Dawn of the Dead () | Films in a Year
series, Dawn of the Dead (), are not simply vehicles for social to survival within Romero's films, depending on the characters' relationship to .. commitment to dominant hegemony is revoked to the ending credits of. dead” in 'Night of the Living Dead' () and 'Dawn of the Dead' () with biting . are written contributes to making this relationship unconvincing. The sugar coated on top fools you ending bookends the proceedings. in the very shopping center that served as the location for much of his 'birth of the modern zombie' classic, 's Dawn of the Dead.
We also see here the zombies starting to evolve. The dead continue to feast upon the flesh of the living and have now overtaken the entire world.
Only fragments of the U. In an underground bunker in Fort Myers, Florida, a group of scientists supervised by a squad of soldiers are doing just that using zombies in experiments.
However, tensions between the scientists and the soldiers that were there from the beginning start to reach boiling point.
The soldiers led by the central antagonist here the constantly angry, narrow-minded, homicidal and authoritarian Captain Rhodes Joseph Pilato does not believe in what the scientists are doing and is impossible to be reasoned with.
He threatens their lives and only wants to leave with his men. When Rhodes and company find out that chief scientist Logan Richard Liberty whom they have nicknamed Frankenstein has been using the corpses of soldiers from their squad for his experiments and for zombie food matters become dire.
Sarah along with helicopter pilot John Terry Alexander and radio operator McDermott Jarlath Conroy find themselves in a dangerous struggle for survival that only escalates further when the outside threat of the zombies intervenes. Meanwhile, Stephen and Fran arrive in their helicopter at an abandoned police station pier on the Delaware River to refuel and wait for Roger to show up. They are surpised when four rogue policemen arrive and threaten them for looting the place. Roger and Peter arrive and the rogue cops back down allowing the four to go on their way.
Stephen and Fran are surprised that Roger has brought someone with him, but they agree to take Peter with them. The four of them fly all night. In the morning, Stephen lands the helicopter at a small, deserted rural airport depot to refuel. While exploring the area, zombies attack them from out of nowhere. Stephen tries to prove his manliness before Fran -- who is carrying his child -- but he is both clumsy and a poor shot. Roger has to kill the zombies Stephen weakly shoots at, and Stephen nearly kills Peter when aiming for a zombie.
Later, while in the air again, they see a deserted shopping mall. They land on its roof and break in through a skylight to rest and to collect supplies. The place is full of zombies milling about inside, drawn to a place that had meant so much to them when they were alive. Despite the growing number of undead outside, the four refugees realize that they could successfully live there for a long time. It even has a gun shop so they will be able to find weapons to defend themselves.
Using the mall's floorplans and master keys, Peter, Roger and Stephen race around the mall, collecting the supplies they will need to make a home. They take these supplies to an upstairs area where they and Fran build a home in an annex of former offices and storage rooms. Fran is resistant to the idea; she thinks it is a bad idea to leave what is left of society, but perhaps because she is pregnant and wants to do what's right for her child, she stays.
They realize they need to rid the mall of zombies. A decision is made to block the entrances to the mall with semi-trucks from a nearby warehouse. While Stephen watches from his circling helicopter, Peter and Roger hotwire the trucks and drive them to the mall.
Peter is disturbed that Roger seems to be losing his grip on reality; he becomes arrogant and takes unnecessary risks in order to demonstrate his mastery of the situation. Unfortunately, he is bitten by a zombie while trying to get into one of the trucks dooming him to death. They then make the mall their home. Over the next several days, Roger's health rapidly deteriorates as he grows extremely pale and delirious from a high fever, until it is clear that he is on the verge of death.
On his deathbed, Roger asks Peter to wait to kill him if he comes back as a zombie, because he says he's "going to try not to come back. They bury Roger inside of a large planter in the mall. Peter builds a fake wall in front of the only stairwell that leads to their home, disguising it from any potential looters that may come through the area.
