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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Visitor Comments

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2004-03-15 05:08:06

Better than the original? I've got to see this.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Gizmola   on 2004-03-15 07:22:28

In a sort of unorthodox marketing ploy, USA network is airiing the uncut first 10 minutes of this film at the ending portion of their airing of Final Destination 2. USA is part of the Vivendi Universal, which is releasing the film.

It will be interesting to see how it fares. I saw the trailer for the film some months back, and it does look fantastic, even if it gave (not atypically) way too much away. Even so, as a horror fan, I'm looking forward to this.

Also regarding Sara Polley, she's a really great actress, who so far had her best outing in Doug Lymon's fantastic "Go". This looks like it might be the thing to catapult her to the next level, since as mentioned in the review, she's pretty much Canada's Indie queen, and still not that well known.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2004-03-15 10:40:33

The movie doesn't seem to be getting fantastic word-of-mouth so far, but I'm still excited about seeing it. There are going to be advance screenings in the UK on the 19th, so hopefully I'll get a chance to compare it to the original. (Which was almost a remake of "Night of the Living Dead" anyway.)

Question: Night of the Living Dead was remade some number of years ago. Is Dawn of the Dead (2004) a sequel to that film or a completely unrelated remake of the original Dawn of the Dead (1978)? I guess it basically is the same, but does anyone know if this is intended to be a sequel to that film?

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Bill King   on 2004-03-15 10:52:31

"Dawn of the Dead" is widely considered to be the best of the series, both from critics and fans alike. I also consider it the best. The cast was perfect, none moreso than Ken Foree, who held the film together with his no-nonsense performance. The movie looks dated, but a dated appearance is a criticism I never use against a movie.

"Day of the Dead" is hardly forgotten, especially since it was given the red carpet treatment courtesy of Anchor Bay's new Divimax DVD edition, which is an exemplory presentation. It is also Romero's personal favorite.

John, this is a standalone remake, and not a sequel to the 1990 "Night of the Living Dead" remake.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Harrison   on 2004-03-15 12:43:15

I would argue that it is "Night of the Living Dead" which is considered the classic. The re-issue of the DVD of the 1978 "Day" film was just to take advantage of the new movie's release and is considered to be more of the cheeseball movie.

Also, I never said that "Day of the Dead" has been forgotten. I wrote that the third movie has.

A card-carrying member of Fangoria!

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Bill King   on 2004-03-15 12:59:26

There's nothing wrong with thinking "Night" is better. It's a valid argument. "Night" is effective in its own way, but saying the magic was gone when "Dawn" came out is pretty far-fetched, considering how revered it is.

You wrote: "Romero also did a third �Day of the Dead� flick which has mostly been forgotten."

Sounds to me like you did say "Day," the third movie of the series, has been forgotten. The new DVD was rumored four years ago, well before the "Dawn" remake was conceived. I'm sure the remake hastened its release, but one can see that great care was given to this DVD.

Are you sure your card didn't expire? :)

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Joe Rickey   on 2004-03-15 13:03:30

Sarah Polley has shown promise in the past and I hope that this film helps her become well-known. Although I will have to say that Weight of Water was a terrible film. The only thing is that historically, zombie films do not perform nearly as well as other horror films.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Harrison   on 2004-03-15 13:15:55

For clarity, I've edited the mention to the 3rd movie as the 3rd Dead movie. Day, Dawn, Afternoon, Morning? Coffee Break of the Dead? Whatever - the third one was terrible and forgotten. Not to be confused by the very funny Return of the Living Dead and its own bunch of lamo sequels.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2004-03-16 05:48:24

Night of the Living Dead (1968) is my favorite. I own both "Night" and "Dawn" (new Divimax DVD) and I prefer Night of the Living Dead. Although Dawn was good, I have to say it's a bit overrated IMHO, and I didn't think the performances were very great. It's good, but not the best. I think it's more or a remake of the original, updated with a larger budget and placed inside a mall, with more blatant comments on society (love the end credits) and so on.

I've never seen Day of the Dead but I'm sure I will some time.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Brodie James (email, web) on 2004-03-16 17:36:31

Because of Bill King, I have far fewer points to make than I initially figured. It's nice to see another fan of the Romero series...someone who truly enjoys the films for what they are, which is powerful films.

