MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 64 this week

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

 -  Horror  -  24 May 1979 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 73,400 users  
Reviews: 647 user | 190 critic

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 25 Apr 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 01 Jul 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 17 Jul 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 12 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 20 Mar 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Dawn of the Dead" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Dawn of the Dead (1978) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Dawn of the Dead.

User Polls

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The unburied dead return to life and seek human victims.

Director: Tom Savini
Stars: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles
The Evil Dead (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
Planet Terror (2007)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it's up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release.

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Stars: Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodríguez, Josh Brolin
Dog Soldiers (2002)
Action | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.

Director: Neil Marshall
Stars: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

On a routine red eye flight from Los Angeles to Paris, a renegade group of scientists has smuggled aboard a container holding a fellow scientist infected with a deadly genetically ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Thomas
Stars: David Chisum, Kristen Kerr, Kevin J. O'Connor
The Hidden (1987)
Action | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An alien is on the run in America, it kills everything and uses the body to hide itself. This alien has a goal in life: Power. Hotly pursued by alien, lots of innocent people die in the chase.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri, Claudia Christian
Grindhouse (2007)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two full length feature horror movies written by Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez put together as a two film feature. Including fake movie trailers in between both movies.

Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Kurt Russell, Rose McGowan, Danny Trejo
Outpost (2007)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In war-torn Eastern Europe, a world-weary group of mercenaries discover a long-hidden secret in an abandoned WWII bunker.

Director: Steve Barker
Stars: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake
Nightbreed (1990)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.

Director: Clive Barker
Stars: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby
Daybreakers (2009)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed almost every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind.

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill
Zombi 3 (1988)
Horror | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

When a terrorist's body, infected with a stolen chemical, is recovered by the US military, the corpse is cremated, unintentionally releasing the virus/bacteria into the atmosphere over a ... See full summary »

Directors: Lucio Fulci, Claudio Fragasso, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Deran Sarafian, Beatrice Ring, Ottaviano Dell'Acqua
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Raaphorst
Stars: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym
Edit

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

In this first sequel of "Night of the Living Dead," four people take up residence in a deserted mall while trying to stay alive amid the armies of the dead and a vicious gang of militant bikers. Written by Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1968, George Romero brought us "Night of the Living Dead." It became the classic horror film of its time. Now, George Romero brings us the most intensely shocking motion picture experience for all time. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The most profitable film in the "Dead" series. See more »

Goofs

Reflected in a window when the PA system is saying, "Now is the time to save, shoppers." See more »

Quotes

Dr. Millard Rausch, Scientist: The normal question, the first question is always, are these cannibals? No, they are not cannibals. Cannibalism in the true sense of the word implies an intrapecies activity. These creatures cannot be considered human. They prey on humans. They do not prey on each other - that's the difference. They attack and they feed only on warm human flesh. Intelligence? Seemingly little or no reasoning power, but basic skills remain and more remembered behaviors from normal life. There are reports of ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Wizard of Speed and Time (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Safari
(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

 
A brilliant, scary, social commentary ****/****
26 September 2001 | by (A Shopping Mall) – See all my reviews

Dawn of the Dead- ****/****

George A. Romero's masterful classic is least of anything a film about zombies. "Dawn of the Dead" is thinly disguised as a zombie gore flick, but it is really three things. 1. A cultural statement portraying racism, angst, counter-culture and degradation. 2. An account of human bonding and human reaction to different environments, harsh and eclectic. 3. Least of this trio, it is a black comedy. Rather, it contains dark comedic elements.

Somewhere early along in the film, I looked past the initial plot of four strangers hiding in a mall from hordes of zombies swarming the world, as the government attempts to find a solution to the chaotic massacres. Peter Washington (Ken Foree) is the strong, black, courageous SWAT team member who rises above the other three protagonists to become their leader. Steven Andrews (David Emge) is the somewhat timid and hesitant traffic reporter, lover of the pregnant Francine (Gaylen Ross). Ostensibly hapless and useless, Francine is actually a valuable aide to the quartet. Last, is the resourceful and daring Roger (Scott H. Reiniger).

