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Unrated (Intestines are bad for that.)
Copyright 1978 Laurel Group
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Peter - A shining example of having your head screwed on straight here, though a little confrontational at times (like when you almost shoot him instead of the zombies).
  • Steve - Often called "Fly Boy" since he is the helicopter pilot. Good thing he can do something useful, since shooting straight is not his strong point. Gnawed on by zombies before coming back to join them.
  • Francine - Knocked up by Steve and you want to like her as a character, but it is not happening. She acts far too disturbed.
  • Roger - Spunky little guy and a very good shot. Dies from an infected zombie bite and comes back looking like the Grinch.
  • A Biker Gang - Wandering group of heathens that invade the mall. End up as zombie chow.
  • The Zombies - Absolute hordes of wandering undead that are taking over the world. For the most part they appear to be people with gray makeup.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Things are looking bleak for humanity in this sequel to Night of the Living Dead. The infrastructure that makes our modern world function is breaking down. Citizens blockade themselves into fortified buildings while experts and leaders beg the populace to destroy dead relatives. Destroy them before they can arise as zombies!

Francine and Steve are working with a television station, the environment there is fairly safe, just very stressful. Pete and Roger are members of a SWAT team that storms a building full of militants. Between one FNG becoming a FDNG and a police officer going psycho violent racist both decide leaving would be a very good idea.

Having teamed up the characters wander for a little while, trying to avoid authorities and zombies alike while finding fuel for the helicopter. Eventually they find paradise and it is a giant mall. Supplied with power and stocked with everything from food to firearms, it is exactly what they were searching for. Too bad the place is full of zombies, apparently going through the motions of their previous lives.

To make a long, but interesting, story short - they blockade the doors and destroy all the undead inside. After that is an unsavory cleanup and watching Roger slowly succumb to his wounds.

We watch the characters struggle to deal with life as it now stands. They are fortunate enough to have safety in a crumbling world, but are unhappy. Before cabin fever can work any permanent damage the bikers arrive and life becomes real interesting real fast.

Zombies are everywhere and I mean everywhere! It is a neat angle that the characters have plenty of firepower and training to deal with the undead, but being constantly in a fight or flight mode soon fatigues them. So they are not particularly attentive for five minutes, that is when a slowly advancing zombie gets too close for comfort. It is a reoccurring idea and entirely plausible.

I would like to bestow kudos for a character with military/police training finally being a survivor. Admittedly surviving in a world crawling with zombies is going to involve a lot of luck, but the unusual number of reporters and doctors who are running around long after Marine Recon have become kibble offends me. Of course Francine makes it too, but mainly on account of the men protecting her. Let's hear one for chivalry!

Having so many zombies allows for some varied situations, like the one stalking Roger as he fueled the helicopter. Unfortunately for the hungry cadaver it has to climb over some boxes to reach him and stands up into the rotor. Hopefully someone hollered at fly boy for landing so close to an obstruction afterwards though.

Another funny thing happens to Peter. While exploring an office he notices that something starts opening one of the doors. He promptly unloads a number of rounds, shooting through the door at about the height one would expect to find the brain housing group (of the sneaky little zombie) at. Imagine his surprise when the door still flies open and two zombie kids rush out!

"Dawn of the Dead" is an excellent zombie movie, definitely a must see for horror fans. In addition to the obvious social commentary, the film contains some wrenching moments. Steve's losing battle with a group of zombies in the elevator jumps to mind there. Being trapped in a small space with dead people who want to gnaw on you cannot be fun, no sir.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • If you can't be with the one you love, eat the one you're with.
  • Sheets can be used as straitjackets.
  • Helicopters are not equipped with radios.
  • Zombies have a difficult time with escalators.
  • Fat guys make bad mimes.
  • Mall security gates are bulletproof.
  • Motorcycle gangs shall inherit the Earth.
  • Zombies just don't get the humor of a pie in the face.
  • Blood pressure machines are deathtraps.
  • Walls are not built out of cardboard for a reason.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - Oh no, no racism here.
  • 8 mins - Now that was an exploding head shot!
  • 35 mins - Gandhi?
  • 43 mins - A pretty unfair version of Russian Roulette going on here...
  • 62 mins - I personally would be playing a private game of Death Race 2000 with the zombies.
  • 76 mins - Why is Roger shooting them in the gut?
  • 83 mins - Listening to mall music for every minute of every day, this is definitely Hell.
  • 95 mins - Sex life unfulfilling huh? (There is a breast shot here, but it is a very listless and unhappy breast.)
  • 108 mins - They stole the zombie's wallet. These people are truly depraved.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note dawndead1.wav Official: "Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills, the people it kills get up and kill!"
Green Music Note dawndead2.wav Francine: "What are they doing, why do they come here?"
Steve: "Some kind of instinct, memory, what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives."
Green Music Note dawndead3.wav Peter: "I mean it man! Now you're not just playing with your life, you're playing with mine."
Green Music Note dawndead4.wav Francine: "There hasn't been a broadcast for three days. Why don't you give it up?"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdawndead1.mpg - 2.7m
The sheer number of zombies wandering around and Peter's sharp shooting start taking their toll on the bikers. Being pulled apart (like some Chinese pork dish) is probably an unpleasant experience.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 9
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Fox Of Nod
Love it

Here is some thing for you complainers.
1.The zombies are not blue or green they are gray. But due to lighting they look blue, green or gray.
2.Am I the only one who doesnít need or want to know how it started.
3.The fact that the blood was that color did suck. But the creators loved it because it made it more like a comic book.
4.If you know any one who loves it they might have the ultimate collectors edition with three versions of it the U.S., the extended, and U.K. In one of them some new parts that might shed some light on parts. Though you will have to sit through it again. You will learn that I believe it was Atlanta is fine they stopped it there. And the part were fly boy finds the dead operator you might think he killed him it turns out there were robbers there and were scared of when Roger and Peter got there.
5.You got to admit that the zombie getting its head blown off near the begging was cool they used live rounds on a fake head.
6.I think the remake should be on this site. ZOMBIES CANíT RUN.

