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Thread: What version of Dawn 78 should I show a new zombie fan.

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    Dead Trencher's Avatar
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    What version of Dawn 78 should I show a new zombie fan.

    One of my buddies have never watched the original Dawn of the dead although he is a fan of the walking dead show.

    Dawn is a great movie but there is several versions. Which one do you think I should show him? And show them all is not a available answer.

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    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    Show them the extended version. It runs 139 minutes.
    I'm runnin' this monkey farm now Frankenstein.....

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    The best one is the extended director's cut one, the way Romero himself wanted it to be. But the so-called fan cut is very cool as well, since it crammed into one single edition almost all the footage from the several versions of the movie (however, some of the scenes have been a bit misplaced.)
    Last edited by JDP; 12-Dec-2017 at 03:31 PM. Reason: ;

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    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    To me, Dawn has always been the extended Cannes cut (the one that Shoot mentioned, running 139 minutes), as that's what I saw first. There's a lot more depth to the characters in that one and it feels a bit more epic.

    It depends on you're chum's attention span, of course. If he didn't want to to 139 minutes of Dawn, then you should opt for the US Theatrical Cut (although I personally think there's too much missing from that version) which clocks in at about 120 minutes.

    Avoid showing him the European/Argento Cut - that's a friggin' travesty and butchers Romero's vision beyond belief. Also, these 'fan edits' might be of interest to hardcore fans, but I wouldn't recommend them for new viewers at all (plus, again, there are various editing issues with them because all the materials have come from different sources and versions of the movie, so it ends up looking more like a patchwork than anything too coherant).

    In summary - the extended Cannes cut or, if he might not have quite enough patience, the US Theatrical version ... but preferably the former.
    Last edited by MinionZombie; 13-Dec-2017 at 09:40 AM.

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    Dead Trencher's Avatar
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    I showed him the extended cut and it was a huge suksess. He got scared and creeped out and said it was scarier than the walking dead and more modern zombie films. He called it "Unique" and "experimental" lol!
    I tried to explain how influential this movie is on video games, movies and everything cool. Hopefully it sunk in. Atleast he liked it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The best one is the extended director's cut one, the way Romero himself wanted it to be. But the so-called fan cut is very cool as well, since it crammed into one single edition almost all the footage from the several versions of the movie (however, some of the scenes have been a bit misplaced.)
    I took a look again at what that "fan cut" I had in mind was, and it is the so-called Extended Mall Hours Cut. This one crams into one edition almost all the footage of the movie that has been released one way or another. But as pointed out, some of the scenes were not inserted in the most appropriate place and result in some continuity issues.

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    Just been bitten Harleydude666's Avatar
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    Extended cut all the way. Wouldn’t ever watch it any other way

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    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trencher View Post
    I showed him the extended cut and it was a huge suksess. He got scared and creeped out and said it was scarier than the walking dead and more modern zombie films. He called it "Unique" and "experimental" lol!
    I tried to explain how influential this movie is on video games, movies and everything cool. Hopefully it sunk in. Atleast he liked it.
    Cool.

    Now show him 'Day of the Dead'...

    ...on a loop...

    ...for the rest of his life.
    I'm runnin' this monkey farm now Frankenstein.....

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    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    Cool.

    Now show him 'Day of the Dead'...

    ...on a loop...

    ...for the rest of his life.
    And just before you do, scream at him that "I'm running this monkey farm now, Frankenstein!"

    Glad it went down well, Trencher. It's always heartening when a classic does well with a modern audience - it proves the film still retains its power.

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    Walking Dead kidgloves's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of the theatrical cut, mainly cause it's the first one I saw over and over. I do think it's better paced
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidgloves View Post
    I'm a fan of the theatrical cut, mainly cause it's the first one I saw over and over. I do think it's better paced
    I wonder if there's any of us who prefer a version of the film that we didn't see first? The extended cut was what I saw first (and, indeed, repeatedly) until the 2004 Ultimate Edition DVD boxset (which has three cuts of the film). I'm quite fond of the added flesh on the bones in the longer cut.

