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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Horror | 24 May 1979 (USA)
Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director:

George A. Romero
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Popularity
2,974 ( 179)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ... Stephen
Ken Foree ... Peter
Scott H. Reiniger ... Roger
Gaylen Ross ... Francine
David Crawford David Crawford ... Dr. Foster
David Early David Early ... Mr. Berman
Richard France ... Scientist
Howard Smith ... TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich Daniel Dietrich ... Givens
Fred Baker Fred Baker ... Commander
James A. Baffico James A. Baffico ... Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer Rod Stouffer ... Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre Jese Del Gre ... Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon Clayton McKinnon ... Officer in Project Apt.
John Rice ... Officer in Project Apt.
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Storyline

The zombie apocalypse has hit Earth. Two personnel from a TV station and two policemen set off in a helicopter to find a safe place to hide out. Their search leads them to a shopping mall where they manage to find a place that, while not zombie-free, is quite secure. So far, so good. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1968, George Romero brought us "Night of the Living Dead." It became the classic horror film of its time. Now, George Romero brings us the most intensely shocking motion picture experience for all time. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the back of the cover of the CBS/Fox videotape of the film in Australia and New Zealand had a warning "WARNING: Due to the horrific content of the film, no one under the age of 18 should be permitted to view it!". See more »

Goofs

While speeding past the doughnut shop to seal off the last set of doors, the film crew can be seen in the reflection of the floor-to-ceiling barber shop window as the car speeds by. The camera-man is standing, & other crew members are crouching. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tony, Man at WGON - TV ('You all right?'): [after Francine awakens from a nightmare] You alright?
[Francine nods]
Tony, Man at WGON - TV ('You all right?'): Shit's really hit the fan.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"... Music by Dario Argento and THE GOBLINS" See more »

Alternate Versions

In Germany there were VHS copies in circulation that were an exact duplicate of the 1985 Austrailian VHS by CBS/FOX Video. The sleeve and the tape were exactly identical to the one that features the character Steven on the front. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Diary of the Dead (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

We Are The Champions
(Mall Montage Scene) (uncredited)
Composed by Reg Tilsley
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

Dated quite badly but still an enjoyable movie for gore fans
13 April 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

As the dead continue to rise up and live again as flesh hungry zombies, civilisation begins to crumble as the problem becomes too big to be easily defeated. In Philadelphia a traffic reporter and his girlfriend use the helicopter to take refuge in a mall where they are joined by a couple of SWAT officers. Their first mission is to seal the mall and clear it of the undead. However as they fortify the army of the undead only continues to grow.

Having recently made the rather scary and fast paced remake, I thought I would revisit the original just to see it again. The main thing I prefer about the original is how the gore is served up with a satirical edge that the remake pretty much didn't even bother with. Here, much like Shaun of the Dead, the zombies are just trying to do what they did in life - walk aimlessly around a massive mall, not entirely sure what they're after but doing it none the less. This makes that point reasonably well but I actually preferred it in Shaun (but I know it could be because this is an older film).

The horror of this film comes from the gore as the zombies are far too slow and easily avoided to be really truly scary. Again this may be down to the film's age as jaded audiences will scare a whole lot harder than they did back then simply due to the excesses that have been piled upon us. The gore is still quite hard for me to watch though and there were quite a few moments when I watched through my fingers. The idea is still good and the number of zombies involved (as well as some other aspects) covers from plot problems that arose in the remake.

The cast are all pretty good and it isn't as predictable who will make it and who won't as it is in some other slasher movies where you can spot the fodder miles away. The problem with this film to me is that it has dated badly, the story has been opened out from the Night and has lost tension and atmosphere as a result - with only the bloody red gore to replace it. The scares have been lost with familiarity and the film's comedy just doesn't really work in the context. It's a shame, because I usually don't like remakes but I do have to say that the remake is a lot scarier and Shaun of the Dead is a lot funnier and makes the same sort of comments on society.

Overall this is still a good movie that uses the horror genre to make comments about a commercialist society that is (literally) eating itself with the pursuit of stuff for stuff's sake. Age has not treated it well but it is still worth seeing.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) |

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (German prints)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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