Anyone who have gotten to know me throughout the years (decades even) know one indisputable fact and that’s one of my favorite films of all-time is George A. Romero’s classic horror masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead.
This film is not just a great horror film, but just a great film. Sure, some have said that it hasn’t aged well, but those detractors only see the era it was filmed in. If one looks part that then they can see that Dawn of the Dead works just as well now as it did when it premiered in 1978.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is actually the beginning of the film. It’s rare that a film can fully capture and explain an overriding theme in the film’s narrative right from the beginning, but Romero did it and did it well.
The scene I’m talking about is the film’s intro that’s set in a chaotic Pittsburgh TV station. It’s a scene of chaos because the zombie apocalypse is already in full swing and people have begun to lose their trust in the fourth estate. In times of crisis the people depend on the news to bring to them answers or, at the very least, the correct information to survive said crisis. In Dawn of the Dead, the fourth estate has failed as in that they’ve become just as unreliable as the rest of the mechanisms which make civilization operate.
Even when the right information was being relayed by the the guest scientist in the scene, the audience reaction (the tv station crew themselves) was one of exasperation and disbelief. This scene would influence future zombie apocalypse stories both in film, tv and print in that the people would lose faith and trust in the very institution who were supposed to be trusted to be objective and informative.
This is just one of several scenes from Dawn of the Dead which I consider a favorite, but then the entire film I would consider a favorite scene as a whole in a story that hasn’t ended.