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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ana
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CJ
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Michael Barry ...
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R.D. Reid ...
Kim Poirier ...
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Storyline

Ana goes home to her peaceful suburban residence, but she is unpleasantly surprised the morning that follows when her husband is brutally attacked by her zombified neighbor. In the chaos of her once picturesque neighborhood, Ana flees and stumbles upon a police officer named Kenneth, along with more survivors who decide that their best chances of survival would be found in the deserted Crossroads Shopping Mall. When supplies begin running low and other trapped survivors need help, the group comes to the realization that they cannot stay put forever at the Shopping Mall, and devise a plan to escape. Written by Will

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When the undead rise, civilization will fall. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong horror violence and gore, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,722,575 (USA) (19 March 2004)

Gross:

$58,885,635 (USA) (28 May 2004)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Different colors of blood were used for zombies in different stages of decomposition: red for the recently dead, a browner version for the ones that have been dead for a few weeks; and a blacker, oilier version for the ones that have been dead for a considerable period of time. See more »

Goofs

The call letters for the Milwaukee, WI television station covering the zombie attacks shown on the monitors in the mall were KBEX. The call letters should've started with a "W." For the most part, stations west of the Mississippi begin with "K" and stations east of the river begin with a "W" (like WGN in Chicago and WTMJ in Milwaukee). This mistake is also evident during the opening credits on the sign behind the news anchors and on the microphone of the on-location reporter. However, there are some exceptions to the "K-W rule"; KDKA, the first commercial radio station in the US and its TV affiliate, KDKA-TV, are in Pittsburgh (the rules for naming stations came later). Some stations in cities located on the Mississippi river (such as Minneapolis-St. Paul MN) may have their physical facilities on the "wrong" side of the river. However, all stations broadcasting in Milwaukee start with "W". See more »

Quotes

Kenneth: You sure you wanna do this?
Michael: Yeah. I think I'll just stay here awhile. Enjoy the sunrise.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits we see a series of shots filmed by the survivors using a camcorder they find on Steve's boat. There are a couple of scenes of Steve and his girlfriend (still left on the camera), then the survivors finding a small boat with a still-animated zombie head in an icebox, and finally them running out of gas and landing on an island where they are attacked by zombies. There are then a series of brief almost-subliminal flashes of zombies "attacking" the camera. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle: Patriotism (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Worry, Be Happy
Written by Bobby McFerrin
Performed by Tree Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A great pace covers the weaknesses in plotting
10 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Returning from a busy day in the hospital, Ana spends time with her husband when a neighbours daughter comes into the house and attacks her husband. He dies before returning to life and attacking Ana. She runs and escapes in her car, driving through a neighbourhood rife with violence and fires. After crashing her car, she hooks up with a group of armed survivors who take refuge in a mall. The group settle in and fortify their position as an army of the undead gather outside.

Before I start my review, let me just say that this will be biased as I am always easily won over by zombie movies. The fact that they just keep coming (fast or slow), lack character and only want to kill really just freaks me out. So I tend to get easily scared by the genre (even if `enjoy' is perhaps not the right word) and be easily more negligent towards their faults. Despite telling myself that I wouldn't bother with this film as it would scare me, I went for it anyway in a fit of `confront your fears' type of stupidity! The film starts with a creepy opening and pretty much manages to keep the pace up for the whole film. It, like the zombies, moves fast and brutally throughout and is very, very tense.

Others have complained about the lack of gore - however I found the graphic exploding heads to do that more than enough for my tastes! Better than gore is the atmosphere. The use of news footage is not original but it succeeds (along with the aerial view of the town) in creating the impression of a world turning to sh*t. I don't know about you but this scares me and the film did it well. The speed of the zombie attacks makes for a thrilling ride and it did make me very tense - Snyder managed to make the whole film a threat (especially for a first time director) and I honestly have a very stiff neck a day after seeing this simply because my body was tensed up for the whole film!

The pace of the film also serves to cover the real problems in content and plot. Unlike the original there is no satirical swipe on consumerism - the fact that the zombies are just wandering aimlessly around the mall like they used to in life is pretty much ignored here - but times are very different now I guess. The plot itself also has quite a few stupid moments where the characters act in a way you know they wouldn't in real life. For example people go on suicide missions for little real reasons and you can tell that the script is just doing it to create more action. However, when you are into it, these things don't really seem to matter. The film may be a little silly when you think about it but it does have a good ending - downbeat and realistic (or at least as realistic as it can be!) and left me with no hope of a happy ending - in this regard it is everything that `28 Days Later..' is not.

The cast is good even if the script places their characters secondary to the action. Polley is used to slightly more substantial roles but still does well here. Rhames is lumbered with a religious background that is never explained, but he is a great presence throughout. Weber is the standout role however. His character is a slightly less cartoon version of Evil Dead's Ash. He is the unwilling hero but yet he seems to accept all the obstacles he comes across. He also manages to be one of the group that the audience cares about - most of them are fodder and we know it! Phifer is a good actor but seemed too `gangster' to really be driven to this degree by his family. The rest of the support cast are mostly just there to get eaten but they do OK.

Overall this is not a great film - but it is an effective one. As a film it lacks subtext, comment and plot logic. However as a thriller it is fast paced, gripping and tense with a satisfyingly bleak conclusion. Snyder does a good job as a first timer and creates an atmosphere that is gripping even if it lacks originality. Like I said, I don't deal with zombie movies very well and am easily scared but I reckon that this should satisfy many a Saturday night thrill-seeking crowd even if it does nothing for your brain apart from it's risk getting eaten.


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