Dawning of the Dead (are you fucking serious with that title guys?!!) concerns the zombie apocalypse beginning through the spread of a man-made virus. The scientist responsible for said outbreak entrusts his test results to an ex-war correspondent turned news anchor (Katya by name) who holes up in the local TV station and views the end of the world as we know it via news feeds. Also in the mix are an assassin who aims to stop the test results from getting out (for reasons). Can Katya survive the killer and escape into a new world of hungry dead (would she even want to? I mean c’mon, I’d rather take my chances with an assassin hell bent on my destruction than a whole world of flesh hungry living corpses)…
The first thing you’ll notice about Dawning of the Dead is it’s incredible sense of scope; especially for a lower budget indie zombie picture. The makers of this film show zombie hoards (we are talking ass loads of extras here…it’s truly impressive) running wild in the streets as army helicopters buzz the scene and police open fire with assault weapons (not to mention the differing environs presented as the epidemic is shown world-wide). This offers a nice contrast to the claustrophobic confines of the news station where Katya faces her assailant not to mention her growing anxiety; it was a nicely handled dichotomy and made the film flow better, and seem much larger than most in the genre that seem bound to one location by necessity of finances. Also of note are some great gore set pieces…always a plus in a gut muncher I say!
On the flip side, this film’s basic story, minus the assassin angle isn’t going to win any prizes for originality…the zombie apocalypse genre is over-saturated, and over done and it’s getting harder and harder to bring anything new to the table, no matter how hard this film tries (title notwithstanding). Also, there are some dodgy CG effects here and there, which is a shame seeing as how the make-up and practical effects are quite strong.
If you are looking for an indie zombie apocalypse flick that actually has the visuals to hang with the beastly big boys, give Dawning of the Dead a shot; it might not be the most original thing you’ve ver seen, but as living dead flicks go it’s a fun watch!