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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
2,736 ( 722)
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 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:

George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest, Dawn of the Dead, is back. 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

The split second before and after Wooley blows the head of the apartment resident (it was NOT meant to be a zombie). This was a head made by Tom Savini. It is made from a mold of Gaylen Ross for the original ending of the movie (Peter commits suicide, and Fran sticks her head in the blades of the Helicopter). When they decided to change the ending, they decided to use it in the tenement building scene, so Savini made it look like a African-American male, filled with food scraps, and shot with an actual shotgun. See more »

Goofs

When Peter, Roger, and Stephen are attacked while trying to get the shopping cart upstairs, (the part were Peter throws a Zombie over the balcony into the fountain) a crew member's hands can be seen preventing the Zombies that are attacking Stephen from bumping into the camera when he knocks them away. This is visible only on full-screen prints, however. See more »

Quotes

WGON-TV Cameraman: Go ahead and leave. We'll be off the air by midnight; the emergency networks are taking over. Our responsibility is finished.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The Japanese Theatrical Version was a censored version of Dario Argento's cut. The Argento version in its original form couldn't pass the strict Japanese censor board. What does make this version interestingis how the censors dealt with the film's graphic content When the moment a gore scene occurred, the film stopped on the frame prior the violence and froze, with the sound playing through. Then, a second or two later, when the 'offending' moment had passed, the film jumped back into motion. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Kills by Zombies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Gonk
(uncredited)
Composed by Herbert Chappell
Performed by The Noveltones
Trumpet solo Roy Wiegand
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
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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