Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Nights of Terror #7 - The Crazies (1973)

The Crazies (1973)
Director: George Romero
Starring: Lane Carroll, WG McMillan, Harold Wayne Jones
Format: DVD (Umbrella)

- I haven't seen this one in a long time. I don't remember being very impressed by it, but then I think it was the first Romero movie I'd seen after the Dead Trilogy, so it was always going to be a let down in comparison I guess.
- That's quite the monobrow on WG McMillan
- The army personnel in white bodysuits and black gas-masks foreshadow Lucas' stormtroopers, which would hit the screen four years later.
- Evans City, also the setting for Night of the Living Dead.
- Man, those are some sharp knitting needles.
- I've heard most of the audio (especially voice work) was added in post-production, and it shows. There's a nasty echo to some of the dialogue and effects.
- Richard France plays an army doctor. He would later play another doctor in Dawn of the Dead, the cynical one who stays on the air in the TV studio as the world goes to hell.
- Look at the crazy rednecks getting all Wile E. Coyote with their sticks of dynamite.
- It's hard to believe this was made just a few years after Night of the Living Dead. But that's probably because NOTLD seems to much older, being in black and white.
- Holy incest Batman!
- Lynn Lowry sure was one unique-looking girl. And hot.
- I haven't seen the remake of this, but I'd like to check it out. I'm not a fan of remakes, but the original could be done so much better.

Overall thoughts: While not a bad movie, there's just something about The Crazies that doesn't click with me. Part of it is the characters - I don't empathise with any of the leads, which always makes it hard to care about their plight. Another part of it is the "crazies" themselves. They're just, well, not that crazy. Despite its faults, a movie like 28 Days Later featured a good example of infected people going absolutely bananas. Not so much here.
Sure, The Crazies shares a major similarity with Romero's two most famous movies, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, in that it features a group of people trying to survive when everything is going the crap around them. But give me a horde of zombies anyday.

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