They monitor a television to see if the zombie crisis ever ends but the news is dismal. One night Peter prepares a romantic dinner for Fran and Stephen. When Peter leaves them alone, Stephen proposes marriage to Fran. Fran declines, saying that they can't make that kind of commitment given what has become of the world. Eventually, all television transmissions cease. The remaining three bicker as their sense of isolation gets stronger. Fran demands to learn how to fly the helicopter in case anything were to happen to Stephen.
But when he teaches her how to fly it, they are spotted by a gang of motorcycle-riding survivalists.
They try to contact Peter, Fran and Stephen by radio, but Peter is smart enough not to respond. He knows that they will be killed if the survivalists find them.
His plan is to let the looters break in and take what they want, then leave. The looters break into the mall, but in doing so they destroy Roger's barricades, allowing the to zombies flood in with them. In addition to looting, the bikers also perform stunts which range from juvenille humor, such as putting pies in zombies' faces, to more risky behavior such as restraining a pudgy female zombie and literally grabbing jewelry off her.
Stephen, believing that the mall belongs to him and his friends, sneaks into the mall and tries to shoot the bikers, who return fire. With no choice but to help his friend, Peter creeps through air shafts, picking off isolated bikers and zombies. Unable to cope with both Peter and the zombies, the bikers decide to leave.
The only "winners" of the three-way battle were the zombies, as the mall is once again zombie-infested due to the bikers' breach, and the biker gang paid a high price for their looting, as their ill-gotten gains were small compared to the number of bikers killed.
He is later attacked and bitten by zombies, and dies in the elevator. In the mall, the zombies corner and eviscerate several of the remaining bikers, which has effectively decimated the biker gang.
Peter returns to the hidden fortress and waits with Fran; they are unsure if Stephen has survived, but they know he will return either way. Now a zombie, Stephen remembers how to get through the hidden wall to the storeroom. He leads the horde of zombies up the stairwell. When Stephen appears, Peter fires and puts Stephen out of commission. He tells Fran to leave, but he refuses to go with her. He helps Fran onto the roof, where she prepares the helicopter.
Peter stays in the storeroom, waiting for the zombies to flock in and attack him. He plans to shoot himself in the head before the zombies can kill him. But at the last minute he decides he wants to live and fights his way through the zombies to the helicopter.
Fran delayed taking off until the last possible moment, and Peter is able to hop into the helicopter. The two fly off to an uncertain future, with little fuel left. Unused ending The vaguely uplifting finale in the final cut of the film was not what Romero had originally planned.
According to the screenplayPeter was to shoot himself in the head instead of making a heroic escape. Fran would commit suicide by thrusting her head into the rotating blades of the helicopter's propeller.
The credits would run over a shot of the helicopter's blades turning until the engine winds down, implying that Fran and Peter would not have had enough fuel to escape. It was decided, however, to end the movie on a more hopeful, upbeat note. The alternative ending was at least partially filmed see "Special effects and make-up" below. Much of the lead-up to the two suicides was left in the film, as Fran stands on the roof doing nothing as zombies approach, and Peter puts a gun to his head, ready to shoot himself, before suddenly deciding to live and shooting zombies as heroic music plays.
Cast The plot centers on four Philadelphians: Ken Foree as Peter Washington: He is resourceful and intelligent and more levelheaded than Roger. He has some Caribbean heritage, as he tells of a Trinidadian grandfather of his who told stories that "when there is no more room in Hell, the dead shall walk the Earth", hence the film's tagline.
Gaylen Ross as Francine Parker: Unlike Nightwhere the primary female character was catatonic for most of the movie, Francine is more independent and assertive, demanding to learn necessary survival skills following a narrow escape from death.
David Emge as Stephen Andrews: The WGON traffic-watch pilot, and initially the only character capable of flying the helicopter earning him the nickname 'Flyboy'. Overall though he is a decent man. Reiniger as Roger DeMarco: Like Peter, a SWAT team member involved in the assault on the apartment complex, though not part of the same unit. He first meets Peter in the basement, where they decide to join forces. Roger is impulsive and often given to reckless behavior and macho posturing, a trait that leads him to his demise.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Zombification As a technical note: While zombie bites are certainly fatal, George Romero has made it clear that his zombie films portray a world in which something has gone horribly wrong, so that anybody who dies from any cause will reanimate as a shambling, relentless member of the undead, with a craving for human flesh unless killed by severe head injury such as gunshot to the head or decapitation, or if such measures are applied to the deceased within a short interim period.