From where I left off, I overlooked the premise of the quartet defending themselves from hordes of flesh-eating monsters and instead saw thoroughly fleshed out character personalities, bonds, and interactions. Throughout the movie's length, we learn to genuinely love these guys; Roger is so smooth and fun, easily likeable, Peter is quiet, warm-spirited, and reliable, Steven and Francine are charming. We knows them like our friends and heroes, so when they are attacked by the ferocious zombies, the suspense is so nerve-wracking and our hearts beat so rapidly because we really care about the four protagonists and could not bear to watch them die. They started off as strangers and parted as companions. Also, it is very interesting to watch how they monopolized the mall, how, in the beginning, they slept on cold hallway floors, constantly keeping watch. Later, they eliminated the threat, dined in the mall's fancy restaurant, ice skated on the mall's link, visited the gun shop for weapons, slept in rooms with beds, dressers, televisions, and other luxuries. This is an accurate representation of how it is human nature to manipulate and survive through alien atmospheres. I found that vision ingenious.

Another brilliant message the film brings attention to regards the 1970-decade. I found that like "Pulp Fiction," "Dawn of the Dead" captures the spirit of its era. The racism, tumult, riots, counter-culture, degradation are all well represented here. The film shows SWAT teams, complete with racist officers, who kill for fun, raiding an unruly group of Hispanics and Blacks, hillbillies heading out in troops to battle zombies for sport, mercenaries and vigilantes running wild, all events indistinguishable from incidents in the 70's. Perhaps the most disturbing and ironic "70's incident" in the movie involves raiding gangs of bikers who explode into the mall, mirthfully slaughtering zombies (not that that is an offense) and vandalizing stores, stealing jewelry, guns, clothes, and everything they can find; whereas our heroes took only their necessities. What happens next is very scathingly satirical and ironic. In between the battle for the survival of the human species, the bikers find it necessary to start their own little civil war amongst the not-so-numerous survivors. They hunt down both zombies and our good guys; a perfectly timed paradoxical and cynical scene. Just like the battles between non-conformists and conventionalists during the 1970's and 1960's, when America was on the brink of disaster, this cinematic revolution is hard-hitting, gut wrenching, and very real. One fascinating facet of the movie is how the audience learns to disregard the now "minor" threat of the slow-moving zombies (a bullet or incision to the head will do the job). At this point, one would not even notice that this film had the slightest relevance to the horror genre. Instead, we fear the vicious bikers, a bigger threat, villains with swords and guns. This time, the suspense and uneasiness detonates, for there is a much greater chance of death for the heroes. I found the scariest part of the movie was the deterioration of the planet during the zombie apocalypse; how the human species' decline is morbidly presented effectively and expertly by George A. Romano.

However, a refreshing sense of black humor is tossed in towards the middle of the film. Zombies attempt to walk up escalators, ice skate, and explore their surroundings, with chuckles as the result of their clumsiness. One biting laugh comes when Steven explains to Francine why all these creatures have returned to the mall. "Instinct, memory. This was an important place in their lives," he points out.

And of course, there are many, many thrills and chills. This film isn't very "jump-out-from-the dark-with-a-chainsaw" scary, but more disturbing and extremely tense, because we actually care about our characters and don't want them to die. The movie is unpredictable in this aspect, unlike slashers where you are guessing who the one survivor is and how the others die. As the zombies close in, we plead, "Don't die, don't die!"

I have two minor complaints with this film. My biggest one is that the movie seems to carry on forever, the way "Goodfellas" did. Despite the brilliance I felt enraptured with, I kept asking myself, "When will this movie end?!?" However, I realize that Romano could not have trimmed any more scenes without damaging the potency of his work. Also, the gore was at times just too much. For instance, the exploding head scene was revolting, and most of all, the intestinal feeding scene when a biker is torn apart was repulsive; I couldn't watch as his guts were graphically shown ripping apart.

Aside from those two unfortunate aspects, I strongly encourage you, rather you HAVE to, watch "Dawn of the Dead." Thrilling and suspenseful thanks to extremely distinct characters, whose fate you hope a happy one, and grippingly socially relevant, this is a unique horror, or really of all genres, treasure.


103 of 162 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why was Wooley killed during the raid? Tidewatcher
When Did You First See This Movie? Our_Feature_Presentation
The guy using the blood pressure machine. AmericanPsycho2014
Which one is worth watching: original or remake? lifeofmovies
Different version, what is the best BarrettIMDB
Why did Roger have to die?! Born_ToKill
Discuss Dawn of the Dead (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?