Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Dawn of the Dead (1978)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Dawn of the Dead (1978, It./US)

In George Romero's horror sequel to his Night of the Living Dead (1968) - this gore-filled epic-length sequel was written and directed by George A. Romero, but without any of the characters from the original film; confusion and pandemonium abounded due to conflicting reports of attacks of reanimated zombies:

  • a knowledgeable doctor was interviewed as he warned about the hopeless situation, blaming the dire circumstances upon emotional reactions of the citizenry. He explained: "Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills. The people it kills get up and kill...They kill for one reason. They kill for food. They eat their victims."
  • in one of the film's earliest scenes, a SWAT team in a ghetto tenement building in Philadelphia violently forced the resistant residents to leave their apartments and give up their dead loved ones:
    • one resident's zombie head was explosively shot off
    • the flesh of the shoulder of another woman was ravenously bitten by a marauding zombie relative - her husband
  • four survivors sought refuge in a deserted suburban Pittsburgh shopping mall: pregnant WGON-TV anchorwoman Francine (Gaylen Ross), her boyfriend - helicopter pilot/TV news-traffic reporter Stephen (David Emge), and two SWAT cops Roger DeMarco (Scott Reiniger) and Peter Washington (Ken Foree)
  • on their journey to the shopping mall, they refueled at a private airfield; in a hurriedly-abandoned airport chart office, black Philly PD SWAT team member Peter Washington was also unexpectedly assaulted by two zombie children (Donna and Mike Savini) who emerged from a closet, but he tossed them off and shot them
  • there were many memorable scenes in which marauding, staggering, flesh-eating zombies engaged in relentless attacks upon them; there was biting social satire that equated zombies with consumers (as perky, goofy mall music played, zombies stumbled around on escalators, etc.)
  • outside the Pittsburgh-area mall, careless SWAT cop Roger was retrieving his forgotten knapsack from the cab of a truck when he was helping to ferry semi-trailer trucks from a loading dock to the mall to block the entrances; Roger was surrounded by zombies and bitten in the left forearm and left calf
  • a climactic band of about a few dozen bikers in a motorcycle gang attacked the mall and the zombies inside, and when outnumbered by the hungry creatures, their eviscerated bloody flesh was fought over
Stephen's Death and Re-Animation as a Zombie
  • there was a chilling zombie attack and death of Stephen: he was first shot in the arm by fleeing bikers; then he was assaulted inside a mall elevator and bitten in the leg and neck by the undead, and began to bleed profusely - hours later when the doors opened, his reanimated zombie corpse joined the army of undead who now had infiltrated into every mall store
  • in the film's conclusion, zombified Stephen led a group of other zombies to the hidden apartment; Peter was eventually able to kill Stephen, and fought off the zombies to join Fran on the rooftop for a helicopter getaway - flying off to an uncertain future together

Zombie Head Shot Off

Unexpected Shoulder Bite by Dead Zombified Husband

Assault of Two Zombie Children on SWAT member Peter Washington at Airfield

Zombie Attack on SWAT cop Roger at a Truck

Mall Zombies


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z