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DAWN OF THE DEAD - 4 Slimes
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!
  • 21 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CAR!
  • 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.
  • 93 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST MANNEQUINS!
  • 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.
  • 111 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A TELEVISION!

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
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 

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 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 ... 9
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #9. Posted on October 10, 2000, 02:04:08 PM by Chadzilla
I remember Dawn of the Dead coming out in the theaters way back in 79, when I was just a lad of 12 or so.  Of course I was forbidden from seeing the movie, but remember seeing the cool television spots and one scene (the zombie crawling across the floor as one SWAT member tells the other "Shoot it man, shoot it in the head.") was shown on a television talk show when Scott Reineger was being interviewed.  Man did I want to see this movie!  I didn't until it came out on video in 1984 (I still have the original Thorn EMI video release, but lost the groovy snap case cover box).  For its day (1979) the gore effects were EXTREMELY graphic, but today the movie might squeak by with an R-rating.  Day of the Dead would still be unrated (the effects in that movie are flawless, Savini and company did Oscar worthy work on that one).  Thanks for the great review, I'll be watching it again real soon.

God bless George A. Romero.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #10. Posted on October 26, 2000, 05:11:47 PM by Moonbaby
 This is my favorite movie ever made.  The effects are awesome.  Actor Marty Schiff who plays the raider in the leather jacket, football jersey and sunglasses, use to be on a show on Nickelodeon called Out of Controll.  Just though you might be interested.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Josh Leman
Does anybody else think Dawn of the Dead is completely and totally awful?  I'm not alone, am I?
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by BAD_TASTE
This movie have a great plot. But I think the special FX are maybe the worst i've seen. The blood is orange and all the organs were pink. And plus, the zombies'faces were blue. BLUE!!!
The acting was ok but the music doesn't really fit with all the sequence. More, I would say the music sux.

If U have the choice, rent Night of the living or Braindead or Return of the living dead... I think i could name 15 zombie movies better than this one.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Cham
I never liked Dawn of the Dead as much as everybody else did. I like it, anything with zombies is a decent movie. But compared to Night of the Living Dead and--don't kill me for saying this--Zombie, I think its mediocre. I still give it 3/5.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #14. Posted on November 22, 2001, 11:12:20 PM by Brandy
Hi, I live right by the mall that they used (Monroeville Mall) my grandparents were extras as zombies. so i guess thats why i bought it but I like seeing the mall the way it was years ago! it really did change a lot!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Scuzzbopper
*SIGH*  Now, I'm a big fan of the living dead.  I loved this movie... what there was I could watch.  5 video stores in my town, and they all had Dawn of the Dead, and they all apparently had their copies made from the same bad tape.  Each time I rented it from a different location, the video turned to snow on me about 10-12 minutes RIGHT BEFORE THE END!!!!! AARRRRRRRRRRRAGGGGGH!!!!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Bizz
THis is one of the true horror masterpieces of the late 20th century. Zombi 2 was the original title of Fulci's film and it is not superior.  It is an unofficial sequel to Dawn(read:rip off).  Fulci merely had gore. Gore is the least impressive aspect of Dawn. It is about the story and the mood. I can't go to a mall without visions of Zombies dancin' through my head. By the by, I don't think this is a bad movie. Just Genre.
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