A 1973 horror movie by George A. Romero. A small town in Pennsylvania suffers from a string of violent attacks, ranging from beatdowns to arson. Firefighter David and his pregnant wife Judy are thrust into all this and to top it off, the military quarantine the town with orders to shoot anybody that escapes, regardless of being infected or not. David and Judy must try their damnedest to escape before the infected or the military get them.Despite failing at the box office and getting mixed reviews, the movie gained a huge cult following. Its influence managed to get a remake in 2010; the town is set in Iowa with David and Judy now working as a sheriff and a doctor respectively as they still try to escape their town while avoiding the military and "The Crazies".
Dressing as the Enemy: David tries this but it backfires, causing Judy to flee in panic; then David is attacked by townspeople thinking he's a soldier and Judy gets shot.
Downer Ending: Dr Watts is killed and the cure smashed in a fight between soldiers (who assume Watts is infected and try to force him into a quarantined area) and the infected. Trixie had already spread beyond the town before the events of the film and infected a city. The one character who is immune keeps silent about it out of spite.
Evil Army: Played straight from the view of the townspeople. Subverted by showing Reasonable Authority Figures acting under conditions of great stress, limited time, information and resources, and idiotic restrictions from higher authority.
Famous Last Words: Subverted with Kathy who just gives a quiet "Oh" after being shot.
Gun Struggle: The first indication that things are starting to go pear-shaped. The town sheriff resists being forcibly disarmed by the military, and ends up being fatally shot.
Heroic Sacrifice: Clank realises he's infected and draws off the soldiers chasing his friends.
Idiot Ball: The security restrictions hamper any attempt to deal with the crisis effectively. The top scientist on the Trixie project is sent into the town to do a job that any lab technician could do, then he's not allowed to send blood samples out of the city due to the quarantine.
Poor Communication Kills: A literal version of this trope; the officer originally sent to deal with the crashed plane isn't told he's dealing with a bioweapon. The crisis team has to communicate through a voiceprint security system that delays communication. The media blackout means that the townspeople end up fighting the military, because they don't understand what's happening or that they shoudn't drink the water. Dr. Watts rushes out without telling the technician working with him how he found the cure.
Red Shirt Army: Justified; the soldiers are wearing white Hazmat Suits that restrict their vision and makes them stand out in the woods. They're also rear echelon troops (from a chemical warfare unit) fighting Clank, a Vietnam veteran.
Samus is Black: Although the audience already knows it, the sheriff and mayor are visibly startled when Colonel Peckhem first removes his gasmask.
Science Is Bad: The core of an arguement between Colonel Peckhem and Dr. Watts. Peckhem accuses Watts and his fellow scientists of (incorrectly) assuring the military that the Trixie virus was 100% benign; Watts counters that the actual figure was a bit less than that — based on standards set by the military.
Trigger Happy: Clank after becoming infected. Not the soldiers contrary to what some viewers think; they lose several people trying to talk armed civilians into putting down their weapons.
Video Phone: A video link is set up with the President of the United States so he can, if required, authorize the use of nuclear weapons to contain the virus. However, as the President spends the entire conversation sitting with his back to the camera, one wonders why George Romero didn't just have him talking over a telephone speaker.
All There in the Manual: The motion comic showed not only that the chemical also infected animals, but also how that happened. It also showed how the pilot died and how Rory got infected - in fact, he was the first to try to raise a fuss after witnessing his pigs go berserk and saw the stuff in the water.
Ax-Crazy: The three hunters in the swamp who are so gung ho for hunting that they do so in the off season. But the infection makes the whole townAx-Crazy before too long. People with specific mental focus had their insanity present based on their foci.
The hunters' Ax-Crazy manifests as them deciding it's open season on people, infected or not.
A mother and son manifest theirs as a single minded desire for revenge on David for killing Rory, the husband/father.
