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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Horror | 24 May 1979 (USA)
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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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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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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.
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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:

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:

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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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The other Bikers besides Blades and Sledge have names. Including Mousey, The Tommy-Gun Biker riding in sidecar (played by the late Larry Vaira who had also worked as the Biker wrangler and kept The Pagans Motorcycle Club in line during their scenes in the movie) (His name is mentioned by Blades during the scene when the Bikers and their girlfriends are about to break into Monroeville Mall during the scene where Pasquale Buba's Serape Biker says to Blades; "Let's go blow the God damn Lock!" then Blades responds "Hey Mousey's got the Machine Gun!"), Moonbaby (played by Marty Schiff), Blades' Sidekick (his real name is Charlie. But his name is never mentioned in the movie. And in the original script during the scene where he and Blades are about to catch Peter, Blades would say "Charlie?... Hit the gates...We gotta get that Sniper".), Jack, the Seltzer Bottle Biker who is also one of the Biker Leader's (Radio Operator wearing Helmet) lieutenants (played by Nick Tallo) (Blades hollers his name out "Hey Jack!", and then Jack throws him the seltzer bottle during the scene when the Bikers have their Pie fight with the Zombies and spray seltzer water in their faces and mouths. And then we hear Blades holler out his name again "HEY JACK!" during the scene when Peter starts shooting at the biker intruders and he ends up blasting Blades' seltzer bottle. And then Blades, Jack, Sledge, and Moonbaby run upstairs to find out who the person is who is shooting at them), Butchie, the Wild Haired, Bearded Biker riding Harley-Davidson Panhead motorcycle with sidecar, Mousey's rider (played by Butchie, who then then worked as one of the art department crew members for the Night of the Living Dead (1990) remake where he also appeared in a Biker cameo at the very end of the movie where the towns people celebrate the killing of Zombies at the picnic party),), Pedro, the Sombrero Biker (played by Tony Buba, who also was the sound man for the movie), Mary known as Chickie, the Blonde Biker Chick (wearing long earrings) driving the Gang's Van (played by the late lovely Barbara Lifsher who worked also worked as the set decorator for the movie) (Joe Shelby''s Biker Van Driver character (wearing cowboy hat and glasses) mentions her name just as she is shooting the zombies clawing at her window; "Get em' Mary! Come on!". Her name is also mentioned in the original 11-Chapter Book by Suzanna Sparrow and George A. Romero), Timmy, the Biker who takes the TV Set for a minute and just as his friend (also played by Butchie) asks him; ''Hey Man, what the Hell you gonna watch on that thing?!" then he replies "I don't know man" then he throws it down and calls out to Sledge; "Hey Sledge!" then Sledge tosses him the Sledgehammer and Timmy breaks it to pieces (but his name is never mentioned in the movie), and Old Nick, The Biker in Santa Claus Suit (played by our Director, Writer, and Editor, George A. Romero himself) (but his name is never mentioned in the movie. But only in the original book). See more »

Goofs

When Roger closes the truck door after saying, "Let's go, number 2," a crew member can be seen in the door's window. See more »

Quotes

Roger: You'll take care of me when I go, won't you, Peter?
Peter: Just rest, man. Save your strength.
Roger: I don't want to be walkin' around... like THAT!... Peter... PETER?
Peter: I'm here, man!
Roger: Don't do it until you are sure I *am* coming back! I'm gonna try... not to... I'm gonna try... not to... come back. I'm gonna try... not to...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The zombies overrun the mall throughout the course of the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wasting Away (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Ai Margini Della Follia
(uncredited)
Composed by Dario Argento, Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli,
Antonio Marangolo, and Agostino Marangolo
Performed by Goblin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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