Diary of the Dead

Tag line : Shoot the Dead

Diary of the DeadGeorge Romero returns again to zombie territory, but this time starting afresh with a brand new plot, that owes nothing to his previous "Dead" movies. In this, a group of college students are making a horror film for a school media project, when reports come in that the dead have started to come back to life and attack the living, and that everywhere is in chaos.

Unsure of what's really going on, they decide the best thing to do is abandon the college dorms and get home, and so the group, along with their drunken lecturer, head off in a camper van, as they try to avoid the undead and ensuing chaos going on around them in the larger populated areas, whilst they try to get back to their respective homes.

The entire film is shot POV style in a semi-documentary fashion supposedly from the footage from the students camcorders, who have decided to document the events going on around them, and this is where the problems with the film start. Whilst Romero's decision to film the movie this way was to try something "original", this overlooks the obvious fact that this style of film making has been done before, and indeed it just comes across as yet another "Blair Witch"  type clone.

The other problem with the film is a distinct lack of action and no air of "impending doom" that was so prevalent in his earlier films, not to mention a distinct lack of zombies. I mean, when I go to see a zombie film, I expect to see a film about people battling zombies. Instead, what I got was 90mins of a group of kids sat around a camper van arguing, with the occasional zombie making an appearance. Plus, why was everywhere they went deserted? Where did everyone go?

The film does have one saving grace, in the form of a gung-ho Amish farmer, in a hilarious action packed scene in which we see him battling the undead with his trusty scythe and blowing them up with dynamite. In my opinion, this character steals the film and had more of the movie featured stuff like this in it, would have been a worthy film indeed. But as it is, scenes like this are too few and far between and overall, the film is just plain boring.

In summary, I think fans of Romero's earlier films will be very sorely disappointed with this one and as such I can only recommend this to die hard zombie film fans and Romero completists.

Overall Marks : 3.5/10

Terrifying Trivia.

  • George Romero makes a cameo appearance in the film as a police chief.

  • Filming was completed in just 23 days.

  • The films budget was $2million.

  • During the scene in the hospital, Tom Savini's voice can be heard on the radio advising people to shoot the zombies in the head. This audio was taken from his scene in the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, in which he played a police officer.

  • Special effects man Greg Nicotero has a cameo appearance as a zombie surgeon during the hospital scene.

  • Horror novelist Steven King, cult directors Quentin Tarentino, Wes Craven and Guillermo Del Torror along with Shaun of the Dead star Simon Pegg all provided voiceovers for the film as newsreaders.

  • The original concept of the film came from an idea George Romero had for a Living Dead TV series, which never managed to get into production.

  • Romero has stated that the film is supposedly set on the same night as the original "Night of the Living Dead" as if it were taking place in the present day and is a "re-jigging of the myth" as opposed to being direct a sequel.

  • The name given to the "documentary" the students are filming about the ensuing zombie outbreak, "The Death of Death", was also the title of a series of graphic comic stories written by George Romero for DC comics in 2004, which were published in their "Toe Tags" books.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 
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Notes on affiliate sites.
 

 

Other films in the series.

Survival of the Dead

 

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