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Director George A. Romero's epic sequel to his legendary Night of the Living Dead has firmly established itself as the equal of its ground-breaking predecessor. Though shot in 1978 -- ten years after the first films' release -- Dawn's story begins as if the events in Night had happened only a few months before: after shambling armies of the recently-dead take over every major city -- seeking warm human flesh for food -- the U.S. government imposes a state of martial law, sending in special National Guard units to attack and destroy zombie infestation where they find it. Two members of one such unit, Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott Reiniger) have been tasked to overthrow a nest of zombies in a Pittsburgh housing project (one of the film's most explicitly gory scenes). When the job turns ugly and Peter is forced to terminate his own berserk, racist commanding officer, the pair decide to split the outfit with the help of his friend Stephen (David Emge), a traffic pilot for WGON-TV, and the station's floor manager, Stephen's girlfriend Frances (Gaylen Ross). Together they steal the station's helicopter and head for less-populated areas, but after some narrow scrapes with flesh-hungry redneck ghouls in the country outside Harrisburg, they opt for a more secure hideout. Eventually they find the perfect solution: a massive, sprawling shopping mall. After the lengthy process of purging the building of zombies is complete, the four secure themselves snugly in the miniature city, consigned to live out their lives in a dull but cushy consumer's paradise... but the arrival of a menacing gang of nomadic bikers proves that this is not to be.

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A landmark in splatter cinema and an astute social and political satire at the same time, George A. Romero's superb sequel to Night of the Living Dead gets a fine presentation in this, its third incarnation on DVD. This edition of Dawn of the Dead has been transferred to disc in letterboxed format at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (different than the 1.66:1 ratio of previous releases); the transfer has also been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. The audio has been remixed for playback in Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, and Dolby Digital Surround, while the original mix also appears in Dolby Digital Mono; the dialogue is in English, with no multiple language options included. Bonus materials include a commentary track featuring director Romero, makeup and special effects artist Tom Savini, and assistant director Chris Romero; a gallery of advertising and promotional materials; trailers, television spots, and radio commercials for the film; a text biography of George A. Romero, and a preview of an upcoming comic-book adaptation of the movie.

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ANB12163 Dawn Of The Dead DVD (1978/George Romero) $14.98