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Unrated (Intestines are bad for that.)
Copyright 1978 Laurel Group
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Peter - A shining example of having your head screwed on straight here, though a little confrontational at times (like when you almost shoot him instead of the zombies).
  • Steve - Often called "Fly Boy" since he is the helicopter pilot. Good thing he can do something useful, since shooting straight is not his strong point. Gnawed on by zombies before coming back to join them.
  • Francine - Knocked up by Steve and you want to like her as a character, but it is not happening. She acts far too disturbed.
  • Roger - Spunky little guy and a very good shot. Dies from an infected zombie bite and comes back looking like the Grinch.
  • A Biker Gang - Wandering group of heathens that invade the mall. End up as zombie chow.
  • The Zombies - Absolute hordes of wandering undead that are taking over the world. For the most part they appear to be people with gray makeup.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Things are looking bleak for humanity in this sequel to Night of the Living Dead. The infrastructure that makes our modern world function is breaking down. Citizens blockade themselves into fortified buildings while experts and leaders beg the populace to destroy dead relatives. Destroy them before they can arise as zombies!

Francine and Steve are working with a television station, the environment there is fairly safe, just very stressful. Pete and Roger are members of a SWAT team that storms a building full of militants. Between one FNG becoming a FDNG and a police officer going psycho violent racist both decide leaving would be a very good idea.

Having teamed up the characters wander for a little while, trying to avoid authorities and zombies alike while finding fuel for the helicopter. Eventually they find paradise and it is a giant mall. Supplied with power and stocked with everything from food to firearms, it is exactly what they were searching for. Too bad the place is full of zombies, apparently going through the motions of their previous lives.

To make a long, but interesting, story short - they blockade the doors and destroy all the undead inside. After that is an unsavory cleanup and watching Roger slowly succumb to his wounds.

We watch the characters struggle to deal with life as it now stands. They are fortunate enough to have safety in a crumbling world, but are unhappy. Before cabin fever can work any permanent damage the bikers arrive and life becomes real interesting real fast.

Zombies are everywhere and I mean everywhere! It is a neat angle that the characters have plenty of firepower and training to deal with the undead, but being constantly in a fight or flight mode soon fatigues them. So they are not particularly attentive for five minutes, that is when a slowly advancing zombie gets too close for comfort. It is a reoccurring idea and entirely plausible.

I would like to bestow kudos for a character with military/police training finally being a survivor. Admittedly surviving in a world crawling with zombies is going to involve a lot of luck, but the unusual number of reporters and doctors who are running around long after Marine Recon have become kibble offends me. Of course Francine makes it too, but mainly on account of the men protecting her. Let's hear one for chivalry!

Having so many zombies allows for some varied situations, like the one stalking Roger as he fueled the helicopter. Unfortunately for the hungry cadaver it has to climb over some boxes to reach him and stands up into the rotor. Hopefully someone hollered at fly boy for landing so close to an obstruction afterwards though.

Another funny thing happens to Peter. While exploring an office he notices that something starts opening one of the doors. He promptly unloads a number of rounds, shooting through the door at about the height one would expect to find the brain housing group (of the sneaky little zombie) at. Imagine his surprise when the door still flies open and two zombie kids rush out!