Now for those of you who donít really like zombies cause they are slow this is for you.
1.You have to shot them in the head most people canít hit it with out running out of ammo. Because they canít shoot good or never have.
2.They are typically silent and can sneak up or stays were they are and wait to jump you. Like in the part in the department store when Roger was jumped because they thought it was a manikin.
3.People think that these things are there loved ones and refuse to kill them and or give them a hug because they think their fine. Like in the part near the begging in the building.
4.But the main reason they spread so fast is people donít realize what is happening until itís to late and they have spread too much to contain.
5.And they have mass numbers on their side. You donít need speed with mass numbers on your side.
I guess they could run when they first become zombies but after a while muscle would decay and prevent them from running. And their brains are decaying as well so their balance would prevent them from running. Why do you think zombies walk goofy.

Me and most people I know would love if zombies started to pop up every place so long as they are like in the move not like in the remake the return of the living dead series you canít kill them in that movie. Oh and I would have to reach my goal of at lest 8 assault rifles, 10 shot guns, 5 Sniper Rifles, 10 Sub Machine guns, 5 light MGs like the m60 or pkm, 4 heavy MGs like the m2, various explosives grenades C4 that kind of stuff, A couple of rocket launcher and grenade launchers, 2 fully armed transport choppers (not the motorcycle), and some armored vehicles (yes civilians can buy them and tanks to), tons of ammo and food, and the best armor to prevent being bit is medieval like chain mail.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #2. Posted on October 01, 2000, 09:44:01 PM by Demonicuss
Does this film kick ass?  Of course it does.  One of the best Horror films, and arguably one of the best movies out today, period.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #3. Posted on October 01, 2000, 09:56:08 PM by Max Levin
I ALMOST remember this one! I didnīt like it at all, but maybe thatīs because I slept through it. Cause, I donīt remember it being so gory. I thought it was funny with that shopping-mall music, but the rest was crap. Maybe I have to refreshen my memory by watching this movie again. If I can FIND it first, that will be...
And to Andrew: put the legendary shopping-mall song up on! Everybody should hear it!!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #4. Posted on October 02, 2000, 06:42:51 AM by modius
I remember seeing this film on UK's BBC TWO one night, now the BBC is famed for showing good movies - but a bad one?  And one that had so much blood shed and stomach turning sequences and a gun shooting fest straight out of a 3D First Person Shooter Computer Game?

I found it too gory, espically the gun shooting - I thought I could take it - I didn't...

Dawn of the Dead
Reply #5. Posted on October 02, 2000, 04:50:04 PM by Stefan Robak
Guess what zombie fans.  Appearently there are Dawn of the Dead action figures availible.  They've been out for a while but almost went under everyone's notice.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #6. Posted on October 02, 2000, 07:26:21 PM by Rob Rob
I've been waiting for over a year for the review of Dawn of the Dead, and the review kicks ass. Even though I wouldn't at all consider Dawn a bad movie(a genuinly good one, in fact, even if it is a little corny), you did give it the credit it deserves.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #7. Posted on October 04, 2000, 03:06:22 PM by Chris K.
George A. Romero kicks ass once again. After NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), HUNGRY WIVES (1971; aka SEASON OF THE WITCH), THE CRAZIES (1973), and MARTIN (1977), Romero decides to make a sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Yes it is very gory, but I am still suprised to see that DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD recieved the "Unrated" when it was in the theatre. DAWN OF THE DEAD is one of those horror films that is more influncing than SCREAM or I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. The gore effects are stunning, however the film's pacing is very slow. It takes to the very end of the film that we get to see some zombie gut-munching. DAWN OF THE DEAD is a good film, but why is it called a "bad film"? needs to put up some reviews of DAY OF THE DEAD (1987), CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1980; aka THE GATES OF HELL), THE BEYOND (1981; aka THE SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH), and LET THE SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (1974; aka DON'T OPEN THE WINDOW). Your doing a good job Special announcement: view the special Letterboxed Director's Cut of DAWN OF THE DEAD and you will not be dissapointed.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #8. Posted on October 08, 2000, 09:35:35 AM by Rowlph
I would like everyone to know that the movie was filmed in 1979 at the Monroeville Mall, in Monroeville, PA.  I'm currently a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, about 20 minutes by car to the Mall.  Even though it is 21 years later,  much of the mall is still the same.  It's actually extremely strange, possibly post-modern, and a really good time to do the whole "art imitates life" thing.  JC Penny is still there, and so is the glass door that the zombies often clunk against.  The number 33 lamppost in the parking lot is still there.  The exterior around the parking lot may have more TGI Friday's and Chili's, but on an empty mall day you can easily imagine hoards of zombies wandering around.  Most importantly, the mall muzak heard throughout the mall can still be has to be the same stuff, though honestly I couldn't tell the difference.  The Monroeville Mall is still a well-functioning, well-attended mall.  But if you look really really close on the first floor of the JC Penny store, you might find a small clump of Steve regurgitated and splattered on the carpet.  
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