We live in a world where zombie films (and shows) are now ten-a-penny. However, the great George A. Romero is the grandfather of the horror sub-genre and zombie films don’t come more iconic that 1978’s Dawn Of The Dead. Sequelised, copied and even remade by Zack Snyder, no filmmaker has ever come close to capturing the essence of what makes Romero’s film so great.
Set in the immediate aftermath of zombie plague, Dawn Of The Dead sees a group of survivors seek refuge in a shopping mall. They settle down in a certain rhythm of life, but it would seem that other living humans might just be more dangerous than the swarms of the undead.
Upping the scope of 1968’s Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead is as much a critique of commercialisation as it is a horror film. We get to see our survivors pillaging the empty stores and enjoying the spoils of a declining humanity. It also shows how the greatest threat to humanity is other humans – illustrated when a gang of bikers attack the mall in an attempt to loot it.
Romero’s film features some wonderful practical special effects courtesy of make-up maestro/co-star/stuntman Tom Savini. The stunts are great and there’s a wonderfully eeriness to the shuffling zombies which is ten times scarier than the fast moving hordes that we’ve seen on screen on recent years.
A masterclass in (relatively) low budget genre filmmaking. Dawn Of The Dead is one of the crowning achievements in the career of the great George Of Romero.
The brilliant Second Sight Films‘ release of Dawn Of The Dead is a sight to behold. George A. Romero‘s horror classic has been beautifully restored and released with a wealth of extras which will make any Dead Head shuffle to add it to their collection.
The release features four discs (!) with three versions of the film: The Theatrical Cut, The Extended (‘Cannes’) Cut and The Argento Cut. The set also includes new and archive interviews, commentaries, documentaries, soundtrack CDs and a brand new 160-page hardback book, titled Dissecting the Dead.
There’s enough material here to keep you entertained for a month when the zombie apocalypse finally arrives.