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Dawn of the Dead

Scott Reiniger  Actor Ken Foree  Actor David Emge  Actor Gaylen Ross  Actor Tom Savini  Actor

MPAA Rating: NR
Contains:Violence,Not For Children,Adult Language,Gore

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Dawn of the Dead

UPC: 013131413885

Studio: Anchor Bay

MPAA Rating: NR   Contains:[Violence, Not For Children, Adult Language, Gore]

Summary: Director George A. Romero's epic sequel to his legendary Night of the Living Dead has firmly established itself as the equal of its ground-breaking predecessor. Though shot in 1978 -- ten years after the first films' release -- Dawn's story begins as if the events in Night had happened only a few months before: after shambling armies of the recently-dead take over every major city -- seeking warm human flesh for food -- the U.S. government imposes a state of martial law, sending in special National Guard units to attack and destroy zombie infestation where they find it. Two members of one such unit, Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott Reiniger) have been tasked to overthrow a nest of zombies in a Pittsburgh housing project (one of the film's most explicitly gory scenes). When the job turns ugly and Peter is forced to terminate his own berserk, racist commanding officer, the pair decide to split the outfit with the help of his friend Stephen (David Emge), a traffic pilot for WGON-TV, and the station's floor manager, Stephen's girlfriend Frances (Gaylen Ross). Together they steal the station's helicopter and head for less-populated areas, but after some narrow scrapes with flesh-hungry redneck ghouls in the country outside Harrisburg, they opt for a more secure hideout. Eventually they find the perfect solution: a massive, sprawling shopping mall. After the lengthy process of purging the building of zombies is complete, the four secure themselves snugly in the miniature city, consigned to live out their lives in a dull but cushy consumer's paradise... but the arrival of a menacing gang of nomadic bikers proves that this is not to be. With their survival instincts weakened by a mallful of toys and trinkets, the crew are again forced to face grim reality as they face both living and undead foes in a final battle. Romero's excellent, multi-layered story combines high-adventure heroics, three-dimensional characters and explicit gore (by the always masterful Tom Savini, who plays a small role as a leering biker) to excellent effect. The subtext comparing the glassy-eyed behavior patterns of the ghouls to those of American consumers is clear, but not overdone: "It's some kind of instinct," Stephen comments, observing the zombies' attraction to the mall; "This was an important place in their lives." Despite the glimmer of hope offered by the film's closing scene, the outlook for humankind is grim. Perhaps it is Frannie who best expresses Dawn's outlook for humanity: "We're not gonna make it, are we?" Several versions of this film are available on video, including a faster-paced European version edited by overseas distributor Dario Argento and a "Director's Cut" with a great deal of exposition restored (though Romero is quoted as having preferred the unrated cut released initially to U.S. theaters). The shooting script also contains a more downbeat ending, which was never filmed. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Category: Horror

Dawn of the Dead

Format: Universal Media Disc

Release Date: 11/22/2005

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Robert Firsching

One of the most successful independent films ever made -- as well as one of the bloodiest -- this first sequel to Night of the Living Dead couches its splattery goings-on in the context of a satire on pop consumerism. A handful of humans are trapped in a shopping mall filled with flesh-eating zombies who look for all the world like the regular blissed-out customers. Tom Savini's effects are brilliantly and disgustingly realized, with screwdrivers in the head, chunks of flesh bitten from necks, scalps lopped off with helicopter blades, and so on, but this is really more of an action movie than either horror or satire, resembling a particularly gory version of Rio Bravo more than it does its predecessor. Romero fills the film with soldiers, bikers, and other action-movie stalwarts, prefiguring his more obscure genre melding in Knightriders (1981). A tour-de-force of action, gore and wit, Dawn of the Dead is exciting filmmaking, but is not for the squeamish. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Richard P. Rubinstein  Producer 
Donna Siegal  Producer 
Dario Argento  Composer (Music Score) 
George A. Romero  Director 
George A. Romero  Screenwriter 
Goblin  Composer (Music Score) 
Scott Reiniger  Actor 
Ken Foree  Actor 
David Emge  Actor 
Gaylen Ross  Actor 
Tom Savini  Actor 
James A. Baffico  Actor 
Fred Baker  Actor 
Pasquale A. Buba  Actor 
Pan Chatfield  Actor 
Jim Christopher  Actor 
Jese del Gre  Actor 
David Crawford  Actor 
David Earle  Actor 
Richard France  Actor 
Howard K. Smith  Actor 
Daniel Dietrich  Actor 
Rod Stouffer  Actor 
Clayton McKinnon  Actor 
John Rice  Actor 
Ted Bank  Actor 
Randy Kovitz  Actor 
Patrick McCloskey  Actor 
Tony Buba  Actor 
Taso N. Stavrakis  Actor 
Sharon Ceccatti  Actor 
Jay Stover  Actor 
Christine Forrest  Actor 
John Harrison  Actor 
George A. Romero  Actor 
Marty Schiff  Actor 
Scott H. Reinger  Actor 

Country: USA