Diary of the Dead
Reviewed by Tuxxer
3 out of 10. (5 under the right frame of mind.)
Okay: You'll be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of quality zombie films than yours truly. Classics like the original Night of the Living Dead, the fast paced remake of Dawn of the Dead and original twist 28 Days Later all hold special places in my heart. Diary of the Dead deserves no such place.
The plot is simple: The dead have begun to rise and "Oh my god, what do we do?" The answer, for a beleaguered film student shooting a horrible mummy movie is this: jury rig a documentary about the shambling, walking dead. He and his film crew want to head for their respective homes. The directing student won't hear of it and insists they stay in the thick of things.
Things more or less fall apart from there, in traditional zombie-flick fashion. Cohorts begin dropping like flies as they make their way to the fortress-like home of one of their crew who has (what a shocker) gone crazy.
The movie, frankly, is not very good. Oh sure, the special effects are state of the art; but like the occasional zombie, the movie lacks heart. Not Romero's best work.
Have no fear. Fans of the genre can find plenty to enjoy if you make a game out of it. A drinking game, perhaps. The movie is riddled with clichés, any one of which would be worth a drink. The alcoholic, dry-witted English film professor. The adversarial girlfriend cohort. The "Oh my god, how can this be happening?" dialog that carries throughout. Sarcastic meta-comments that break the fourth wall. (I'm not a great fan of that last one.)
We don't need more zombie flicks that cover the same territory. The classics are classics for a reason. You want to see a good example, check out the original Night of the Living Dead.
In any case, the Diary DVD comes with a number of bonuses. Commentary from Romero himself and the cast & crew. Special features also include documentary was shot on how they made the movie; as well as fan film winners from YouTube.
I don't recommend Diary of the Dead, unless you want to get a bunch of zombie-philes together to enjoy how bad it is. There's something, anyway.
You can pick up this movie on Amazon.com