Monday, 5 January 2015

Review: Dawn of the Dead (1978) (January 2015)

Dawn of the Dead (1978) - a colourful splatter-fest!!
Following the black & white zombie-horror classic, Night of the Living Dead (1968) (see, HERE) came George A. Romero's epic Dawn of the Dead (1978). The world has been over run by the undead and our survivors consist of swat team members lead by Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott H. Reiniger). This all takes place in a shopping mall as the safe haven which is crawling with ghouls and zombies! There is a pregnant survivor and her boyfriend Fly Boy (David Emge) who all must pull together through-out the film and tragic events! The mall is being eyed up by bikers - the real threat - lead by special effects artist Tom Savini. One of the most famous zombies in Dawn is played by Mike Christopher.

It's interesting to note that an alternative ending was shot with a bleak ending, yet it was changed for it's release. This film was released in an even more epic director's cut on dvd. Dawn is a very good sequel in any form and it was my dad that got me into such a film and it's ghoulish trail which dominated the late 70's into the 80's on VHS during the video nasty era. The same mall used in the film is still standing, yet slightly different and update these days - a popular tourist attraction for film buffs!

Romero's first sequel is colourful and comic book like having been influenced by comics in his childhood - see Creepshow (1982). The blood is bright - the zombies are blue/grey! It is still scary and the music by the progressive rock band Goblin really sets the pacing of this splatter-fest from the 70's! What would follow would be films like Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) from Italy (Lucio Fulci) - for whom Romero wrote the Dawn script along side Italian horror director, Dario Argento. Many spin-offs would come and even in modern times, Dawn of the Dead (2004) would manifest in Hollywood from Universal Studios. A sequel would follow in the very dark, yet gory Day of the Dead (1985).

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