Retro Horror Review of the Week: George Romero’s ‘The Crazies’
George Romero’s The Crazies is a hidden classic!
I introduce to you (that is if you haven’t seen it) The Crazies. Every retro horror movie fan knows the name George Romero. His movies such as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are regarded as some of the most influential horror movies of all time. But The Crazies didn’t get as much hype as the rest.
The Crazies was released in 1973 with an estimated budget of $275,000, which is over twice the budget of Night of the Living Dead. With such a modest sum of money, Romero really made this film work within its means. Considering it had a budget like that and the time in which it was shot, this movie is really awesome. Somewhat cheesy, but awesome.
Ok. Here is the idea of the movie. Instead of the usual zombie outbreak, a virus that makes you makes crazy infects the population of a small town. The military promptly shows up to try to contain the virus and kill the infected. The main characters of the film are a small group of people composed of two veterans, one of the veterans wives and a father and daughter they took in along the way. They get into various scuffles with the military and try to survive and so on. I don’t like to linger on explaining the story too much because that’s not really a review in my opinion. So here it goes! My critique of The Crazies!!!
The first thing I noticed about The Crazies was Romero’s very static cinematography. I’m pretty sure 90% of his scenes are shot on a tripod. That’s not a bad thing though! It has the same atmosphere that you would expect from a Romero film. Somehow his lack of camera movement creates a feeling that is unlike other films of its type. Speaking of visuals, the blood effects are goofy yet gruesome at the same time (There is a great exploding head scene in it! ). As usual, the sound production in his films are less than awesome, but once again it is a very low-budget film so it’s very excusable.
Now to the acting…… it’s definitely not the best I’ve seen, but it’s not awful. There were some moments where I thought a couple of actors did a really good job. But alas, it was not consistent. All in all the acting does not ruin the movie or anything like that. It’s tolerable.
Overall this is a great movie to watch if you have a hankering for something cheesy/weird/awesome. It’s really hard to fully explain the feeling this movie gives you. One of the things that make this movie so great to me is the idea of a “crazy virus”. To me that is just as scary as zombies or maybe scarier in some aspects. In the end, you just need to go grab a pizza, some drinks and watch this one of a kind gem! There’s really not a lot to talk about! It’s just a straight forward, entertaining movie.