Saturday, 20 June 2009

A Tribute to the cigarettes guy in Dawn of the Dead

At the risk of offending Kenan & Kel fans, actors in George A. Romero films do not traditionally go on to great things. This is often fairly obvious from their performances, which with a few exceptions (Scott Reiniger, Ken Foree) tended to fairly over-dramatic or just plain bad. This isn't a complaint at all; bad acting comes with the territory in these sort of films and working within the budgets he had, Romero still managed to achieve amazing things with what he had to work with. More so than not, the acting just makes the experience better. Dawn of the Dead (1978) is one of my all time favourite movies to watch with friends as its one of those few films that manages to be both schlocky and just plain brilliant. It's one of the greatest horror films ever made but there are a few scenes which just makes the group crack up.

Which brings us to the cigarette guy, aka "Officer at Police Dock", aka Randy Kovitz. This guy always raises a cheer for a just plain bizarre performance in his minute or so on screen. He is a part of the gang who confront our heroes as they ready for their escape about 20 minutes into the film and somehow manages to become the most unsettling character in a film full of zombies. In his time on screen he manages to shout all his lines unnecessarily, run back and forth on screen like he's about to break into song in a stage musical and ask for cigarettes with a cross-eyed stare, over-expressive facial movements, followed up by the most unsettling grin imaginable. He's little more than an extra but somehow me manages to leave an impression on the movie. To this day I still cannot figure out whether the character was intended to be a faintly psychotic fool or Kovitz just showed up one day and decided that was how he was going to play him.

Funnily enough, Kovitz seems to have had more of a career than most of Romero's other actors. Even more surprisingly considering his cigarette guy character he seems to have carved out a career playing doctors. Go Figure.

But anyway, I for one will always remember him for his unique performance in Dawn of the Dead. It will always put a smile on my face and for that I salute you, sir.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. yes you're right men, this movies in some part become more comedy than horror or action film, well all movie need a little touch of humor but not to this grade, just watch the movie and judge by yourself.


There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget