Tuesday, January 26, 2010

THE CRAZIES (Blu-Ray)

As Hollywood prepares to unleash another unnecessary horror remake upon the movie going public, Blue Underground is about to re-release George A. Romero's original "infection" thriller, THE CRAZIES (1973), in high-def on Blu-Ray disc.

A small Pennsylvania community is accidentally exposed to an experimental biological weapon - a virus that either kills outright or turns its victims into homicidal maniacs. As the government attempts to contain the contagious situation, a group of uninfected survivors try to escape the town without being killed by their insane neighbors or shot by the gas-masked soldiers.

If the plot sounds familiar, it's only because THE CRAZIES - like Romero's previous feature, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - has been ripped off endlessly by other filmmakers and has actually now been officially "reimagined." But Romero was there first, and his low-budget, non-Hollywood production possesses a palpable paranoia and verisimilitude unmatched in most of its imitators. The production's a little crude and rough around the edges, but that only enhances the unsettling documentary feel of the film. THE CRAZIES (also released in some markets as CODE NAME: TRIXIE) has always been overshadowed by its more notorious predecessor, but it's a fine horror film in its own right.

Blue Underground has revisited this underrated gem on high def, with a pristine 1080p HD transfer at its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Audio is a clear DTS-HD mono. BU has ported over most of the extra features from their old DVD release, including the informative audio commentary track by Romero, a video interview with star Lynn Lowry, theatrical trailers and TV Spots.

THE CRAZIES on Blu-Ray looks and sounds terrific. George Romero and classic horror fans who want to experience the original before seeing the remake next month should definitely check this out, and those who already own the DVD will want to upgrade to the Blu-Ray edition.

BUY: The Crazies [Blu-ray]