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George A. Romero: The '60s & '70s

Night of the Living Dead

There's Always Vanilla

Season of the Witch

The Crazies (February 21/10)

An uncommonly interminable piece of work, The Crazies details the chaos that ensues after a deadly virus is accidentally unleashed on a small town - with the movie subsequently following a small group of survivors as they attempt to escape the military's trigger-happy clutches. George A. Romero's stunning incompetence is in evidence right from the word go, as the filmmaker launches directly into the storyline with nary a whiff of context or character development - thus ensuring that the viewer's ongoing efforts at working up sympathy for the protagonists' increasingly perilous plight fall flat on an all-too-consistent basis. The film's myriad of problems are exacerbated by Romero's pervasively amateurish directorial sensibilities, with the shot-on-the-cheap visuals, aggressively obnoxious score, and eye-rollingly dated editorial choices ranking high on The Crazies' list of hopelessly inept elements. There's consequently little doubt that the movie's disjointed and flat-out nonsensical atmosphere instantly transforms it into a seemingly insurmountable endurance test, and it's certainly not difficult to envision even the most ardent Romero fan throwing their arms up in frustration - with the curious lack of violence and gore essentially perpetuating the vibe of superfluousness that's been hard-wired into every aspect of the proceedings. The end result is a thoroughly unpleasant cinematic experience that would've undoubtedly ended any other filmmaker's career, with Romero's unwarranted longevity surely due to his ongoing successes within the zombie genre.

no stars out of

O.J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose

Martin

Dawn of the Dead

© David Nusair