Dawn of the Dead 1978 – The Scary Truth
Dawn of the Dead 1978
About The Film

“Dawn of the Dead” is a 1978 zombie horror flick crafted by George A. Romero, who served as the writer, director, and editor, while Richard P. Rubinstein took on the role of producer. This cinematic creation emerged as an American-Italian collaboration and stands as the second installment in Romero’s iconic zombie film series. While it doesn’t feature any characters or settings from the previous film, “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), it masterfully depicts the profound societal repercussions of a zombie apocalypse.

In this chilling narrative, an enigmatic phenomenon of untraceable origin triggers the resurrection of the deceased, now driven by an insatiable hunger for human flesh. David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, and Gaylen Ross assume the leading roles as survivors grappling with the outbreak. Their only refuge from the surrounding chaos is a suburban shopping mall, where they fortify themselves in the face of mass hysteria.

The film was a commercial success, grossing over $55 million worldwide on a budget of $1.5 million.

Be sure to add your comments in the “Leave a Reply” section at the bottom of this page

Dawn of the Dead is widely regarded as a classic zombie film and one of the best horror films of all time.

The Beginning

In a nightmarish landscape across the United States, an enigmatic plague resurrects the deceased as ravenous, flesh-eating zombies, pushing the nation to the brink of collapse. As millions fall victim to this gruesome fate, the very fabric of society unravels. Rural communities and the steadfast National Guard wage a desperate battle against the undead in open territories, while urban centers plunge into sheer madness.

Dawn of the Dead tee shirt

Within the confines of WGON TV in Philadelphia, Stephen Andrews, a traffic reporter, and his pregnant partner, Fran Parker, concoct a daring plan to commandeer the station’s helicopter as their sole hope for escaping the impending catastrophe. Simultaneously, police SWAT officer Roger DeMarco and his unit find themselves in a harrowing standoff at a low-income housing project. The predominantly black and Latino residents resist the authorities’ demands to hand over their deceased loved ones to the National Guard, resulting in a deadly exchange of gunfire. Roger endeavors to restrain the ruthless and bigoted officer, Wooley, who commits unspeakable atrocities, ultimately meeting his end at the hands of another officer, Peter Washington.

The Revelation

In the midst of this turmoil, Roger and Peter’s disillusionment mounts, leading them to contemplate deserting their duties to join Stephen, a dear friend of Roger’s, in a perilous escape from the city. An elderly priest unveils a grim revelation: a horde of trapped zombies lurks in the basement, while ominously prophesying that the undead may soon outnumber the SWAT team. United by the dire circumstances, they embark on the grim mission of eradicating this haunting menace

Eventually, the group stumbled upon a sprawling shopping mall, a place that seemed like an oasis in this apocalypse. They decided to make it their sanctuary, drawn by the promise of abundant food, medicine, and various supplies. Peter and Stephen ingeniously concealed the entrance to a stairwell leading to their secure hideout and barricaded the mall entrances with trucks to keep the relentless undead at bay. This daring move required them to drive through hordes of indifferent zombies, undeterred by their own injuries as they sought to penetrate the makeshift barriers. Roger, surviving a particularly harrowing encounter, began to take reckless risks, a decision that would lead to his tragic fate as he fell victim to a zombie bite.

Trouble at the Mall

Subsequently, with the mall’s interior cleared of the relentless zombie horde, the quartet indulged in a hedonistic lifestyle, reveling in the abundance of goods at their disposal. They adorned their secure room with the mall’s myriad treasures. Tragically, Roger’s injuries eventually overcame him, and he succumbed to death. When Roger inevitably reanimated as a zombie, Peter made the painful decision to end his friend’s suffering with a single gunshot, laying him to rest within the confines of the mall.

As time passed, all emergency broadcast transmissions ceased, hinting at the government’s collapse. Now isolated, the remaining three survivors meticulously loaded supplies into the helicopter, preparing for the possibility of an abrupt departure. Fran, realizing the importance of self-sufficiency, implored Stephen to instruct her in flying the helicopter, understanding that unforeseen circumstances could leave her as the last hope for their survival.

Dawn of the Dead logo

However, their sanctuary was not to last. A roaming nomadic biker gang spotted the helicopter in flight, breaching the mall’s defenses and allowing a horde of zombies to flood back inside. Although they had contingency plans for such an assault, Stephen’s overwhelming territorial rage over the mall prompted him to open fire on the intruders, igniting a protracted and violent battle. Despite their efforts, the straggling bikers were eventually overwhelmed and met their grisly fate in the jaws of the ravenous undead.

Stephen, seeking refuge, attempted to hide in an elevator shaft but was discovered and shot.