    I remember when I first saw it I was of an age when I didn't exactly have the best attention span (I'd regularly have several films 'on the go' at once - by which I mean, I'd watch 5 to 20 minutes of a movie, then run off to do something else, come back to watch another 5 to 20 minutes of a different movie, and rinse repeat), but Dawn absolutely transfixed me for two hours and twenty minutes. I don't think I even moved on the sofa during the whole thing, I was hunched forward gazing at it in awe and then all of a sudden it was the final gong and cut to black, time to rewind the VHS.

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    Being Attacked beat_truck's Avatar
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    I saw the theatrical version on the original VHS release first in the mid 90s. Around 2000, I bought the theatrical version, the extended director's cut, and a bootleg of the European version all on VHS. The extended version became my go to. Now I have the Ultimate Edition DVD set and the Extended Mall Hours fan edit. The fan edit is probably my favorite, now. The only thing that bugs me about it is the hiccups in the music where some of the scenes were spliced together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    I wonder if there's any of us who prefer a version of the film that we didn't see first? The extended cut was what I saw first (and, indeed, repeatedly) until the 2004 Ultimate Edition DVD boxset (which has three cuts of the film). I'm quite fond of the added flesh on the bones in the longer cut.
    The first version I ever saw was the theatrical cut, but once I saw the extended director's cut and even the fan "mall hours" cut (despite some of its misplaced scenes) I certainly preferred them over the theatrical cut. I happen to also be a sucker for all the extra footage that the theatrical cut left out.

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    Arcade Master Philly_SWAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The best one is the extended director's cut one, the way Romero himself wanted it to be. But the so-called fan cut is very cool as well, since it crammed into one single edition almost all the footage from the several versions of the movie (however, some of the scenes have been a bit misplaced.)
    I think perhaps you are misinformed on this point, unless I am misunderstanding which cut you are referring to. The "director's cut" as it is often labeled is the cut that GAR sent to the Cannes film festival. It was actually a rushed editing job, as he wanted it at Cannes for that year and had to get it done for the Cannes deadline. Then the "US Theatrical Cut" was later released in American theaters. This version is "the way Romero himself wanted it to be" as you put it. It is very confusing that in most cases, a movie that is referred to as a directors cut means that the studio made the director make cuts that he didnt want to make for various studio reasons, and that version is the theatrical cut. Then the director makes a version that is more what his vision was, without the cuts that the studio wanted, and this is the directors cut. In the case of Dawn of the Dead, this was not the case. The Cannes cut was erroneously labeled as a directors cut (probably because it wasnt the theatrical version) and the label kind of stuck. Some people prefer one cut and some the other, but the theatrical version is in fact the way Romero wanted it to be.

    For the record, my own favorite it the US theatrical cut. The editing is tighter and the score, both Goblin and DeWolfe library cues, are better used and add to the mood more. But since Dawn of the Dead is my favorite movie of all time, I totally love the extended scenes that exist in the Cannes version. And oddly enough, the Argento version, even though much shorter, had scenes of dialogue and gore that is in NEITHER of the other versions! And of course, I love those extra scenes as well. But the Argento cut is clearly the inferior of the three. Dario tried to make it more of an action flick and took out key scenes that are vital to the overall story. And the Goblin was OVERWHELMING in this version. Don't get me wrong, I love the Goblin songs, but they are used too much and too loud in the Argento version.

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    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    Philly - you're correct on the theatrical version being Romero's preferred version.

    When the 'Cannes cut' was released in the UK many moons ago it was labelled as the "Director's Cut" simply because that's usually what longer edits are called, and is better as a sales tool rather than 'Extended Cannes Cut' as it actually is. Anyway, that's the version I prefer personally.

    The Argento cut is interesting only as a curio for me. As you say, the use of Goblin is obnoxiously over-the-top and many times utterly misplaced in terms of tone and/or tempo, so many important subtleties in the story are torn out, and it's generally just a mess of an edit that squanders the greatness that Romero created. I've seen the Argento cut once, maybe twice including a commentary, but it was just so daft.

    There's another version out there that I saw a while back - the 'condensed' 8mm version of the film. It's basically a drastically cut-down version of the movie running about 45 minutes. It was online somewhere a ways back, but can't recall where. It was quite interesting to see what did and didn't make it into that version, and of course it's all scrappy looking because of the 8mm transfer - but if you can find it somewhere it's a nifty watch for Dawn fans, if only out of pure fascination and interest, rather than any artistic merit.

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