Perhaps the greatest zombie movie ever on blu-ray!
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Directed By: George A. Romero (Day of the Dead)
Where to get it: Anchor Bay
And here we go with the blu-ray release of Dawn of the Dead from Anchor Bay! From what I understand, this was among the original batch of classics that got the upgrade along with, Halloween, Day of the Dead, and Evil Dead 2. I own all of those besides Evil Dead 2, I got the recent version of that one. But anyway, Dawn of the Dead, possibly the greatest film George A. Romero has ever done. Or at least it would be if you ask a large number of horror fans. So, upgrading this classic to the HD format was a rather large deal. But since it is a film from 1978, can the transfer live up to the film’s grand legacy?
Following the growing numbers of Zombies taking over the world two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall. As you can probably assume from a Romero film while trying to stay alive they also find themselves dealing with their own issues between themselves as well. Their have been a ton of DVD releases for this film and I’m aware that the blu-ray isn’t a new release by any means, but still the idea of Dawn of the Dead on blu-ray is about too much to resist.
First off, folks, what a gore fest we have here huh? Heads get blown off, people are bitten in nasty fashion, machetes go into people’s skulls, and head shots galore!! The gore it’s self which was something to see in ’78 is still something to see even today. We got to give a lot of credit to that to none other than Tom Savini who always gives us gore worth remembering in films he works on. The gore enough would be reason to give this movie a better than average rating. I know some folks are turned off by the fact that a great deal of the zombies are simply people with green painted faces, but for it’s time that works out just great in my opinion. There’s also a great plot to pack everything together and it does that in grand fashion.
“When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth”. Such a great quote and possibly true, assuming that the reason for what’s going on could be we have all been just so bad that when we die we’ve already flooded hell. It’s a pretty chilling quote but it’s another thing that adds great depth and element to this film. The quote is of course said by the character of Peter (Ken Foree) as he plays another strong African American roll in a Romero film. However he does seem to be everything that Ben wasn’t in Night of the Living Dead as he more or less keeps his head throughout the film as the people he’s stuck in the mall with seem to slowly lose it. I’ll admit Peter is my favorite character (living that is) out of all the Romero Dead films. He seems to be the film’s anchor as we go from people trying to survive, to be stuck in the mall, and the finally to people once again finding themselves in a hell of a situation.
While this movie is bloody, haunting, and depressing, don’t think their isn’t any time for a laugh or two in it as the movie does give you more than one reason to chuckle a time or two while watching it. I think humor in a zombie film is always fitting for some odd reason or another. As you can guess, this movie tells a story of survival for all human kind, but the thing is we aren’t doing ourselves any favors as many scenes in the film shows. Towards the film climax you can clearly see that we are very smart to be even more afraid of ourselves than we are the dead that now walk the earth. Great story telling from a great director.
The film is a classic. It’s about as perfect o a film as you can find out there. So the movie is a hands down 10 for me, nothing will change that. However, the transfer of the blu-ray is a little lacking in some areas. Now don’t get me wrong, some of it looks great. But you do have a scene or two that looks a little too dark for some reason or another. Outside of that, there isn’t much to complain about.
The Rating (10/10)