The direct sequel to Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead focuses on four main characters and their struggles to survive the zombie apocalypse. There are two TV news staff, Stephen and Francine, as well as two SWAT officers, Roger and Peter. As society begins to crumble, the two groups meet up and take a helicopter to a shopping mall. They seal off the mall from the zombies outside and use the resources inside to live life as normally as possible.
For director George Romero, horror movies are not just a form of entertainment, but vehicles to bring up important social issues. The film examines race, women’s rights, and consumerism in ways that can still be appreciated today.
The largest obstacles for a viewer to get past are the b-movie acting and zombie make up. If one cannot suspend disbelief in these two areas, it can be hard to enjoy, but this is not uncommon for horror movies. I still think this is one of the most important horror movies ever made.
This movie is also known as Zombi in other countries. In Italy, horror movie master Lucio Fulci was such a fan that he decided to create a prequel to explain the origins of the Zombie outbreak. In his movie, it all starts because of voodoo on a Caribbean island. Zombi 2 was raised a year after Dawn of the Dead. While I prefer the unexplained and mysterious zombie origins of Romero’s films, Zombi 2 (Which these days is most often just titled Zombi) is a must see for anyone who appreciates George Romero’s original Zombie Trilogy.