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Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | | Horror, Thriller | 24 May 1979 (USA)
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2:39 | Trailer

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Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director:

George A. Romero
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Popularity
2,948 ( 344)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Emge ... Stephen
Ken Foree ... Peter
Scott H. Reiniger ... Roger
Gaylen Ross ... Francine
David Crawford David Crawford ... Dr. Foster
David Early David Early ... Mr. Berman
Richard France ... Scientist
Howard Smith Howard Smith ... TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich Daniel Dietrich ... Givens
Fred Baker Fred Baker ... Commander
James A. Baffico James A. Baffico ... Wooley (as Jim Baffico)
Rod Stouffer Rod Stouffer ... Young Officer on Roof
Jese Del Gre Jese Del Gre ... Old Priest
Clayton McKinnon Clayton McKinnon ... Officer in Project Apt.
John Rice ... Officer in Project Apt.
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Storyline

Following the events of Night of the Living Dead (1968), we follow the exploits of four survivors of the expanding zombie apocalypse as they take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall following a horrific SWAT evacuation of an apartment complex. Taking stock of their surroundings, they arm themselves, lock down the mall, and destroy the zombies inside so they can eke out a living--at least for a while. Tensions begin to build as months go on, and they come to realize that they've fallen prey to consumerism. Soon afterward, they have even heavier problems to worry about, as a large gang of bikers discovers the mall and invades it, ruining the survivors' best-laid plans and forcing them to fight off both lethal bandits and flesh-eating zombies. Written by Curly Q. Link

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest, Dawn of the Dead, is back. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ultimate Final Cut) | (Dario Argento's European Version) |

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (German prints)| Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Pilato: as a policeman at the boat dock. Pilato had auditioned for the role of Stephen, and would play Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead (1985). See more »

Goofs

As the Trivia Section notes, shooting of the movie was done during the Christmas Season and was suspended during the holidays to avoid the cost of re-hanging decorations. As a result, JC Penney (the store of which they keep going in and out), has a sign in the window saying "After-Christmas Sale" later in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Millard Rausch, Scientist: This isn't the Republicans versus the Democrats, where we're in a hole economically or... or we're in another war. This is more crucial than that. This is down to the line, folks, this is down to the line. There can be no more divisions among the living!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The zombies overrun the mall throughout the course of the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

A heavily edited "R-rated" version of "Dawn of the Dead" (with more than 50 cuts) was released in 1982 to be put in a drive-in double-bill with George Romero's Creepshow (1982). After widespread protests by fans, United Film Distribution (the original distributors of Dawn of the Dead and Creepshow) publicly surrendered the MPAA-sanctioned rating and vowed only to release "Dawn of the Dead" in it's unedited, unrated state. As of 2015, this R-rated version has never been released again. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Shocking Truth (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Dramaturgy
(uncredited)
Composed by Paul Lemel
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Apocalypse in the Food Court
31 October 2000 | by ShinwaSee all my reviews

Thoughtful if unsubtle epic follow-up to Night of the Living Dead was one of THE influential movies of the late 70's; pity, then, that the people it influenced paid more attention to the amped-up gore than to the sense of contained hysteria that makes what should be tough going (there are basically three scenes in this movie: zombies attack people, people attack zombies, people stand around talking) a uniquely involving and provocative self-analysis of the zombie film.

The symbolism is, well, not delicate. Just in case we missed it the first time, the trope that the mall attracts the zombies "because it was an important place to them" is repeated for our rumination. But the overall sustained atmosphere, inside and outside of the banal environment of the shopping mall, is by far the film's salient contribution; even when there is no obvious action onscreen, there is the threat of an attack to come, and the clock is clearly ticking on the four protagonists during their idyll. Moreover, it takes the conspicuously familiar and catapults it into an apocalyptic situation, creating a powerful sense of displacement.

The violence, which is primarily what draws people to or repels them from this movie, comes on strong, but quickly becomes monotonous (as it is, the vast majority of the violence in the movie is inflicted against the zombies rather than by them, though is none the less repulsive for that); the scariest part of the movie is how plausible it makes the concept of total disintegration of what we perceive as civilization. The soundtrack, highlighting pulsing, insistent synthesizer chords, contributes much to the onscreen tension, which the action choreography is exemplary. An unlikely masterpiece.


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