As for the terrible cast of the original: Ken Foree has been acting off and on since starring in the original, and Gaylen Ross also did some acting (appearing in the cult favorite "Creepshow") as well as some directing for television.

And, because I'm feeling nitpicky, "Day of the Dead" was released in 1985, not '78.

Despite the negative remarks toward the original "Dawn" flick, I thought the rest of the review was very good, and only helps support my growing need to see it.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Harrison   on 2004-03-16 18:58:42

"Dawn of the Dead" was originally released in 1978. I don't think there's a reference to a release year for "Day of the Dead" in the review.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Brodie James (email, web) on 2004-03-16 21:12:43

Nah man, I was referring to what you said earlier in this comments thread. It wasn't in the review.

So then, I guess I take it back.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Ken Foree and Scott H. Reiniger   on 2004-03-17 10:45:44

Interesting review. If you want to call it that. Everything that I�ve read does not tell me anything about the movie, that I haven�t seen in the trailer already or seen on the first 10 min of the preview they are showing all over the internet and on the USA Network. I did notice a couple of flaws in this review that I wanted to point out. �Sarah Polley, the brilliantly fluid young Canadian actress who starred in �Weight of Water,� �eXistenz,� �My Life Without Me,� �The Sweet Hereafter� (and the list goes on and on) stars as a �young mother� who�s life is horrifically turned upside down at the very beginning of the undead attack�? From what I gathered, she�s not a young mother�but, I guess if I watched the previews, I would assume that the way it was edited, the little girl Vivian, would look as if she had a daughter. On character information, you mention Ving Rhames as the �Tough and Gruff bigger than life, action cop�? That�s it? That�s all there is to say about his character? Not to mention Mekhi Phifer�s character, I could of figured out that much in the promotions that I have been seeing. Also, on what you wrote back to Bill King �I would argue that it is "Night of the Living Dead" which is considered the classic. The re-issue of the DVD of the 1978 "Day" film was just to take advantage of the new movie's release and is considered to be more of the cheeseball movie. Also, I never said that "Day of the Dead" has been forgotten. I wrote that the third movie has. Harrison A card-carrying member of Fangoria"! Um�The third movie is Day of the Dead�I think you know that by now. You might need to get an updated Fangoria card. I am just assuming that you got Day of the Dead and Dawn mixed up�I think the fan�s will forgive you on that one. Seriously, I am looking forward to seeing the remake as are a lot of fans of Romero and the Dead Trilogy. I remember reading a review on 28 Days later and I am not going to quote it, but it said something as of �Danny Boyle has created a new vision of Zombie Horror�, and possibly, this might be an add on to that factor. Maybe, there will be more to come along with GREAT reviews. Keep up the good work Harrison.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Aaron (email) on 2004-03-17 11:53:50

Even if you, and I'm referring to the reviewer here, are too ignorant to see the brilliance of Romero's unparalleled work - you'd better check your facts before you say it has been forgotten. Romero's film is one of those "cult" classics that transcends its genre and that cult label by being one of the greatest and most perceptive horror films ever made. I have my doubts that any commercial director will be able to match that vision, that worldview. By the by, the original rates a 7.7 on imdb user ratings - hardly the mark of a "cheap" film with "atrocious production values" (the thing was made outside of Hollywood, fool, and the production values, if you understand the term, are actually quite stunning) and a "terrible cast" (unknowns whose anonymity enhances their effectiveness, since you have no star that you know will survive). I just hope people who haven't seen the original return to it and gain some insight from it - rather than reading your fanboy review and dismissing an undisputed classic.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Pearce Duncan (email, web) on 2004-03-17 16:18:29

Actually I think you'll find that at least one of the core cast members of the original - Ken Foree - did "pursue an acting career" and can be found in a number of both good and bad horror movies throughout the '80s and '90s (though at one point he was reduced to driving a limo for Bob Fosse - who was apparently a huge fan of Dawn and was appalled that Foree wasn't doing better). I don't remember the actors from the original Night going on to do anything of note.

If you actually knew anything about horror movies, you'd be well aware that there's fierce debate about whether Night or Dawn is the best of Romero's original trilogy. Your own opinion of it may be low, which is your prerogative, but calling it a "less-loved sequel" is an error. I also don't get why Dawn is "amateurish" while Night apparently isn't.

The original version of Dawn is pretty highly thought of in mainstream circles as well; try looking it up in any random film guide. Then we could take into account the massive influence Dawn had on the horror genre throughout the late '70s and the entirity of the '80s.

