Dawn of the Dead
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Dawn of the Dead can be found here.

When her neighbors, as well as her husband, are turned into murderous zombies, Milwaukee (Wisconsin) nurse Ana (Sarah Polley) takes refuge in a shopping mall where she and several other survivors, including policeman Kenneth (Ving Rhames), TV salesman Michael (Jake Weber), Andre (Mekhi Phifer) and his pregnant wife Luda (Inna Korobkina), mall security guards C.J. (Michael Kelly), Bart (Michael Barry), and Terry (Kevin Zegers), as well as a number of other survivors who make it to the mall, join together to fight off the zombies trying to get to them.

No. Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the 1978 film Dawn of the Dead, which was written and directed by American-Canadian film-maker George A. Romero. Romero's screenplay was rewritten by American film-maker James Gunn.

Vivian (Hannah Lochner) wasn't her daughter. She was a neighbour. This is supported when Ana is getting home from work and Vivian is out rollerblading, and Ana says "Say hi to your mom for me." It's likely that Ana left the front door unlocked and Vivian, now a zombie, wandered in. As for Ana's husband Luis (Louis Ferreira), Ana was very confused, frightened and most likely in a state of shock. At one moment, everything is fine; the next, her husband is dying; then he's trying to kill her. Her basic instinct of self-preservation kicked in. All that was on her mind was to get away. Once things had calmed down and they were secured in the mall, Ana had time to think and feel and finally broke down and started to cry about her husband.

Simple. He was never bitten. The wound he sustained on his arm was from cutting it on a lighting fixture on the fountain while wrestling with a zombie. This confusion could stem from the difference between the writer of the screenplay, James Gunn, and whoever decided to suggest a reason for the zombies on the DVD case cover. Because the cover claims that it is a virus, some viewers were confused as to why an open wound did not expose Kenneth to the virus when grappling with the wounded zombie or why the water did not allow the virus to carry from the open wounds of the zombie and through Kenneth's open wound into his system. However, Gunn has denied the virus theory and has said that, when he wrote the screenplay, he envisioned it to be just the same as a vampire bite...more supernatural or inexplicable in nature. "Virus" is just a general term for something that can be transmitted into the body and do harm. In John Carpenter's Vampires, Montoya (Daniel Baldwin) says, "Doesn't matter what you call it...virus, kool-aid, whatever. It does the same thing...turns you into a vampire." So it could be considered a "supernatural virus" but the DVD cover just said "virus" so readers wouldn't associate it with ghosts, which is common with the term "supernatural".

Because her wound was so miniscule. It was a small half inch cut on her forearm. The more severe the wound, the quicker they turn. For instance; when Ana's husband was bitten on the neck, Vivian was going for the artery. This would result in the victim rapidly bleeding out and quickly dying. This explains why Ana was telling herself, "I can't get it, I can't get it!" when she was trying to save him by pinching the artery and preventing any further blood loss. Anyway, a person doesn't turn into a zombie until they die. The virus gradually takes over living cells and replaces them with 'undead' ones. When someone is bitten on the hand, arm, or leg, the virus is slower to take over the living cells until it does eventually kill them, at which point they re-animate. When they are bitten on the neck and bleed to death quickly or are killed in some other way (aside from being shot in the head), they will re-animate immediately after death.

Was Monica a stripper?

It is implied that Monica (Kim Poirier) was indeed a stripper and that she was also sleeping with Steve (Ty Burrell). Whether they were already seeing each other before the outbreak or they hooked up in the mall is left to the viewer to decide.

How does the movie end?

The fortified bus makes it to the marina with hordes of zombies closing in from behind. As the group hurries down the dock to get onto the boat, C.J. remains behind to cover them. One by one, the zombies climb through the rear door of the bus and C.J. shoots them. He tries to get out through the door at the front of the bus but finds that it's jammed. 'Figures,' he says. He reloads his gun and fires a bullet into the propane tank, causing a huge explosion. The resulting fire keeps the zombies from following the rest of the group out on the dock. Ana, Nicole (Lindy Booth),Terry, Kenneth, and Chips the dog climb aboard the boat. Ana holds out her hand to help Michael aboard, but he shows her the bite on his arm and says that he's going to stay behind 'and enjoy the sunrise.' He kisses Ana's hand and gives the boat a shove out into the water. As the boat moves further out, he puts his gun under his chin and pulls the trigger while Ana watches sadly.

Bloated Woman (Ermes Blarasin): Already far along in her infection when she arrives in the mall, she finally dies, re-animates and attacks Ana. Ana impales the woman through the eye with a fire poker.

Frank (Matt Frewer): Bitten on the hand before arriving at the mall, the survivors finally deduce that it's the bites that cause the infection. Kenneth (Ving Rhames) quarantines Frank and waits with him until he turns. Once he turns, Kenneth kills him.

Bart (Michael Barry): While attempting to turn on the generators in the parking garage, Bart is bitten in the neck by a legless zombie. The others start to run, but Bart falls behind and is swarmed by a group of zombies and presumably torn apart. He is never seen as a zombie.

Luda (Inna Korobkina): Bitten on the arm by Ben Cozine early in the film. Her husband eventually secludes her and ties her to a bed while she goes in to labour. Luda dies, re-animates, and delivers her infected child. Norma walks in, sees the zombified Luda, and shoots her in the head.

