The Big Picture
- Dawn of the Dead, the beloved zombie film, is returning to theaters for its 45th anniversary, offering fans a blood-soaked Halloween treat.
- The film, known for its groundbreaking practical effects and gruesome death scenes, remains as relevant today as it did in 1978.
- Although not a direct sequel to Night of the Living Dead, Dawn sparked a franchise of successful sequels and remakes, with the final installment set to be released next year.
When talking about horror classics, it’s hard not to mention George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead saga. In particular Dawn of the Dead is arguably the most beloved zombie film ever made with its iconic setting, colorful characters, and compelling commentary. Now, to celebrate the sequel’s 45th anniversary, Dawn of the Dead is returning to theaters just in time for Halloween.
The fleshly re-release is taking place exclusively at Regal Cinemas starting Friday, October 27. Halloween weekend just got a lot more blood-soaked. Dawn is best remembered for its brilliant practical effects makeup done by genre legend Tom Savini who was unknown at the time. The sequel was literally covered in buckets of blood, guts, and the ghoulish undead. The level of gore was truly ahead of its time with people getting their limbs torn off and organs ripped straight out of their body. This was right before the slasher craze would take over the 80s thanks to Halloween, but even with that historical context, Dawn still has some of the most gruesome death scenes ever put to film.
The Dawn of a Franchise
While not a direct sequel to Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead takes place in that same ill-fated world. The dead have completely taken over and our new group of characters finds themselves hiding out in an abandoned mall to survive. The mall has always been seen as the perfect place to hide during a zombie apocalypse. It would have anything anyone would need to survive. Food, water, and clothes. However, like all great zombie stories, the greatest threat to our survival is the human race itself. Whether it’s the baseline commentary of corporate America making people act like zombies or the more nuanced fighting between our core group of characters, Dawn remains as relevant a film as it did in 1978.
Dawn is considered by many horror fans to be the best film in the franchise, but the success of it would lead to four more sequels. Day of the Dead in 1985, Land of the Dead in 2005, Diary of the Dead in 2007, and Survival of the Dead in 2009. Zack Snyder would even remake Dawn of the Dead in 2004 from a screenplay written by James Gunn. This zombie franchise may have not seen a new entry in over a decade as Romero sadly passed away in 2017, but his unmade sequel Twilight of the Dead is finally seeing the light of day and releasing next year. This will mark the end of the director’s undead saga. A series that has been influencing the zombie sub-genre for more than five decades.
Where’s ‘Dawn of the Dead’ Streaming?
The original Dawn of the Dead is currently not available to watch on any major streaming service. That makes this theatrical release that much more enticing. You can grab your tickets on Regal’s website and, while horror fans anxiously await Halloween weekend, Dawn of the Dead’s trailer can be seen down below.