WEIRDO’WEEN #04: Dawn Of The Dead [1978]


Imagine the following: you’re locked inside a mall with three friends. You’re the only ones inside; no annoying families with their kids, no other people whatsoever. How would you react? That’s what Stephen, Francine, Roger and Peter find out in today’s movie review of yet another sequel during my weirdo’ween reviews: Dawn Of The Dead from 1978. I’m actually a huge fan of this movie [I have a shirt with the movie’s poster on it!] as I feel like it’s one of the defining zombie films of all time. It’s violent, it’s an interesting concept, and it’s a cult film; for all the right reasons. So the real question is: will you [and your friends] survive the oncoming zombie apocalypse? Let’s find out!

weirdo'ween-#4For those that aren’t as into horror like the rest of us, [or maybe you just haven’t seen the films?] Dawn Of The Dead is actually a sequel to the black and white film Night Of The Living Deadwhich a lot of people call “the original zombie film.” Dawn takes place some time after Night; when the dead had started to rise and attack the living. Naturally, this means civilization has already started to crumble. Dawn takes place in the city of Philadelphia, where TV station workers Stephen and Francine decide to run, considering the situation is starting to worsen and, after meeting two others: Roger and Peter – two special policemen who were ordered to move any people into rescue stations who have also choose to run – decide their best course of action is to steal the TV station’s helicopter and go west in an attempt to find somewhere safe to hide out.. Eventually, they come across a deserted mega-mall in Monroeville, which is just outside Pittsburgh, and agree [as a group] to wait inside until the crisis is over; that’s assuming it does end.

This movie is fun; I mean a lot of fun. Dawn Of The Dead is the work of George A Romero when he’s truly on top of his game. Given almost total control of the movie, his unique and vivid view of a world in absolute turmoil is absolutely scary to realize that it’s something that’s totally possible.

The interesting thing about Dawn is that it’s not just a zombie flick, it’s almost a warning about the fragile structure of society as a whole, and how easily it can be broken down..granted, by zombies; but still! Like most horror movies these days, many people criticize the film for being “too over the top” and said the quality of the acting isn’t that great.. But to be honest, this is a positive! Consider that Romero uses glaring – even harsh – sets and visual effects. Add this to the dialogue the film’s “heroes” use and you have a movie that tries to pull us into a false sense of security. Only to have the hypothetical carpet pulled from under our feet, showing us that we aren’t safe; and that this situation is going to have us all dead by the end of the day. [get it? cause “Day Of The Dead” is the next film in the “Of The Dead” series? ..come on, that was funny, right?]

The one thing I’ve always loved about this movie is the setting: The Mall. I mean, with only four survivors, they have the entire mall at their disposal for weapons: either a baseball bat from the sports shop, a gun or two from the hunting depot; the possibilities are endless! [Fun Fact: The video game Dead Rising got it’s concept from this movie!] Usually, when things go to hell, people like to buy them stuff they don’t need in order to feel better. Chances are, during a zombie apocalypse, we’d probably still do exactly the same [it’d just be called “looting”] and that’s why the shopping spree scene in this movie works so well. It’s like Romero knows that that we’d all love to be let loose in an entire shopping mall with anything up for the taking, and pokes fun at us in the process.. Showing that even with the dead returning to life and eating all of our friends, we’d still probably want that big screen TV.

Dawn Of The Dead is undoubtedly one of the most important films ever made. It inspired a crazy amount of cheap ripoff’s that are still being made today and it stands proudly on many horror fan’s list of favorite films. It even got itself a remake [by the same name] and, surprisingly, it turned out to be alright[not great, but not bad by any means] Though, it’s always going to be the original that’s best; and this film is, even if it’s a little dated, a masterpiece.

Now I look to you: if you’re reading this, surely you’ve seen this film! It’s a staple in horror, making it one of [if not thethe most important films I’m going to review this Halloween season! If you’ve seen it, what are your thoughts? Let me know in a comment or two! If you haven’t seen it, do it! It’s well deserving of it’s love, for it’s story and it’s violence! Also, if you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review please let me know which movie[s] you want to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #05STAY TUNED!

boom! headshot!




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