Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Diary of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead) is a horror film by George A. Romero. Although independently produced, it is distributed by Dimension Films.

Jason Creed (Joshua Close) and his crew are shooting a mummy movie in the Pennsylvania woods when media reports begin pouring in about the dead rising from their graves to feast on the flesh of the living. While self-centered star Ridley (Phillip Riccio) beats a hasty retreat to his family's fortified mansion halfway across the state, the remaining cast and crew are forced to fight for their lives despite having no weapons to speak of, and only a wobbly recreational vehicle in which to seek shelter.

Immediately recognizing the gravity of the situation and outspokenly skeptical of the media, determined director Creed decides to use his own camera to capture the real story in a documentary entitled "The Death of Death." Now, as the group attempts to fight their way to safety, the skeptics will all watch as their greatest fears become reality, and the realists will attempt to process a nightmare that modern science would pass off as impossible.

There are lots of zombie movies nowadays. Most of them are not very good but once in a while you get one like 28 Days Later, which I think is the best zombie movie ever made but zombie fans will say that its not even a zombie film. Well, what do they think makes a good zombie movie? Certainly not whats in Diary of the Dead. This is one terrible movie and its surprising that it comes from Romero who created the zombie genre.

I liked Night of the Living Dead and his comeback film Land of the Dead, but I don't know what he was thinking with this one. I guess he was trying to make a zombie film that was hip in some way with teenagers uploading zombie movies to their MySpace pages and squeezing out the last drip of the Blair Witch Project style of filmmaking. The problem with Diary is that it isn't as scary and well put together as Blair Witch. I'm sick of these movies that try to rip off the Blair Witch style, yet still shoot on high definition cameras and it ends up looking like a real movie instead of real life, which is what they are trying to achieve. This didn't bother me in Cloverfield because it was well edited, had good acting and had frightening moments.

I know Cloverfield had a bigger budget but it wasn't that big and Blair Witch manged to pull it off with a lot less. Diary is full of cheesy editing techniques with footage of actual riots and stuff all throughout the film. Since the whole cast is filled with unknown actors, all do a terrible job of looking scared. Sometimes it doesn't even seem like they are trying. The film also uses special effects instead of the old fashioned way of make-up. Which is strange since the movie has such a low budget you would think that would be the way to go. Especially since it would have made the zombie scenes a little bit better. Instead, every zombie death in the movie happens really close-up and quick. I guess to get the crappy special effects across quick enough so you can't see how crappy it is.

The big problem with the movie is that it takes itself seriously. Most of Romero's zombie movies usually have a lot of humor and have a point to make in the process. Diary has a bit of humor like when they come in contact with a death Amish guy who is pretty badass with a scythe. It also tries to get the message across that we are all killing each other. You don't have to make a zombie film to tell me that the Amish are badasses and that we are all killing each other, most of us already know that. If it would have played the whole film like it did with the Amish guy scene, I think it would have worked better. It doesn't, so instead we get really crappy actors in a really crappy zombie movie.

Diary of the Dead: 2 out of 10

The DVD has no special features.



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