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Sunday, October 17, 2010

October Horror Movie of the Day #16 - Dawn of the Dead

The Film: Dawn of the Dead
The Director: George A. Romero
The Cast: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
Release Date: September 2, 1978

Few horror films are as large in scale as George Romero's sequel.  Though it's relatively minimal in setting - after a brief set-up the whole movie takes place in the now famous Monroeville Mall - Dawn of the Dead seems to have as wide a view of the human condition as any horror film.  Like Romero's other zombie films, the human reactions to a zombie outbreak is the primary focus.  The zombies are just the force that sets their story in motion.

While Romero has come back the zombie game a whopping six times now (and while I still slightly prefer the simple nightmare that is Night of the Living Dead), he's never had as much control over his film as he does in Dawn.  The result is an intelligent and moving film that survives a few too many montages of the characters' new lives in the mall (at over 130 minutes, it's one of the few horror epics).  Don't let me fool you - there's a ton of gore, especially in the final act - but that's not why I love Dawn.  This is social commentary in horror at its finest.

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