31 Days of Halloween Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)

31 Days of Halloween – Day 18

Dawn of the Dead (directed by George A. Romero, 1978) Though the “sequel” to Night of the Living Dead is much different than it’s predecessor, Dawn of the Dead is still a landmark in the zombie genre. Gruesome, grizzly, violent, and most importantly; fun. I saw this movie when I was seven or eight years old, and it is something that has stuck with me, but not because it scared me. I was completely taken with the special effects. The amount of gun shots, head smashes, ripped off arms, and everything else captured my attention. And imagine going on a long-term shopping spree, and all you have to do is survive the zombie apocalypse? It sounds amazing, unless you get bitten. Four people escape Philadelphia as it is being overrun by the undead. After escaping by helicopter, they take refuge in a shopping mall. Faced with the task of clearing the zombies out of their new home, the group does there best to make their unbelievable situation tolerable. Things begin to unravel, and everything culminates in a battle with an outlaw biker gang who have come to pillage the mall. The role of Peter, played by the bad ass Ken Foree, is one of my all-time favorite horror movie heroes. Peter is the perfect mix of serious and funny, and Foree has great timing with his dialogue. Monster make-up effects wizard Tom Savini does double duty as the films make-up artist, as well as playing the role of the leader of the motorcycle gang. Dawn of the Dead has the same feel as a lot of the great films made in the late 70’s; a great synthesizer soundtrack, tough but vulnerable characters, a great special effects. George Romero did his best to keep the tone of Night of the Living Dead serious, so with Dawn, it feels like he tried to have a little fun with a larger budget. Mission accomplished. Dawn of the Dead is a quintessential zombie movie, so it should also be mandatory Halloween viewing. Even if human flesh isn’t your thing, try it. You might like it.

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Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow
  • Day 15 – House of 1,000 Corpses
  • Day 16 – The Devil’s Rejects
  • Day 17 – Night of the Living Dead
  • Day 18 – Dawn of the Dead (’78)

T.

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