Movie Poster
Dawn of the Dead
Zack Snyder
Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Michael Kelly
100 min.


Why the hell not? Its not like this is objective or anything. I won't waste your time explaining that I prefered the original. I've got (arguably) less self-congratulatory ways to waste it. This self-reflexive intro for example.

Very little has survived from the original: the title (Dawn of the Dead), the premise (people fight zombies in a mall) and occasional little references. There is, for example, a store named for the actress who played Fran in 1978. The security guards see Tom Savini as the sheriff on tv and say something about him being one cool mother-fucker (the movie surprisingly neglects to mention that I, too, am a cool mother-fucker).

Dawn 2004 is full of little pleasures (the chess game, celebrity sniper, generous gore for an R, the exciting eastern european cinematography) which outweigh the little problems (purists don't like fast zombies, the sometimes inexplicable character motivations) to result in a surprisingly entertaining movie.

It does have more Johnny Cash than the original. But it has tragically less Goblin. Why couldn't they have referenced the mall muzak from 1978? Is that too much to ask? Just a few measures? The other problem with the otherwise effective soundtrack is the Korn (which turns out to be Disturbed) over the closing credits. In fact the whole closing credit sequence should have been dropped, with the possible exception of the dead yuppie's yacht tape.

I'm glad they didn't make it more like Romero's, I expect that would have been awful. Remember last year's Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Granted, it wasn't for being overly faithful to the original, but man was that bad.

Pat Jackson