Movie Name: The Crazies
Studio: Cambist Films
Release Date(s): March 16, 1973
MPAA Rating: R
Evans City, Pennsylvania has woken up to a crisis. A military plane’s crash in the mountains and the “Trixie” virus got into the water supply. Trixie causes madness among those who consume it, and as of now, the military has no cure. With a quarantine ordered on the city, the military tries to deal with the rising madness. Meanwhile, Clank (Harold Wayne Jones) and pregnant girlfriend Judy (Lane Carroll) try to escape the city before the madness strikes them.
Directed by George A. Romero, The Crazies (sometimes known as the Code Name: Trixie) is a horror grindhouse picture. The movie did poorly at the box office but became a cult classic over the years.
The Crazies is one of those strange horror movies because it is a movie you watch and you know there is no hope. This makes watching the movie a bit of a bummer, and it is hard to watch, but a lot of it feels scary and real.
The movie’s story is its strength and weakness. The movie really doesn’t have much of a story but follows three groups. One group is the scientists (that meet with a fate you could predict), the soldiers (who are stuck in the middle between right and wrong), and the survivor who are just trying to get the hell out of the town. It is chaotic, dangerous, and infuriating…but the whole situation is.
The cast is really average. Most of the actors are character actors that never really did much before the film or after the film. It didn’t really need celebrities, but it is sometimes surprising to see a movie like this that didn’t have one actor really come out of it.
The movie is very grindhouse. It doesn’t involve tons of sets or special effects. Unlike a lot of grindhouse films, it isn’t gory. The movie just involves people being gunned down. It is effective in that some of the background actors really get into the spirit of the movie. The virus doesn’t just make you a madman, but it makes you mad…a great scene involves someone sweeping a field behind a mob of gun-toting crazies.
The Crazies is rather entertaining and simple. The simplicity of the movie is probably its biggest asset, but it is a nerve wracking film for jaded horror movie viewers because you know that no good will come of this infection plotline. This makes it hard to get attached to characters and hope for their survival…because it never ends well. It also has an additional horror in that this type of chemical warfare seems more and more real. The idea of something being put in the water of a small town by an enemy or even worse an ally seems possible. The Crazies returned 2010 in a big budget remake.