Dawn of the Dead (1978) 4.18/5 (7)


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Rating: The Good – 87.2
Genre: Horror
Duration: 127 mins
Director: George A. Romero
Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger

George A. Romero’s sequel to Night of the Living Dead is arguably as good as its legendary predecessor and that’s all the more impressive given that it goes in a different direction story-wise. Not content to rehash the first film’s plot like so many modern sequels, Romero expands on the concept and establishes a textured universe for a franchise which seemed to be about much more than just making money. Dawn of the Dead picks up some time after where Night of the Living Dead left off, when the zombie threat has become widespread and cities are been overrun. Two SWAT cops hook up with a fleeing news helicopter pilot and his pregnant girlfriend and together the four of them occupy a shopping mall which they proceed to make their home.

Romero takes a far more tongue in cheek approach than in Night of the Living Dead but it only adds to the social commentary and enjoyment factors. The action is upscaled too resulting in some great concept scenes such as the one with the travelling hordes of bikers (which George Miller may or may not have noted before making Mad Max a year later). And as if that wasn’t enough, Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger as the two SWAT guys form what must be one of the (if not the) coolest on-screen duos as their fearless and enthusiastic attitude towards zombie killing infects (some pun intended) the film with an irrepressible sense of fun.

In Dawn of the Dead, Romero continues to harness his unorthodox writing and directorial style resulting in a thoroughly unique film experience. Don’t miss it because you won’t see anything else like it. Like most of Romero’s other work, it is the essence of independent cinema.

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