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Dawn Of The Dead Reviews............

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:27 am
by shawn
The reviews are coming in and making me fucking hard! Can't wait till tomorrow, this is the first time I have seen such a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes for a horror film, let alone a remake:

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:26 pm
by Frank the Hammer
Who's seeing it? Post reviews asap.

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:33 pm
by shawn
I'll post tomrrow when I get back.

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:57 am
by Kimberly
Just got in from seeing it and I have to say I really enjoyed it. As it was mentioned in the other Dawn thread... aside from the title and the fact that they are held up in a mall... that's really about it in common with the original.

It held my attention from begining to end... lots of splatter... couple of good laughs and some tense moments. I had a fun time watching it...


Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 7:06 am
by Latte Thunder
I never thought I'd be this excited about a remake. But I am. I'm still skeptical, but I've come to grips with the fact that this isn't going to hold a candle to the original, so I probably shouldn't even try to compare the two and just handle it as a new zombie movie.

I couldn't believe it yesterday, standing in a deli and seeing the Life section of USA Today with a big article about the movie on the front page with a big picture of Zombie Steve from the original. That just struck me as odd. I'm going to try and see it tonight.

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:58 am
by MuC
im seeing at 2 this afternoon...hehehehe...cant fuckin wait...:)

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:22 am
by shawn
Couldn't believe Ebert gave it a pretty positive review for the most part... Not sure if thats a good sign or a bad sign... Well, I'm gonna jump in the shower, wash my ass, and head off to the theatre!

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 3:36 pm
by hodgy
Originally posted by shawn
Couldn't believe Ebert gave it a pretty positive review for the most part... Not sure if thats a good sign or a bad sign... Well, I'm gonna jump in the shower, wash my ass, and head off to the theatre!

I'm heading to the theater with a stinky ass.
I had to wear my Zombie T (available at Rotten Cotton, goddammit) at my gig last night to commerate this momentous occasion.

awwwww yeah...

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 5:49 pm
by MuC
just got back...better then i thought it would be...the pace is pretty fast...and the blood and guts is definatly not restrained...a few characters that i wish wouldve died sooner...but...when they do die it makes it all the more better...;) soooo going to see it again...:cheers:

If you haven't seen it yet ,you should!

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 6:55 pm
by _spider_
here's a good thread for my first post... i just got back from seeing the movie. it was definitely a good twist of a horror classic.
i was surprised that with a change of the original screenplay that this movie could pull off something worthy of seeing more than once. don't leave until the credits are over! Enjoy!

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:32 pm
by hodgy
Dare I say it? Ack!!! Awesommmmmme!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 8:54 pm
by DylanDog
My first impression (and I say that secure in the knowledge that I will be seeing this more than once), is that the only thing I can think that might have made this better would have been a Skinny Puppy soundtrack. Honestly, I can't think of anything I really didn't like about it. Kudos to all involved. Nobody thought they could pull it off, but boy did they. And how...

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 9:17 pm
by Latte Thunder
I've been looking forward to this all day. Since the USA preview, I've been pretty pumped for it and it was all I thought about all day today. Advance reviews were coming in from everyone ranging between Roger Ebert and Scott Ian, and no one had a bad word to say about it. Five o'clock rolled around and off I went right to the theater to buy my tickets, I didn't want to chance it, this has been hyped big time. This was the movie that was going to knock Jesus out of the number one slot on the box office take for the weekend. I assumed this would be a packed house. So my wife rushes home from work, for some strange reason wanting to join me in a past time she considers a waste of time and brain cells. I can't say that's a bad thing. I'd always wanted to bring her into my world of horror. Off we go, to the nine thirty show.

The theater was a half packed house, but this was the late show and nearly every occupied seat was taken by an obnoxious asshole teenager from the local high school. Cell phones were going off, everyone was loudly talking about how gay a certain teacher was and then the trailers rolled. They talked through that and I feared that this was going to be a bad show to see, but as soon as the chaos started, they shut their mouths right quick and it was a dead silent house for the rest of the one hour and forty minutes.