Let me add to the "Day of the Dead is not forgotten" chorus, too. I know a number of people who consider it the best of the trilogy (though I'm not one of them). Day was largely disparaged when it was first released, but its reputation has increased considerably over the last two decades.

What I mostly picked up from your review of the remake was you consider it a better movie because it cost more money, had a more experienced cast, and had modern-day production values; and that your knowledge of Romero's original trilogy is much lower than your willingness to make sweeping comments about it.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Eric   on 2004-03-17 16:36:58

I think the reviewer was saying that $25 million today might be equal to $1.5 million in 1978 dollars. It's more about the technology and special effects today than dollars anyways.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Esteban (email) on 2004-03-17 19:47:54

Actually, $1.5 million in 1978 dollars is somewhere around $5-6 million 2004 dollars.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by jb   on 2004-03-17 22:11:03

The reviewer's tastes are not my own. I think that '28 Days Later' is an overhyped piece of dung. The first half ripped off the original Dawn of the Dead, and the second half ripped off Day of the Dead. I was unimpressed by the fancy camera movements and lazy story. I like all 3 of Romero's Dead movies, and several other movies he's made.

Night of the Living Dead was released the year I was born; when I saw it for the first time at 14, even I could see that it must have been like no other horror film that came before. There are no clear heroes or villains, and everyone loses.

Dawn of the Dead, like Romero's The Crazies and Martin (and Tobe Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre), shows its limited budget, but all of those movies are shot through with some very original, upsetting moments, unlike the endless slasher movies and the stupid, smug 'Scream' series. I still get nervous when I think of the short shot in Dawn of the Dead where several undead are squirming around in a small car, trapped there until someone smashes a window or they rot. Hare Krishna vegitarians, nuns, nurses, and your boyfriend are all equal now, and equality equals mindless, instinctual cannibalism.

Day of the Dead suffered a lot because it had 1/3 the original hoped-for budget. But it is still a tight, fast movie, and I think that it has a good atmosphere. The mood of being trapped in an unbearable situation is very well done, and in spite of Joseph Pilato's poor performance, I liked the performances of Lori Cardille, John Amplas, Richard Liberty, and especially Terry Alexander.

I've seen all of Romero's horror movies several times. Some viewings, I cannot get past the sloppiness that comes with fast, low-budget productions. At other times, I am blown away by their purity, and their dedication to a few very strong, very modern ideas: Life is indifferent to humanity. Intelligence is useless. Civilization is nothing more than a temporary barrier against the horror of existence, but we'll struggle to our deaths to pretend that it's something more. These movies deserve a lot of respect.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by zombizilla (email) on 2004-03-18 12:45:36

I don't it's fair to label Harrison a "fool" or other similar remark because of a few technical errors. Having said that, let me add my own comments on the review.

Harrison, as you can see, there are many fans of Romero and his films, especially the "Dead" trilogy. I am one of them. Even amongst the fans, there is much discussion and disagreement about these films. It just shows the passion we have in regards to them.

I happen to think that the original DAWN... was very effective in what it was trying to be; a satire on consumerism, an action picture and a apocolyptic vision. For the budget Romero had, I believe the production values were good and the acting was more than adequet. The blood used was from 3M, and the color (bright red) represented the comic-book visuals of the film.

This new movie has been receiving generally good notices. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I am looking forward to seeing it.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Rufus (email) on 2004-03-18 17:05:14

Zombizilla is correct that there's no reason to call Harrison a 'fool'. However, he did make some egregiously ignorant statements that are demonstrably false, so it would be nice to see him admit such.

His existing response in the comments thread makes little sense.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Bub (email, web) on 2004-03-18 19:46:00

If the original Dawn were so easily forgettable and lacking what you called "magic," then why would any large studio bother to re-make it? The original Dawn of the Dead is a masterpiece of do-it-yourself outside-the-mainstream, anti-Hollywood cinema that will long outlast any re-make, no matter how good it may be.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Mackenzie Lambert (email) on 2004-03-18 23:24:20

I highly disagree with Mr. Cheung that Dawn was made in a time that had it lose its touch. I think it is the best film in the trilogy. Dawn had excellent social commentary, great dark humor, an excellent cast (Scott Reiniger was favorite of the four leads), and cool gore effects. I'll admit that I was one of the many people that blew their noses at the thought of the remake. After viewing the film's website, I have now confidence stored into this actually being a good film. Better than some of the other zombiefare (i.e Resident Evil, House of the Dead), but no surpassing the original.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Rufus   on 2004-03-19 21:24:19

Saw it today and I am very glad to say that it was indeed a whole lot of fun. It shares essentially nothing with the original except for the main premise, but it finds its own interesting take on the material. The important thing it shares with the original is its attempt to treat the material seriously. Yes, there are jokes, but the movie itself is not tongue-in cheek or self-aware in a 'Scream' sort of sense.

