it out.

Related Trailers

The Crazies - The 2010 remake. When a plane crashes in a small town, a secret biological weapon is released. As the toxic substance infiltrates the local water system, some residents become gravely ill, while others descend into homicidal madness. Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) attempts to set things straight, but soon the military becomes involved in containing the killer virus.

Shivers - Lynn Lowry also stars in Shivers. Director David Cronenberg's film debut revels in his pet theme: deep-rooted fears of our bodies and sexuality. A scientist's neighbors fall to primal urges after he unleashes a sexually transmitted parasite that destroys inhibitions in its host body. This terrifying thriller tests nerves with its bloodthirsty, wormlike parasites -- in one gruesome and memorable sequence, they attack a woman in a bathtub.

Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives George Romero's third film, his second horror film, was Season of the Witch aka Hungry Wives. Director George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) tries out an experimental style in this kitcshy horror flick. Plagued by sleepless nights, suburbanite Joan (Jan White) takes up with the neighborhood witch (Virginia Greenwald), who teaches her the secrets of black magic. But soon after Joan successfully casts a spell to seduce her daughter's boyfriend, she turns an evil eye toward the man she blames for all her pain: her husband.