"Dawn of the Dead" is an excellent zombie movie, definitely a must see for horror fans. In addition to the obvious social commentary, the film contains some wrenching moments. Steve's losing battle with a group of zombies in the elevator jumps to mind there. Being trapped in a small space with dead people who want to gnaw on you cannot be fun, no sir.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • If you can't be with the one you love, eat the one you're with.
  • Sheets can be used as straitjackets.
  • Helicopters are not equipped with radios.
  • Zombies have a difficult time with escalators.
  • Fat guys make bad mimes.
  • Mall security gates are bulletproof.
  • Motorcycle gangs shall inherit the Earth.
  • Zombies just don't get the humor of a pie in the face.
  • Blood pressure machines are deathtraps.
  • Walls are not built out of cardboard for a reason.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - Oh no, no racism here.
  • 8 mins - Now that was an exploding head shot!
  • 35 mins - Gandhi?
  • 43 mins - A pretty unfair version of Russian Roulette going on here...
  • 62 mins - I personally would be playing a private game of Death Race 2000 with the zombies.
  • 76 mins - Why is Roger shooting them in the gut?
  • 83 mins - Listening to mall music for every minute of every day, this is definitely Hell.
  • 95 mins - Sex life unfulfilling huh? (There is a breast shot here, but it is a very listless and unhappy breast.)
  • 108 mins - They stole the zombie's wallet. These people are truly depraved.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note dawndead1.wav Official: "Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills, the people it kills get up and kill!"
Green Music Note dawndead2.wav Francine: "What are they doing, why do they come here?"
Steve: "Some kind of instinct, memory, what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives."
Green Music Note dawndead3.wav Peter: "I mean it man! Now you're not just playing with your life, you're playing with mine."
Green Music Note dawndead4.wav Francine: "There hasn't been a broadcast for three days. Why don't you give it up?"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdawndead1.mpg - 2.7m
The sheer number of zombies wandering around and Peter's sharp shooting start taking their toll on the bikers. Being pulled apart (like some Chinese pork dish) is probably an unpleasant experience.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 9
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #41. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Scott Williams
Dawn of the Dead is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. The movie really creeped me out. I am a big fan of zombie movies. I think that zombies are the scariest, more scary than any other kind of monster. Dawn of the Dead makes you afraid to go to a viewing or funeral home because you think that the corpse will get right up and come after you! Great movie, it's a must-see for every diehard horror fan.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #42. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Chris Schneider
"What are they doing, why do they come here?"
"Some kind of instinct, memory, what they used to do. This was an important place in their lives."
     This is my favorite line in any horror movie, ever. I worked in a huge mall for three years, because of that watching this movie gave a whole new meaning to customer service.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #43. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by geaf
This is not exactly a 'Bad' movie..not like plan 9 or brain from planet Arous!
Its a classic Zombie flick :)
I always loved it....
cool film.
Great site by the way. just found it today and  cant wait to delve into these reviews
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #44. Posted on March 04, 2004, 05:20:26 PM by Mikey Misconduct
How is this a BAD movie? This is my favorite movie of all time, and definetly one of the best horror films ever made. Alot of it is preety silly though. Laugh, yet be scared. Romero is god.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #45. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Anonymous
For those who are familiar with the Colt AR-15, look carefully at their weapon just after they landed their helicopter for refueling.  The weapon they're using is a .22 caliber look-alike!  You can tell this, because when they remove the magazine it's sized to hold .22 long rifle ammunition!  It actually fits into a false, but true sized magazine!
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #46. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Little Jimmy
I love this movie.  I first saw it when I was 15.  I random picked it out of my stepdad's movie collection.  It looked stupid on the cover, but it turned out to be my absolute favorite.  It's funny and an interesting concept.  I have this fantasy now, I kind of wish the world could be like that.  I could just hang out in shopping malls and blow zombies heads off.  Just got to watch out for those damn motorcycle gangs!!!      I just saw a preview on TV for a new Dawn of the Dead.  looks like the they move a little too fast but thats still awesom!  
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #47. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Doug Gibson
No Josh, you are not alone.  When I was a kid and heard that Romero was making a sequel, I ordered the hardcover of the book version as well as a posterbook.  But I only saw the film several years ago.  I suspended my disbelief and bought the video.  The direction, the acting, the blue skin, the bad effects (helicopter zombie with the square head), the bad music, everything was bad!  But its a Romero film, so I convinced myself to watch it zillions of times. Go check out 'The Ring'.  The zombie girl in that is a clear homage to NOTLD. Dawn was the cause of slow zombies; the new wave of 'quick' ghouls is also a return to NOTLD...the real one. I am pretty sure the remake of Dawn is going to be a worthy successor.  And for all the (alleged)faults of 'Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things', it influenced 'Thriller' and the deadraising scene in CSPWDT is without equal in film as true horror. So be it.
Dawn of the Dead
Reply #48. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Rebooto
Oh God, this movie IS a torture!!
...Hope the new Version is better...
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