The Crazies (1973) Review + Relevancy

The Crazies was an unconventional and random choice.
The Crazies somehow seems more relevant now than it did in 1973.
The Crazies showcased that Romero always had a knack for being ahead on content and storytelling.

For today’s post, I watched 1973’s The Crazies. If it didn’t sum up what was to come in 2020, I don’t know what will.

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thecrazies1This current year has been… stressful to say the least. It does resemble a game of Jumanji and the person playing has not finished. A few days ago, I wanted to watch a movie, I had no idea what and went through my options on Prime. I came across The Crazies and it had been on my list of movies to watch.

How to break down this film in simple terms: biological warfare, a virus, quarantine, people going crazy, invasion of the military… it all sounds so familiar… but that is literally the plot of this film. A small town is invaded by both a virus (due to the military’s fault) and the military trying to seize control over the virus. We have our main characters, some you root for, others not so much.  What I enjoyed about the film is seeing the continual progression of things getting worse and no one caring for preserving human life it seems like. The military is too far lost, science is behind and useless and our protagonists slowly lose morale and reality. Hell, the movie doesn’t even end on a positive, uplifting note. It’s the exact opposite or how I can describe it: bleak. 

thecrazies2I would lump this movie with the other horror films about viruses or biological warfare (28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Planet Terror, Resident Evil, REC, Quarantine) but what sets it apart is the human element. The closest is 28 Days Later, in my opinion. The only difference is that it takes place in a small town and stays there for the entire movie versus 28 Days Later which takes place globally but focused on London/The UK.

It was interesting watching this film and realizing how far it wasn’t from the truth of what’s happening now. This idea of everyone quarantine, wearing masks, the chaos and the movie seems possible. It seems like this can happen at any time, anywhere, at any moment, kind of how 28 Days Later portrays it as well. That’s the scariest part about The Crazies. It can happen and it has happened in 2020 in its own way.

thecrazies5Why is it that we tend to watch horror movies that seem to parallel what is happening in our current time? Is it a coping mechanism? Are we just sadomasochists and we like to torture ourselves?

The film gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from me and stars Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, Lynn Lowry and Richard Liberty. It’s a great cult film and addition into the Romero filmography. By the way, the film is available on Prime and the title card is actually “Code Name: Trixie” so if you see that, it’s still the same film.

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