I'm the most jaded Romero fan. I don't just watch his Dead movies, I study them. The zombie subgenre is my particular favorite setting. I grew up on apocalypse movies. Some morbid part of me really takes a shine to a world without order. I can't explain it, but fantasizing about a complicated world stripped down to it's most bare essentials. Where survival is the only option and making it to work on time to sit at a desk staring at the latest installment of the daily grind is a thing of the past. I think you see where I'm going with this.

When Dawn was announced next on the chopping block to be remade, I rolled my eyes. When you tell the world you plan to remake Dawn of the Dead, you might as well tell everyone you plan to remake The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz. Dawn of the Dead is a sacred chao to many. The word remake brings to mind some miserable Hollywood dog shit. To put Dawn of the Dead in the same world as Hollywood's latest evidence that they were completely out of ideas, well, that's some bullshit right there. I was livid and had dismissed it before a cast had even been announced. Then it got worse. James Gunn was announced as the pen. The same James Gunn who wrote Scooby Doo. I suddenly felt like David Lynch was in control of my life and that he was having a bad day and taking it out on me. Then I saw the teaser. That doesn't look like Dawn of the Dead. Then I saw the trailer. What the fuck is this? Well, I suppose it could be worse. I thought about it some and then I decided, that looks pretty good, actually. Then I saw the preview on cable. I was hooked. And that's where my review begins.

We've all been duped. This is not Dawn of the Dead. This is a movie with zombies and a shopping mall and it just happens to bear the name Dawn of the Dead. They share nothing in common, so I'm just going to take my comparisons and throw them all out the window. Comparisons have no place here. There is no social indictment, no message about zombie consumerism, there's not even a helicopter. So what is there? For starters, there's nearly non-stop action from start to finish. This movie hits the ground running and never stops, it never loses steam. It goes full bore right out of the gate. The shit hits the proverbial fan within ten minutes, and contrary to what you've heard, those ten minutes are NOT the best part of the movie. They're a damn good ten minutes, but the remaining ninety just get better and better. The whole movie hauls ass. So why don't I go ahead and get a little specific?

The story is rather simple. For some reason, one day, the dead rise. It's never established why they rise, they just do, and if you ask me, that's the most horrific way to set this scenario. There's no explanation. Ana, played by Sarah Polley is torn from her day to day when the world ends. Her husband is attacked in their home by a neighborhood girl, infected with the zombie plague. He soon turns and chases her out into the streets, where she sees her neighborhood in shambles. A quick escape lands her in a ditch with her car wrecked and soon after, meeting up with a cop on the run played by Ving Rhames. Rhames is a man of few words here. He is big, imposing and very, very quiet. If you ask me, he is a very good replacement for Ken Foree (who makes a cameo as a televangelist to deliver his famous tagline). On the run together, Ana and Ken (Rhames) meet up with three more people on the run, Michael, Andre and Luda, a pregnant woman. Together they take hiding in a shopping mall, which also happens to be inhabited by three mall cops. They use the malls resources to keep themselves alive and safe, while keeping the gathering hordes of the dead out. Across the way, at a gun store is Andy, a man who communicates via dry erase board and also happens to be an expert shot. More survivors show up and it's not long before a plan is hatched to get the hell out of the mall and on to a boat owned by Steve, a rich asshole. That's it in a nutshell. It's pretty simple, but this movie is packed with some tense scenes throughout.

First of all, these are not your father's zombies. This is not Romero's vision of the apocalypse. This is Zack Snyder's and James Gunn's and in a lot of ways, it is a much, much darker end to the world. These zombies are not only unstoppable in the way that you can only take them out by headshot, these things run like olympic athletes. I've spent a long time pissing and moaning about zombies that can run you down like it ain't no thang, but now that I've seen it, these are even more ferocious than Danny Boyle's rage infected killing machines in 28 Days Later. Those were som frightening monsters, but they don't hold a candle to these. These zombies shriek and howl and move extremely fast. They sneer and drool and claw like they mean it. These zombies have an agenda and nothing will stop them from sinking their teeth into the soft, warm flesh of living humans. The plague spreads fast. It's not clear how much time passes from start to finish, but these things multiply quickly. By the time the movie ends, you have to wonder how many people are still alive, because it looks like damn near everyone locally is toast.

