Dir. George A. Romero. Writ George A. Romero. Star Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts.
A faux-verite about some film students who decide to document their attempts to survive when they hear over the radio that the dead now walk the earth.
This idea had some real potential. For the first 10 minutes, I was stoked. Then it went downhill. Then it dug a huge hole for itself so it could continue to go downhill. Then, upon reaching China, it defied gravity and hurdled itself into space. It was somewhere around Pluto when it ended. Just like the icy cold rock that used to be a planet I was frozen with disbelief.
How was this movie so bad? What happened to Romero, the father of the zombie genre? I think I would have heard about it if he had suffered from a serious stroke. Was the mafia responsible? What dead hooker caused this mess?
I think he got lazy, the lazZzZzZy kind of lazy. One of the worst scripted movies I’ve ever seen. Calling the characters two-dimensional would be giving them too much depth. The acting was atrocious; robots would have shown more emotion. Look at these fools:
All of them are despicable. Oh, College Professor? WTF! A goddamn bow & arrow. This is the apocalypse not summer camp. How detestably trite. Get this, the prof speaks in a pretentious accent, drinks spirits out of flask, and quotes Shakespeare. Wow, great, real great, real original. I only liked one of the actors. The reason? She was cute. That’s all she had going for her.
The point of a faux-verite, especially a faux-verite, is to draw its drama, and in this case, horror and suspense from being realistic. You can’t get Hollywood vulgar deaths like stabbing a scythe through your face to kill the zombie that just bit you and keep the real, documentary feel going. It makes the movie cheap and lame.
With the zombie genre’s booming popularity, Diary of the Dead is the most presumptuous undead flick. “Oh, the dead are now walking and eating the living? I’ll just dick around with my camera; who cares?”
Romero, regarded for his use of biting social commentary in zombie films, is unforgivably blunt in Diary of the Dead. He might as well have had subtitles narrating the social commentary for the viewer.
While the AFI may have put both Night of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead into the list of the 50 most influential movies. I’m nominating Diary of the Dead for one of the worst movies ever seen in a theater.
Pray for a zombie plague. Maybe that way the …of the Dead series can be resurrected.