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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

 -  Action | Horror  -  24 May 1979 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 77,583 users  
Reviews: 655 user | 197 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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Title: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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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:

When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. See more »

Genres:

Action | 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

The voice of Christine Forrest (George A. Romero's wife) can be heard on a pre-recorded announcement in the mall ("Attention all shoppers..."). See more »

Goofs

When Stephen and Peter are locking the front door to the mall, they are shown talking to each other from two angles, so it would appear that they are side by side. However, an old female zombie can be seen in both shots, proving it's the same spot from two different angles. See more »

Quotes

Roger: You better get some sleep, too.
Peter: I been thinkin'. There's an awful lot of stuff down there that we could use.
Roger: I know it.
Peter: It's a big place, but they're pretty spread out down there. I think we can outrun 'em.
Roger: Hit and run?
Peter: Hit and run.
Francine Parker: You're crazy!
Roger: This place could be a gold mine. We've got to at least check it out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

George A. Romero appears on screen as a TV Station Director (the bearded man wearing a scarf and a blue shirt) as his name appears, listing him as "Editor", in the on-screen credits beneath him. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night of the Living Dead (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi
(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

 
Apocalypse in the Food Court
31 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

Thoughtful if unsubtle epic follow-up to Night of the Living Dead was one of THE influential movies of the late 70's; pity, then, that the people it influenced paid more attention to the amped-up gore than to the sense of contained hysteria that makes what should be tough going (there are basically three scenes in this movie: zombies attack people, people attack zombies, people stand around talking) a uniquely involving and provocative self-analysis of the zombie film.

The symbolism is, well, not delicate. Just in case we missed it the first time, the trope that the mall attracts the zombies "because it was an important place to them" is repeated for our rumination. But the overall sustained atmosphere, inside and outside of the banal environment of the shopping mall, is by far the film's salient contribution; even when there is no obvious action onscreen, there is the threat of an attack to come, and the clock is clearly ticking on the four protagonists during their idyll. Moreover, it takes the conspicuously familiar and catapults it into an apocalyptic situation, creating a powerful sense of displacement.

The violence, which is primarily what draws people to or repels them from this movie, comes on strong, but quickly becomes monotonous (as it is, the vast majority of the violence in the movie is inflicted against the zombies rather than by them, though is none the less repulsive for that); the scariest part of the movie is how plausible it makes the concept of total disintegration of what we perceive as civilization. The soundtrack, highlighting pulsing, insistent synthesizer chords, contributes much to the onscreen tension, which the action choreography is exemplary. An unlikely masterpiece.


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