A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusional from their leader.
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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.
Any news from Deitrich?
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 »
"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.
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