Review: The Crazies

When I heard about a remake being made to the 1973 George Romero film The Crazies, I thought I’d check out the original. I’ve been meaning to watch the original for a while now, since I love some of Romero’s other work, but I haven’t gotten around to watching it. What I saw was somewhat disappointing.

A mysterious illness has overcome the people of Evans, PA, and soon the military has swooped in and barricaded the town. The illness makes people burn down there houses, stab people, and talk crazy gibberish. The military men wear biohazard suits and go around burning crazies with flame throwers. Through all this, a small group of survivors (including a fireman, his lover, his best buddy, and two others) try to make it out of town.

I wish this movie’s plot could have been more focused and simple, but instead there were a lot of interweaving plots that involved the military, the government, scientists, survivors and so on. Romero’s earlier work on Night of the Living Dead used a simple plot to its advantage since it had such a low budget. There was one small group of survivors stuck in one farmhouse with zombies outside, and that gave the movie a claustrophobic and tight feel. The Crazies has many sets and locations, and has a jumbled feeling throughout. If The Crazies could have focused on one group of people trying to deal with the infection outbreak, I feel that it could have been a stronger movie.

Many of George Romero’s films are said to have political and social messages in the stories. It is said that NotLD is about racism and Dawn of the Dead is about consumerism (since the story takes place in a mall). If I had to venture a guess as to what the underlying message of The Crazies is, I would say that the message is that you can’t trust the government or the military. Actually it’s not really an underlying message, it’s more like a message that is shouted through a bullhorn. The military men burn people willy nilly, lock all the townspeople up in a gymnasium, and are just generally incompetent. It is entirely obvious that these men are the bad guys and should be feared even more than the infected people.

The remake of The Crazies, which is due to be released in February 2010, could be one of the few remakes that are better than the originals.

1.5 fishbones

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6 Responses to “Review: The Crazies”

  1. levizilla Says:

    Haha I had the exact same thought process as you did. I heard it was going to be remade, the trailer looked cool so I found a DVD of the original and watched it. My thoughts of the film itself were different from yours though. Yeah the social critique was far more blatant than in Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead but I didn’t mind. I’m a nerd and I have to point out that Night of the Living Dead is not about race. It’s an easy conclusion to come to because the male lead is black, but Romero has states that he did not hire the actor because of his race. Night was about petty conflict. I do agree though, the remake has to potential to be much better.

    • J. Marshall Teegarden Says:

      You’re right that it was not Romero’s intent to make Night of the Living Dead about race. However, it’s easy to read race relations into the film, especially since it was released the year after Martin Luther King was killed.

      • levizilla Says:

        Hmm I didn’t know that. I did actually think the same thing for a long time. Particularly with the bleak ending and all the arguments between Ben and Cooper, you’re right, it is certifiably easy conclusion to come to.

  2. Free Coach Handbags Says:

    If you have a moment Id like you to take a look at the new credit laws put into place in 2010 that will be affecting this article. Might consider revision.

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