Dawn of the Dead 2004 title

Tag line : When there's no more room in Hell...The dead will walk the earth.

Dawn of the DeadBeing one of the many people who cried "heresy" when I heard "Dawn of the Dead" was being remade (particularly after seeing the decidedly average "Texas Chainsaw" remake some months previous) it was with much apprehension that I approached this...

Set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (away from the familiar Pennsylvanian trappings of Romero's original films). The story revolves around a young nurse, Ana Clark (Sarah Polley), who wakes up one morning to find that suburbia has turned into the apocalypse overnight. Cars lay around upturned, buildings burn, frenzied neighbours attack one another, army helicopters patrol the skies whilst police and army units shoot up the neighbourhood with automatic weapons.

A deadly virus has spread like wildfire amongst the population, causing the infected it kills to come back to life as zombies and attack the living. Attempting to drive away from the ensuing chaos, she finds herself stuck on the outskirts of town where she hooks up with a stranded policeman named Kenneth (Ving Rhames) and several other lost souls.

Surrounded by zombies and with nowhere else to go they take refuge in a nearby shopping mall, where they form an uneasy alliance with the security guards within. Unfortunately as they study the news reports it seems that this problem is not going to go away, and with the zombies outside continuing to mass, and news that the nearby army rescue base has fallen, the question remains as to how long they can they survive, and what will be left of the outside world even if they do?

I must stress that despite my initial reservations, considering Romero had nothing to do with this and was penned by the same scriptwriter behind the Scooby Doo film (what????), I was actually won over and was extremely impressed by this re-imagining of Romero's original film by newcomer director Zack Snyder.

Somewhat more akin to "28 Days Later", with zombies that can run like hell as opposed to shuffling round aimlessly, the film features plenty of shootings, bloodshed and ample gore, which was refreshing to see in this current climate where horror films are virtually blood free. Whilst this may not be quite as good as Romero's original 1978 version, this is still a very worthy homage and definitely worth adding to your DVD collection.

Overall Marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Tom Savini and original actors Scott Reiniger and Ken Foree all make cameo appearances during news footage sequences. Savini appears as a Sheriff, Scott Reiniger as an Army General and Ken Foree as a TV evangelist.

  • The films budget was $28,000,000.

  • Ving Rhames also played Leroy in "People Under the Stairs", he also played mob boss Masellus Wallace in "Pulp Fiction"

  • The film was set in Milwakee, Wisconsin. Although was actually filmed in Ontario, Canada.

  • The truck in which the other survivors arrive at the mall was painted up to match the trucks used in the original film, complete with the "BP Trucking" logo.

  • Sarah Polly also played Merle in "Existenz".

  • The shop on the outside of the mall named "Galen Ross" was named after the actress who played Fran in the original film.

  • Matt Frewer, who plays Frank, also played Jobe in "Lawnmower Man 2 : Beyond Cyberspace", although is probably best known as being 80's TV host "Max Headroom".

  • The scene at the very end of the film on the island was filmed at Catalina Island, California.

  • The traffic helicopter we see in the sky as Ana tries to drive out of town was painted up to match the WGON TV helicopter used by the survivors in the original film.

  • There were several scenes cut for time, or pacing reasons. These included Ana and Kenneth walking through a park before meeting with the other survivors, a confrontation between the survivors and several zombies, additional news footage shots, extra scenes of dialogue between the 2 security guards when they're locked in the holding room and a scene showing Anna and Michael making out. There were also several scenes cut for censorship reasons, including extra gory death scenes of the zombies already in the mall, a longer and bloodier battle as Kenneth and the others exit from the gun shop and a clearer shot of the "zombie baby" just before they shoot it. Most of these scenes are re-instated on the directors cut DVD.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.

 
Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD(1) (theatrical version).

Buy the UK DVD(2) (directors cut).

Buy it at Amazon.Com.

Buy the US DVD (directors cut).

Buy the US BD (directors cut).

Notes on affiliate sites.
 

 

Other remakes.

  Original Version
Night of the Living Dead 1993 Day of the Dead (2008 remake)  

Dawn of the Dead

 

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