Played with in the 2010 remake in that the grunts have been lied to — they were told that everyone was infected regardless of appearance, and it's ambiguous as to whether the slain civilians they find in the end are due to them becoming infected or not.
Berserk Button: Do NOT threaten David's wife. You won't live very long to see sunlight ever again. Least until you get a knife through your throat.
The group gets a car working, and begins driving to the evac zone. Along the way, a military copter spots them on the highway and makes chase, and they pull into a car wash to lose the chopper. After a fight through the car wash after getting trapped, the car getting smashed to hell and Becca's death, they turn to go back to the car... right as the copter flies by and drops a bomb on it.
Initiate containment protocol.
Cannibal Larder: The hunters had commandeered a giant freezer in a truck stop and turned it into a larder full of corpses.
Captain Obvious: People have started acting insane (sometimes homicidally so), the request for a transfer of a completely whacked out prisoner to a better facility has been ignored, an unidentified and unreported plane has crashed in the town's drinking water, and suddenly everyone has lost phone service and internet connection. Fortunately, Sheriff Obvious is there to tell people that they're in trouble. The people don't listen.
Cassandra Truth: David. He goes to the Mayor to warn that he thinks the water supply is contaminated. The Mayor refuses to give his hunch credence - however, it was more due to his concern for keeping a farming community thriving during planting season than ignoring a potential biohazard.
Cell Phones Are Useless: The cell phone signal goes down as the virus starts to spread. At least here there is some explanation, seeing as the military likely cut off phone connection in the town.
The Black SUV driver, though the person inside isn't seen when we first see it.
The three rednecks that discover the drowned pilot at the beginning of the film go on a human-hunt during the outbreak, killing infectees and non-infectees alike. They even provide the final confrontation with the heroes.
Distressed Damsel: Any time David leaves Judy alone for more than two minutes, she ends up facing a crazy and needing rescuing. She beats the shit out of a crazy in the scene wit the no-touch car wash, though, and later in the big rig. Pretty much everyone but Russell qualifies as a 'Distressed [Pronoun]' at one point or another. It's that kind of movie.
Subverted. After David shoots the first townsperson to display the crazies, he goes to check on his vitals.
Played straight in many other examples, though. The drowned parachuting pilot is examined by the ME.
The funeral home and the medical examiners' office scenes are justified examples, as is the scene where David, Judy, Russell and Becca watch Scotty and his mother shot down and then burned by flamethrowers.
The scenes involving truckloads of burned bodies, the hunters' freezer full of people, etc.
How We Got Here: The film begins with the town burning to the ground. It lets that image sear the retinas for a bit before it flashes away to "two days earlier:".
I Did What I Had to Do: The government agent in the SUV says that their measures are to stop an even bigger spread — "What would you rather have, a global pandemic?" The horrible irony is that, given how ambiguous the ending is, it might well wind up like that anyway.
Impaled Palm: The town sheriff gets a boning knife through his palm. Later in the same scene, he grabs a Crazy woman by the throat with the same hand, sending the knife into a major blood vessel.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The people who get pitchforked while strapped to hospital beds and completely unable to escape. At least they're crazy.
No FEMA Response: The remake has the first city cordoned off and Fuel Air Bombed. Worse, they make everybody think they're evacuating, when they're really just herding them into trucks to burn them alive. Survivors make it to another city which is then targeted for the same treatment.
Given that the infected remain intelligent, and in a few cases extremely creative, this might be justified.
They also do not eat flesh. And, unless David was infected from the beginning (He did happen to get through the military's inspection) the "virus" does not appear to be a virus at all since he didn't become infected after having infected blood in an open wound. It sounds more like a chemical weapon than biological.
Averted in the motion comics where the later infected very obviously bite people and one of the hunters starts eating a soldier.
Surprise Vehicle: Despite being surrounded by flat terrain with no buildings, they don't notice there's a helicopter gunship searching for them until it's almost overhead. The 'copter doesn't seem to notice them, either.