The Crazies (1973)

   
Directed & Edited by: George A. Romero

Written by: Paul McCollough & George A. Romero

Starring:

Lane Carroll .... Judy
Will MacMillan .... David
Harold Wayne Jones .... Clank
Lloyd Hollar .... Col. Peckem
Lynn Lowry .... Kathy
Richard Liberty .... Artie
Richard France .... Dr. Watts
Harry Spillman .... Maj. Ryder

Release Date: Theatrical: March 16, 1973

*Images courtesy at:
www.filmstarts.de

 

 

Rating:

 

An army airplane which carries a biological weapon ona germ warfare crashes and causes a huge virus to spread ina small town of Pensyvannia which causes locals to slowly lose their sanity and creates murders on others.
An army tries to flee locals from their homes until they clear the problem but some are risking their lives while doing this and five people manage to escape the grips of the government army to try and survive this madness on their own only to try to be gunned down by them.
Slowly each and one of them starts to lose their sanity and each of them have a hard time trusting one another as well as risking their own lives from each of them since some of them don't seem to be themselves anymore.

 

Half of this film just shows the military and government going on missions to abandon any local resident due to the virus which seemed quite pointless as I was thinking when will this film get going?
There's alot of paced paced action with soldiers preparing to go in to invade neighborhoods along with camera shots looking up on them breaking into homes with disturbing shots on families getting upset by all of this being taken away.
There's many great intense argumentive discussions between Maj. Ryder, Artie and Dr. Watts in their headquarters on what to do with the madness happening.
There's some good moments like a local crazy showing paranoid expressions and shooting at the soldiers or an old lady sitting in a chair happily knitting with a solider at the house demanding her to come with him and she uses her knitting equipment to stab him which really psychs you out that these situations looked good and deceiving on her.
Plus there's great takes on locals being chased and gunned down near a wooded area along with shots on their bodies being thrown in a fire as well as children seeing their parents getting killed which the scene's that we spot here certainly looked disturbing.
There's a good discussion with Kathy almost getting emotional towards
Col. Peckem on how she's feeling about everything with good close up shots on this.
There's many great takes on the main characters escaping through the forest and hiding away from the army base as well as a nice shot on Kathy laughing hysterically on what she's seeing which looked a little psyched out in a good way after spotting people a distant away and the tragedies happening.
There's good shots on them trying to dodge away from a helicopter shooting at them in the woods and them trying to shoot back.
There's a great moment with Kathy trying to run towards the soldiers with
Peckem trying to grab her and stop her for being caught which looked nicely twisted.
There's a great creepy moment with
Peckem trying to rape Kathy and then Clank grabbing at him and hitting him which looked tense and then David trying to break it up with Clank just going crazy.
There's a good moment with Kathy just floating around outside acting like she's intoxicated towards some soldiers outside and talking to them along with good shots at them shooting at her.
There's nice shots on David putting brick type layers around Judy to protect her when he is about to plan to protect themselves from an invasion with other soldiers along with good emotional moments on Judy with all of this.
There's nice intense camera shots on a supporting character Dr. Watts trying to show samples of blood to the military and then they get forceful with him as well as a crowd of people going crazy around him causing him to fall down a balcony which looked quite suspenseful.
There's a nice moment with David getting upset after she is killed and him firing away with his gun looking menacing.Halfway through though it does get interesting when some people escape the grips of the soldiers and try to survive on what's going on but yet I'm thinking to myself that this seems like mainly an action suspense flick. Yet, there are lots of moments with bodies being burned as well as people losing their sanity due to this virus going around so George A. Romero was trying something a little psychological than his average zombie horror flicks with this one. This is not even close to being considered a zombie film. However the blood effects look a bit fake looking like red paint like you see in Dawn of the Dead due to it's low budget. Still it was artsy looking nonetheless.
It does look creepy with some residents looking like they're okay but yet act deadly when it comes to the bottom of things. It's also very disturbing with children involved seeing their families being killed or their parents acting crazy which is for sure not a film you want your child to see.
Bottom line is that this flick is a bit boring in alot of spots but there's some interesting moments when some people who try to survive slowly turn crazy as well as trying to fight for their lives against the soldiers in this film while these soldiers are wearing suits with gas masks which almost reminds you of something like My Bloody Valentine but of course that story is totally different. There's nice looks on the great outdoors but that's about it. It reigned in as a cult classic and in 2010 a remake was made on this which became more known.

The acting is not too bad in which everyone really tries their best in this one with all the excitment happening. It's sometimes hard to tell at time though. Lead actress Lane Carroll (Judy) really brought out some good emotions with her crying by what is happening towards the end of her performance and really losing her mind too. In the beginnning of her film she just seems average but by all means not at all terrible in which she comes across nicely with her role in the film.
Will MacMillan
(David) brings a nice seriousness to his part of the film and shows a nice aggressive attitude too when he needed to be by trying to defend anyone with the soldiers trying to attack him and his group of people. He shows nice expressions too with his part proving that he can pull of a character in his role.
Harols Wayne Jones
(Clank) came across nicely too as someone with a bit of an attitude along with really knowing how to get physical too bringing out alot of energy to his role. He had the rough looks too which was a nice bonus to his character.
Lloyd Hollar
(Col. Peckem) does well as someone who is protective and came across great that way along with a nice seriousness to his role. He really knew how to lose his sanity as well a quarter way through the film which seemed very impressive.
Of course we can't forget about cult actress Lynn Lowry (Kathy) whom was one of the best cast members showing a nice sensitive type of attitude and being soft spoken. She does a great job at losing her mind and really acting light headed like she's not herself at all. She always has done a nice job with her work and really shows it here and bringing off a nice psychological tpye of horror appeal in her part.

Some brief breast shot on a woman in bed in the morning
Some other odd tit shots with a woman in bed being dragged out by soldiers

There's bloody gun shots and stabbings.
Blood being smeared on soldiers bodies and the victims as crazies too.
Blood is splurted out of a guy's head.
The gore isn't as bloody as reputed to be though
.

There's many traditional army drum beating on soldiers going out on a mission as well as other sound effects that sounds similar to the opening on the Six Million Dollar Man TV series. Plus there's the odd cymbal clangings too with some accoustic guitar strumming all done by a famous songwriter named Bruce Roberts marking his debut with this cult flick.

There's a terrific songtrack during the closing credits called "Heaven Help Us" sung by Beverly Bremers in which she sounds pleasant with her beautiful voice and harmony almost sounding like a Carpenters tune. The song really suits the closing credits.