Total Film - 08/01/2003
"...It's still a lean little thriller..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2003
"..Romero's bio-disaster movie carries the allegorical import of his strongest work..."
Wall Street Journal - 02/26/2010
"George A. Romero's low-budget story of a town gone nuts has influenced any number of sci-fi and horror films, from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND to 28 DAYS LATER."
A.V. Club - 02/24/2010
"[Romero] manages some perfect moments that bring the era's potential horrors into the heart of America..." -- Grade: B
From the director of zombie classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD comes this chilling film about biological warfare. Made in the shadow of both Vietnam and Watergate, THE CRAZIES is a grim allegory about a government conspiracy against the public that ultimately results in genocide.
The story is set in director George Romero's home state of Pennsylvania. In the film, a government plane carrying a dangerous virus crashes near the small town of Evans City. The virus finds its way into the town's drinking water, turning everyone who is exposed to it into a murderous lunatic. Firefighter David (Will McMillan) and his pregnant wife, Judy (Lane Carroll), remain unaffected but face great danger in trying to escape the town, which has been quarantined by the US army, whose members lurk around every corner, clad in gas masks and protective suits. The President is often depicted as a detached talking head, offering no hope to citizens trapped by the mistakes of his administration.
Similar in tone and structure to his DEAD trilogy, Romero's film overcomes a visibly limited budget to create a colorful 1970s genre film that neatly captures the feeling of governmental distrust that was characteristic of the Vietnam era. With both a social message and plenty of splatter, THE CRAZIES is an underrated but appealing horror film.
With THE CRAZIES, director George Romero aims for the jugular again. A small Pennsylvanian town goes berserk when its water supply is tainted by a biological warfare virus, pitting frenzied neighbors against each other and ushering in a mysterious occupying army.
Cult Film |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical Release: March 16, 1973
Cinematographer William Hinzman is also an actor, and appeared as the Cemetary Zombie at the beginning of director George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
The closing credits theme song, "Heaven Help Us," was written by Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer-Sager.
George Romero appears as mayor of Evansville in the film.