Diary of the Dead
George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead starts off with a group of film students trying to make a horror movie in the woods at night. Things aren’t going well however as the lead female takes the director to task over the typically un-realistic portray of women in the horror genre. It’s an in joke that will rear its head later in the movie, and it kind of sets the tone for Diary of the Dead.
As filming grinds to a halt, one of the crew is listening to the radio news and is the first to hear of the escalating outbreaks of the dead rising. Spooked by the news, the students set out on a road trip to try and get home, the student director however insists on bringing his camera along for the ride, so he can document this historic moment. Thus the movie has a whole student/documentary feel to it.
Of course documentary might be giving Romero too much credit, as this is pure mockumentary, where even this supposed master of the genre can’t but help make fun of everything, from the genre to the viewer which turned Diary away from the intense horror it could have been and forced it into a slapstick gorefest that had the audience laughing throughout the movie.
Sure it was good old fashioned entertainment, but as far as a good solid Zombie horror, I’m not sure it’s worth the price of admission. From what I hear, [REC] would be a better place to lay down your hard earned dollars if you want to scare yourself silly.
As a bleakly dark comedy, with copious amounts of cheese, Diary is sure to become a cult classic when it’s released on DVD.
Food for thought:
On thing Romero seems to have an eye for is social commentary, and in a world gone literally to hell, it’s everyman for himself. It is societies view that you have to look after number one however that leads to societies downfall in Zombie movies. Being selfish leaves you with no one to watch your back.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Contains violence, offensive language, horror.
Duration: 85 mins.
Genre: Horror, Zombie.
Director: George A. Romero.
Actors: George Buza, Joshua Close, Joe Dinicol, Amy Ciupak Lalonde, Tatiana Maslany, Tino Monte, Michelle Morgan, Megan Park, Philip Riccio, Martin Roach, Shawn Roberts, Alan Van Sprang, Chris Violette, Scott Wentworth.