House of Horrors Presents

Zombie movies rule!!!!!!!!!! I can't get enough of the living dead, but unfortunately, there are so many exceptionally bad zombie movies out there.  Luckily for the fans, there are a few that have helped to fill the staple of our zombie diet and at the top of our nutrition chart is "Dawn of the Dead".

One of my favorites, and definitely one of my all-time top five horror films is George Romero's “Dawn of the Dead.”  I can remember seeing it for the first time as though it were yesterday. Unfortunately, when "Dawn" was released in theaters (1978), I was way too young to go see it , but it was the first video I rented when  I bought a VCR.  Earlier I had instantly fallen in loved with "Night of the Living Dead," having first seen it on MTV of all places. This was back when MTV was forced to come up with alternative programming, because they only had about 10 videos that they showed a million times a day. On the weekends, they used to run cult movies (Remember "Reefer Madness?" ¾made me want to inhale.) and always played NOTLD right around Halloween.  Once I’d saw it, I was hooked on zombies.

“Dawn of the Dead” is in my top two zombie movies. I loved Fulci's “Zombie,” but I just watched "Dawn" on laserdisc from Elite (awesome laserdisc, a must for any horror fan) and it blew me away. The jury is still out on which is number one in my book, but both movies are amazing in their own unique ways.

I loved so many things about this movie starting with  mall. If zombies walked the earth today, my local mall would definitely served as my home away from home.  It's a perfect place to hole-up in and everything you would ever need is at your finger tips.  Second, the zombies in "Dawn" were fabulous, but not as cool as the ones in “Zombie”. They were comical at times and terrifying at others, which added a unique and entertaining blend to the film. Third, Romero really did an outstanding job with character development. You really feel for these characters and the struggle they endure. Fourth and finally, the Goblin score¾let me just say is truly amazing.

Many people have inferred that "Dawn" is Romero's social commentary on the times, which he has flatly denied on numerous occasions.  Surely, a writer's work is always going to be influenced by his beliefs, but I believe that these movies are for horror fans and not the general public. Overall, "Dawn" was, is, and always will be, a horror classic. Rumors of a new "Living Dead" movie have been circulating for years and even on the Elite disc, Romero said he would love to  make another one. Please George, make it more like "Dawn of the Dead!"

Again, as always, if you have anything you can add to help improve this page or if you have any comments, criticisms, and/or suggestions, please e-mail me.

 

Dawn of the Dead

"When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the EARTH."

These classic words ring out the sweet sound of man's ultimate demise in this new zombie world. We have pushed around the forces and spirits of this world, now it’s their time to strike back (always the theme of any good zombie movie). Can anyone remember the speculative cause for the dead coming back to life in the original "Night of the Living Dead?" As a space probe returned from its exploration of the planet Venus, it mysteriously exploded before entering the atmosphere. I rather liked Peter's (Ken Foree) explanation from above.

The story begins with a continuation of the theme from "Night of the Living Dead": the dead have arisen and are now stalking the living. Four strangers, fleeing in a helicopter, head north looking to escape this horror. Running low on fuel, they happen on one of America's social enigmas; the shopping mall. This is where you would find me during a zombie invasion. I'd either be in the Suncoast Video or at the sporting goods store. Boy, would I be in heaven. One problem , zombies seem to like the mall too. After cleaning out the deadbeat shoppers in their new home, our heroes are about to begin to live the life of luxury, right? . . .  WRONG! Unfortunately someone else has their eyes on this prize¾a gang of looters led by bad-boy, Tom Savini.

This movie is a basic requirement for the completion of your horror degree, without it your grade is ”I" as incomplete. Don't flunk out of Horror U. See "Dawn of the Dead" and receive your degree in zombie-ology.

 



  • Dawn of the Dead was shot on a budget of $1.5 million, ten times the budget of the original "Night of the Living Dead.

  • The mall used for the film is in Monroeville, PA. George Romero personally knew the people who owned it.

  • The mall music was written into the script, because the crew didn't know how to turn it off when it came on early in the morning

  • This was Tom Savini's major breakout effort, establishing him as a master in the makeup field and it lead directly to his getting the job for Friday the 13th.

  • George and his wife, Christine, appear in the opening scenes of the movie. See their picture on Dawn Pic & Sounds Page.

  • There were two scores for this movie, one by Romero (which was taken mostly from library stock music), and another by the Italian group, Goblin. The Goblin soundtrack is the one I remember. I only recently heard Romero's score on Elite's laserdisc. I personally prefer Goblin's score. It sticks in my mind as strongly as the visual imagery of this film.

  • Dario Argento was one of the main driving forces in getting this movie made. He approached Romero about making a sequel to "Night of the Living Dead," which was a huge hit in Europe. In return, Argento would have the right to re-cut the film for European release. In his cut, Argento took out some of the gore and added dialog. "Dawn" was then released with Argento's name attached and called "Zombie."

  • The helicopter blades that decapitated the zombie were animated.

  • There was an alternate "suicide" ending for "Dawn of the Dead" and it goes like this: After the bikers let all the zombies in, Peter and Fran escape to their apartment in the mall. Peter tells Fran to go on without him, because he doesn't want to go. This is the same as the regular ending. Peter then decides to kill himself instead of fighting off the zombies. Fran goes up to the helicopter and decides she doesn't want to go on alone, so she sticks her head up into the blades and gets decapitated. The credits role showing the helicopter still running and at the end, sputtering and running out of fuel. I would like to have seen Romero use this alternative ending as it is much more original.

  • "Dawn" is heavily censored in Germany.

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Click on box cover for these recommendations
Night of the Living DeadDay of the DeadNight of the Living Dead 90

Click on image to navigate our other
"Dawn of the Dead" pages.

Navigate Dawn of the Dead

 Frightful Facts

Visit George Romero's official webpage.

Capcom Producer Yoshiki Okamoto told the editors of "Electronic Gaming Monthly" that "His [Romero’s] script wasn't good, so Romero was fired." E-mail Capcom and tell them how pissed you are at megamail@capcom.com.

Visit the King of Splatter, Tom Savini's official webpage.

Visit Claude Simonetti's (Goblin) official webpage.

See Daemonia performing the themes to "Dawn of the Dead" live.

Buy the Special Edition DVD (not 30th anniversary edition) of the original "Night of the Living Dead" at Amazon.com

Buy the DVD of the remake of "Night of the Living Dead" at Amazon.com

Buy the "Dawn of the Dead Ultimate DVD Boxset at Amazon.com

Buy the DVD of the "Day of the Dead" at Amazon.com

 

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