In 1968, with the original Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero practically invented the zombie film as we know it today. Shambling legions of rotting corpses were soon to become the most defining characteristic of his iconic career in cinema: a career that continues even as we speak - though with an insipid modern trilogy that pales into insignificance next to the original zombie triumvirate, the spark of ingenuity that made Romero's early movies so remarkable has, I fear, come and gone. But long before the likes of Survival, Diary and Land of the Dead - before even Dawn and Day redefined the genre the zombie allfather came to make his bread and butter - George A. Romero wrote and directed a little-known standalone horror film called The Crazies.
The Crazies touched on many of the same themes that would preoccupy Romero for decades to come: contagion, isolation, the struggle for survival, the erosion of morality in the wake of society's collapse. A small town is brought to the brink when a military craft containing an experimental bioweapon crash-lands in the area. The virus kills all those that come into contact with it before reanimating their corpses with a single purpose: homicide. David and Judy, a brave young couple once proud to call Evans City their home, narrowly escape the contagion only to find the odds on their survival slim at best, because the military has arrived, and they aim to contain the virus - at all costs.