The Crazies DVD Review
Written by SuperNova
DVD released by Blue Underground
Several years before George Romero would hit it big with the second film in his dead trilogy, Dawn of the Dead, he made this film, Code Name: Trixie. A cheap low budget movie that was neglected during it’s theatrical release, but thankfully Blue Underground has taken the time to give this film the rightful DVD treatment it deserves.
Directed by George A. Romero
Written by Paul McCollough and George A. Romero
1973, Region 1 (NTSC), 103 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on April 29th, 2003
Harold Wayne Jones
The symptoms of the virus are all similar, they result in uncontrollable outburst of violence and states of unawareness. The film sees an army sweep through the town like a deadly storm, taking control of everyone and everything before anyone even knows what is going on. Panic races to try to keep the virus contained, but the unorganized assembled unit finds themselves without the proper equipment and medical needs to defend against the germ and those infected. With promises of help on the way, nothing is able to materialize as soldiers become fixated on shooting anything that moves, and containing anyone who tries to leave the area, even the scientist who seems to have found a cure, only to be rushed away, considered crazy.
The film concentrates on three groups of people. The first are a group of town’s people who managed to escape being rallied up by the army. Armed with weapons they head for the hills, only to constantly be on the run from the advancing troops. The second group focuses on scientist trying to find an antidote for Trixie. But with the lack of technology and research equipment, they have to make due with high school microscopes and minimal lab space. The third group centers around an army commander who finds himself deployed in the current terrain. His objective is to make sure the outbreak is contained. With the lack of support from the army, and any reasonable communication, his frustration rises. But he’s able to keep a level head throughout the entire situation, making for a sympathetic soldier.
I couldn’t be more happier with what Blue Underground has done with The Crazies here. I’m glad it was picked up and given the proper treatment it deserved. The Crazies is a little gem that should hold something for everybody. It dwells deep into the physce of our minds, playing on our fears of being contracted by a disease that slowly consumes the worlds population. It feels very surreal, especially watching the white clad dressed soldiers breaking into homes and forcing everybody to leave. It’s a real life adaptation if it would ever happen, complete with soldiers stealing and rampaging through personal belongings of deceased victims, stress and ignorance, and even confusion. The acting is excellent especially for a cast of unknown actors, some who would later go on to appear in Dawn of the Dead. The writing is solid and the script holds together very, very well. The blood is ferocious and is piled on, in a realistic manor. Over all this DVD is a must for George Romero fans.
Video and Audio:
Fully restored from the original negative, The Crazies is presented here in widescreen, which I believe is for the first time ever. The print is fabulous, only small little specks can be found throughout the film, but besides that the color is a nice advancement over any previous release. The blood is rich, and the style is very sleek.
The film is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. The soundtrack is rounded out by consecutive bass and snare drum beats, with occasional strums on a banjo, and even some melodramatic piano keys. There is of course some problems with obvious dubbing, and the muffled voices of the soldiers, trying to communicate through the gas mask.
Special Features :
- Audio Commentary with director George Romero
- The Cult Film Legacy of Lynn Lowry – Interview with star Lynn Lowry
- Theatrical Trailers and TV spots
- Poster and Still Gallery
- George Romero Bio
Blue Underground has done a great job here, these supplements should satisfy everyone a fan of this movie. To start things off, the commentary is fascinating! I did not know it, but Bill Lustig actually joins George Romero in the commentary. The two get along great, and add a lot of insight on how the film was originally perceived. The interview with Lynn Lowry is a nice insight of what she has done in her past and what she is currently doing now. It’s about fourteen minutes long and shows clips from her past films (mostly nude) and clips of her now singing career. The theatrical trailers are quite long, looped together nicely. The post and still gallery is where this DVD shines, well over a hundred pictures, featuring review articles, on the set stills, marque clips, and even posters of the film when it was re-released as Code Name: Trixie. The disc rounds out with a very well put together biography of George’s career. Although not too in depth, it does go on the record to mention a fourth dead film, let’s keep our fingers cross. All in all this disc is solid.