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Dawn Of The Dead Review

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The dead are walking the earth, and four survivors of the zombie plague take refuge in a deserted shopping mall. Once inside however, they are trapped by hordes of the dead and a gang of militant bikers.

★★★★★

George A. Romero's belated follow-up to his seminal 1968 Night Of The Living Dead, in which survivors of the zombie plague (among them Gaylen Ross, David Emge and Ken Foree) hole up in a shopping mall to fight off the undead horde that's closing in on them, has lost none of its potency or charm. When the going gets tough, Romero suggests, the undead go shopping.

Although a 139-minute full-screen travesty claiming to be the 'Director's Cut' is already available on DVD in the UK (tacitly endorsed by splatter FX-man Tom Savini's agreement to provide a commentary - for shame), this Special Edition features Romero's preferred version, uncut and therefore identical to the superior, original 127-minute theatrical release. Itís not only the most gratuitously gory film ever to come out of Pittsburgh (courtesy of Savini's splatty effects), it's also as brilliantly subversive an attack on mindless consumerism as you're ever likely to see. Just go down to any shopping centre and observe the similarities between the shambling shoppers and Romero's pasty creations...

Surmounting with consummate ease that, "Difficult second walking dead movie" problem, George A. Romero here equals, maybe surpasses, Night Of The Living Dead with a bleak, pessimistic allegory of modern consumer society. Grim, gruelling but beautifully shot, this is intelligent, sophisticated horror.

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