Dawn of the Dead
Mall of the Dead?

Dawn of the Dead is another in the 'of the dead' series by zombie godfather George A. Romero. In this installment is the third, a zombie outbreak has threatened the globe, and city by city they fall to the undead.

Four friends seek to leave the big cities behind in hopes of surviving until the new future starts. Stephen, Peter, Roger, and Francine take to the sky in a stolen news helicopter and seek refuge in a shopping mall.

After clearing out the infestation within the mall things start to look up for the four, but fate decides to throw them a curve ball when a simple offer to help exchange skills alerts others to the presence of survivors.

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The Good

While the makeup and effects are nothing impressive now, given the fact there are several times you clearly so how fake it is, for the time this was good. No visible wires, strings, or squibs, and only once or twice do you clearly see it’s a dummy.

The bit part actors have a lot over the over dramatic acting I mentioned before, but the main crew of Stephen, Peter, Roger, and Francine are all well-acted. The scripting and choice of actors was also very well done for the main 'group' as it were.

There are only a few exceptions to the 'realistic reaction' that I think most people would have in a given situation, many phases of emotions are shown from fear, to found happiness (Who has not fantasized of having a mall to them-self) and then finally depression and helplessness.


I mentioned mindless shifting from place to place, there is a good 45 minutes of the movie this is not so, it’s a fortification, avoid the zombies, get things situated point. It’s well done, well-acted, well-reasoned and all around a great series of scenes sandwiched into the middle of the movie.


The Bad

I am an adult, and anyone who watches horror movies often probably is too. That means that as adults, we choose to accept foul language in our movies; and I do. There are times it fits well, the same thing with racism, but swearing for the sake of swearing because it was 'edgy' and having some hack extra play the stereotypical racist cop spewing a 20 second tirade of racial hatred before going off on a psycho rampage killing people he is supposed to be saving is just over the line, and what I saw as a desperate attempt to get the audience shocked.

There is also a good 5 minutes of what can only be described as un-needed when zombies are being pelted with pies, and seltzer water for no apparent reason. Though, anything that breaks up the 30 minutes of how great life in a mall is would be welcome. I mean, I enjoy the fantasy of living in a mall during an apocalypse as much as the next guy, but it does get boring watching others have all the fun!

The movie really does not have much progression, and feels a bit choppy. You go from city, to mall with zombies, then mall without zombies. There are of course transitions where they get to these points but it, like most of the zombies seem to just slowly shamble from place to place, with only a couple exceptions. (See Below in 'the good')

The ending seems very rushed, like Romero was hunting for some way to end the movie, to get them out of the perfect life they created. So some random bikers show up, smash up the mall, let in the zombies and then....well I don't give away endings.

Final Thoughts

Really, Darling, Looking Good is Important in Times of Crisis.

I will say that I love George Romero; he started the ball rolling for what we see as a modern day zombie. But this is not his finest work, diehard fans of his will curse my name for ever speaking poorly of any of his films.

It is my job as a reviewer to be fair in all things, and to BE a good reviewer, I have to say that this is not one of the better zombie movies, and in fact it is of the very very RARE occurrence that I would suggest watching the remake depending on what you want.

If you want an older, snapshot of the times, cult classic, with the older effects and can handle spurts of boring in your zombie movie. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is a great choice, any of Romero’s movies are.

Though, if you would like to see something with updated effects, a good bit more gore, creepier zombies, including a zombie baby, and a steady progression of plot. I would recommend watching the remake of Dawn of the Dead. You can find more about the remake here.

If you are wanting to, Dawn of the Dead is available on Blu-Ray as well as a Single 'special edition' DvD or for the true zombie lover or Romero fan (like me) a Whopping 3 Disk Ultimate Edition !

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