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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | 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.

Director:

George A. Romero
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Popularity
3,011 ( 61)
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:

Night of the Living Dead is over. Dawn of the Dead is here. 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

Stephen originally uses a Marlin Model 983 rifle but is incompetent with it. During the sequence when Roger (Scott H. Reiniger) and Peter (Ken Foree) are venturing forth from the safety of the mall to get the trucks Fran (Gaylen Ross) provides cover fire from the roof of the mall with it. See more »

Goofs

In the truck, after Roger is almost attacked by a female zombie, Peter puts his gun down, but he is holding it again in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Foster: They kill for one reason: they kill for food. They eat their victims, you understand that, Mr. Berman? That's what keeps them going!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The remastered 137-minute "Director's Cut" released recently by Elite on laserdisc, and other companies on VHS, is actually not Romero's preferred version. This "Director's cut" is instead the version rushed into shape for a showing at Cannes. The shorter version shown theatrically has tighter editing and almost all Goblin's music. So technically, the theatrical version is the "Final Director's Cut" and the Cannes version is a "1st director's cut". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eight Legged Freaks (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Ragtime Razzamatazz
(uncredited)
Composed by Herbert Chappell
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
Mall Montage Scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Still my favorite horror film...
10 February 2000 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

When you want brutal, look no further, but when you also want to see perhaps the greatest of all comic-book movies not based on a comic-book, it's in George Romero's original take on his continuing mythology. It's not just one of the towering horror films, or horror comedies (what will a poor dead fellow do when the escalator starts?!) but one of the great sequels, more ambitious and ass-kicking than its predecessor, with a filmmaker more confident and technically proficient with his abilities.

Romero didn't originally want to do *any* sequel to his original 'Night', but after a visit by some friends to a soon-to-open mall nearby his hometown of Pittsburgh, it struck a chord as to who would be coming here – and what so much consumerism in one place would mean. "Why do they come here?" one of the four survivors that happens upon this mall swarming with these flesh-eaters asks another. "This meant something to them. Instinct, maybe. This was an important part of their lives," he responds.

I don't think necessarily Romero meant to show the film as any sort of 'This is what will happen!" type of social horror thing. It's more about, this is where we are at NOW, and in that sense, though broader and a whole LOT bloodier, it holds a place right next to a film like Network as one of the magnificent satires of its time and place, and as much about what the public is like. Romero acts as both pessimist and optimist in this world though; past all the chopped limbs, exploding heads (oh yeah!), Tom Savini stunt and make-up and intestines ripped apart, what holds up the film for me is seeing these four characters come to grip with the horror they've made for themselves, holding up in this "paradise" of a mall.

Balls-to-the-wall horror, social horror, and some genuine paranoid horror stuff (note to self, never try and fire a gun at a single zombie when in a dark room full of electrical wiring and pipes), and plenty of rock and roll attitude, this is a personal favorite and the most entertaining horror film of its time. And the Goblin music soundtrack… yummy.


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