Pittsburgh filmmaker George Romero is known as the father of all things zombie. However, he also had other cinematic ambitions in mind as well. Enter The Crazies which is a science fiction tale about the military's attempt to combat a manmade virus called Trixie that causes those infected to go insane. The script for this film is excellent and is definitely anti-military. The top brass make several colossal blunders along the way including killing the scientist who discovers the cure and passing over the person who has a natural immunity to the disease. It's not surprising that this film was made the year that American troops were withdrawing from the Vietnam War. It captures the feel of the time period perfectly.
The only negative things I can say about The Crazies are that the characters shout at each other a bit too much for my taste. It seems to me the same tension can be created with less yelling. The other negative thing is that the guys in this cast are butt-ugly. [Seriously!] Leading man Will MacMillan has a unibrow and the the other guys, even by Seventies standards, are lacking in the looks department. I used to live in Pittsburgh and I can safely say that there are good looking men who live there. Surely Romero could have found some "lookers" who could also act! [The ladies are fine in the looks department.]
The Crazies was remade in 2010 with George Romero serving as executive producer. Although I don't say this often, the remake is actually better than the original. It follows the story line of the original film quite faithfully but adds a few twists that I think work quite well. The remake also sends the tension and suspense through the roof with excellent special effects! Both version of the Crazies can be rented through Netflix. Take a look at both and let me know what you think. This one is a must-see if you're a fan of Romero's zombie films. Don't miss it.
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.