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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Goin' Crazy, Crazy on You!"
After coming out of nowhere with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in 1968 Pittsburgh director George Romero made two flops that no one has ever heard of, THERE"S ALWAYS VANILLA and SEASON OF THE WITCH. Then in 1973 his financially strapped indie distributors begged him to make another "horror" film and for a paltry 270, 000 dollars he went to Evans City, PA and made THE CRAZIES...
Published on December 29, 2005 by Raegan Butcher

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Crazy Movie!!!
I received this as a graduation present on May 31st, 2008 and I finally finished it last night. For a George A. Romero, it was pretty good, but some parts are really boring. A virus named Trixie has spread through a town, so the military try to quarantine the town. Most of the civilians begin to go crazy and start killing each other and the military A man even tries to...
Published on February 22, 2009 by Pumpkin Man


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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Goin' Crazy, Crazy on You!", December 29, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
After coming out of nowhere with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD in 1968 Pittsburgh director George Romero made two flops that no one has ever heard of, THERE"S ALWAYS VANILLA and SEASON OF THE WITCH. Then in 1973 his financially strapped indie distributors begged him to make another "horror" film and for a paltry 270, 000 dollars he went to Evans City, PA and made THE CRAZIES. Its about an accidental bio-warfare spill that drives people crazy(you seeing where Danny Boyle got some inspiration for 28 Days Later?) and the Army's disastrous attempt at containment. Watching it today one is struck by its relentlessly downbeat tone and the power of the imagery; i was amazed at the hard-headedness; no one is spared unjustifiably to satisfy the demands of an audience--this is the 70's, remember--its got scenes that, in todays climate, seriously resonate: bio-suited soldiers taking over a small town, dragging screaming children from their beds, shooting escapees in the back; this has to be the most outright anti-militarist film from the early 70's besides PUNISHMENT PARK. This is heavy stuff, especially seen in the light of our current domestic situation,where police and military intrusions upon everyday life are becoming more and more "normal". You've got to hand it to George Romero, he doesn't pull any punches; At one point he has some civilians saying to our protagonists, " Let's wait for the army to help us!" to which one of the heroes, a vietnam veteran, replies,
"The army ain't anyone's friend, we know--we were in it!" For a film that originally came out in 1973 that line is not only prescient but brave;THE CRAZIES is unsparing in its depiction of the lunacy of the armed forces--even the soldiers themselves recognize it--in this way the film is similar in spirit to CATCH 22 and its chilling to think about how the entire concept was considered pretty far-fetched upon its first release--even though it was inspired by true events in Utah in which a cannister of nerve gas fell from an army truck and killed a bunch of cattle (also the subject of George C Scotts directorial debut, RAGE 1972. ) and to then realize how familiar, dare i say COMFORTABLE we are with these kinds of concepts today after the cult attacks in the tokyo subways in the 90's and all our current preoccupations with bio-warfare,dirty bombs and Homeland Security.
This is an excellent edition of this long unavailable film; It looks the best it probably ever has since it was first barely released in theatres back in '73. The commentary by George Romero
is hilarious and very entertaining as well as very informative. There is a big-budget remake scheduled for 2006 and I, for one, can't wait. If its anything like the fantastic 2004 remake of Romero's Dawn of the Dead, it will be awesome!THE CRAZIES remains one of the most potent indictments against out of control militarism that has ever been made in America and its also a gripping adventure story, told with style and ingenuity.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good addition to a complete Romero collection, August 15, 2003
By 
Echo "Echo" (Western Hemisphere) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
What a shame that we don't have more of a culture of independent filmmaking in this country. "The Crazies" is not "Citizen Kane", but Romero completists will appreciate this fine presentation. You won't find the script and production values of "The Andromeda Strain", but if you enjoy out-of-control virus thrillers, then this film is a good choice. It's an odd bridge between the bleak horror of "Night of the Living Dead" and the apocalyptic farce of "Dawn of the Dead".

As expected, many classic Romero themes begin to formulate in this early film. The replacement of one society by another, with the "new" society simply expressing exaggerated characteristics of the "old". We see a bureaucratized, inefficient government that ends of doing far more harm than good. And of course we see the usual two-dimensional negative depiction of military characters. (This has always been a weakness in Romero's word - we know the government is bad, why underscore that point with a bad cliche).

