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#55- Dawn of the Dead

Quick recap: The undead have arrived and they are everywhere, just waiting to sink their teeth into some tender flesh. What better way to survive than holed up in a mid-70s shopping mall?

ok, so this is a mid-80's shopping mall. But still. NOSTALGIA!

ok, so this is a mid-80’s shopping mall. But still. NOSTALGIA!

Fun (?) Fact: Tom Savini, who did all of the make-up and special effects for the film, worked with only a crew of 8. He and his crew applied makeup to about 200-300 extras every weekend during production.


My thoughts: I am SO over the zombie craze that has been going on the past few years. Zombie movies, zombie books, zombie shows, zombie 5K-WHY is that even a thing? I personally tend to find most zombies terrifying, but the proliferation of them in all forms of media has made them nothing more than an annoyance. I inwardly groaned as I put in the DVD for Dawn of the Dead, but realized about a third of the way through that this was exactly what I needed to appreciate the monster that is the zombie. It was breath of fresh air- or, about as fresh as you can get with dead people.

Watching the first part and seeing zombies getting their heads blown off did not interest me at first and the scenes of them tearing into people’s shoulders and arms was gory, but not scary. It wasn’t until the shopping mall that I could finally be creeped out. What I love about this portrayal of the zombie is that they are relentless. They aren’t overly aggressive, meaning they won’t jump on you from out of nowhere and bite you, but they do not give up. After everyone had been at the mall for a few months, there were STILL zombies pawing at the door, trying to come in. And anytime one of the characters got too close, the zombie wouldn’t speed up but instead just keep moving forward until he was ultimately successful. Watching the Mall Zombies shuffle around was humorous at times, especially when they were on the escalator, but by the end of the film, with Stephen having turned, it became truly frightening.

That's some excellent zombie-ing, right there.

That’s some excellent zombie-ing, right there.

Now, as for the central point of the film-that a shopping mall is the best place to survive, I can see both sides of the issue. First of all, the malls of today are in no way equipped for long term living. Corporations have taken out all the gun shops and the only food you can find nowadays at a mall is Sbarro pizza and sometimes Cinnabon, if you are lucky. Let’s face it, we wouldn’t last long. Sure, I’d have my Old Navy Pullover to comfort me, but it isn’t good protection against a zombie. If I had to choose a modern day place, I’d go for something like the Amazon warehouse because I’m pretty sure that place would have everything you needed. My first instinct was to say Wal-Mart, but it is only one story and there aren’t that many good hiding places.

The theme of the movie that consumers are basically zombies is still spot on. Many times during the film, Peter mentions that the zombies come to the mall because they remember it and they feel like they need to be there and that is still true. Watch the news about Black Friday this year and when the picture of the shoppers clawing at the door appears, try to imagine everyone with a bluish tint and blood everywhere. It’s totally the same as a zombie!

I get it now. Best pop culture reference ever.

I get it now. Best pop culture reference ever.

Final review: 5/5. This is a true zombie movie and what everyone else tries to be.

nightmares? Totally. I didn’t think the zombies were all that terrifying until about 3 in the morning when I swear I could hear shuffling upstairs.

Up next: just one more movie left for Horrorfest!



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