As a straitforward apocalyptic action/horror effort, it's very effective.

Here's to hoping it does big bucks and then makes the studios interested in finally financing Romero's #4.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Jay   on 2004-03-22 20:04:07

Check out EntertaiNMent Weekly;s review: "Romero's ''Dawn'' was a cardboard-and-staples cheapo production, suitable for an era of eight-track tapes.... Snyder, making a killer feature debut, trades homemade cheesiness for knowing style, revels in the sophistication of modern special effects, and stomps off with the best remake -- er, ''re-envisioning'' -- of a horror classic in memory." One man's classic is another man's piece of shit!

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Joe Rickey   on 2004-03-23 00:54:36

I enjoyed this remake very much but it will not replace the original in my eyes. Sure, it has better production values and acting, but there's just something I found almost magical about the original that no remake could hope to replicate.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by rufus   on 2004-03-24 15:03:20

It's certainly anyone's perogative to dislike the original, but I'm exceedingly surprised at the repeated jabs at the production levels and acting in it. It was an independent movie, made for peanuts, that had a scale seldom attempted with such minimal resources.

*Of course* the acting and production were subpar compared to a medium budget Hollywood production 25 years later.

I suppose these same people would watch Peter Jackson's 'Bad Taste' and say "bah, what crappy animatronics". Or listen to a Tom Waites album and say 'bah, no guitar solos and the drums sound like pots and pans".

Very strange.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2004-03-25 05:10:54

Harrison, it looks like you have released your own zombies with this review - fanboy zombies! 27 comments! Geez...

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by rufus   on 2004-03-25 18:41:24

Considering that most of the commenters in the thread liked the remake. And further considering that the bones picked with Harrison's review were matters of factual errors, not nitpicks over his personal opinions, it's not very clear why this thread could be considered "fanboy"-ish in any way.

Better not drop by, your head might explode.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by gizmola   on 2004-03-26 04:54:11

There was a comedian... i can't remember who, who was talking about Indie movies. To paraphrase:

Him: That movie was a pile of crap

Friend: But dude that movie only cost 90k to make

Him: Yeah but I paid $8 to see it. They didn't give me a discount because it only cost 90k. It if only cost them 90k, then how bout only charging me 25 cents to see it?

This to me summarizes a perfectly valid point of view about low budget films.

A film should be judged on it's own merits, and not have faults excused because of budgetary contraints. Some people may factor the budget into their point of view on the film, but it's just as valid for someone to criticise shortcomings as it is for another person to excuse them.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by John Ulmer (email, web) on 2004-03-26 05:58:24

I must say that there's one thing I do agree with - the third "Dead" film, "Day of the Dead," has indeed been mostly forgotten compared to the others. I know it's supposedly Romero's favorite from the trilogy, but it's not considered a classic of the genre. I know some people got over Harrison about that, but it's partly correct. Maybe the fans haven't forgotten but according to the number of votes it has on IMDb (compared to the other two), it's about 1/4 as popular as the others.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Brodie James (email, web) on 2004-04-11 13:47:25

I don't think you can gauge societies opinion of a film based on the number of votes it gets on IMDb. That's like saying everybody in America loves the shizzle out of CBS's "Survivor" because it consistently comes in number one in the ratings, garnering 7 - 12 million viewers each week.

When you consider there is about 20 million people living in New York alone, you can see that the folks making "Suvivor" a hit are but a drop in the bucket.

Just putting things into perspective.

Re: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Added by Daniel (email) on 2004-06-13 20:49:23

I think that this remake was great!There was great acting to(im only 11 years old)like Sarah Polley.Shes hot.I did watch Day Of The Dead and wow that was terrible.I am planning to watch the Night and, Dawn movies.One last thing.If anybody knows the release date for Dawn Of The Dead remake dvd then please email me or response her.


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