Gore-wise, I'm stunned. I couldn't believe it. This is a very, very hard R rating. Blood and brains fly like they're on sale at Walmart. Some of the effects are very creative and quite explicit. The zombie makeup is also extremely well done. For things that have been dead only a few days, some of these things are downright fucked up. Flesh hangs from bones, blood flows, eyes dangle from nerves. Believe it, Savini would be proud. Speaking of Savini he makes a quick cameo and gets to ham it up for the camera as a cop explaining how to destroy the dead during the early phases of the infestation. Not only is Savini here as well as Ken Foree, but Scott Reiniger makes a quick appearance as an army general. And if that's still not enough, an early shot of the mall's exterior shows a store marquee for a shop called Gaylen Ross. The gang's all here and there's a nod to all of them for the fans.

As the movie progresses, the pace quickens, the action gets faster, the rope tightens. By the ultimate end, you'll probably feel just like me, completely overwhelmed. All I have to say about the ending is that someone at Universal must have owed someone at Strike a favor, because for a Hollywood horror movie, this is pretty mean. I'm not going to spoil it, but I walked out of the theater feeling like someone punched me in the stomach. When you see it, and you will, I know you guys, stick around through the credits. There's much to be seen.

So I'll wrap this up. I've rambled for a long time. Ordinarily I like to take a day when I see a big movie like this to think about things and sort out my thoughts before I do a write-up, but I left the theater feeling deeply unsettled. Ultimately, I enjoyed every second of it. This is the horror movie we've been waiting a long time for. I'd speculated that this movie would be a positive force in demonstrating to Hollywood that we are out here and hungry for horror. It's a bold movie considering that it's just a blood and bullets flick, but I'm making a lot of bold statements tonight and I'm going to go out on a limb. This is the Saving Private Ryan of horror. Good things are going to come in it's wake. Trust me.

Also worth noting, Dawn of the Dead '04 sports the single coolest title sequence I've ever seen. Set to Johnny Cash's 'The Man Comes Around', a song about the apocalypse, we see newsreel footage, real and faked, depicting the state of the world following the first zombie invasion. Things spiral wildly out of control right before your eyes and you'll no doubt be feeling pretty awful. The end credits are also set to a song that's ironically funny. It's the Jim Carrol band doing 'People Who Died'.

If you've made it this far, thanks. I can't imagine anyone read all that. It's a pretty depressing movie when you put yourself there in that world and realize that you can try your best to survive, but there's just nowhere to go. You're doomed. Maybe I'm just taking it a little too seriously, but I really had to talk this one out so I can sleep. I seriously have not been impacted by a movie like this since the first time I saw the finale to Day of the Dead.

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:50 pm
by Chris Slack
Damn Latte, that was a mouthful! All I have to say right now is that I loved it and will be seeing it again in a few days. Gotta crash, working early...

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:17 am
by MetalGoddess
Wow, can't wait to see it!

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:55 am
by Frank the Hammer
Ok. their is this guy who does lounge covers of modern songs. (System of a Down, White Zombie,ect..) His name is RICHARD CHEESE. I got an email from him two days ago and during the Mall part they are playing his lounge version of Disturbed's - Down With The Sickness.

Tell me if you hear it.

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:14 am
by Chris Slack
Originally posted by Frank the Hammer
Ok. their is this guy who does lounge covers of modern songs. (System of a Down, White Zombie,ect..) His name is RICHARD CHEESE. I got an email from him two days ago and during the Mall part they are playing his lounge version of Disturbed's - Down With The Sickness.

Tell me if you hear it.

I heard it, far better than Disturbed's peice of shit song :)

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:04 pm
by MuC
richard cheese is awesome...i gotta dig up his cd...:)

Finally, a remake that works

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:19 pm
by Scott
I have to admit I had my doubts going into this movie. I remember what happened when Gus Van Sant remade Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock was probably turning over in his grave when that came out. Then came Tom Savini's Night of the Living Dead which showed why Savini is a makeup artist, not a director, and probably why he hasn't directed a film since.

