Chris Willman
March 19, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dawn of the Dead (Movie - 1978)

Current Status
In Season
David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross
George A. Romero
George A. Romero

We gave it an A

Don’t believe ’em, kids, when they tell you ”The Passion of the Christ” is the most violent movie ever made. True, the second and best chapter in George A. Romero’s zombie trilogy has lost as much shock value over the years as its principals shed corpuscles — partly because, as makeup guru Tom Savini admits, the cheap stage blood ”looks like melted crayons” (never more so than in this best-to-date DVD transfer). But if the abundant gore is no longer quite so unsettling, some subtler undertones still are. Fundamentally satirical, Dawn of the Dead: Special Divimax Edition also has an essential — but rarely remarked upon — sadness: The literally absentminded consumers walking this suburban mall are zombies, but the quartet of survivors trying to create a ”normal” postapocalyptic existence might as well be ghosts too. EXTRAS Most amusing memory on the freewheeling Romero/Savini commentary: All-night shoots sometimes ended with zombies bumping into unwitting seniors on their dawn mall walks, some of whom signed on as dead extras.

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