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.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
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
The MPAA had threatened to impose the X rating if George A. Romero didn't make cuts. Romero did not want to cut the film, and he was adamant against an X rating, due to its stigma of hard-core pornography. In the end, Romero was able to persuade his distributors to release the film with no rating, although on all advertising and trailers, there was a disclaimer that in effect read that while there was no explicit sex in the film, the movie was of such a violent nature that no one under 17 would be admitted. See more »
When Stephen wrestles with the zombie on the ground by the hangars at the airport, he retrieves the mallet to strike it on the head. He strikes it twice. If you look carefully, you can see a balding crew member in a green jacket at the far lower-right corner of the screen just before he makes the first strike. Before the second strike, the crew member is gone. See more »
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 »
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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