It may also spread through the air; the maintenance man zombie in the department store was locked in and had no trauma to his body. Presumably the problem suddenly appears everywhere at once; it does not spread like an epidemic disease. Origins of the problem are intentionally left unconfirmed throughout the Dead film series, though possible scientific particularly in Day of the Deadand theological explanations are offered. The Monroeville Mall The Monroeville Mall in Pennsylvania was one of the first of its kind — a sprawling, indoor shopping complex, constructed from — on a acre lot cleared to build the massive 1.
At the time of filming, the Monroeville Mall housed stores on 2 levels, including an ice skating rink and a 6, space parking lot. The mall became as pivotal a character as any human featured in the film. The mall took on a life of its own, embodying not only the film's sanctuary, but its tragically ironic confinement as well. Of its nearly merchants, almost everyone permitted full use of their stores except for the bank and jewelry store, which required supervision by securitywhile only 13 stores refused to cooperate.
Interestingly, JC Penney was featured prominently, a feat which would now seem difficult to accomplish with today's expensive standard of corporate advertising and product placement. The mall still exists in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and is still a popular place for shopping. The ice rink was removed from the mall in favor of a food court. The JC Penney is to this date in its original location during filming, but it has been announced it will move to a new location within the mall at the end of JC Penney has moved locations and they are tearing the original location down to build a Cinemark.
This visit turned out to be a defining event for Romero, planting the seeds of what would become the sequel to his previous Night of the Living Dead. Mason — while touring the mall with Romero — brought the pair to a hidden area of the mall that was stocked with food and other supplies as part of a civil defense initiative. Mason jokingly suggested that someone would be able to survive in the mall should an 'emergency' ever occur.
George Romero finally gets his statue at the Mall from Dawn of the Dead | SYFY WIRE
With this idea planted in his head, the tour continued, with Romero making note of the blank, expressionless faces of the mall's shoppers as they shuffled throughout the indoor shopping center. Romero made the connection between the mall's patrons and his own zombies almost immediately, likening the droning consumers — with their insatiable and driving desire for materialistic gratification — with that of his own cannibalistic creations and their driving need for consuming human flesh, each motivated by a singular fulfilling need.
This inspiration would come back to Romero two years later as he was set to begin filming of Martin. His original intentions of setting Night of the Living Dead's sequel in a farmhouse gave way to this new idea, as he began work on a script that would encompass his plans to include a not-so-subtle attack on consumerism in America, using the indoor mall — now the mecca of American consumerism, but then just a burgeoning idea — as his story's backdrop.
Romero completed nearly half the script, which outlined a dark, primal film revolving around a pregnant woman and her companion seeking refuge from the undead in the safety of the mall, sheltering themselves in a large complex of hidden ducts, venturing into the mall only in search of supplies. Much of the script had the characters naked.
They then uncover that a paramilitary group is trucking in and storing fresh human flesh within its confines to "feed" the creatures.
The protagonists "were really like cavepeople.
Dawn of the Dead ( film) - Wikipedia
I was really going out there, very heavy," Romero explained. The director would soon be contacted from overseas by Dario Argento, a former film critic-turned-famed Italian horror director.
Due to the poor box office returns on Martin, Romero and Laurel Films were unable to procure any domestic investors for the new project. Irwin Shapiro — who was the group's foreign distribution representative — had sent the still unfinished script treatment to a Rome, Italy-based producer named Alfred Cuomo, who after translating it to Italian, sent the script to his friend and fellow producer Claudio Argento, brother of the famous horror director Dario Argento.
A fan of Night of the Living Dead and an early critical proponent of the film, Argento was eager to hear the news of plans to sequelize the horror classic.
