To start analyzing this film we must take a look at NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. This film was a landmark as it introduced the zombies as we know today. Now, DAWN OF THE DEAD set a new landmark. In it, the zombies were a mature (sub)genre in modern cinema.
What makes this film so important? Everything! First it is the brilliant screenplay. The story... you already know: as the zombie population increases more and more, four people barricate themselves inside a big shopping mall, where they endulge themselves with all consumering desires they can think of.
Sounds simple? It is, but there is more than meets the eye: as the zombies try to get in (you'll have to wonder why) the four heroes inside discover their paradise makes them more empty than they would have thought it would... and slowly, life start making no sense.
DAWN OF THE DEAD is the kind of film that has been changing as the decades pass. Its violence seems to have softened if we think of all the action and horror films who came in the decades that followed (just like it happened with other horror landmarks like THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD). Its makeup is not comparable to the vast majority of horror films that came after (who had bigger makeup budgets)... but on the other hand, elements like tension, drama, character development and social critique have all grown more powerful then in all of the films that followed.
In other words, audiences who see this film today, many times discover the fact that its weight is changing fields... from graphic horror to social horror. And this kind of horror is no less potent and much more rare.
Mr. Romero is one of those rare horror screenwriter/directors who do have a strong critic point of view (and we can see it as he continues to deliver so in his later third zombie film - the sadly underated gem - DAY OF THE DEAD).
Clearly, this is a multi-layered film that demands multiple levels of reading. You must be aware of all the issues put inside this film. Otherwise, if you're in just for the cheap thrills, gore and violence, you'll probably be disappointed.
As a product of the late seventies, this is a production triumph because it manages to deliver a lot with minimum budget. The remake released early this year made a great update on this basic premisse.
I loved them both.
This edition seems to be more than we've all asked for (now that the simpler Divimax edition made all the money it could...). Here, you'll find all the versions and lots of extras.
But again... DAWN OF THE DEAD is a film that I am sure will be seen and celebrated for years to come. See it with an open mind and you too will discover why.
A brilliant, entertaining and violent horror action movie with human drama, satire, black comedy, gore by Tom Savini ( of " Friday The 13th" fame) and a message that we ourselves created monsters that make literally death in society. George Romero has done a wonderful job on this movie including with his partner Dario Argento and a great music score by The Goblins.
The DVD is quite excellent in picture and sound quality, the extras are out of this world such as Commentary, Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots, Bio of George Romero, Comic Book Preview and a couple of Easter Eggs. This is a must own movie if you love the genre, but in September there is going to be a super 3-disc edition featuring the director's cut, Theatrical Cut and Italian Argento Zombi cut.
See this movie now before you see the remake.
Similar movies recommended: " The Evil Dead", " Zombie", " Day of the Dead", " Night of the Living Dead" ( 1968), " Scanners", " Nightmare City ( a.k.a. City of the Walking Dead)", " Burial Ground", " City of the Living Dead ( a.k.a. The Gates of Hell)", " House By The Cemetery", " Mallrats", " Night of the Living Dead ( 1990 remake)", " From Dusk Till Dawn", " Resident Evil", " 28 Days Later", " The Omega Man", " Let Sleeping Corpses Lie", " Freddy Vs Jason", " Evil Dead II", " The Road Warrior", " Akira", " Hell of the Living Dead ( a.k.a. Night of the Zombies)", " Demons", " Cannibal Ferox", " Cannibal Holocaust", " Zombi 3", " Undead", " House of the Dead", " Cannibal Apocalypse", " Cemetery Man", and " The Beyond ( a.k.a. The Seven Doors of Death)".