Dawn of the Dead
1978 Directed by George Romero
Dawn of the Dead
George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, to follow his "Night of the Living Dead"
Almost all followers of the horror-adventure movies relate back to 1968. It was then that George A. Romero captured the public's attention and imagination with "Night of The Living Dead.'
Now a decade later Romero brings to the screen his newest offering in the macabre, Dawn of the Dead Unlike its highly successful predecessor, which was a low-budget black and white feature, Dawn of the Dead is big budget in Technicolor and has an extraordinary track.
Romero, in his extremely high-paced style, with the camera zeroing in on the imagery of tile unconscious, quickly transforms reality into extremely vivid and nightmarish situations.
The only director to whom Romero can be compared to, where his graphic style is concerned, is Sam Peckinpah. They both utilize the hyperbole of visual violence in an allegorical sense. Romero's scenes of terror, which propagate frame after frame (with some noteworthy injections of humor) become not
only the ideological kernel of his films, but also their very reason for being.
Thus we find ourselves amongst the zombies, the living dead who are motivated only by instinct. Flouting conventional norms for motion picture story-telling, Romero shows us right at the beginning, the country under siege by the zombies. Civilization succumbs, terror reigns. Four heroes (two policemen, one black and one white, and a man and a woman) try to escape by fleeing and taking shelter in an enormous shopping mall already occupied by numerous tribes of living dead.
This is the flight for survival, interspersed with ambushes of every sort. Just when the zombies seem to be defeated and our heroes are getting used to the daily horror (including the discovery that the woman is pregnant), danger arrives in the form of a motorcycle gang who upset that extremely delicate balance in an orgy of sudden frenzy. Only two of the heroes will escape. But the risks are many and the ending is left open. Will they make it?
Romero's film has many strong points, but we would emphasize in particular the extraordinary pace of his editing and his graphic and expressive fantasy. It is a violent and surrealistic America where everyone eventually unleashes violence. Certainly, it is an allegory with moral undertones (the pitting of social groups against each other), but what counts is the hallucination that prevails, the folly of the global design, the invention of violence and consumerism as ends !n themselves.
Dawn of the Dead was produced by Richard Rubinstein, and features David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reiniger, Gaylen Ross. George A. Romero also wrote the Screenplay. United Film Distribution Company is releasing the film.