Now comes word of a remake of Dawn of the Dead. My first thought was, OK, how we can fuck this one up? Well, let's see, they hire a director with no prior film experience, Zack Snyder, and hire a screenwriter in James Gunn, whose only hing close to horror was some scripts he wrote for Troma. It looked like a disaster waiting to happen.

After seeing the movie today, I must say that this is one of the better horror films to come along in recent years and clearly the best remake of a horror film since The Thing, IMHO. Unlike many other commercial-to-film directors, Snyder directs like he has prior experience and I hope to see him on board more horror films in the future. The cast, especially Sarah Polley, work out well, and the dialogue isn't too corny. I applaud Snyder for staying away from casting any 90210 types. And of course, what would a zombie movie be without gore. There's plenty of it. Great special effects, camerawork, and it helps to have a good script. Gunn delivered on that one.

Now I'll stop short of calling it a classic. I still prefer Romero's version, but kudos to Snyder and Richard Rubinstein for doing what many like Gus Van Sant and Tom Savini have failed to do - deliver a worthy remake or reimagining if that's what you call it.

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:32 pm
by DylanDog
Funny, I always thought Savini's NOTLD was quite good. But I hear where you're coming from, most remakes do suck. (Are they still working on that Creature From The Black Lagoon remake??)

Speaking of the cast, I was glad to see Jake Weber in this one. He was perhaps my favorite character on American Gothic before some bozo's decided they needed a handsomer, more macho lead on the show. Good to see him resurface here.

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:00 am
by shawn
I was going to write a long ass review but Latte did it for me, covering EVERYTHING! Thanks! I completely agree with everything he has said, I have already seen it twice and was blown away. Just don't make any comparisons to the original, its a completely different "beast". Horror fans see it! Its great fun! And there was even gore in this fucker! Couldn't believe it! But I hear 5 minutes of gore was cut to get the R and that its planned to be on the dvd. Lets hope Universal has the balls to do it. And I'm glad Latte brought up the opening title sequence, I've never seen anything like it, amazing shit...

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:04 am
by Remo D
...and where am I in this mix?

Would you believe... for circumstances too complicated to explain... I still have to wait a week to see this?

Oh, well, at least it doesn't stand a chance of vanishing overnight, like everything else I try to be first in line for...

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 9:37 am
by shawn
Looking forward to your thoughts Remo. If you have an open mind and aren't expecting it to be anything like the original Dawn, then you should love it. The remake sort of reminds me of all the Italian Dawn Of The Dead rip-offs we grew up with. Only with a bigger budget of course... Its a fun B zombie movie... So have you seen the Passion? I'm curious what you thought...

PS: Richard Cheese is GOD. Here is his site:

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 6:44 pm
by Remo D
Fact is, I JUST got back from seeing THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Back to The Beaten Track for that one, eh?

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:49 am
by Latte Thunder
Originally posted by Chris
Damn Latte, that was a mouthful!
After a while of writing, I started to wonder just how far overboard I'd gone. Ordinarily, my write-ups are pretty quick, but when I'm really into or really hate a movie, I'll really take my time.

I just couldn't believe it! It was a big studio horror movie that didn't take it easy on the audience. I really can't think, off hand, of a major horror movie that was like this. Hollywood has always played it safe in recent years with ironic slasher movies, but Dawn stomps the shit out of everything to come along over the last ten years. I really haven't seen anything like it. It's the number one movie this week and hopefully, word of mouth will push it along and keep it floating at the top of the box office list for the next couple of weeks. A financial demonstration to Hollywood that people want this sort of thing is going to do wonders for genre movies in the years to come.

I even have friends who aren't really into horror movies coming to me after seeing it, asking what other zombie movies they should check out. I just lent out my Day and Dawn DVDs to people so they can check out the source material. I even spent two hours explaining and answering questions for other people about Romero's continuity. Pretty interesting, if you ask me.

And I also liked Savini's Night remake.