Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dawn of the Dead (1978) - Review - @BrandonCSites / #GerogeARomero / #Zombies

Dawn of the Dead (1978) ****
D: George A. Romero
C: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, Tom Savini

Plot Synopsis: In a world overran with zombies, four people, armed with a helicopter, seek refuge in a mall. 

REVIEW: In 1968, George A. Romero introduced zombies as these brain munching, gut ripping creatures of the dark in Night of the Living Dead. With Dawn of the Dead, Mr. Romero has created the definitive zombie movie, expanding his focus to show us different ways in which zombies can be presented. Sometimes they are scary. Sometimes they are clownish. Sometimes they are sad beings. Sometimes they are heroic. And sometimes ....they are forgotten. 

Not only has Romero expanded his focus in terms of zombie presentation, but he has expanded the human side of the film's story. There's parallels as to how we, as a society, are so driven by consumerism that we're turning into brainless zombies ourselves. There's parallels showing that in a world full of zombies, that the ultimate horror is not in zombies, but in human behavior. That when given the opportunity, people are willing to turn into savages; that we would be willing to kill, rob & loot for sport. This is represented, in the film, by a biker gang who travels cross country who kill zombies for fun. In the end, even though there is this enormous mall that is big enough for everyone to share, the film's main characters have to battle this biker gang who wants to have it all for themselves so that they can spoil in its excesses. And there's even statements about how we, as a society, are so morally bankrupt these days that there is no more room in Hell, so everyone that dies comes back to life as a zombie. And if you look a little bit closer, the zombie, the biker gang characters and the film's various messages draw parallels as to how we, as a society, are creating are very own Hell on Earth.

Dawn of the Dead is a bold, gutsy film that will not only will satisfy those looking for a straight up zombie movie, but for those looking for something more considered. Back in 1978, most people would have considered this a post apocalyptic take on the future of humanity. In 2014, what's most frightening of all is not the film's zombies or the gory special effects, but that the film's various statements about humanity and society ring true even more so today. [Not Rated] 126 mins.    

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