Horror Scenes I Love: The End of The Original Dawn of the Dead

The original Dawn of the Dead, which was released in 1978 and directed by George Romero, is not only one of the most influential horror films of all time.  (Even more so than Night of the Living Dead, Dawn was responsible for inspiring the Italian zombie boom.)  It’s also a rather dark satire of humanity and commercialism.  With the world ending, both humans and zombies head to the mall.  Briefly, the humans manage to form their own peaceful society but, inevitably, they end up screwing it all up.  The Dead may be slow and not particularly intelligent but, as poor old Steve discovered in that elevator, they’re absolutely determined to get what they want.

Dawn of the Dead ends with an apocalytpic combination of bikers, zombies, and one helicopter that has next to no fuel.  Our two remaining survivors head off in search of some place safe but we all know that helicopter isn’t going to stay in the sky for long.  In its way, the ending of Dawn of the Dead is even more bleak than the end of Night of the Living Dead.  The characters in Night of the Living Dead were dealing with a menace no one understood and their inability to work together was largely the result of shock and panic.  In Dawn of the Dead, everyone knows that the Dead are returning to life and everyone knows how to stop them but people still cannot set aside their differences long enough to do so.  Even with the world ending, Peter gets some joy out of shooting one of the (living) bikers.  His smirk suggests that one doesn’t need to be a zombie in order to sacrifice their humanity.

With the end of this film, Romero’s message is clear.  Society gets what it deserves.


One response to “Horror Scenes I Love: The End of The Original Dawn of the Dead

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/10/22 — 10/16/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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