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Dawn of the Dead
Reviewed by Oct 24th, 2004

The story is fairly simple: zombies have taken over the world. Five people try and find a place to barricade themselves in to survive. This time, it’s the mall. You gotta give them credit for that; the mall seems like the place to be in the event of a zombie takeover.

They land their helicopter and decide that it’s a nice place to settle down for a while. The mall has everything: food, entertainment, guns, clothes… Unfortunately it also has a lot of zombies. They have to battle these zombies most every time they go to get more supplies, but the zombies are fairly slow. The group runs into trouble when they go outside to barricade the doors with trucks, and one of the group gets bitten.

At that point everybody’s going a bit stir crazy. They realize things can only get worse when a zombie-battling biker army decides they would like to get into the mall as well… From that point on, it’s non stop gory action. Not only is everyone battling zombies, they’re also battling other humans.

There are a lot of reasons this has become one of the most influential zombie films of all time. George Romero knows zombies, and Tom Savini knows zombie makeup. A lot of people diss the green-face makeup worn by the hordes of zombies, but I think it’s effective (not to mention they couldn’t have used prosthetics on hundreds of people without a really huge budget). This doesn’t bother for the same reason the minimal zombie makeup in Night of the Living Dead didn’t bother me. They were supposed to look like humans, even if they didn’t act like them. As stated before, the mall is just a perfect location to be during a zombie takeover. The characters are fairly well-rounded, and they react much like real people might react under the circumstances. It has some humor, like when Roger and Peter start yelling at the zombies behind the glass doors, and when the bikers start throwing pies in the zombies’ faces, but it doesn’t overdue it. It’s not a comedy. And of course there are the social messages you can read into it: like shoppers being compared to zombies. It tells a great tale of human interaction under extroardinary circumstances. A must-own for any zombie fan.

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