Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Post  BoG on Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:12 am

George A. Romero's sequel to Night of the Living Dead (68), a decade later. In the first film, the threat of the undead or zombies was just beginning and seemed to be under control by the conclusion. But, here the living are beginning to fall back, to be on the run and the scale seems to be tipping towards the zombie hordes. Most of the plot concerns 4 characters (Ken Foree, David Emge, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross) who decide to hole up in a shopping mall. Two are police SWAT officers; the other two work for a TV news station. They manage to get to this mall in a helicopter. Things go OK for awhile, but one of them gets careless. Towards the end, the mall is invaded by a motorcycle gang (one of the gang is played by make-up expert Tom Savini). It's a thrilling finale.

In this film, it looks like mankind has been taken unawares, unprepared for this horrid invasion. It's as if the decay and onslaught was slow at first but then escalated, and the living have simply been outmaneuvered, even though the zombies are basically unthinking creatures. Many simply can't cope with such horror, many cannot rationalize what is happening. It is very intense - perhaps not as much these days, but back then it was a stomach-turner. This was in color, unlike the first film, and Romero doesn't spare us all the gory, bloody details. His finale and sequel was Day of the Dead in 1985. There was a remake in 2004. BoG's Score: 8.5 out of 10

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