Like almost all of his work, Romero filmed this in the Pittsburgh area largely with local talent. The acting is hit-and-miss...but Romero takes some interesting risks, especially in light of its age. In terms of directing, writing, and cinematography, Romero accomplished a great deal with very limited resources. There are some images you won't forget...an insane grandmother killing a soldier with knitting needles is more disturbing than it sounds, for example.

I run hot and cold towards Romero's films. He's had some excellent success, and some profound failures - but in general, there should be more filmakers like him. I'd much rather see something as risk-taking as "The Crazies" than normal Hollywood fare. The extras on this DVD are first-rate. We're treated to a director's commentary, an interview with a period actress, trailers, and some clips from other period works.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things Fall Apart, February 1, 2006
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
George Romero's non-'Dead' films are, as a whole, under appreciated, but probably none of them is in more dire need of greater recognition than 'The Crazies'. It's not a perfect film, by any means, but it's well done, considering the budgetary restraints, and ranks as perhaps his bleakest and most ambitious film, and is an interesting bridge between his inital masterpiece `Night of the Living Dead' and the later ones `Martin' and `Dawn of the Dead'. (The equally obscure `Season of the Witch' is also found in this era. It's a heavily flawed film, but better than you might think.)

The film involves the unintended contamination of Evans City with an experimental bio-weapon named Trixie. Needless to say, the virus causes the victims to go insane, though this can mean a lot of things ranging from homicidal rage to suicide to sheer goofiness. The military is called in to keep things contained, but the situation is clearly out of hand. 'The Crazies' is particularly ambitious because it shows the tragedy from a variety of angles: We primarily identify with a lone group of towns people who just wanna get the hell out of there, but we also get to know the central military command of the operation, the leadership on the ground, the scientists who both created the virus and are trying to now find a sort of cure, all while seeing plenty of conflict between the ill-informed soldiers and the other towns people, both crazy and normal. The film is particularly interesting in that it has no real villains. The military people are not overwhelmingly scrupulous in their conduct, but they are rarely truly malevolent either. (And the head of the operation proves to be one of the most likable characters in the film.) Furthermore, though they largely botch the operation, they aren't really portrayed as especially incompetent either. It's just a bad, bad situation, and a lotta people are gonna end up dead no matter how you go about it. (This, in the end, actually makes the film more bleak, as it seems likely that things would've gone very badly no matter what anyone did.) Conversely, though we more naturally identify with the civilians, they are partially to blame for the extreme difficulty of the situation as they are so utterly defensive and untrusting. Thru all this a major theme from `Night of the Living Dead' recurs: lack of and inability to communicate, which leads to virtual war between the military and the remaining civilians.

This movie was really made on the cheap, but it's sufficiently competent from a technical standpoint. The acting isn't fantastic, but as far as the low-budget 70's horror goes, it ain't bad. It's also ahead of its time, with lots of frantic, rapid fire editing, though it never becomes irritating and incoherent, as modern films so often do. The film has quite a few action scenes, and they're often pretty primitive but effective in their way. These scenes are more about violence and destruction rather than excitement, so they don't really need to work in the way that these kind of scenes traditionally do. As is typical of early Romero, he pulls no punches and defies traditional rules of what you can and can't do in a movie. (To wit: In the opening scene of the film a little girl pulls down the sheets on a bed to discover the blood stained corpse of her mother, and it's all downhill from their, culminating in some really rather inappropriate behavior between father and daughter in a scene late in the film.) This sorta thing works especially well because it never feels self-conscious. Romero doesn't seem to be aware of what would or would not be considered appropriate, nor does he seem to be being actively transgressive. He's just showing it the way it happened. (Compare this to `Outbreak' which some accuse of being a knockoff. Notice all the lame Hollywood crap in that movie and the hilariously EVIL government dude. I dunno whether or not that movie ripped `The Crazies' off, but I do know that it totally sucked. By the way, they are currently planning on remaking `The Crazies'. Many people are opposed to this, but I'm glad. First of all, it'll allow this movie to get greater exposure, as it is really quite obscure right now, and it's apparently gonna be directed by the obviously talented Brad Anderson, so it has a good chance of turning out well, provided that they are reasonably faithful to the tone and themes of the original. Which, of course, they may not.)

The film has an odd soundtrack, largely marching snare drums and `When Johnny Comes Marching Home', no doubt inspired by `Dr. Strangelove'. While thematically appropriate, the music does get a little tiresome after a while. Still, not to big of a deal.

