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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

The cop that gets shot on the roof near the beginning of Dawn of the Dead was Savini's first ever head shot. The film originally had a crew member in charge of squibs, but he left halfway through shooting. Savini was left to learn as he went. See more »

Goofs

In the TV studio, when Stephen (David Emge) informs Fran (Gaylen Ross) that they're going to flee via helicopter, Ross accidentally refers to Emge as "David" rather than "Stephen." By the time the goof was realized, Ross was in Europe and unable to loop the line of dialog. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[Peter and Francine are flying off of the mall rooftop]
Peter: How much fuel do we have?
Francine Parker: Not much.
Peter: All right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

There are three main versions of the film. -The U.S. Theatrical Version, which George A. Romero considers his definitive cut of the film, runs 127 minutes and was the version released in American theaters in 1979. It contains a mix of both Goblin's soundtrack and several library tracks. -Dario Argento's cut, released in Italy under the title ZOMBI, and also known as the European Version, runs 118 minutes. It removes several scenes, mostly anything humorous, emphasizing the horror and action, and has more extensive use of the Goblin music. -The Extended Version or Cannes Film Festival Version runs 139 minutes (this version was erroneously called the 'director's cut' when Elite Entertainment released it on laserdisc). It was assembled to premiere at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival and is something of a workprint. It contains many extended scenes and the soundtrack is almost entirely library tracks. All three versions have been made available on Anchor Bay's DVD box set, the Japanese Happinet/Stingray Blu-Ray box set, and Arrow's UK Blu-Ray box set. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shao Lin fo jia da dao (1980) 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

 
Zombies and Consumerism... a Match Made in Hell
29 November 2010 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

The zombies from "Night of the Living Dead" have continued their rampage... and our heroes are forced to hole up in a shopping mall. Now they have everything they could ever want, except for the continuous onslaught of the undead.

The commentary track is with George Romero, wife Christine Forrest Romero, effects maestro Tom Savini and Anchor Bay DVD guy Perry Martin, who knows this film inside and out... recorded in George's living room

Dario Argento's role in this film should not be downplayed, as allegedly the sequel was proposed by Dario Argento, not Romero (though Romero discovered the mall and its crawlspaces prior to Argento's suggestion). Argento's cut of the film was for European markets, with the humor removed to make it more Fulci-like. Luckily, we rarely see that one.

The film stars Ken Foree, who went on to do more great things, but Romero alumnus John Amplas shows up (as well as his job as casting director and makeup assistant), and the DP is Michael Gornick, who went on to do directing of his own.

Tom Savini tells us that a "drunken zombie stole a golf cart, drove it around the mall and crashed into a pillar". Savini makes a great biker, except when he goes through the break-away glass -- the stunt crew poured the glass too thick and he injured his knee. Tom says his work on this film got him "Friday the 13th", and one can only wonder how horror would have gone different if he had not been on that film.

You really should see this one if you have not, and while watching it, drink some Iron City Beer.


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