THE CRAZIES

AKA Codename Trixie, The Mad People.

Tag Line : Why are good people dying?

The CraziesIn the quiet rural country town of Evans City Philadelphia, the locals are alarmed to discover the town being sealed off and taken over by heavily armed army units wearing gas masks and environmental suits.

The mayor and local authorities protest and demand to know what's going on, only to be told that the town is now under martial law and being quarantined as the water supply has been infected by a deadly nerve toxin from a crashed military plane. The toxin, known as Trixie, apparently causes psychotic behaviour and ultimately results in either death, or permanent madness for the infected person.

As the first symptoms begin to show amongst the townsfolk, a small group of friends decide to try and sneak out of town through the surrounding woodlands and hide out on the outskirts until everything blows over. However, this proves to be no easy task as the army are soon hot on their trail, and as the going gets progressively more arduous they begin to suspect that a number of them may just be infected.

With all hell beginning to break loose in the town, as more and more infected start to emerge and attack the soldiers, a couple of scientists are flown in to try and come up with an antidote for the toxin. But with the number of infected steadily rising and the army beginning to loose control, will their efforts be too late?

Directed by George Romero, this 1973 film came out in the wake of his "Night of the Living Dead" and although not-quite-as-well-known as his earlier film, proves to be just as enjoyable. I did find this to be a little reminiscent of other films of this ilk, such as "The Cassandra Crossing" and "Outbreak" although this actually pre-dates both. The film has probably enjoyed something of a renaissance since being remade in 2010, so if you enjoyed that, or your a fan of Romero's early films you'd be advised to seek this out.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Other tag lines "A biological civil war."

  • The film was not a success first time round at US theatres, it was only after being released onto video in the 80's that the film gained cult notoriety.

  • Evans city is the same town George Romero filmed his original "Night of the Living Dead".

  • The films budget was $275,000

  • Richard Liberty, who plays "Artie", went on to play "Dr Logan" in "Day of the Dead".

  • For the house fire near the beginning of the film George Romero just filmed the Evans City fire department on one of their training exercises.

  • The sheriff and deputy where actually local police officers.

  • The crazy man shooting at the soldiers in the doctors office was Cinematographor Bill Hinzemen, who is probably best known as being the cemetery zombie from Romero's Night of the Living Dead. His 2 children also appear in the film during the intro where the chap is smashing the house up.

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