Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
Following the events of Night of the Living Dead (1968), we follow the exploits of four survivors of the expanding zombie apocalypse as they take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall following a horrific SWAT evacuation of an apartment complex. Taking stock of their surroundings, they arm themselves, lock down the mall, and destroy the zombies inside so they can eke out a living--at least for a while. Tensions begin to build as months go on, and they come to realize that they've fallen prey to consumerism. Soon afterward, they have even heavier problems to worry about, as a large gang of bikers discovers the mall and invades it, ruining the survivors' best-laid plans and forcing them to fight off both lethal bandits and flesh-eating zombies. Written by
Curly Q. Link
George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead was groundbreaking, satirical, but it was above all else just a fun kind of movie to watch when I was younger. It's also on the films that I count as having re-watchability, even with all of the gore and violence and chilling factors in the film. It combines a kind of documentary feel sometimes (newsreels come to mind when the zombie montages in the mall go on), but is also very un-real at the same time. The gore, courtesy of make-up impresario Tom Savini, is of the comic-book kind, where it's all very real and horrifying until you realize the color is off on the blood and the color on the faces of the un-dead is off.
I could go on and on about this film, but the key thing is to see it, even just once. You may find it out-dated trash, or time-less beauty. Either way, it's likely Romero's best film, or at least his most ambitious (though I've yet to see Knightriders to comment fully). Energy, humor, sadness, excitement, love, loss, it's everything a movie should be (plus the origin of Sex Machine)!
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