Dawn of the Dead...
It was the movie that changed my life.
I was 13 years old and up to that point, there had only been four movies that had deeply affected me; Star Wars (Empire & Jedi count as Star Wars :)) Escape From New York, The Road Warrior & The Thing.
On the weekends my family often went to my aunt's house. She had a VCR, a rare thing in 1983 you can be sure, and hundreds of movies on video tape. My aunt also liked horror movies. This was the aunt who had shown me Escape From New York, The Road Warrior and The Thing for the first time. I absolutely loved going over to her house to watch movies. And it was one Sunday, in 1983 that I came upon a VHS tape of Dawn of the Dead.
My mind was suddenly taken back several years, to when I was only 8 years old and my family was at the drive in. I can't remember the movie, but I do remember the trailer for Dawn of the Dead.
Check it out!
It freaked me out!
Zombies! Something about them hit a nerve.
Fast forward to 1983 and there I stand in my aunt's living room, with a copy of the movie in my hand.
"Can I watch this?" I asked, oh so innocently, not knowing what I was about to unleash in my life.
There was some banter back and forth between my parents and my aunt about the gore and violence of the movie, but they agreed that since there was no sex in it I could watch it. Hey it was 1983...
And so I popped it in the VCR and sat down on the couch to watch it while the adults did whatever they were doing and my siblings played outside. I don't know what I was expecting, but it was more than I could have possibly imagined. It was so raw and over the top wild. I knew movies could be gory, The Thing had shown me that. But this took it to a whole new level.
I haven't been the same since.
I have always loved monsters, but there was something about zombies in general and Dawn of the Dead in particular... It simultaneously scared the shit out of me and made the zombie apocalypse look fun! I suspect it had that same effect on most zombie fans.
Do yourself a favor and watch it again... And if you've never seen it, what are you waiting for?