Dawn of the Dead (1978)

dawn of the dead poster 1978 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun script

Zombies come off as blue

Movie Info

Movie Name: Dawn of the Dead

Studio: Laurel Group, Inc.

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): September 2, 1978

MPAA Rating: R


The day after Thanksgiving or zombies…I’m not sure

The Dead are slowly overpowering the world. Now members of a SWAT Team organized to combat them is on the run with a television crew and the only safe place is massive mall…Safe inside the mall with other survivors, it seems like an almost ideal location to live in spite of the horror around them. Surrounded by zombies, the mall becomes a safe haven, but a motorcycle gang might ruin the survivors chances of living.

Almost ten years after his hugely successful Night of the Living Dead (1968), George Romero released what many consider his zombie masterpiece. Known as Zombi internationally (and spawning the Italian unrelated sequel Zombi 2), Dawn of the Dead also had an international re-edit by horror master Dario Argento. Dawn of the Dead was critically hailed as a film possessing a lot of social commentary simply due to its smart setting.


Kill zombies can be fun!

The idea of setting the story in a mall, was seen as a genius move by critics as a sign of commercialism. The Dead (they are never actually called zombies in the film), still come to the mall. The idea is that purchasing and commercialism is so in the American psyche that it even surpasses death itself. The survivors find themselves at home living at a mall and can adjust to and even enjoy the freedom of owning everything inside…The motorcycle gang that threatens them also see the mall as a commodity and want to take it and its belongings despite the society that is collapsing around them. It is like looters who rob as the cities burn. The story helps boost these ideas with the drama, gore, and fun.


I’m having one of those days

The story has a lot of humor and that helps because the face make-up on the zombies is awful. It was suppose to come out as gray, but ended up being a bluish tint. The actual gory zombies are great with effects by Tom Savini, but even he objected to the super bright red blood that was spewed by the zombies.

Dawn of the Dead is a great sequel that surpassed its original. I love Night of the Living Dead, but Dawn of the Dead also has a lot of fun. The acting is so-so, and it gets a little long at points, but overall, the film is great. Dawn of the Dead was followed by Day of the Dead in 1985. In 2004, Zack Snyder remade Dawn of the Dead, hyping up the zombies (they run) but keeping a lot of the commentary. A nice surprise is that this remake is this remake is also good so I can’t say not to bother with it, but see the original first…It is worth it.

Related Links:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Day of the Dead (1985)

Land of the Dead (2005)

Diary of the Dead (2007)

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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