Dawn of the Dead

release year: 1978
genre: zombie horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/24/04

synopsis: In a world that's quickly being overrun by the flesh-eating living dead, four people use a helicopter to escape to a shopping mall and make a new home there.

impressions: This was a sort of sequel to the original Night of the Living Dead movie, taking things one step further. It works as a survival movie, a horror movie, and a satire of our society of the 1970s and 1980s. The four protagonists escape one version of hell, find another, clean it up, and make a peaceful (if boring) life for themselves...until it all inevitably falls apart. There's a fair amount of blood and gore. The logic and tactics used are generally sensible, with a couple of exceptions: one person stops taking the zombies seriously and ends up getting bitten, which inevitably means death and re-animation. My other gripe has to do with the biker gang near the end; they seem 100% hell-bent on having fun and making chaos, rather than surviving and acting sensible.

things to watch for: The mass chaos at the end, when the bikers invade the mall.

something this movie has that no other movie has: a Hare Krishna zombie

recommended reading: the Zombie Survival Guide

acting: The woman does a good job of changing from helpless to useful. The one cop always remains serious, but the other gets kind of cocky and careless, which I didn't like. The pilot was good, though he had a stupid moment or two.

final word: good horror/zombie movie, and a classic of its time

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