dawn of the deadAnchor Bay Entertainment
1978
NR (originally X)

“Some kind of instinct.  Memory of what they used to do.  This was an important place in their lives.”

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Of the original three …Of The Dead movies that George A. Romero foisted upon the unsuspecting movie public, Dawn Of The Dead resonates the most with this zombie-lovin’ fiend.  Being the second movie made featuring the flesh-eating undead ghouls that Nigh Of The Living Dead brought us, Dawn of The Dead expounded on the ultra-bleak situation that humanity has found itself in.

On the night when the dead started coming back to life and making a general nuisance of themselves, a couple of television news employees and a couple of police realize humanity’s boned (or de-boned, in this case) and high tail it out of the city, eventually ending up at the mall and shacking up in the zombie-free area, hoping to wait out the undead epidemic without going nuts themselves.  Along the way, a thinly veiled commentary on modern consumerism and a biker pie fight led by Tom Savini ensues.

You know, I could go on and on about the history of this film, how it came about, the people behind it, it’s place in cinematic horror history, yadda yadda yadda, but in the end what Dawn Of The Dead boils down to is a very striking modern zombie movie classic that delivers a steady stream of uneasy creepiness and a sharp story.  I’ll admit, the arrival of the biker gang and its ensuing pie fight seems a bit out of place, but…really, what other movie can you say “zombie and biker gang pie fight” with a straight face?  If you’re a zombie movie fan, and haven’t seen the original Dawn Of The Dead…well, I’m ashamed of you.  Rectify this now.  There are many DVD releases of this out there, but I recommend the Anchor Bay edition, as it has a good commentary by Romero himself in that.

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