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Dawn of the Dead / Zombi
Zombie

USA/Italy 1978
produced by
Richard P. Rubinstein, Dario Argento, Claudio Argento (associate), Alberto Cuomo (associate) for Laurel Group
directed by George A. Romero
starring David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, David Crawford, David Early, Richard France, Howard Smith, Tom Savini
special effects by Tom Savini, music by Goblin & Dario Argento

Living Dead trilogy, George A. Romero's Living Dead-series

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
As zombies - dead people who have come back to life to kill & eat off the living so they can come back to life as zombies, too - a foursome of people - cops Roger (Scott H.Reiniger) & Peter (Ken Foree), TV-producer Fran (Gaylen Ross) & her boyfriend Steven (David Emge), decide to make an escape per helicopter, looking for a safe haven for themselves.

But when they look onto the ground from their bird's eye view, they see the zombies overrunning the coun tryside, too, with many rednecks taking up zombie-shooting as a new form of entertainment. Then though our quartet happens to come to a mall, and, landing on the roof of the building, they soon realize the advantages of using it as a hiding place: Sonme rooms offering sufficient food supply can be completely barricaded off the rest of the building, and the zombies won't even know of their presence - & zombies inside the mall there are many, as they thanks to some residual memory have this impulse that htey have to go to the mall even after death.

Of course, at first everything seems fine & dandy for our quartet, but soon greed sets in, & Roger & Peter decide to loot some stores despite the zombie hordes - which almost ends in desaster as soon a zombie finds a way to their hideout & attacks & almost kills Fran, whom Steven had left behind unarmed when he went looking for the others.

After she is saved & revealed to be pregnant, our survivors think of another strategy to defend themselves & come up with the idea to move trucks in front of the mall-doors to shut them off of the outside (which should hold as long as the zombies can't drive trucks). Unfortunately though, Roger grows overconfident & gets bitten by a few zombies when their task is yet only half finished - & it should be noted that noone survives a zombie-bite more than 3 days.

To completely shut off the mall, our group decides to close the remsining doors from the inside, using a car standing on display for a prize draw, then they start killing all the zombies inside the mall (by a shot in the head), finally making the mall an oasis of peace (in case you wonder, the zombies' corpses are put into a giant freezing room so they won't start to rot.

Days of luxury & abandon now start for our 4 heroes, as they now have a big mall all for themselves, & noone can prevent them from taking whatever they want.

But this paradise comes to an end way too soon when Roger dies of his zombie-bites & Peter has to shoot him when he returns as a zombie. 

But if that wasn't enough, their oasis is also threatened from the outside as a gang of bikers (among them Tom Savini) have decided to loot the place themselves, & they move the tucks to get in ... but if they can get in, so can the zombies, & soon it culminates in a fight zombies versus bikers, which our remaining trio - instead of staying put & wait for it to blow over - joins in as a 3rd party. In the end, the zombies win over the bikers, & Steven dies & becomes one of them ... & he knows the way to their hideout, & Peter & Fran can escape only just ... to no better future.

 

Despite the fact that Dawn of the Dead is a semi-sequel to Romero's Night of the Living Dead, made 9 years earlier, & which was a genuine classic in its own right, this is the movie that started it all, as in the late 70's/early 80's almost everyone - but especially the Italians - seemed to be producing ever gorier zombie-movies, & at least one director's career got a new lease of life- that being Lucio Fulci's, whose fake sequel to Dawn of the Dead, the definitely inferior but highly entertaining Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters), allegedly became an even bigger worldwide moneymaker than its predecessor, & who soon started making zombie- & gore-movies almost exclusively.

However, Dawn of the Dead does stay clear of repeating Night of the Living Dead's tried & true formula and has higher aspirations than to be just another shocker, as it clearly veers into the fields of social satire & is at times rather wickedly funny - though in a macabre way - using the zombies as no more than a metaphor for happy consumers (Peter best sums it up in one scene when he answers to the question why the dead would come to the mall: "They are us."), & even those who survive have no higher aspirations as to better sooner than later become happy consumers again - & they would even kill (in that case, the bikers) to defend their status quo - which they have achieved by stealing in the first place, it should be added.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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