Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead

4.4 38
Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber

     
 

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The feature-film debut of director Zack Snyder, Dawn of the Dead is a modern retelling of George Romero's 1978 horror classic, which was actually the second film in a trilogy that began with Night of the Living Dead and concluded with Day of the Dead. Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames star as two of the last remaining people on an earth that has beenSee more details below

Overview

The feature-film debut of director Zack Snyder, Dawn of the Dead is a modern retelling of George Romero's 1978 horror classic, which was actually the second film in a trilogy that began with Night of the Living Dead and concluded with Day of the Dead. Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames star as two of the last remaining people on an earth that has been ravaged by flesh-eating zombies. After escaping to a shopping mall with a handful of other survivors, they decide that they only way to truly elude the approaching throng of undead is to somehow make their way to an island that is supposedly zombie-free. Jake Weber and Mekhi Phifer also star.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
George Romero's 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead is probably the greatest zombie movie of all time, as well as one of the best horror movies of the last 30 years. Set mainly in a suburban mall, it was as much a critique/satire on rampant consumerism as it was a chilling gore-fest. Though our country's capitalistic nature has only escalated in the last 25 years, the satirical content has been slashed in Zack Snyder's 2004 remake -- but the zombies are more ferocious than ever. Unlike your parents' undead, lumbering around aimlessly in search of brains, these zombies are fast, mean, and -- relatively speaking -- smart. Otherwise, this hi-tech update sticks pretty close to the source material. A visceral, violent pre-credit sequence brilliantly sets the stage: A strange plague infects much of the population overnight, causing the dead to rise and attack the living. Those not infected manage to hole up in a mall while the bloodthirsty corpses converge outside like shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving. Among the group of survivors are Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Mekhi Phifer, and Jake Weber. Who are they and what do they do? They fight zombies, of course -- and therein lies the problem with this remake. The script is nearly as mindless as the zombies, heading down the predictable path of offing the leads one by one as they fight to escape. Snyder is a skilled visual stylist, however, and makes up for it with sheer thrills. Adrenaline levels run high the entire film, and the jolts come fast and furious with plenty of squeamish delights for gore fans. With a little more care and attention to story, Dawn of the Dead could have truly rivaled the original; instead we merely get a real good scare.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
In terms of remakes of sequels, director Zack Snyder's cautiously anticipated Dawn of the Dead serves as a fitting follow-up to makeup effects-artist-turned director Tom Savini's underrated 1990 remake of George A. Romero's 1968 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead -- albeit with an aesthetic face-lift that owes just as much to the fast-moving "infected" of Danny Boyle's art-house horror hit 28 Days Later. Of course, this film isn't a "direct" remake of Romero's 1978 gut-muncher -- gone is the anti-consumerism and social satire that made the original such an ideal product of its time - though it still does manage to provide some gory and intense fun with the same central concept. In the end, however, it does deliver in terms of pure, visceral terror by successfully tapping into the apocalyptic suburban paranoia that has been so prevalent since the horrific events of 9/11. Where 28 Days Later opted to bring that angle to the forefront of the film thematically (thus keeping it closer in spirit to Romero's films and rendering it the more socially conscious of the pair), Dawn of the Dead simply turns the tension to a fever pitch early on and does its sincere best to keep things fast and scary. Snyder and screenwriter James Gunn also deserve credit for throwing the audience a few well-placed curveballs. Of course, those familiar with the general zombie film formula will find no surprise in the inclusion of the antagonistic "Cooper" character here (masterfully manifested in Michael Kelly's overly paranoid mall cop CJ), though instead of simply painting the character as a hastily drawn, trigger-happy villain, the filmmakers thankfully take the character in a surprising and unexpected direction. If the remainder of the characters suffer slightly from lack of development (an element to which a substantial portion of running-time in the original film was dedicated), solid performances by leads Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames -- as well as capable supporting performances by such supporting players as Kelly and Jake Weber -- inject enough personal detail to make them at least identifiable and sympathetic. So, now that both Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead have been remade, it will be interesting to see what happens to Day of the Dead, the third film in Romero's original zombie trilogy. Even if the die-hard Romero fan can't quite come to terms with the concept of remaking a film that was such a carefully-crafted product of its time, at the very least they can take solace in knowing that the successful box-office run of this remake very well played a deciding factor in convinging sceptical studio heads to greenlight Romero's long-rumored Land of the Dead.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2011
UPC:
0025192108006
Original Release:
2004
Rating:
NR
Source:
Universal Studios
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:50:00
Sales rank:
18,525

Special Features

Feature commentary with director Zack Snyder and producer Eric Newman

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sarah Polley Ana
Ving Rhames Kenneth
Jake Weber Michael
Mekhi Phifer Andre
Ty Burrell Steve
Michael Kelly CJ
Kevin Zegers Terry
Michael Barry Bart
Lindy Booth Nicole
Boyd Banks Tucker
Jayne Eastwood Norma
Inna Korobkina Luda
R.D. Reid Glen
Kim Poirier Monica
Matt Frewer Frank
Hannah Lochner Vivian
Jacob Adams Actor

Technical Credits
Zack Snyder Director
Marc Abraham Executive Producer
David Leroy Anderson Makeup Special Effects
Tyler Bates Score Composer
Armyan Bernstein Executive Producer
Thomas A. Bliss Executive Producer
William Cheng Set Decoration/Design
Robin D. Cook Casting
Denise Cronenberg Costumes/Costume Designer
James Gunn Screenwriter
Niven Howie Editor
Dennis E. Jones Executive Producer
Matthew Leonetti Cinematographer
Peter D. Marshall Asst. Director
Michael Messina Co-producer
Joseph Middleton Casting
Andrew Neskoromny Production Designer
Eric Newman Executive Producer
G. Marq Roswell Musical Direction/Supervision
Richard P. Rubinstein Producer
Steve Shewchuk Set Decoration/Design
John J. Thomson Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dawn of the Dead
1. A Nice Day [4:29]
2. Lock All Doors [6:08]
3. Main Titles [2:37]
4. Refuge [6:26]
5. Intruders [3:44]
6. CJ's Turf [3:08]
7. S. O. S. [6:31]
8. No More Room [9:20]
9. New Arrivals [5:07]
10. Kill Tucker, Too [8:53]
11. Sickness Rising [5:05]
12. Blackout [7:12]
13. Family Man [6:34]
14. Taking Action [4:53]
15. Saving Andy [1:14]
16. Nicole's Rescue [2:43]
17. Run! [5:48]
18. Escape [3:23]
19. Valor [6:19]
20. End Titles / Hope [4:48]

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