I can think of a lot of worse places to be during the Zombie Apocalypse than a mall
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Directed By: George A. Romero (Day of the Dead)
Ten whole years after Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero finally gave the world it’s sequel, Dawn of the Dead! A movie looked at by many as THE Zombie movie out of the wide and large range of Zombie movies the world has. Dawn of the Dead also marked a rare time in horror where the sequel out does the original, something that wasn’t easy to do following such a film as Night of the Living Dead.
What you get with Dawn of the Dead is all the horror and terror (don’t forget social commentary) jacked up on high with this very gory, yet very brilliant film. I saw this movie for the first time believe it or not in 2004 when I got the standard release of it by Anchor Bay. Over the years I’ve shown it to all my friends and I’d say it probably stands behind only The Return of the Living Dead as my favorite Zombie movie of all time.
I was lucky enough to enter a contest at Horror Crypt and win The Ultimate Edition (Also from Anchor Bay) of this movie recently and I got it in the mail yesterday from Horror Movie Empire, so I figured now would be as good a time as any to dive back into it and do a review of it here.
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.
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.
“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.
While this movie is bloody, haunting, and depressing don’t think there’s 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.
It’s a classic folks and I find it to be flawless! If there was even one thing I could complain about it would be the running time but you don’t notice it as you watch the film…One other odd thing you notice is, during the scene when Peter has to fight off two kids..the kids RUN!??..What’s up with that George???
But that isn’t big enough to hurt this one bit with me. Dawn of the Dead is a timeless classic. Some may say it’s over-rated, but I don’t think it’s over-rated at all.
The Rating (10/10)