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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror  |  24 May 1979 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 81,635 users  
Reviews: 665 user | 201 critic

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ...
...
...
Gaylen Ross ...
David Crawford ...
Dr. Foster
David Early ...
Mr. Berman
Richard France ...
Scientist
Howard Smith ...
TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich ...
Fred Baker ...
Commander
James A. Baffico ...
Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer ...
Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre ...
Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon ...
Officer in Project Apt.
John Rice ...
Officer in Project Apt.
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest, Dawn of the Dead, is back. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) | (DVD) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

(German prints)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Extended Edition (available on both laserdisc and Anchor Bay's "Ultimate Edition"), the music that is heard when Peter and Stephen are closing the gates of the mall in an effort to keep the bikers out is the late Pierre Arvay's "Ice Floe 9", which was also the music piece used for the opening credits of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and one scene in Cheh Chang's Five Deadly Venoms (1978), as it was taken from the DeWolfe music library. See more »

Goofs

When Peter grabs and throws the two zombie children onto the couch at the airport before shooting them, a hand can be seen entering the top right-hand portion of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Wooley: How the hell come we stick these low-life bastards in these big-ass hotels, anyway? Shit, man! This is better than I got!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"... Music by Dario Argento and THE GOBLINS" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stripperland (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi (Intro-Alternate Take)
(uncredited)
Composed by Dario Argento, Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli,
Antonio Marangolo, and Agostino Marangolo
Performed by Goblin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still my favorite horror film...
10 February 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When you want brutal, look no further, but when you also want to see perhaps the greatest of all comic-book movies not based on a comic-book, it's in George Romero's original take on his continuing mythology. It's not just one of the towering horror films, or horror comedies (what will a poor dead fellow do when the escalator starts?!) but one of the great sequels, more ambitious and ass-kicking than its predecessor, with a filmmaker more confident and technically proficient with his abilities.

Romero didn't originally want to do *any* sequel to his original 'Night', but after a visit by some friends to a soon-to-open mall nearby his hometown of Pittsburgh, it struck a chord as to who would be coming here – and what so much consumerism in one place would mean. "Why do they come here?" one of the four survivors that happens upon this mall swarming with these flesh-eaters asks another. "This meant something to them. Instinct, maybe. This was an important part of their lives," he responds.

I don't think necessarily Romero meant to show the film as any sort of 'This is what will happen!" type of social horror thing. It's more about, this is where we are at NOW, and in that sense, though broader and a whole LOT bloodier, it holds a place right next to a film like Network as one of the magnificent satires of its time and place, and as much about what the public is like. Romero acts as both pessimist and optimist in this world though; past all the chopped limbs, exploding heads (oh yeah!), Tom Savini stunt and make-up and intestines ripped apart, what holds up the film for me is seeing these four characters come to grip with the horror they've made for themselves, holding up in this "paradise" of a mall.

Balls-to-the-wall horror, social horror, and some genuine paranoid horror stuff (note to self, never try and fire a gun at a single zombie when in a dark room full of electrical wiring and pipes), and plenty of rock and roll attitude, this is a personal favorite and the most entertaining horror film of its time. And the Goblin music soundtrack… yummy.


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