Dawn of the Dead is the sequel to the B-Movie zombie classic Night of the Living Dead which was released in 1978 (ten years after the first movie) and this time round in glorious color. Although the movie was filmed with a considerably larger budget than the movies predecessor Dawn of the Dead was still a low budget movie. The cast and crew made the most out of the budget using a real shopping center (the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh to be precise) as the main shooting location during non opening hours. Most of the zombies worked for free or next to nothing as well as members of the Pagans MC for the climax scene.
The four unlikely accomplices meet up and take to the sky in the hope of finding some kind of safe haven until this hell on earth blows over.
While airborne the group spot an abandoned shopping mall and land on the roof. The place is infested with hordes of the undead. However if they can get the doors locked and wipe out the zombies they should be home free in a consumer paradise..
Dawn of the Dead is not only the greatest zombie movie ever made (in my opinion) but it is also my personal favorite movie of all time. I dont know what it is about this movie in particular which I love the most. Is it the zombies? the gore? the mall? the bikers? or just the fact it has all of that great stuff all under one roof?
Not only all that but the movie has powerful performances, a strong story, characters you care about and very strong social commentary which is almost satire when you look deeper into it. Consumers, consumerism and being consumed all in one melting pot, its pure genius.
Due to the budget the movie was made in somewhat of a guerrilla film style, making the most of the low budget with maximum results. The low budget gives this movie a real punk rock feel which is always over with me.
Dawn of the Dead is a high octane, high action gore fest which absolutely thrills from start to finish. You have not lived until you have seen this movie. Now heres another 10 reasons why you need this movie in your life.
10. THE MALL
The real life Monroeville shopping in mall in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was the main location for the movie during closing hours. Apart from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate factory there are no other movies I can think of which have such a rich setting which you just want to jump into the movie and start having fun. A whole shopping center filled with gun shops, arcades, department stores and supermarkets was all for there the taking with no restrictions. The setting acts more as a fifth character than a back drop.
9. HELICOPTER ZOMBIE DECAPITATION
There are many creative ways in which the zombies get all kinds of fucked up in this movie. One of the most creative instances is when the spinning blades of the helicopter decapitating a member of the undead.
8. THE ZOMBIES
Dawn of the Dead may have the most zombies ever included in one movie. There are just so many and there are so many mark out ones as well. From the over acting zombie nurse, the nun, the red neck, the child zombies and the hari krishna zombie, there are soo many classic ghouls in this one.
7. THE SOUNDTRACK
A very diverse Italian band arranged the soundtrack for Dawn of the Dead called Goblin. The soundtrack is very unique and has been also used for many over Italian zombie movies and the band also arranged soundtracks for other movies from Dawn of the Deads Dario Argento. The other music included in the film is that of the Monroeville Malls PA system. The film crew did not know how to turn off the ambient shopping music and decided to leave it in. The funny thing is that it actually works.
Dawn of the Dead is filled to the brim with guns and weapons. The fact two SWAT members are on board means there are non stop picture perfect head shots from carbine assault rifles. Thanks to there being a gun shop in the mall the cast have access to all kinds of guns and ammo to take care of the hordes of the undead.
In the climax scene of the film a biker gang invades the mall to loot the place letting all the zombies in. What follows is some of the most chaotic scenes in movie history. Bikes, zombies and a massive fire fight with the movies main characters. The Pagans MC were used to film these final scenes.
4. TOM SAVINI
Tom Savini was the main make up and special effects guy in Dawn of the Dead. Upon returning from the Vietnam conflict in which he acted as a war photographer, Savini landed the job doing the special effects and make up for this movie. Having experience looking at and photographing real human corpses Savini had somewhat of a nack for creating extremely gory and realistic special effects for that time. Not only did Savini make up all the zombies but he also did a lot of the movies stunts and even played the leader of the biker gang. Savini is a legend nuff said.
3. THE GORE
Dawn of the Dead may have been one of the goriest and most violent films to be ever be released at the time. Wether it was exploding heads, guts being ripped out, machetes going through heads, screwdrivers in the ear or zombies getting decapitated by helicopter blades this movie has it all in that department.
2. GEORGE A ROMERO
George A Romero directed this movie and anyone who knows anything about zombie movies knows that George Romero is the undisputed king of the genre.
1. IT'S KRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ'S FAVORITE MOVIE
Yeah thats fucking right! Its my favorite movie of all time. So go and see it or save it for Halloween night its the coolest movie ever made. Keep checking back all this month for more halloween madness.
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