Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay Ultimate Edition)
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Overall Rating 82%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,189
...out of 13,217 movies
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During 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. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: March 11, 2004
Romero's grand return to zombie movies did not disappoint one iota... let's hope the remake can be a fraction of the goodness that this is, though for some reason, I don't see that happening.

We start off in a TV station, where the newsmen are attempting to keep broadcasts going, but with outdated information. Francine puts a quick end to all that, and chaos ensues. Her boyfriend, Flyboy, pops in and lets her know that he snagged a helicopter, and they're leaving tonight. Cut scene over to an apartment building, where the National Guard is trying to restore some order. Roger and Peter team up, and Roger lets Peter in on the helicopter deal, so they'll be leaving with Flyboy. The gang eventually get into the chopper, fly around for a bit, and touch down on top of a mall. The movie deals with them taking care of the zombies found there, and making a nice little home... until the finale, when something quite unexpected happens.

I can't quite decide which of the series (Night OG, Dawn, Day) is the better of the trio. Each has something going on for it, with this one focusing more on what the average joe would do in this situation. That made it a bit more realistic, or about as realistic as you could get with a zombie movie. It was full of little nods to the original Night Of The Living Dead, with references to the town and such, which is always nice to have.

The acting / casting was excellently executed throughout. Not a sign of overacting, all the characters were played nicely, and all the decisions made were logical. Tom Savini makes a small cameo appearance, and is also great in his short appearances. One amusing thing though, the guy who played Peter (Ken Foree) looks strikingly similar to OJ Simpson, but that's all fine and dandy. Dario Argento had a hand in the script, so you know that's played out nicely as well. The soundtrack, done by Argento and a group called Goblin, was also excellent; I don't think anything could ever replace that mall theme, or the main song that's played here and there.

10/10, no doubts.
Siphon #1: Siphon - added 09/23/2004, 02:09 AM
I'm surprised to see no comments on one of Romero's greatest movies. The editing may have been a little off-kilter, the angles a little shot through, and the make-up not so believable, but this is one of my favorite movies. The acting is sincere and well thought out--as well as the dialogue...confusing at times when everyone is speaking, but isn't that the same in real life as it is in a supernatural situation? The music also played a large part in the movie. The juxtaposition at the end with the tinkling, jolly music and the overrunning of the mall by the hordes of living dead feasting upon what scraps they could find is true genius--Signore Argento is, indeed, a smooth operator. The Goblins, an Italian band (I believe) were recruited to spook you with their almost surreal music set to an all too surreal setting. For a few laughs, a few scares, and seeing Tom Savini (Romero's Number One Make-up man) wielding a machete, pick up this movie where you can find it and watch it.
Bluesummers #2: Bluesummers - added 12/26/2004, 07:11 AM
Yeah, so now I've discovered I can rant about movies. And oh, the joy that fills me. Let's start with what everyone considers a great, great classic. Sure, there's no CG, but A. you get your social commentar, B. some of the zombies do look good. The acting is pretty okay, and you get Tom Savini acting. And making gore shoot everywhere. Romero is, always has been, and shall be forever more the master of zombies - and other such creepy things. It doesn't have the sheer gut-punching (or should that be munching? Let's laugh at the bad joke and humor the author...please?) impact that Night of the Living Dead had. But that's totally relative. Why don't we pass up the "re-imagining" for this, and see that horror (or, in some circles, you could count this as a black comedy) doesn't have to be shiny. All hail zombies that don't run!
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 11/02/2005, 07:34 PM
Sorry to disappoint you Romero fans, but this is Dario Argento's cut of the film, and it far surpasses Romero's cut. As far as I am concerned, Argento is the master of horror, and this cut is so different and so cerebral. Amazing. 10/10.
Ginose #4: Ginose - added 12/17/2005, 12:28 PM
I found no flaws in this movie at all. George Romero did a great job at showing us how racism and commercialism can ruin our world.
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 04/07/2007, 01:18 PM
Well actually bluemeanie, there's several different cuts of the film. The European cut is Zombi, then there's the US theatrical and Director's Cuts, which are called Dawn of the Dead. I'm sure for the purposes of this review, we'll assume it's the US theatrical cut, which is the most commonly seen.
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 05/12/2007, 06:42 PM
I didn't care much for Romero's cut. I very much enjoyed Argento's cut and thought it was far more interesting and creative. Romero's cut of the film was too boggish and was boring at times.
Tristan #7: Tristan - added 06/04/2007, 03:02 PM
Romero's cut of the film that was the Extended Cut was great. Little extra gore, lots more fun.
Nirrad #8: Nirrad - added 11/30/2007, 03:13 PM
Well, finally watched the movie from start to end. I'd have to say that I didn't really like it. Some of the acting was laughable, the blood looked like paint and made it seem even more cheesey, and I found the movie annoying as a whole. I hated the characters except for the 2 soldiers, or whatever they were. The comedy parts seemed completely out of place. There were some parts that I liked, but this is probably a case where I like the Remake better than the original. The walking Zombies are not scary at all. If there was an outbreak, and it invloves something like these zombies, then I say bring it on as everyone would most likely survive. I give the movie 5/10, it had some moments, but it was nearly painful to watch. I would have to give the extended cut a chance though as it seems better.
Crispy #9: Crispy - added 11/30/2007, 05:24 PM
Yeah well, fuck Jaws.
Nirrad #10: Nirrad - added 11/30/2007, 05:44 PM
Ouch man. In all honesty, I CAN understand why people love this movie, and why it's a classic. But it just isn't the right movie for me, just as it seems Jaws isn't the right movie for you. I'm gonna watch Day of the Dead, I've seen parts of it before, so I'm pretty sure I'll like that one......and I'll give this movie another chance, if Tristan lends me another cut of the film.
Tristan #11: Tristan - added 11/30/2007, 06:12 PM
Dammit Chad, this needs a re-reviewing. So yeah, with all this new activity I suppose I should give an official comment. This is my favourite movie of all time, matched only by Clockwork Orange. As far as what Darrin said, I really have nothing to say. I don't feel like trying to argue this or anything other Romero film, as they are all excellent, and can't be judged the same way as a regular movie. But since I'm such a good lad, I'll chime in my two cents.

