Dawn of the Dead (1978) and me..
Let me just say, that I have been a Romero fan for a very long time. Longer than when I started considering myself a “horror guy.” I’ve been a fan, considering my age, since the release of Savini’s directorial foray with Night of the Living Dead. Even after finally watching the original (of which I love more now that I’m older), I still consider the remake as a Romero flick. Why? Simple enough. He wrote it. Savini directed. End of story.
The feel I had watching one of Romero’s “dead” flicks is a very fond and pleasant memory. Friday night. Popcorn. Pizza. Junk food. The life, right? I still get that feel watching movies, but especially horror movies, and even more especially when watching any one of Romero’s trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day.
When I finally sat down to watch Dawn of the Dead, the movie became an instant favorite. I wouldn’t dare say Dawn is better than Night, but Day…well..
So, why am I a Romero fan? Good question. In all of film, horror is the most honest. Horror will show you the ugly mess society often turns things. Film makers normally are not intentionally making a movies with social commentary in mind; social commentary is usually a byproduct of the times the movie was made. However, with horror, more often than not, social commentary is intentional. Or at least most of the time! And Dawn of the Dead, all of Romero’s original trilogy, even Diary of the Dead, are chocked full of subversive commentary!!
This is part of the reason why I’m turned on to horror. You can tell a fun and exciting story, filled with interesting characters and creatures, whilst also turning over the apple cart, as Romero has said during an interview with Nightmares in the Red, White, and Blue. With horror, you can be as brutally honest as you want, just so long as it makes sense politically, and in the context of the story.
Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978, yet amazingly and tragically (in a way) its bit on consumerism is still so very relevant. The things that fill the void, so to speak. Stuff can only make us happy for a little while..and then.. “What the hell are they?” And so on!