Reviews | Written by Martin Unsworth 30/05/2022

DAWN OF THE DEAD (DEVIL’S ADVOCATES)

Plenty has been said and written about George A. Romero’s second excursion into a world gradually becoming overtaken by zombies. With the latest entry into the Devil’s Advocates series of academic dissections of beloved cult films, writer Jon Towlson delves deep into the film and its themes.

As well as the usual thoughts on the movie’s mixing of social satire and extreme gore, the book takes in other aspects of the release, including the various cuts of the film (and why they exist) and the reception Dawn of the Dead had in public and with the censors. Romero’s movie is followed from script to screen, with the author citing interviews from the main crew (including a chat the writer/director had with STARBURST back in the very early eighties), so facts are as clear as possible.

This being an academic text, you’d likely expect it to have a tendency to be stuffy or too wordy, but Towlson avoids this, walking the tightrope between scholarly and accessible. It’s an approach that works perfectly and would easily appeal to students of genre studies as well as the average horror fan who would like to know more about the making of a genuine cinematic classic.