By Chris Post
It has been 40 years since writer/director unleashed Dawn of the Dead on theater-goers, showing a vision of a deserted mall as the last refuge of a small group of survivors.
The mall was (and is) a real location, the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylania. After 40 years of remodels and refurbishing, nothing remains that fans making the pilgrimage to the mall might recognize.
A new bust statue was added to the mall, however, making it clear what took place there. The piece was conceived and designed by sculptor and filmmaker Christian Stavrakis. Crowd-funded by fans, the bust captures Romero was he would have looked around the time the film was made.
“I hope this monument to George becomes a spot of inspiration for independent filmmakers and for artists in general,” Stavrakis said. “If there’s something you want to create, just do it. Nothing is stopping you but you. Hopefully, people will come and see this bust and say, I can achieve that, if they want to make a movie or make a painting, whatever. I hope it will be a focal point for that kind of creativity.”
Mall ownership has given the statue a permanent home that might not have a connection to the film specifically, but is meaningful to fans.
“The sculpture is in the courtyard outside of Dick’s Sporting Goods, and it’s very apropos, because when George passed away, the mall set up a little area for people to leave photgraphs and flowers and memories of George,” Stavrakis said. “And that’s exacty where the bust is today, in that very same spot.”