This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details.
Back in November ’07 I had the privilage of attending the Film Four all-night frightfest, the highlight of which (for me anyway) was the UK premier, (and possibly only 6th showing in the world) of the new George A Romero film: Diary of the Dead. In attendance was George himself, who gave a talk before and after the showing of the film as well as taking time out to chat to fans and sign autographs.
Watching horror films in the company of a room full of horror geeks is quite a good laugh, i’d recommend it to everyone. The whole audience laughs at the right places, clap at particularly special moments and all together joke around with each other in a manner that you just wouldn’t get if you saw the same films in a regular cinema.
However, it was not just this great atmosphere that caused me to enjoy this film, but the quality of the film itself. I initially had low expectations for it due to the poor Land of the Dead, but after the first zombies start to appear (rising up from an ambulance gurney outside a crime scene) all was forgiven.
The film follows a group of teen filmmakers as they try to escape the impending zombie apocalypse, while taking turns at filming the ongoing chaos. Set mostly on the road, it avoids the single location of previous Romero films (excluding the polished turd that is LOTD), instead the group drive from one zombie territory to another, taking in Hospitals, Mansions and farm buildings on their way, meeting up with various characters at each stop. As will doubtless be talked about in the future, the “Mute Amish Guy” is a highlight character that they stumble across.
The Hand Held POV style was perfectly suited to this film, as it fits with the whole social commentary aspect that Romero bases his Living Dead films around – in this case as a response to the seeming unending number of amateur reporters and journalists that have sprung up all over the Internet, through Blogs, Facebook, Myspace and Youtube, each providing their own version of the ‘truth’.
Obviously for Romero the death scenes for the Zombies are fantastic. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but this film can take the award for ‘most unexpected death using a Scythe’, as well as the ‘grossest ever use of a Debribulator’ medal hands down.
Yes, POV style films seem to be all the rage these days, with Cloverfield, Zombie Diaries, [REC] and Paranormal Activity among others, and Romero will doubtless be accused of ripping off Blair Witch, but hey that film totally ripped off Cannibal Holocaust anyway, and it’s not like nobody has ever ripped off a Romero film, eh?
The only bad parts of this film that I could even find are that the Professor who accompanies them on their trek comes from Portsmouth, UK (as if any intelligent person could ever come from Portsmouth, but he is a drunk so they got that part right at least), and the fact that Romero still isn’t putting any Norks in his zombie films. Come on George. Shame on you.
Gore Score 4\5
Nork Score 0\5
Overall Score 5\5
Just try and stop me from visiting my local cinema to watch this again finally released.