Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Sorry about the hiatus between posts film posts again. Anyway, today we have another absolute classic of the genre, a sequel to one of my favourite horrors of all time and often considered superior, although not by me. It’s George A. Romero’s 1978 classic, Dawn of the Dead.
The true beauty of Dawn of the Dead is in its effects. Tom Savini is a special effects genius and he was at the absolute height of his quality in this one. They’re really what make this film worth watching as they involve some of the most unforgettable horror movie deaths (decapitation by helicopter anyone!?). Dawn of the Dead is worth watching simply for the effects but it is so much more than a gore-fest, although it would be wrong to say that’s not a big part of why I like it.
The genius of Dawn of the Dead, as well as Savini’s effects work, is Romero’s brilliant social commentary. Only a master like George Romero could put such excellent social commentary in what is seemingly a fun zombie movie. And it definitely is that. The setting of a shopping mall is the centrepiece of the commentary, with the zombies being symbols of people in the age of mass consumerism. It puts a smile to anyone’s face when they figure that out for the first time because it’s so smartly done.
George Romero is one of the names you think of when you say ‘Masters of Horror’ along with for example, (the now late) Wes Craven. A truly tragic loss…I’ll be saying plenty more about him on this journey. But anyway, there’s a reason you think of Romero and it’s down to making such genius films as this and it’s predecessor, Night of the Living Dead…the superior in my opinion.
The story isn’t the main focus here…it is a direct sequel to Night of the Living Dead, where four individuals settle in a shopping mall in order to escape the hoards of zombies (although ‘zombie’ is again, never said). They then find themselves defending themselves against the hoards which proves for a very entertaining experience for a viewer.
Honestly, there’s not much detail that you can go into when talking about Dawn of the Dead and I think that works in its favour…it’s a remarkably simple film that is just incredibly well made and one of the most important films in horror history. That’s all that can be said really.
It’s a definite must watch for all, as casual movie-goers will enjoy the fun, entertaining zombie defence and surprising emotional aspect (when certain members of the group end up turning into ‘the dead’ themselves) and the more intellectual viewer will enjoy the social commentary and filmmaking style.
The performances are also an aspect that isn’t that important in the film but the two main leads, Ken Foree and David Emge are just what you’d look for in this type of film…so there’s no problems there.
It also gave us the immortal quote, ‘When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth’!!
That’s about it…just go and watch Dawn of the Dead, you won’t regret it…also, this is another rare classic horror that had a decent remake.
Next up on our journey we have a film that is not only a horror classic, but a sci-fi classic. Widely considered one of the best films of its time and also gave us one of the most terrifying ‘Aliens’ in movie history as well as one of, if not, the ultimate movie heroine. I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about now!!
The Journey Continues