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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Steve's Church-Less Movie Of The Week: Special Surgery Edition (Part 1) ...

Well, I'm home, I'm in pain, and I'm supremely drugged up. Time to lay down and relax and watch some serious crazy crap on tv.

So even though today isn't sunday, won't you still join me on this painful cinematic adventure?

Yoinked from wikipedia and ...

"The Crazies (also known as Code Name: Trixie) is a 1973 American horror-action film about the effects of the accidental release of a military biological weapon upon the inhabitants of a small American town. The film was written and directed by George A. Romero, and starred Lane Carroll, Richard Liberty and Lynn Lowry. A remake of the film was made in 2010.

Five years after he unleashed Night of the Living Dead upon the world, but a long time before he became known as one of America's premiere horror-makers, George Romero stepped up to do his second genre film. Clearly he wasn't interested in returning to the zombie well just yet (and lord knows he'd return to the zombie well), but clearly he didn't want to stray too far from his proven formula. The result was the 1973 sci-fi/horror/political satire known as The Crazies, and while it probably doesn't rank among Mr. Romero's very best films, it's still a smart and slyly twisted poke in the ribs at the American government, the U.S. military, and clueless bureaucracy in general.

According to Romero on the DVD commentary track this project began life with Paul McCollough, who authored a screenplay entitled The Mad People. The script dealt with a military bioweapon that was accidentally released into a small town, with the military subsequently trying to cover up the incident and the townspeople revolting. Romero revealed that the military subplot was only featured in the first act of the script, and the rest of the film focused on the survivors and their attempts to cope with what was happening. The director called McCollough's script 'very existential and heady'.

The screenplay was read by Lee Hessel, a producer who owned Cambist Films and with whom Romero had previously worked on There's Always Vanilla. Hessel expressed interest in it and offered to finance it as Romero's next film, but only if the director would be willing to rewrite McCollough's screenplay to focus on what Hessel considered the most interesting ingredient of the story, namely the military takeover of the town, which occurred in the first 10 to 20 pages. Romero agreed and rewrote the script, and he was given a budget of approximately $270,000.

The film was shot in and around Evans City and Zelienople, both small towns in Pennsylvania about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. Romero claims that the majority of people in the towns were very cooperative and happy to help with the production.

As is often the case with Mr. Romero's films, the cast is populated with mostly unknowns, some of whom can carry a scene ... and a few who simply cannot. In the film's favor is a gritty, low-budget reality (despite some raw performances) that only seems to come from horror flicks made by enthusiastic people, and not disinterested corporations. And it comes as no surprise to note that The Crazies just earned itself a remake; Romero was certainly a few years ahead of his time in using biological weapons as a springboard for domestic horror.

Equal parts flawed and fascinating, frustrating and clever, The Crazies stands (alongside Martin, Creepshow, and Monkey Shines, among others) as proof positive that George Romero has a few cool ideas that don't involve zombies. The filmmaker doles out his reliable batch of social commentary and wise-ass gallows humor, and caps it all off with some scares and splatters that should keep the genre fans happy. It may be a second-tier Romero film, but hell, it's still a Romero film.

Today, Romero has claimed he feels that the major reason The Crazies failed at the box office was due to poor distribution. He stated that Hessel made a true attempt to adequately market the film, including releasing it under a variety of titles in different parts of the country, but that it never managed to catch the public's eye. The film did not have a wide release, instead playing in a limited number of theaters before opening in a different market.

The Crazies seems to have everything that pisses off the 1973 version of George Romero, all in one flick. The government, the military, the countless, faceless authority figures of the era ... then he throws 'em into a pot and lets them scream at each other until crazy violence breaks out. So while it's not as creepy, dark, or surreal as Romero's "Dead" classics, The Crazies is still insane enough to enjoy."

Steve's Snacks Of The Week:

Lukewarm Coffee

A TON Of Pills

A Bit Of Popcorn

A Crapton Of Pain

AND NOW Steve Galindo and this blog are pleased to bring you today's Church-less Movie Of The Week absolutely FREE!

But a few rules first. There's absolutely no talking in Steve's Theater-talkers will be spanked roughly. No cell phones or African-American berries in the theater. And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).

Enjoy the show y'all!

NOTE: The movie was split into 10 different parts on youtube. I pieces them together and spliced it with He-Man, cartoons, movie previews, drive-in stuff, and a whole bunch of crazy madness. Enjoy ...

Have fun with that.

Wind Clan out!

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