The Crazies/Review 2
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Before I say anything about The Crazies, just take a look at the poster's tagline: "Why are the good people dying?". I don't really like that tagline at all because for whatever reason it sounds more like an unused lyric from Bonnie Tyler's" 80s song "Holding Out For A Hero" than a tagline from this underrated movie directed by George A. Romero. Yes, this is another horror movie from him that has no "real" hero in the film, plus it shows us how "evil" humans really are.
The plot of the film is similar (and more realistic) to his Trilogy Of The Dead. An airplane carrying biological weapons crashes into an area near a small village so the army tries to cope with the situation. Unfortunately it causes chaos, confusion and death among the residents. First, the quick-cut editing and the ambiguous dialogue in the beginning creates suspense because we as viewers and most of the people in the town have no idea what's going on. I mean, how would you feel if US troops (in the NBC suits) suddenly came to your home and said nothing but "You must leave this area, please come with us". That's right. They don't tell you about the cause of the epidemic or any facts at all. This leads us to the next topic...
A moral ambiguity is another trademark in George Romero's films (except 1985's Day of the Dead which to me has characters that are either "super good guys" or "totally evil guys"). While the army wants to "protect" citizens from the epidemic, the people want to know what is really going on. This leads to violence by people who have guns and want to protect themselves. It makes things much harder for the troops because they can't find out who's affected by the virus or are crazy "gun nuts"....so they just kill each other instead. We then have people who try to "control" the situation, including military leaders, politicians, and scientists. There are lots of scenes in which the scientists/local politicians argue with the Colonel because of their conflicted ideas. For instance, this Colonel says that the people will be safe because they're moving them out of the town, while the scientists argue that the biological virus has infected the water so no place is safe. The other main group of characters is the citizens. We have David, Judy, Clank, Kathy, and Artie. They all have very different personalities and as you might know, in classic Romero fashion, they will "destroy" each other in the end due to stress, confusion, and their own beliefs.
Although The Crazies has a very interesting plot and visualization, the script is pretty bad. In my opinion, it should have been tightened up and easier to follow the plot/characters. Overall, it's still a raw and really stunning low budget movie that's going to ask us "Which one is scarier, a virus or people like ourselves?"
Nuttawut Permpithak hails from Thailand. He spends his free time watching exploitation films (or any films from the past) writing articles, taking photos and reviewing films for GCDb.