His interest to become involved with the project was immediate. Argento contacted Romero and invited the director to come to Rome in order to finish the script, convinced that the change of scenery would assist in inspiring Romero's writing.
Romero and his future wife, Christine Forrest, were situated within the heart of Rome, in an apartment overlooking the city. They shared dinners with Argento, discussing the script's progress. Within a matter of weeks, Romero had completed the script with the working title Dawn of the Living Dead.
Romero abandoned his original concept for the film, eventually deciding that the progress of his zombie apocalypse had progressed too far; the zombies were already beginning to be trained to function as slaves and were already being fed, which was the premise of 's Day of the Dead. Switching his pregnant heroine with a pregnant newsroom producer and her traffic reporter boyfriend, and rounding out the group with two Philadelphia SWAT team members, Romero shaped what would become Dawn of the Dead.
Dario Argento, who had been brought on as a 'script consultant', made very few changes to the script, stating later that his admiration for Romero was such that he trusted the director implicitly with developing Dawn of the Dead.
After short negotiations with Richard P. With financing secured, Romero set to work planning the shoot. For special effects duties, Romero turned to Tom Savinithe make-up maestro whose original plans for an effects position on Night of the Living Dead were interrupted by the Vietnam War.
Romero contacted Savini with the simple request that he think of as many ways to kill people as possible. Casting for the film would take place in New York, with the help of casting director John Amplas, who had portrayed the title character in Martin. Romero intended to cast a group of unknown actors to bring the characters of Dawn of the Dead to life, just as he had in Night of the Living Dead.
Interestingly, both David Emge Stephen and Scott Reiniger Roger worked at the same restaurant that Romero visited while casting the film. Once the cast was completed with the addition of Emge, Reiniger, as well as Gaylen Ross as Francine and Ken Foree as Peter, principal shooting was scheduled to begin in Pennsylvania on November 13, Production Principal photography for Dawn of the Living Dead its working title at the time began on November 13, The crew began work once the mall closed, starting at 11pm and ending at 7am when the automated music came on.
Life on the set was difficult, with occasional freezing temperatures due to the shoot's Pennsylvania winter schedule. Romero and his producer, Richard P. Rubinsteinwere unable to procure any domestic investors for the new project.
By chance, word of the sequel reached Italian horror director Dario Argento. A fan of Night of the Living Dead and an early critical proponent of the film, Argento was eager to help the horror classic receive a sequel. He met Romero and Rubinstein, helping to secure financing in exchange for international distribution rights. Argento invited Romero to Rome so he would have a change of scenery while writing the screenplay.
The two could also discuss plot developments. Filming[ edit ] Principal photography for Dawn of the Living Dead its working title at the time began on November 13,at the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. Use of an actual, open shopping mall during the Christmas shopping season caused numerous time constraints. Filming began nightly once the mall closed, starting at 11 PM and ending at 7 AM, when automated music came on.
As December arrived, the production decided against having the crew remove and replace the Christmas decorations—a task that had proved to be too time consuming.
Filming was shut down during the last three weeks of the year to avoid the possible continuity difficulties and lost shooting time. Production would resume on January 3, During the break in filming, Romero took the opportunity to begin editing his existing footage. Brown Memorial Airfield in Monroeville,  an airport located about two miles from the mall that is still in use. The gun store was also not located in the mall—for filming, the crew used Firearms Unlimited, a shop that existed in the East Liberty district of Pittsburgh at the time.
Principal photography on Dawn of the Dead ended in Februaryand Romero's process of editing would begin. By using numerous angles during the filming, Romero allowed himself an array of possibilities during editing—choosing from these many shots to reassemble into a sequence that could dictate any number of responses from the viewer simply by changing an angle or deleting or extending portions of scenes.
This amount of superfluous footage is evidenced by the numerous international cuts, which in some cases affects the regional version's tone and flow. Alternate ending[ edit ] According to the original screenplay, Peter and Francine were to kill themselves, Peter by shooting himself and Fran by sticking her head into the path of the rotating main helicopter blades.