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
Scott H. Reiniger's grandmother, despite his warnings, insisted on seeing the film at the theater. Reiniger accompanied her to the showing. Reiniger said she made it through part of the tenement scene. Reiniger asked her if she'd like to leave and she told him yes, so they did. See more »
In the TV studio, when Stephen (David Emge) informs Fran (Gaylen Ross) that they're going to flee via helicopter, Ross accidentally refers to Emge as "David" rather than "Stephen." By the time the goof was realized, Ross was in Europe and unable to loop the line of dialog. See more »
[Roger is in the basement, vomiting]
You ain't just in here by yourself, boy!
[Roger aims his gun at Peter]
You was in Wooley's unit, wasn't you?
[Peter cocks his gun]
I didn't see nothing. I didn't see how he died.
[They lower their guns]
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The zombies overrun the mall throughout the course of the end credits. See more »
By turns horrific, hilarious, disgusting and absurd Dawn of the Dead is the work of a director truly on top of his game. Given almost total control (something which was to be denied Romero in later years) George Romero gives us his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil.
Not just a mockery of the hedonistic and empty America of the late 70's Dawn is also a parable or warning if you like of the brittle structure of society and how easily it can be disintegrated. Many have criticised the film for being too over the top and questioned the quality of the acting. This for me is one of the joys of the film, Romero uses gaudy sets and effects and combines this with comic book hero dialogue to lull us into a false sense of security. Then masterfully Romero pulls the rug out from under us and brings the reality of the situation crashing in on our heads.
Dawn stands alone well but really comes into its own as part of the trilogy to which it belongs. One theory of mine is that the Alien trilogy (forgetting the miserable fourth installment) takes a lot from the dead trilogy namely the pace and claustrophobia of the two which book-end the mass hysteria and over the top horror and violence of the middle film.
Undoubtedly one of the great Horror films of modern time. Or perhaps there is something about being the only people left alive and living in a shopping mall that appeals to the kid in all of us. 10/10
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