The Blue Underground DVD is pretty nice. The transfer looks a lot better than you'll usually get for a film of this sort, and the commentary track was rather entertaining and interesting, as it typically is from Romero films. Anyway, I like this movie. Check it out.

Grade: B+
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Known but Excellent Romero Film, September 7, 2003
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
George Romero's contributions to the horror genre are legendary. Here is the guy who made "Night of the Living Dead" in the late 1960s, single-handedly bringing flesh-eating zombies into the lexicon of millions of horror fans. Two sequels followed with differing levels of success, but Romero's zombie films also inspired several Italian directors, most notably Lucio Fulci and Umberto Lenzi, to churn out a plethora of grue drenched films featuring the shambling dead. Of course, Romero didn't just sit around during the intervals between zombie films; he made other films that, while not as well known as the trilogy of "Dead" films, are eerie in there own right. One of these movies is "The Crazies," sometimes referred to by its alternate title "Codename: Trixie" (a title I like better, for some inexplicable reason). I sing the praises of the DVD revolution in nearly every movie review I write, but seeing an early Romero film with some extra goodies really makes my day. Getting background on a film like this one would never have been possible in the old VHS days.
"The Crazies," shows the deadly implications of a biological weapons accident on a small American town named Evans City, Pennsylvania. An army plane carrying a weapons grade virus known as Trixie crashes in a field outside of town. The military dispatches a team of specialists and cleaners to inspect the damage, and the technicians do their thing and declare the area safe for the residents. In typical paranoid, Vietnam era style, the military hides the potential dangers of the crash, but since no contamination took place the only results are a few wiped brows and some sighs of reassurance. Only a small circle of military high ups will ever realize how close America came to total destruction, for Trixie is a highly communicable virus with no known cure. What a relief!
You didn't think it would end there, did you? C'mon, this is a Romero film! As it turns out, a small quantity of Trixie did leak into the town's water supply. By the time the military realizes this actuality, some of the residents in town start showing signs of infection: a pasty complexion and a propensity to suddenly indulge in bloody violence. The army answers with a bunch of troops decked out in white detox suits armed with automatic weapons. The colonel in charge of the town quickly sets up a quarantine line around the town in an effort to stop the spread of Trixie, but try as he might, he simply lacks the necessary manpower and equipment to know for sure if his efforts are working. No one knows if Trixie moved beyond the borders of the town between the time of the crash to the first signs of infection. Since the army needs to keep the townspeople placated, they put a tight rein on any potentially damaging information. As long as the townspeople play like good little American citizens, everything will turn out for the best. As for Trixie, the army brings in a doctor who helped build the virus in the laboratory, and he starts working on a vaccination right away despite his pessimism about the communicability of the virus and the high probability that it did indeed escape the town's borders. His only hope is to find someone with immunity to the disease and thereby acquire the necessary immunological materials needed to fashion a cure.
Unfortunately for the army, one of the locals is a nurse at the doctor's office. She quickly learns what's going on and takes off to find her husband, a firefighter who is currently battling a blaze that resulted because a Trixie victim went on a rampage. The husband has a few questions himself before he ever meets up with his wife: why are there soldiers dressed in detox suits exchanging gunfire with a local? Why is it so tough to get any answers about what is going on in town? Eventually, husband and wife hook up with a few other locals and the group decides to make a break for the edge of town. The biggest problem with this plan is that several people in the group have Trixie and are slowly wasting away as the hours pass. Simultaneously, the town descends into anarchy, with soldiers and locals blazing away at each other with firearms and explosives. "The Crazies" concludes with the customary Romero ambiguity, as we wonder what will happen to the rest of the country if and when Trixie gets loose.
"The Crazies" is a low budget production that manages to put across a chilling scenario of "what if"? The soldiers do look ominous in those containment suits, and the performances of the cast are quite good considering the no name talent, with special mention going to Lynn Lowry, an amazingly sexy Sissy Spacek look alike who plays Kathy Bolan, a young lady infected with Trixie. Her death scene constitutes one of the more memorable, and upsetting, scenes in the film. A few good gun battles help move the film along, as does the occasional cutaway to officials in Washington, D.C. who consider dropping a nuclear bomb on the town if it looks like Trixie will spread. What really helps the DVD version of the film are the extras: a short interview with Lynn Lowry, a commentary track with Romero, trailers, tons of production stills from the movie, and an informative George Romero biography. "The Crazies" might well be low budget '70s fare, but it's never cheesy thanks to a claustrophobic atmosphere, capable performances, and a great plot.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thriller from George Romero!, December 5, 2005
By 
John Lindsey "John" (Socorro, New Mexico USA.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
A deadly government made virus called "Code: Trixie" has just been unleashed into a Pennslyvania town called "Evan's City" as it contaminates some people as the effects are either death or insanity that leads them to kill people. However the local army and scientists are working on a cure as they must give vaccines to some of the non-infected people of the town. A few people such as a Vietnam vet with his pregnant wife secretly have to flee the virus and the deadly infected folk.

