Rayzor’s Retro Review: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I have just been informed we are going off the air and switching to the Emergency Broadcast System.

So, I watched Dawn of the Dead tonight.  While the original is one of THE greatest zombie movies, and hell, horror movies of all time.  The Zack Snyder 2004 remake is a great zombie movie and I have used the word, superb.  There are so many things about the movie that make it great.  But, there are so many people on the other side of the camp.  It is technically a remake, but it is a film that can stand on its own, away from the Romero masterpiece.  I mean, what do they have in common?  Well, zombies and the bulk of the movie takes place in a mall.  The nice thing about Snyder’s Dawn of the Dean, it did not forget it’s past or where it comes from.  We get to see original cast members make cameos, Ken Foree, Tom Savini and Scott Reiniger.  Other than that, there is nothing to compare.

Synopsis:

When her husband is attacked by a zombified neighbor, Ana (Sarah Polley) manages to escape, only to realize her entire Milwaukee neighborhood has been overrun by the walking dead. After being questioned by cautious policeman Kenneth (Ving Rhames), Ana joins him and a small group that gravitates to the local shopping mall as a bastion of safety. Once they convince suspicious security guards that they are not contaminated, the group bands together to fight the undead hordes.

What I enjoy about this movie, it is not a sequel.  We see the beginning of the outbreak and on.  The movie follows Ana in her journey from work to the mall.  To be honest, her path is terrifying.  I mean she wakes up to her husband or whatever being chowed on by the little girl neighbor from across the street.  The girl gets knocked down and jumps up to further they attack.  Then Ana’s husband turns and chases here.  I mean, this is an intense opening to the film.  The credits roll and kind of get us caught up from around the world, all set to Johnny Cash’s “When the Man Comes Around”. perfection.

Ana meets Kenneth, Michael, Andre and Luda and they make their way to the mall, which is being protected by my favorite C.J.  More people show up and we get a wonderful montage of life during a zombie apocalypse in a mall.  The good thing, the power and food supplies seemed to last for a long time.  We see the characters grow together and kind of become a family.  In the short time of the film we really get to know the characters and really care about them from the little development.  Which really complements the writing and direction of the film.

This is a beautifully shot film, from the cinematography to the locations, this remake was handled with care.  The make-up on the zombies was terrific.  At the beginning the zombies looked fresh, some wounds and blood.  But as the movie goes on, the rot and show decay.  Great work for a zombie movie.  I also love the colors seem to be over saturated through out the movie, it works so well.

This movie has it all, heart, laughs, gore, flesh eating, a sharp shooting contest and a boat ride!

Running zombies bother people, but I am glad to know that the Zack Snyder Dawn of the Dead could be the perfect zombie movie.  It is miles ahead of The Walking Dead, which I know is a show.  But, with all due respect to Romero, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead were great, but also they work as the foundation of which all other zombie movies have been made and I think the 2004 Dawn of the Dead may be the peak.  Now, I know some of you may flip your shit, but this is one man’s opinion.  Don’t discount this film because it is a fucking “remake”.

IMDB.com has a rating of 7.3

I have a high rating, if you cannot tell I love this movie.  I give Dawn of the Dead a 8.6

Army of the Dead

This is the purposed sequel to the remake of Day of the Dead.  Snyder was to produce and the film was to take place in Las Vegas.  While, I would have loved to see a follow up and for once a possible direct sequel, this didn’t sound like the best idea.

It would be nice to see James Gunn and Zack Snyder team up one more time.  Take a break from DC comic movies and Marvel comics and bring us a good remake of Romero’s Day of the Dead.  We have had two now, a third wouldn’t hurt.  Especially with these two making the film.

That’s all I got.  Watch Dawn of the Dead, hell get the Scream Factory Collector’s Edition Blu Ray.

When there’s no room left in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.

About Ray Marek III 409 Articles
I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)