10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A good addition to a complete Romero collection,
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.