Stephen Comes Back…sorta

As Stephen reanimated, an instinctual drive guided him back to the secure room, unwittingly becoming the harbinger of the undead horde that now threatened Fran and Peter. In a harrowing showdown, Peter was forced to eliminate the zombified Stephen, ensuring the safety of the remaining survivors. Meanwhile, Fran managed to elude the encroaching danger and ascended to the rooftop.

Initially, Peter grappled with the reluctance to leave behind their refuge and locked himself in a room, wrestling with thoughts of ending his own life. However, as the relentless zombies breached his sanctuary, a profound change of heart surged within him. Fueled by newfound determination, he battled his way through the seething throng of undead to reach the rooftop, where Fran awaited.

With their escape path narrowing and their fuel reserves dwindling, the two survivors took to the skies in the helicopter, departing from the mall’s uncertain fate towards an unknown and precarious future.

Dawn of the Dead is widely considered to be one of the best zombie films ever made. It is a classic example of the horror genre and has spawned numerous sequels and imitations.

Video: Dawn of the Dead 1978 Trailer

The film is notable for its graphic violence, which was groundbreaking for its time. It is also one of the few zombie films to feature a group of survivors who are able to work together.

“When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth”

The Remake – 2004

In 2004, a remake of Dawn of the Dead was made under the direction of Jack Snyder. It starred accomplished actors Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber and Mekhi Phifer. A more stylized version of the horror classic, the 2004 redux gained critical acclaim

Dawn of the Dead Trivia

– George A. Romero has said that the film is about “consumerism, and how we tend to zombie-like, follow each other around shopping malls, etc.”

– The film was originally going to be set in a high-rise apartment building, but the budget couldn’t afford it.

– The film was shot in 28 days.

– Tom Savini, who did the special effects for the film, also appears in the film as one of the bikers. Savini is a legend in the horror genre

Dawn of the Dead 2004

– The film was partially inspired by the novel “I Am Legend” (1954) by Richard Matheson. A film by that name was subsequently produced starring Will Smith

– The film grossed over $55 million at the worldwide box office.

– George A. Romero has said that he would like to make a sequel to the film, but it would be very difficult to do so.

– The film was ranked #2 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

– The film was ranked #5 on IGN’s Top 25 Horror Films of All Time.

Dawn of the Dead 1978 – Cast:

David Emge – Stephen Flyboy Andrews
Ken Foree – Peter Washington
Scott Reiniger – Roger Trooper DeMarco
Gaylen Ross – Francine Fran “Flygirl” Parker
David Crawford – Dr. Foster
David Early – Mr. Berman
Richard France – Scientist
Howard Smith – TV Commentator
Daniel Dietrich – Givens
George A. Romero – TV Director

The Remake in 2004

The 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead is a horror film directed by Zack Snyder. It is a remake of the 1978 classic of the same name. The film follows a group of survivors who barricade themselves in a shopping mall to escape a zombie apocalypse.

Dawn of the Dead 2004 stars Sarah Polley as Ana, Ving Rhames as Kenneth, Jake Weber as Michael, Mekhi Phifer as Andre, Ty Burrell as Terry, and Michael Kelly as CJ. The film follows the survivors as they attempt to survive the zombie onslaught and find a way to escape the mall.

A Success!

The film was a commercial and critical success, grossing over $102 million worldwide. It was praised for its intense action sequences and its use of practical effects. The film also received positive reviews for its strong performances and its effective use of horror elements.

The movie was followed by a sequel, Dawn of the Dead: The Dead Will Walk, in 2007. The film was a box office success and received generally positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its strong performances and its effective use of horror elements.

Follow us on Instagram
Follow American Memory Lane on Instagram

4 responses to “Dawn of the Dead 1978 – The Scary Truth”

  1. […] After eating the peach, Sarah figured out what she was supposed to be doing and continued on her mission. With help from some others in the kingdom, Sarah reached the castle just in time, navigating a maze to get her baby brother back. She had defeated the goblin king and returned her baby brother home safely! What a stressful babysitting experience. […]

  2. […] captors, and escaping, Ash draws attention from Sheila, who is the sister of one of Lord Arthur’s slain men. Because Sheila is sure her brother’s death […]

  3. […] a different driver in a Jeep. Instead of stopping at the camp’s entrance, the drive continues, scaring Annie. She jumps out and runs, only to get chased down and killed by the unknown […]

  4. […] releasing horror shows or films. Perhaps the best example of this is John Carpenter’s 1978 movie, Halloween. This movie altered the public perception of the holiday, going from a night for kids to […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: