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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | 24 May 1979 (USA)
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2:39 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

George A. Romero
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Popularity
2,906 ( 357)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ... Stephen
Ken Foree ... Peter
Scott H. Reiniger ... Roger
Gaylen Ross ... Francine
David Crawford David Crawford ... Dr. Foster
David Early David Early ... Mr. Berman
Richard France ... Scientist
Howard Smith ... TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich Daniel Dietrich ... Givens
Fred Baker Fred Baker ... Commander
James A. Baffico James A. Baffico ... Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer Rod Stouffer ... Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre Jese Del Gre ... Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon 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:

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

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) |

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (German prints)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter is the first person in the franchise to refer to the undead as "zombies". The term is only used by a reporter on the radio once in Night of the Living Dead (1968). See more »

Goofs

When Roger is supposedly putting gas in the helicopter, he actually has the nozzle stuck in a footstep used for climbing up and inspecting the engine. The step has a spring-loaded cover that swings inward. The gas nozzle is simply stuck inside the cover. See more »

Quotes

[Roger is in the basement, vomiting]
Peter: You ain't just in here by yourself, boy!
[Roger aims his gun at Peter]
Peter: You was in Wooley's unit, wasn't you?
[Peter cocks his gun]
Roger: I didn't see nothing. I didn't see how he died.
[They lower their guns]
See more »

Crazy Credits

"... Music by Dario Argento and THE GOBLINS" See more »

Alternate Versions

What sets the Japanese Theatrical Version apart from all the other versions is the inclusion in the beginning of an explanation. Herald Films, the Japanese distributor of DOTD, felt that the Japanese audience would not be able to accept the ambiguous setting of zombies on Earth that Romero had so skillfully left unanswered. Instead, they felt the Japanese audience must have an answer or else they wouldn't be able to get the story. They accomplished this by sticking some white words on to a black background that typed across the screen while a heavy clicking came from the soundtrack. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Violence (Invincible Shaolin)
Written By Eric Towren
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

How much is that Zombie in the window
22 January 2001 | by gary_dillonSee all my reviews

By turns horrific, hilarious, disgusting and absurd Dawn of the Dead is the work of a director truly on top of his game. Given almost total control (something which was to be denied Romero in later years) George Romero gives us his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil.

Not just a mockery of the hedonistic and empty America of the late 70's Dawn is also a parable or warning if you like of the brittle structure of society and how easily it can be disintegrated. Many have criticised the film for being too over the top and questioned the quality of the acting. This for me is one of the joys of the film, Romero uses gaudy sets and effects and combines this with comic book hero dialogue to lull us into a false sense of security. Then masterfully Romero pulls the rug out from under us and brings the reality of the situation crashing in on our heads.

Dawn stands alone well but really comes into its own as part of the trilogy to which it belongs. One theory of mine is that the Alien trilogy (forgetting the miserable fourth installment) takes a lot from the dead trilogy namely the pace and claustrophobia of the two which book-end the mass hysteria and over the top horror and violence of the middle film.

Undoubtedly one of the great Horror films of modern time. Or perhaps there is something about being the only people left alive and living in a shopping mall that appeals to the kid in all of us. 10/10


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