Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 18th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Director: George A. Romero
Writers: Paul McCollough, George A. Romero
Cast: Lane Carroll, Will MacMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, Lynn Lowry, Richard Liberty
BluRay released: February 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: All hell breaks loose in a rural small town, when its citizens become infected after being exposed to a military created virus which either kills its victims or insane.
The Crazies, was directed George A. Romero whose is most known for his zombie films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. After directing Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero would make two of his more unusual films, the heavy handed melodrama, There’s Always Vanilla and the horror / melodrama, Season of the Witch. He would return to familiar territory with The Crazies which structure and story wise bears many similarities to his most celebrated film Night of the Living Dead.
While not without its flaws (which low budget film does not have its fare share of flaws), The Crazies does excel in a few areas like it the way in which the rural locations and the way in which government encircles those who are infected. These two things perfectly lend themselves this film’s mounting feeling of claustrophobia. The story while pretty basic at times, is reasonably laid out and plausible enough. The way in which the majority of townspeople, who have yet become infected become aggressive towards the military is all too real. Another area where this film stands out is the way in which social commentary is flawlessly mixed into the story at hand.
Even though the film does a good job laying the foundation. The pacing of the film it at times lethargic, especially the middle act of the film. Performance wise none of the cast stand out and at best they are merely adequate in their respective roles. To this film’s credit the final act wraps up everything nicely and like George A. Romero best film’s The Crazies is a film that gets better each time you revisit it.
The Crazies comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. The Crazies was previously released by Blue Underground on DVD in 2003. Considering this film low budget origins, the transfer looks pretty good despite the limitations of the source material. Flesh tones fare well, black levels and colors range from average to good and details generally look crisp throughout. There are some mild instances of print debris and even though film grain is present, it is more noticeable in some scenes.
This release comes with one with audio option DTS-HD Mono English. This is a satisfactory track that presents the audio clearly and it is free of any distortion or background noise. Just don’t expect that much range wise as this is a pretty basic mix. This release comes with three subtitles options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
The bulk of the extras included on Blue Underground’s DVD release of The Crazies have been carried over, with only the poster & still galleries and a text bio for George A. Romero, not being carried over from the previous release. Extras for this release include two trailers, two T.V. spots, a fourteen minute with actress Lynn Lowry titled “The Cult Film Legacy of Lynn Lowry” and an audio commentary with director George A. Romero and moderator Bill Lustig. The interview with Lynn Lowry is a well rounded career retrospective and the audio commentary track with George A. Romero is an exceptional track in which he discusses the locations used for this film, the cast, filmmaking with limited resources and other production related topics. Overall The Crazies is another strong BluRay release from Blue Underground.