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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] 4 5 ... 9
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #17. Posted on March 31, 2001, 07:54:27 PM by Pierre-Louis Prégent
This is a good movie...I understand why it is in this site though...What I can say is that this site rocks!!!!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #18. Posted on May 04, 2001, 08:32:08 PM by Josh
Without a doubt one of the very best in zombie flicks.  I thought the idea of being housed in a mall with free roaming zombies was really good.  The intro was awesome too!  You just gotta love watching heads blow into little bitty pieces.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by jmc
I liked this movie a lot when I was younger.  It's still a favorite, but I am able to see weaknesses now that I couldn't back then.  Too long and the "social commentary" is awkward and belaboring.  The original NIGHT and MARTIN are better films, but this is still a good one.  Personally, I think the dead series should have ended here.  

I like a lot of the imitators that came after it, but the people making those movies had a different motivation and it shows.  Thought I think he's clumsy at it, I do respect Romero for attempting to put a "message" into a genre that rarely has room for such things.  However, if I were to see the 90 minute Argento "fast" version I think I'd probably like that better.  
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #20. Posted on April 12, 2001, 08:11:07 AM by ruokwitdat
I remember seeing this movie when I was 4 or 5 years old, I was at my friends house and the adults were watching it and I peeked in and saw a biker getting his guts ripped out and being eatin alive! Maybe this is why im so disturbed now.....By the way I own it now.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Fritz
Spot on review. The alternate 'bad ending' has become my Moby Dick, along with the rasberry swirl 12inch copy of Nirvana's Bleach !!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by franky
The movie is gory but way to long, and where did all these zombies come from thats what kills me in these movies they are just their,,,, they just pop up?????

For the year it was made its far better then all the other horror movies that i have seen,, the special effects are great to.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by
I saw DotD when I was 12 (I think) and was simply blown away.  THis was the horror film I'd been looking for all my life, one that definitely lived up to its hype.  Well, years later I must say it stands up to the test of time (the special effects are near-impossible to top), although I've pretty much moved on to foreign horror and have more of an appreciation for that at the moment.  DotD fans would be wise to check out Anchor Bay's remastered editions of 'Zombie' and 'Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.'
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by John Lindsey
One of the best Horror movies i've seen in my life alongside
" Night of the Living Dead", " Day of the Dead", " The Evil Dead", " Evil Dead 2", " Army of Darkness", " Dead Alive",  "Psycho", " Scream" and " Scanners". This well deserves to be a unforgettable and entertaining event of horror ever known, it still scares the daylights out of the viewers. i wouldn't know that this was a Gore feast, but this is actully just splatter, only " Day of the Dead" was a traumatising Gore Feast. Still all three movies are Great in my opinion
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