Runtime: 2 Hours
and 19 Minutes
Mention to someone that you like horror films and chances are, they'll
roll their eyes. And, to some extent, who could blame them? We've
had countless killers wiping out legions of co-eds, campers, party-hearty
types, etc. A lot of blood has been shed, usually in movies with basically
no plot, almost always not a shred of decent acting, and usually in
a by-the-numbers fashion that concentrates more on gore than actually
scaring the audience.
"Dawn Of The Dead", the greatest horror movie ever made,
doesn't forget that a horror movie doesn't have to stoop so low in
order to set the mood. Yes, it's gory, especially in the ending sequence.
But it's not all gore. The opening passages introduce us to the plague
that's turning the dead into the undead, hungry for human flesh. We
see police officers re-killing people they've killed just minutes
earlier. We see rednecks popping zombies and chugging beer. We see
television reports about the plague, and religious types declaring
war on the undead. George Romero is smart enough to set the stage
with these things instead of endless gore.
The movie turns into a battle for survival, as a group of people settle
inside a shopping mall to protect themselves from the zombie army
waiting outside. In a nice realistic touch, the group eliminates the
zombies inside, then grow bored by the hour, and much of the middle
part of the movie concentrates on the small talk and chatter that
goes on within the group. But when a renegade biker group decides
to invade the mall, it opens the doors for the final battle, as hundreds
of zombies make their way indoors, slowly but surely finding their
way to their next meal.
The final battle is gross, yes. Particularly graphic and gory. And
yet, I didn't mind. In a way, this really is a war movie. There's
more action than scares, and as in any battle, things could get pretty
disgusting in the end. Don't hold the violence against the film simply
for being a horror movie. It's necessary, at least to some extent.
Sometimes, a horror movie can be effective just by atmosphere and
the classic man-against-monster scenario. The makers of "Dawn
Of The Dead" realized that. Too bad other horror movie makers