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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 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #33. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Joe Stalin
Why I Love This Movie               by Joe
1] I first saw it with a girlfriend when I was 14 years old. After the movie I got to 2nd base for the first time.
2] Lots of guns
3] S.W.A.T guys
4] I SO badly want to sit in the hatchback of a Chevette-type car and spray live ammo at zombie mall goers [hell, I'd shoot living mall goers as well]

1] How does a big black cop who sounds like he was raised in the "bad" part of Harlem know how to perform an abortion {the offer was made to Francine}? Do you think he meant in general he knew and was going to throw her down a flight of stairs or something?
2] Roger getting bit by a zombie. I was disappointed.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #34. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by leopard
i love this film ,i love it so much i have it three times
i have the uk vhs edition and the dutch dvd import which has both the 117 min edition and the 140 totaly un-cut edition. the film in my books is awsome the gore is spread out but done very nicely. nice one gorge and dario
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #35. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mario
What? Return of the Living Dead was way better than this piece of crap. Good thing they're making Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #36. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by N-Sackula
I was way too young when I saw this for the first time.  Never since have I been so freaked out by a movie.  Today's horror films are just too polished to be scary.  CG monsters suck.  Long live old-school gore fx!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #37. Posted on April 03, 2003, 05:54:34 AM by Gary Erwin
Clearly the best zombie film ever made- George A. Romero is a genius. I have been watching this film since i was about 13 and i turned out ok (other than wishing the world was full of zombies to give me something to do)!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #38. Posted on May 24, 2003, 01:06:31 AM by Justin
Just watched it for the first time and now this rates right up there with bad tatse. Realy realy gory, the whole movie had me jumping around in my seat with excitment. Great comments made about modern western life and humans in general. Everyones fighting each other instead of the zombies, no one realy cares about killing the zombies, they just wanna be safe. I found it hard to believe that the zombies brains could still work (even minimaly) with no blood running through it. I figured the virus must replace the bloodstream in the brain and get energy by some other manner. Sorry i just have to rationalise everything so i can enjoy it more. Realy good, realy shocking, realy funny, realy bad soundtrack. i loved every second of it!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #39. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by James Perry
Absolute classic!  I remember this creeping the crap out of me.  I had already seen the remake of Night of the Living Dead (as an adult, I lost sleep after that one!)  With Dawn It's almost like you sit there hoping that nothing gross or suspenseful is going to happen..then suddenly a zombie-dude's upper skull is removed by a helicopter blade or some zombie kids jump out from behind a door or zombies make a meal out of some bikers guts or you realize that the zombies are at the mall because they remember what it was like when they were alive know.  Just creep stuff, man!  This flick made me a zombie movie fanatic!

I love the way it stops just being about the zombies in the middle.  Terrific stuff!  Leaves you guessing about what could happen next.  Current moviemakers would screw up a movie like this.  

The DVD is great!  Buy it.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #40. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by James Perry
(Wish I could edit...wanted to add something)
This is strange, but I'm often reminded of Dawn Of The Dead while watching The Brady Bunch.  No, really!  Some of the incidental music from BB is just like the music from Dawn!  Check it out sometime. It's in the later episodes of the show.  Swear to God!
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