April 10th, 2012: The Crazies (1973)

Cast and Crew:  Lynn Lowry

What It’s About:  After a virus that causes people to go mad, then die, is accidentally released after a plane crashes near a small Pennsylvania town, the U.S. Army imposes a quarantine.  Can the military contain the outbreak, or find  a cure, before it’s too late?  Will anyone trapped inside survive?

Why Watch it Today?: The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was signed today in 1972.  One of several horror films whose boogeyman was a biological weapon released at this time, George A. Romero’s The Crazies distinguishes itself with a well written story which gives us sympathetic characters in all three camps-the military, the town, and the scientists-while remaining chilling on an extremely low-budget.  Particularly effective is how Romero avoids turning the “infected” into killing machines, mutants or zombies; at many times its hard to tell who is acting crazy due to the situation and who is exhibiting the effect of the virus.

Where to Get It:Netflix (rental only)

Other Choices:  The Omega Man features an apocalypse created by biological weapon.

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