Zombie Movie Review: Dawn Of The Dead

Vector image for zombie movie Dawn of the Dead

Vector image for zombie movie Dawn of the Dead

Yes, this makes it 2 mainstream (more or less) Zombie films in a row, and yes both are Romero, but i’ve had the Ultimate Edition box set of Dawn for a few weeks now, and it’s just been sat next to the TV just calling to me, so I had to oblige.

There isn’t much to say about this that hasn’t already been said. 4 characters, all of whom are highly annoying shack up in a shopping mall and live in a stockroom above the stores. Occasionally they nip down and get into some stupid trouble that could have been easily avoidable by not dicking around in the shops, but they do it again and again, leading to half of them being eaten by Zombies and coming back from the dead. If the Zombies weren’t troublesome enough, Tom Savini and some biker mates break into the mall and trash the place, and then either get eaten by the zombies or killed off by the remaining annoying survivors. To cap it all off the zombies get into the stockroom so the few who are left have to escape by helicopter.

The gore is pretty stupid looking, even by 70’s standards. The blood looks like bright red melted crayons, and the zombies are a weird blue-green colour. Nonetheless, despite the bizarre style of the gore it is still highly impressive, with loads of genius effects in there. Helicopter decapitations, machete’s to the face, exploding heads, and gunshots wounds a plenty. Tom Savini surely is the Lord of Gore, as he goes on to prove in later films, (the superior Day of the Dead as an obvious example).

Obviously this is a quality film, with unmistakable comments about the pointlessness and indeed the danger of consumerism. However, if I were trapped in a shopping mall to live out my days i’d probably do the same. I mean, all the shops are unlocked and there is plenty of cool gadgets to play with in there! It’d be pretty awesome, I reckon.

Gore Score 3\5
Norks Score 0\5
Overall Score 5\5

As part of this box set the European Argento cut of Dawn is included which i’m looking forward to watching. That will get it’s own entry I think. However, I feel the need to go back to the underground for my next Zombie flick. I wonder what i’ll pick?

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4 responses to “Zombie Movie Review: Dawn Of The Dead

  1. How can you hate Rodger?! Or to a lesser extent Peter? You miss the whole movie. The beauty of that film is that you actually care about the characters. The only reason Romeroes zombies are scary is because you love the characters so much (at least in Dawn) that you don’t want anything to happen to them. The majority of horror directors miss this trick and it’s Dawn case it’s what makes it a great a horror film above its impressive gore effects and politics.

    Without Rodger though the zombies are just about as scary as 70 year old cannibals, arthriticaly shuffling toward their victims at pace slightly behind a brisk walk.

    If you don’t love Rodger, you’re watching a totally different movie.

  2. I think I have to disagree with you on this one. As with all Romero films the humans are highly odious examples of people. They are all self obsessed, greedy and immature.
    The basic message that runs through all his films – for me at least – is that sure, they are ‘Zombies’, but are we really superior to them? There is no backstabbing between Zombies, no selling each-other out, no seeking their own glory above the others. They simple get on with the business at hand.
    Sure, there is usually one character who is a cut above the other humans. In Dawn it is Peter. (Ben in Night, probably Sarah in Day). However, even these characters have their failings.
    Nobody is ‘perfect’, and these films simply highlight how imperfect the majority of people actually are.

  3. Your review isn’t all that positive, but then it gets a 5/5. I’m a little confused. Other than that I agree with your review. I admire Romero for practically inventing a the genre I love, but I find that Dawn and Day are usually over-rated by zombie fans. With Dawn I find that the pace is just too slow and unlike Hanke, I never found myself caring much about the characters, more like just waiting for them to die.

    • The Political anti-consumerist messages are about as subtle as a brick, but I enjoy the gore, direction and overall idea of this movie. Just because I don’t appreciate it in the way it was intended doesn’t mean I don’t like the film. Hell, a helicopter scalpes a zombie! What’s not to like?!
      Oh it’s undoubtably a great film, really well made with some fantastic gore effects (as long as you can look past the greeny-grey makup of the zombies). I do really enjoy this film, but probably not in the way it was intended. Damn right I’d mess around in a whole shopping-centre! What’s the point of hiding away in a storeroom for all eternity? Just get out there and have some fun with what you can.
      The characters are all really annoying, but that’s half the fun; waiting for each of them to get killed off in some gruesome manner.

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