A small rural town gets infected by a virus called "Trixie" that drives them normal folk MURDEROUSLY INSANE! A ragtag of bad actors gather in a farmhouse (Shades of Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) to wait it out as the army mishandles the chaos.
The Crazies shouldn't work. The story is unfocused. It start running into the chaos from the word go, but the viewer is never given a chance to catch up. The wooden community theatre actors can't rattle up an interesting characters with the material handed their way. The editing is scatter shot, clunky and all over the place with a never ending stream of rapid montage style cutting. Romero just isn't that good a director.
Yet, it still won me over.
I have to hand it off to the overall mood of the piece. The way people talk, the fashion, and the framing all screams THE SEVENTIES! The clunkiness actually gets to be kind of charming once you get past that first rough hump. It's a film that's so frenetic and scatter shot that all the unaffecting sound and furry on screen numbs the viewer. There's a lot of interesting broad ideas, but without any characters to relate too or a real point to it all, Romero never gets a handle on the material. For every sequence he knocks out of the park, there's five more that fall completely flat. It's the kind of film that's better appreciated thinking about it afterward.
The remake (Directed by *shudder* Breck Eisner) looks to be taking a much more conventional approach. The trailers indicate it will actually take a slow build instead of throwing viewing head first into the madness.