The Crazies hit theaters in 1973 and was the fourth film from zombie master George Romero. In this movie the military “accidentally” releases a toxin called Trixie in the water supply of a small town and as the people become infected they turn delirious and murderous. The military activates containment protocol to include shooting infected people and people who try to escape the town. As the infected numbers rise, you see events unfold as the town descends into madness and death. 37 years later Breck Eisner directed The Crazies, a nightmarish revision of Romero’s work.
Let’s take a look at the contenders.
The Crazies 1973: I saw the 2010 version first so I found out about the original that way. I’ve been a huge fan of Romero ever since I saw Night Of The Living Dead so I’ve been checking out his films I haven’t seen during the pandemic shutdown. I was NOT impressed with 1973. I bought the special edition Blu-ray from the Arrow Video library and I want 19 of my 22 dollars back!! I like the reversible slip and the sturdier cases Arrow uses for their films but the movie itself……BORING!!! The movie is a low budget product of the 70s, which isn’t a fault at all, but the acting was clunky in my opinion. The plot is simple however the story failed to grab me. When I was watching for the first time I didn’t care much about the 3 leads and I didn’t feel a sense of dread for them as they do their best to survive. There were a couple of eerie parts that I liked. I thought the opening was creepy and it was messed up to see Soldiers rounding people up out of their homes. It wasn’t that heart racing suspense though. The Blu-ray has some cool special features and the 4K restoration is eye pleasing but beyond that I shall not give 1973 any more praise.
The Crazies 2010: Thank goodness for Scott Kosar and Wright, the screenplay writers for this remake. Excellent direction from Eisner as well. The suspense and the thrills are well crafted and I became a bigger fan of Timothy Olyphant after seeing him portray Sheriff Dutton. Previous to this film I watched him portray villains. I liked him as the bad guy in Scream 2 and Live Free or Die Hard however he did well in his role as the hero in The Crazies. The opening scene gives you a good sense of what you are about to see unfold. Watching the Soldiers carry out quarantine protocol in this film was gut wrenching. The pitchfork scene…..WHOA! It wasn’t just the visual of that scene. The sound of the metal dragging across the floor is spine chilling! You feel the claustrophobia and fear with the main characters as more people get infected and things spiral out of control. There was one part of the movie that was a bit far fetched but it didn’t reach the “extremely ridiculous” level and I’ve seen worse when it comes to horror/suspense movies. Bravo on the remake!
The Battle: 2010 easily defeats 1973. This isn’t even a battle. 2010 is Shorty the Killer Klown and 1973 is the guy who gets his block knocked off. Flawless victory for the remake!! I don’t see myself revisiting 1973 anytime soon. I recommend checking out the 2010 version if you haven’t done so. As far as the original……at least it inspired the remake!