Andre (Mekhi Phifer): Derranged at the fact that his wife and newborn child are now zombies, he feels determined to keep his family together. Once Norma shoots Luda, he shoots Norma. Norma returns fire at him, and he dies from his wounds.

Norma (Jayne Eastwood): The rest of the survivors hear the gunshots and find Andre and Luda shot to death and Norma on her way to dying. With her last breath she says "The son of a bitch shot me!" then dies.

Andy (Bruce Bohne): Starving in his gun shop across the street from the mall, the group decides to send the dog Chips over to him with some supplies. Andy lets Chips in through a small shutter in the door, but a few zombies try and get in as well and bite him on the leg. It's likely they got him in the artery because he dies very fast and re-animates. The group go over to rescue Nicole (Lindy Booth) (who went after the dog) and to get weapons. Kenneth puts Andy out of his misery by shooting him in the head with a shotgun.

Tucker (Boyd Banks): Covering the escape of the group that went to get the guns, Tucker falls down the man-hole cover and breaks his ankle. CJ (Michael Kelly) tries to drag him to safety but the zombies catch up and start biting Tucker. Tucker tells CJ to shoot him, and so CJ does.

Monica (Kim Poirier): While the survivors are fleeing in the fortified buses, Glen picks up a chainsaw to deal with a zombie on the side of the 2nd bus. Kenneth makes a hard left turn and Glen falls over while wielding the chainsaw and lands on Monica, cutting her in half from shoulder to abdomen.

Glen (R.D. Reid): The accidental killing of Monica led to some blood spraying over Kenneth and onto the windshield of the bus causing Kenneth to veer off the road and crash the bus. Glen was either impaled by his own chainsaw or broke his neck in the crash.

Steve (Ty Burrell): Tries to save himself by crawling out of the crashed bus. A zombie perched on top of the bus pounces on him before he can fire a shot. When the group from the first bus go to check on the crashed bus, Steve wanders up to them, now a zombie. Ana blows his head off without hesitation as she promised she would do earlier in the film.

C.J. (Michael Kelly): When the bus reaches the marina docks, everyone runs for the boat. While laying cover fire from the back of the bus, C.J. gets swarmed. He tries to exit through the entrance at the front of the bus but finds that it's jammed. So he says "Fuckin' figures." lights a flare and shoots a propane canister, taking himself and dozens of zombies with him.

Michael (Jake Weber): Reveals that he was bitten on the arm when the group was attacked. He casts off the boat but stays behind. As the boat moves out over the water, he pulls out his gun, puts it under his chin, and pulls the trigger.

Survivors: Kenneth, Ana, Terry, Nicole, and Chips (the dog) are the only members of the group to survive the mall and the trip to the marina. However, during the end credits scene, it is shown that they quickly run out of water and food, and the ship runs out of fuel. Later, some of the mechanics catch fire. When they finally reach an island, they discover that it, too, is overrun with zombies, and likely die soon after arriving (although that is not confirmed).

No, although his name is metioned in the credits as having helped with the screenplay, they are merely referring to him as the writer of the screenplay for the original Dawn of the Dead (1978). He did in fact watch the film after he was done filming Land of the Dead (2005) George A Romero's comment on the remake:


"It was better than I expected. ... The first 15, 20 minutes were terrific, but it sort of lost its reason for being. It was more of a video game. I'm not terrified of things running at me; it's like Space Invaders. There was nothing going on underneath."
He further criticises the running zombies in his next Dead film Diary of the Dead (2007) when character Jason claims that dead things don't run.

George Romero's original rule for zombies is that once any person dies, be it from natural causes, suicide, murder, car accident, etc., as long as the brain is intact the person will come back as a zombie. That left some mysterious supernatural reasoning for why zombies came to be in the first place, hence the tagline "when there's no more room in hell: the Dead will walk the earth." This line is repeated in this film but doesn't hold the same meaning as it did in the original film. We can assume that the 'Romero Rule' wasn't employed, seeing as how the zombies can run. Also this is supported by when Andre and Norma shoot each other, they both die from multiple gunshot wounds but neither were shot in the head and neither come back to life. The surviving characters specifically mention this fact after they find the bodies.

Although Universal has not made an official announcement, the studio has asked Zack Snyder to direct a sequel to his film. Snyder announced that he has agreed to do it, but that James Gunn will not return to write the script. Snyder also stated that his sequel will not be a remake of Day of the Dead, which was the sequel to the original Dawn of the Dead. However, it is highly unlikely that the film will happen any time soon, because Snyder already has plenty of films lined up for the next two to three years.

The song is "It's a Wonderful Life" by Sparklehorse.

The remake of the cult-horror-film "Dawn of the Dead" was released on DVD in a longer version. This version shows, additionally to new plot-scenes, also several violence-scenes, which had to be cut for the theatrical release in the USA. A detailed comparison between both versions can be found here.

There's a scene early into the movie where a topless woman was censored. While, e.g. in the German version of the Director's Cut you can see her naked breasts, the US version offers an additional pool of blood to cover her up. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

Page last updated by briangcb, 1 year ago
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