Diary of the Dead (2007)

George A. Romero’s latest zombie flick. Given that he (more or less) invented the genre, you’d think he’d be better at making them.

With terrible writing and direction, it really never had a chance. There’s just one cheese ball scene after another, no frights, no fun, and no depth.

If it’s reasonable to distinguish an actor from his dialogue – and the stupid awful shit his director has made him do – then perhaps it’s possible to say that some of the performances are… ok.  But no one stands out.

And let’s be honest, if a character is delivering awful clunky lines while making a series of almost perfectly bad choices, groping around in a shadowy warehouse, backing through doorways in the most suicidal manner, it’s very hard to separate the puppet from his puppeteer.

Filmed Blair Witch/Cloverfield style (though with a lot of smoothing/steadicam), but seemingly only so Romero can cack-handedly force his “social commentary” about, apparently, the perils of the media & being detached from events around you when you watch the world through a camera.

I know: you what?

The thing that elevates a good zombie movie from this type of dross – apart from good dialogue and reasonable characters – is relevant social/political commentary and satire.  Diary of the Dead absolutely strikes out on this front.  A good writer might have pulled it off, but I think he must have called in sick that day – assuming they even had one, which would seem generous.

I enjoyed the digitally composited effects (because the technology excites me – it’s easily within grasp of even the very lowest budget productions), and a few scenes with stereotypical-drunken-British-professor-archetype #3 (he wields a bow and arrow with devastating effect, and later on a devilishly sharp sword similarly well).

Avoid this terrible movie like the impending zombie apocalypse.  I watched it so you don’t have to.