History 23

February 2008
Richard Rubinstein files a copyright infringement lawsuit against video game manufacturers Capcom, who in 2006 have released an Xbox 360 game called Dead Rising that bears remarkable similarities to Dawn of the Dead. The case eventually is ruled out in Capcom’s favour by a San Francisco judge in October of the same year, on the grounds of a “wholly unprotectable concept of humans battling zombies in a mall during a zombie outbreak.” On a side note, the game – just like the original film – is banned in Germany.

July 26, 2009
Dawn of the Dead’s “weapon coordinator” and prominently featured “sweater zombie”, Clayton Hill, passes away aged 78. He is outlived by his wife, Sharon Ceccatti-Hill, who has shared many a scene with him in the film as the equally famous “nurse zombie” character.

May 2010
More than 32 years after the fact, photographer Richard Burke for the first time offers prints of his behind-the-scenes photos from the January 1978 Monroeville Mall shoot to the public. The images later will also be collected in a self-published book titled Zombie Nights.


March 8, 2012
Longtime Romero associate and Dawn biker actor Rudy Ricci passes away aged 72.

2012/13 + 2015
Special make-up effects master Greg Nicotero, who of course has learned his trade as an assistant to Tom Savini during the making of George Romero’s third Dead film Day of the Dead in 1984, incorporates a number of references to Dawn of the Dead in three different episodes of the hugely successful AMC television series The Walking Dead directed by himself. Season 3 of the show features short “cameos” by both the Stephen Andrews “Flyboy” zombie (E5) and the airfield plaid shirt “baldhead” zombie (E15), while the March 2015 finale of Season 5 contains an appearance of the “machete zombie”. Further nods to Romero’s work thrown in by Nicotero during other episodes include “Bub” from Day of the Dead, and the “Fluffy” monster crate from Creepshow.