Interesting Sci-fi action horror thriller from the creator of "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" George A. Romero that has his trademark brand of social satire mixed with horror elements and there are good themes about biological warfare including the effects of what it could do to people. Cult actress Lynn Lowrey, Richard France (Dawn of the Dead 1978) and Richard Liberty (Day of the Dead) co-star in this chilling action packed movie of paranoia and militant fear.

The DVD has good picture and sound quality with that nice remastering that "Blue Underground" always does to cult movies! A good audio commentary by George Romero is here with some nice extras like an interview with legendary Lynn Lowrey, poster-and-still gallery, George Romero bio, TV Spots and Trailers.

Also recommended: "Outbreak", " 28 Days Later", "Rabid", "The Brood", " Dawn of the Dead (1978 and 2004)", "Night of the Living Dead ( 1968 and 1990)", "Day of the Dead", "Resident Evil", " Scanners", " I Drink Your Blood", " The Hills Have Eyes", " Night of the Comet", " Return of the Living Dead 3", " Nightmare City ( a.k.a. City of the Walking Dead)", " Cannibal Apocalypse", "Akira", " The Omega Man".
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Romero fare, August 27, 2005
By 
JK2 (Boise, ID USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
THE CRAZIES was filmed during the time between Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD. This film certainly has more in common with DAWN in terms of pacing and editing.THE CRAZIES benefits from a lightning-fast pace and over-the-top editing which keeps you glued to the screen. The story is essentially your "small town is exposed to a lethal virus and quarantined" plot. We follow 5 people as they try to dodge the military and escape the town, but marshal law is declared and the military begin slaughtering the civilians, infected or not.

This film has so much in common with DAWN OF THE DEAD in terms of overall feel and production, that if you love DOTD, as most horror fans do, you really can't go wrong with THE CRAZIES.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated film, July 29, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Crazies [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This film is seldom mentioned when one discusses the works of director George Romero, but it still ranks in the forefront of his work. The allegorical undertones are just as important as those in his "Living Dead" trilogy; the execution is a bit rougher, but the results prove to extremely fascinating and powerful.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!, August 15, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
The main reason I bought this was because of the 14 minute Lynn Lowry documentary. She is obscure even for a cult film star, so many people don't know about her. I first saw her in David Cronenberg's SHIVERS (Highly recomended).
But anyways, about the movie. I watched it with the audio commentary of George Romero and Bill Lustick (he dosn't say who he is) and it was really fun listening to. This is a great movie if you grew up watching horror films on friday or saturday nights. It also has Richard France, who you might recognize as the zombie expert with the eye patch in Dawn of the Dead, as a scientist trying to find a cure for the epidemic.
This movie is great to watch alone on a stormy night, or to put on in the background of a Halloween party. Worth it, buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anti-government gore film., May 21, 2007
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
Drive-in movie king Romero does it again. Words cannot describe how much I love Romero's films and the "Crazies" is no exception. In my opinion the strongest social commentary of any of his films,he lays it on thick here with the constant message that you cannot trust even your own government. For the time this was made(73')there is some pretty disturbing stuff, and lots and lots of squibs. Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CRAZIES could very well take place today!, August 3, 2003
This review is from: The Crazies (DVD)
If ever there was a time to watch this film, now would be it. The Crazies is George Romero's follow up to the cult classic Night of the Living Dead. When bio-terror hits the sleepy town of Evans City, PA...all hell breaks loose! People begin losing their minds, and a group of rag-tag locals have to fight for their survival against the deadly virus and the military. The dvd doesn't have much to offer, but the trasfer is SUPERB. In a roundabout way the recent film 28 Days Later pays tribute to this psychological masterpiece.
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The Crazies
The Crazies by George A. Romero (DVD - 2003)
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