Tuesday, December 22, 2009

January 27, 2010 - Dawn of the Dead (137m)

Dawn of the Dead. Considered by many to be George A. Romero's magnum opus. I was too young to catch it in the theater, although I still have memories of seeing television ads (the zombie in the coin fountain always stood out), and of Scott Reiniger being interviewed by John Stanley on Creature Features.

I remember when I first found out it was coming to home video - I saw the poster in the video store across from the Meridian Quad (THE mini-multiplex for low budget independent horror classics in the 80s). Shortly thereafter, I recall seeing the notice in our local rental shop indicating that it was scheduled out the following week (this was long before Blockbuster, and even before there were Mom & Pop rental shops on every streetcorner).

After school on the day it was released, we headed over to the video store and were the first to check it out. I watched it with my Dad that night, and I was blown away. It was beyond what I ever could have imagined. I got up extra early the next morning and watched it before school, and watched it a third time as soon as I got home from school, before it had to be returned that night. And I've been a fan ever since.

Years later, stories started circulating about different versions of the film - longer versions, extra scenes. If memory serves, the first copy of the 137 minute Cannes cut (which circulated on 16mm from Cinema V)  that I owned was procured at the Zombie Jamboree in 1993 (celebrating the 25th anniversary of Night of the Living Dead). In the ensuing years, I'd upgrade to the Japanese LaserDisc, DVD and even found myself an actual Cinema V 16mm print. As we watched the theatrical cut in 2008 for our All Day of the Dead party, I thought it only appropriate that we screen an alternate cut in our 40/40 series.

And who knows - maybe we'll even screen the 16mm print on the 27th - we'll have to see what the weather is like outside. We hope you'll join us as we celebrate flesh eating zombies - classic Romero style.

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