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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Friday, October 12, 2018

Dawning of the Dead (2017)

You know there are just some titles that annoy the hell out of me when I see them. I passed this one over a couple times but eventually went back to it. I mean we have a zombie marathon here and this is a new zombie movie. Plus, it was cheap. Really cheap, which is why I eventually went back and grabbed it. I totally expected a crappy low budget zombie flick that would make me angry and rant about how everyone keeps ripping off Romero with their horrible flicks.

The proper title to the movie!
The movie begins with a lady reporter named Katya being assaulted while captured by a terrorist cell. Some bad shit happens but she escapes. Months later we see her at work in the television studio, clearly still traumatized by her captivity and molestation. We also get watch as various bad guys around the world break small capsules that cause people to die and come back as zombies. One of these plays out right outside the doors of the studio. Toss in some nefarious government men, a couple of cops, and a crazy scientist responsible for the chemical weapon that caused the outbreak and you have yourself a movie.

The rest of the action is Katya’s boyfriend trying to reach her in the studio, which happens to be on the top floors of a building, and the survivors trying to plan a way to escape the building which is filling up with the zombies. Lots of blood, gore, bites, and other zombie type stuff happens until we get to the ending. Damn the ending… Giant kick in the butt. Not at all what I expected. Nicely done.

Honestly, I don’t know if it was just because I was so ready to hate this movie based on the title alone but Dawning of the Dead isn’t bad. The opening establishing Katya and what she has gone thru was unexpected and added some depth to the character and her trauma carries much of the movie. I also liked that they show the coordinated worldwide attack with the capsules being broken and outbreaks playing out on screen. Given the budget it was also a wise choice to use the news feeds from around the world to give it some depth that a lot of other low budget zombie movies don’t have. They also use security footage to explain how the characters know what is happening on the floors below them. This is a well thought out and written script that pays attention to the little details that a lot of low budget zombie movies gloss over and ignore. I appreciated that a lot.

The zombies look cool
The gore is a mixed bag. You get some bad CGI explosions that annoyed me. But then there is some brain eating and a good bit of gut munching. I always appreciate that! The zombie design is interesting and while they all look fresh some detail is put into showing how they ended up dead. The filmmakers worked hard on this one and it isn’t just slapped together like so many zombie movies are.

I don’t want to give the impression that this is a great movie. I’d put it into the category of solid outing that zombie fans looking for a movie they haven’t seen yet would enjoy. It is good for a viewing but won’t stick with you, except for that brutal and unexpected ending that is hard to forget. I also want to apologize to the filmmakers for the title thing. According to what I was able to dig up it turns out that the movie was filmed as Apocalypse and later renamed Dawning of the Dead after it was purchased for distribution. While I thought they were trying to rip off Romero they were really just making their own zombie movie, which they weren’t. Damn money men ruing everything!

© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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