The Crazies

Year: 1973

Production: Pittsburgh Films

Director: George Romero

Starring: Lane Carroll, W.G. McMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, Lynn Lowry

Screenwriter: George Romero

Based on a story by Paul McCollough

103 minutes; Color


A far slicker film than Romero's debut, Night of the Living Dead (1968) which this is virtually a remake of, The Crazies suffers from looking too calculated. In place of the rugged, disturbing atmosphere of his first film, this (like David Cronenberg's similarly infected remake of his classic The Parasite Murders [1974], Rabid [1976]) sees Romero overstriving for effects.

The story is simple. A plane carrying an untested vaccine intended for bacteriological warfare to which there is no known antidote crashes and the population of Evans City is infected. Into the area come the military with instructions to either kill or cure the crazed inhabitants. McMillan and Carroll are the couple on the run from both military and the Crazies. The movie's one point of departure from Night of the Living Dead is Romero's pointed contrast between the military, who, as they follow orders, are revealed to be as crazed as the Crazies, and the care and concern shown each other by the members of the group they hunt. Thus, Jones, after realizing that he's infectedm sacrifices himself that MaMillan and the pregnant Carroll can escape, only for Carroll, like the hero of Night of the Living Dead, to be pointlessly shot by the military.

A variant title for this movie is Code Name: Trixie.

The Overlook Film Encyclopedia - Science Fiction

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