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Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Short plot summary

Zombies have taken over the world - run slowly with your arms outstretched going Arrggg! for the shopping mall hills...

Our heroes (Stephen Andrews (David Emge), Peter Washington (Ken Foree), Roger DeMarco (Scott H. Reiniger) and Francine Parker (Gaylen Ross)) try to save themselves by taking over a shopping mall... but those darn zombies are outside... Then a Hell's Angels chapter want to get in...

Rating
Head Exploding Advisory throughout. Moments of bloody limb chewing, scars (both ooze-bloody and scabby), scenes of zombie biting mouthful of flesh off shoulders, intestines being pulled from body, Zombies being shot in the head at close range by guns and head slicing off using blades. 1970's fashions and hairstyles warning throughout the movie.
What our panel of critics thought

"Has that look of an episode of Charlie's Angels but without that nice and comfortable sofa."

"Do the Zombies run when we can't see them? It's the only explanation how they can catch our heroes by surprise like they do."

"Everyone's nightmare. Loved the soda siphon in the face - I'll be adding a slapstick element to my nightmares next time they pop up, as I'm sure they will tonight... or in flashback form next time I go down to the Mall."

"There's nobody anywhere, no cars, nothing else in the skies, but our heroes still manage to set their helicopter down on a helipad. 10 out of 10 for neatness if nothing else."

"This movie made me want to join the National Rifle Association, does that make me a bad person?"

Please tell me the ending

Hell's Angels invade the shopping mall and a gun battle (2 vs about 300 kicks off). Our heroes seem to have no chance, yet the Hell's Angels leave.

Our heroes (one less than at the beginning - don't worry he was only the annoying one - shot after becoming a zombie) find their helicopter and fly off into the sunset... Surely another 15 sequels are in prospect...

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Let me start by saying that I have never found zombies scary in the slightest, just very annoying - as annoying as a typical old person in front of me in the queue at a typical supermarket. Sorry if that has just scared you from going shopping... actually I'm not.

This is a horribly eerie movie, not devastatingly nerve shatteringly terrifying even if you are scared of zombies. There are some brutal moments where zombies chew off limbs and look menacing... but why be scared? Zombies are a slow motion threat at worst, you will be able to see them coming a mile off, in spite of the fact that our heroes seem to be constantly being surprised from behind...

Most of the zombies are truly ugly, never more so when the blood covers their faces and they look, hungrily, into camera as if they want to take a bite. They probably smell really badly too, thankfully this wasn't the Smelly Vision version being reviewed. The good thing with the casting is that, as they are all unknowns, it is impossible to guess who is going to die before the final credits roll.

Quotable quotes (real)

"We whipped them good."

"When there is no more room in hell the dead will walk the earth."

Other comments

Has recently (2004) been remade. The original is a genuine classic of its type.

Date of Review

April 9, 2004

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