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The Crazies (1973)

 -  Action | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  16 March 1973 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 7,183 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 110 critic

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lane Carroll ...
Will MacMillan ...
David (as W.G. McMillan)
Harold Wayne Jones ...
Lloyd Hollar ...
...
Richard Liberty ...
Artie
Richard France ...
Dr. Watts
Harry Spillman ...
Maj. Ryder
Will Disney ...
Dr. Brookmyre
Edith Bell ...
Lab. Technician
Bill Thunhurst ...
Brubaker (as W.L. Thunhurst Jr.)
Leland Starnes ...
Shelby
...
Gen. Bowen (as A.C. MacDonald)
Robert J. McCully ...
Hawks
Robert Karlowsky ...
Sheriff Cooper
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Storyline

A biological weapon gone awry is only the start of problems in the little town of Evan's City, Pennsylvania. Bouts of insanity in the populace are leading to murder and rioting, until the US Army turns up - and things really start going to hell. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why are the good people dying? See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Code Name: Trixie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$275,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

No Hollywood stunt men were used in The Crazies. Local firemen and licensed fireworks professionals handled all of the action sequences, including the creation and employment of blood squibs. See more »

Goofs

When the government suits are arguing about getting a member of the Trixie team into into the town one of them demands that a plane be sent and waiting at Fort Detrick to pick up the first one to arrive. However Fort Detrick is only equipped with landing pads for helicopters. There is no on site runway so a plane landing or taking off from the actual base would impossible. See more »

Quotes

Army Doctor: Okay, Colonel Peckem, last test is negative. You're all clean, virus free. We can sign you out. The helicopter will be arriving in a few minutes.
Col. Peckem: Any news from Deitrich?
Army Doctor: They're sending a new man from the Trixie project to take over as Dr. Watts' replacement. He should be here in the morning. If only we knew what Watts was working on. We checked the slides he left behind in his microscope and his notes, but we can't make heads or tails out of any of it. He was onto something, we know that. ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hack Job (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven Help Us
Composed by Carole Bayer Sager and Melissa Manchester
Sung by Beverly Bremers
Courtesy of Sceptor Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Consistently Weak
9 November 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"The Crazies" (1973) was George Romero's attempt to get a little more low-budget mileage out of his "Night of the Living Dead" (1971) zombie-like stuff by blending it with elements from "The Andromeda Strain" (1971).

A germ warfare bug is accidentally released into the water supply of a small western Pennsylvania town named Evans City (where it was actually filmed). It turns some into placid zombie-like creatures and some into out-of-control maniacs. The Army comes in and imposes martial law and the local civilians do a good imitation of the zombies from "Night of the Living Dead".

The cast is a bunch of locals (western PA/NE Ohio) who fortunately for us all with low thresholds of pain did little acting after this project. Poor acting combines with poor editing to make it impossible to determine who among the citizens and the troops has the disease, is just stressed out, or is just trying to party hard. Romero's direction is extremely weak and he has trouble throughout keeping the cast in character.

Romero had discovered with "Night of the Living Dead" that there was serious exploitation potential in stories about the breakdown of society and this is where he really tries to focus his film. There is an underlying theme of social commentary as this was the time of serious social protests (Kent State just across the state line), distrust of the federal government, and our winding down involvement in Viet Nam. Romero was also drawing from his fascination with 1950's sci-fi themes regarding irresponsible science.

Unfortunately the best aspect of "Night of the Living Dead", its simplicity, is sacrificed as Romero has just enough resources to turn the film into an exercise in excess. There are several tangential plot points (voice recognition systems, a B-52 with a nuclear warhead, a frustrated scientist) that go nowhere but use up a lot of time getting there.

But these obvious problems are not the film's ultimate downfall. That comes from the film's lack of organization on the most fundamental level; which means it is extremely boring. No suspense is generated because there is no sense of progress or advancement of the storyline. Instead the same three basic scenes are repeated over and over until Romero is able to cobble together a feature length production. There are a handful of civilians trying to evade the Army troops, there are a handful of Army officers whining about how difficult their job is, and there are a handful of national security advisers back in Washington tossing around doom and gloom predictions. The film simply alternates between these three groups, with the segments completely interchangeable. The editor could have assembled them in any order and they would have not altered the flow of the story.

There are a couple of unexpectedly stylish scenes to watch for; the shooting of the flower child girl in the pasture, with a flock of sheep passing quietly in the foreground. And the infected woman with a broom sweeping the grass.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
GEORGE LUCAS RIPPED OFF THIS MOVIE... aliendragons
The Crazies Remake limkmike
hard to find thug4life
Being remade - could be good? R-T-C
The infected lady sweeping the grass with a broom?!?! ldealberti
Crazy as hell and not gonna take it anymore unfound
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