Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Reviewed on 2011 January 27
Romero’s second zombie movie picks right up where the unprecedented Night of the Living Dead left off, jumping right into the aftermath of the first movie and once again scaring the crap out of people. This time he does it in color and with a fatter budget.
A crew holed up in a TV station is trying to make sense of what’s going on, doing their best to parse the reports of living flesh-eating corpses and getting word of what’s happening out to any people who are “out there”. Fran (Gaylen Ross) and Stephen (David Emge) finally escape to a nearby mall, a huge abandoned thing, along with SWAT-team members Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott H. Reiniger). Fran is apprehensive; the SWAT men think if they can clear out the free-range zombies still poking around the anchor stores, they’ll have a secure fortress with lots of provisions.
The talking heads arguing, trying to figure out why the dead are coming back to life and feasting on the living is as sick as it it is funny (though Dr. Foster asserting that zombies make more zombies gets it). I know Romero himself asserted that he never originally intended his monsters to be zombies, and if we’re going to nitpick I think the term “ghoul” may be more accurate, but watch the undead shuffle through the empty mall. Works for me. He says a lot about all people here: consumers, 1%-er bikers, and the kind of people who’d break out the morning beer in honor of Zombie Season.
Three chocolate morsels. Very disgusting, blood-soaked, and still a great zombie flick, and Argento’s house group Goblin provides the soundtrack.