First of all, Dario Argento. He had a big part in the writing of the script, which you can clearly see in the satirical way Romero approaches his own brand of 70's social commentary. The second most noticeable thing is the acting. A superb job from everyone. Like Chad said, not a hint of overacting, and everyone was believable in their parts. I must tip my hat to Ken Foree, as he is certainly the standout character of this movie. A lot of people complain about the montages in this film, but it's a perfect example of what people do to kill time. You're locked up in a mall, what do you do? You ice skate, dress up in fine clothing, prepare large dinners, and generally goof around. And the soundtrack. Oh the soundtrack. Goblin is quickly becoming one of my favourite bands ever, and they breathed the same life into this movie as they did Suspiria with their vibrant and eerie melodies.

And to try and attack a 30 year old movie for it's effects or makeup is just childish. Aside from Martin, this was Savini's first real movie, and I thought he did a fantastic job. Maybe it all seems cheesy now, but back then, this stuff was like cutting edge. Savini is marveled for his work in this movie, and I think he did a great job of making the movie realistic without relying on buckets of blood and gore.

Quite long winded, but hopefully it got the point across. 10/10.
Nirrad #12: Nirrad - added 11/30/2007, 06:31 PM
I thought the effects were nice, it was just the blood that bugged me. I also liked the montages, theres really nothing else you can put in the movie to show time passing, I thought it fitted well. While I don;t agree the acting was perfect, it was still fine, and as I said, some of it was bad. I did find that the people did make logical choices that were realistic, but there were still some parts that were not, for some reason these people lack peripheral vision....and it annoyed me at some parts. The part when Fly Boy is in the boiler room or something, and hes shooting at a shadow was just dumb. Maybe he WAS shooting at the zombie, but the editing made it look like he was firing random bullets at nothing, that and the fact that even though it shows Fly Boys point of view within a few feet of the zombie, somehow in the next shot they're across the room. Another part that bugged me was when Roger is getting attacked by a female zombie in the truck, Peter shoots her and the blood pours on Rogers face, but then in the next shot his face is completely clean. Not a big problem as many movies do that, but I thought it was a blooper that shouldn't have been as everyone will notice it, then make you laugh at the movie for it. Oh, and one last one, the part near the beginning when they stop to get fuel, when Fly Boy hits that zombie outside with a big side swing is just idiotic....yet hilarious. Just to make you happy Tristan, I'll watch it again alone this time and leave the nitpicking to someone else....and I'm sure I will like it.

That blood pressure scene is still my favorite..lol
Crispy #13: Crispy - added 11/30/2007, 07:30 PM
I have no problem with Jaws, just making a childish remark.
bluemeanie #14: bluemeanie - added 12/01/2007, 07:33 PM
I am going to get ridiculed for this, but I don't care -- I preferred the remake. I thought "Night of the Living Dead" was a masterpiece. I thought "Day of the Dead" was goofy fun, and I thought "Land of the Dead" was more campy than anything else, but "Dawn of the Dead" did the least for me. Then, the remake came around and just blew me away. I thought it was far scarier than the original and it was a creative change from the original.
Zombieboy #15: Zombieboy - added 12/30/2008, 10:43 AM
My personal favorite movie of all time hands down!
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #16: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 02:04 AM
another classic. 9/10
Nirrad #17: Nirrad - added 10/02/2010, 11:26 PM
Hmm, gonna change me opinion here. Maybe all of a sudden I just "get" it. While its still not the best, it definitely grown on me. I still think the movie is awful near the beginning though.
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