Dawn of the Dead (remake) (2004)

Directed by Zack Snyder

box picture
Rating 5 (Hellacool)
Gore Score 5 (Guts Galore)
Special Effects 5 (Steven Speilburg)
Comedy Score 2 (Mildly Humorous)
Horror Score 5 (Terrifying)
Nudity Score 2 (Just a Glimpse)

Movie Review by Al Fleshrot

Adapted from George Romero's original screenplay, the story loosely follows the plot of the original. A diverse group of people fleeing the ever increasing horde of zombies end up finding sanctuary in the local mall. (Fortunately the mass spread of zombies happened over night, so the mall is essentially empty.) They spend a lot of time on the roof exchanging messages with Andy the gun store owner who sits atop his store roof across the parking lot; they play a game where they pick out a milling zombie below that bears a likeness to a celebrity and Andy tries to find it and blow it's head off with his sniper rifle. After several close encounters and mishaps with zombies, they decide on a plan to escape the mall by converting two mini-buses in the parking garage into armored, zombie-slaying rigs. They bust through the zombie horde, but one of the vehicles crashes during the escape. The survivors make it to the marina in the remaining bus, where the last four uninfected escape in a boat. After running out of fuel and water, they finally find an island...only to find it inhabited by zombies!

This is a great adaption of the original Dawn of the Dead film, and even outdoes the original in the scare department. These zombies aren't slow at all, they run extremely fast and attack with ferocity. Unlike the original, you can't run through a group of zombies taking pop shots with a bat - if you get caught out in the open by a group of them and aren't armed to the teeth, you're pretty much a goner. The production quality is excellent and there are several scenes that are creepy even to a zombie veteran. It's certainly not just a remake, but there are some loose associations with the original. There is a pregnant woman in the mall, but in this version she becomes a zombie and her boyfriend keeps her hidden from the rest of the group and delivers the baby from its zombified mother. The baby is born a zombie, and that's a very unsettling image! The diversity of the characters is great, and though under normal circumstances they would never be friends or even get along, they pull together in their fight for survival. The movie ends on a more dismal note than the original, as it's obvious that the last four survivors are ultimately doomed.

Zombie Traits

Speed 3 (Carl Lewis)
Intelligence 2 (Animal)
Strength 2 (Normal)
Zombie Sourceunknown, but transmitted via bites

Ohhhh - these zombies are nasty! They aren't very bright, but they run fast. Other than that they are killed in standard fashion by destroying the brain.

Best Zombie Kill
Four of the men have to brave the dark parking garage to restart the power generators. A zombie that is missing both legs swings hand over hand along the ceiling and drops onto the one of the mall security guys, biting into his neck. Soon the poor guy is gang tackled by several more zombies and is eaten alive.

Best Zombie Death
Steve gets attacked by a zombie janitor in a sports store and his only weapon is the croquet mallet he just exchanged for his crowbar. Fortunately it gets broken in half during the scuffle, and he grabs the end with the jagged point and rams it through the zombie's chin, up through its skull and out the top of its head!

Memorable Scene
There is a great scene when the survivors flee the mall in their two armored buses. The front bus has a plow mounted on the front, but the mass of zombies is so thick that they can't even drive any further. One of the buses is rigged with a horizontal slit for sweeping off zombies, and Steve uses a chainsaw to cut off the legs of a zombie climbing the bus. The expression on his face is awesome as he screams in disgust, sawing away and spraying blood and guts everywhere! CJ then tosses a propane tank into the horde, and blows it up with a shotgun blast. The ensuing explosion sends a shock wave through the thousands of zombies, knocking them all back and clearing a path of escape.

Al Fleshrot wants your brains