Friday, December 16, 2011
DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978)
DAWN OF THE DEAD has almost always been there in my life. It started out as movie I had just heard about from my older cousins. They were lucky enough to have actually seen it during it's initial run at a local drive in theater. It was spoken of with awe and disgust having apparently caused at least one cousin to vomit all over the place due to the unexpected gore quotient. Hard to believe it now but this movie was groundbreaking in that category at the time. I only dreamed of the day I would get to see this notorious classic having to make do with just fantasizing over the pictures in my well read FANGORIA magazines and making up my own story-line in my little deranged head. It's strange to think back about a movie that was etched in my mind as a classic before I even saw it. Finally somewhere in the 80's we got a VCR and this had to be one of my first VHS rentals and all my dreams came true. The movie turned out to be something that even surpassed the insane film I had imagined it would be.
DAWN as well as being a classic horror-filled follow up to director George Romero's original zombie flick, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, works equally well as an action flick and also just as a gross-out gore flick. There's not too many other films I can think of that mix action, blood and spookiness together and work very well(also there's a bit of humor thrown in here and there but not enough to make you groan like almost every horror film made after the 1980's got going). You get tons of kills, including intestines ripped from stomachs, glorious 70's super bright red blood splattered everywhere, machete mayhem, shotgun blasts, kid zombies getting whacked, a kick-ass biker gang, a chopped-off zombie skullcap, machine-gun hi-jinks etc, etc... any real horror fan already knows all this stuff.
Having recently watched the Dario Argento producers cut of this flick I have to say I prefer Romero's version a bit more since he mixes the use of library music with stuff from the band Goblin a lot better and it seems to have been edited in a more linear way. That might also just be because that's how I grew up seeing the film and it's what I'm used to. Either way it's still the high-point of the whole zombie film sub-genre for me.