Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Diary of The Dead Review

The camcorder could well become the anti-hero of 2008, featuring heavily in Cloverfield, Vantage Point, In the Valley of Elah, Untraceable and now taking pride of place at the front of Romeros latest. For some reason, known possibly only to the writers and not the directors, all the people wielding the cameras are assholes to the 9th degree.

A group of student filmmakers and there tutor are shooting a horror film when the news that the dead are rising from the ground comes in. Seeking an opportunity to become the documentary master he's always dreamed of Jason puts all his loved ones behind him and focuses on completing his film, now with real-life death. The rest of his crew are just hoping to get home as the world around them crumbles.

There are some nice touches with this latest Zombie flick (Amish dynamite-throwing deaf guy, Drunk professor who utters nothing except quasi profound philosophy) but these are all bogged down in multiple themes that smacks its audience in the face in the hope of either removing the head or destroying the brain. Before the theme of rampant consumerism was under the surface in Dawn and the War on Terror was secondary in Land. Here, thanks to a terrible voiceover, the messages are rammed down our throat. People are self destructive, they would rather watch death than stop it, we are too pre-occupied with the media, and on and on.

By forcing these ideas Romero has also had to break with the chronology of the Dead series meaning you now can't watch the series in one go. The dark humour that was once one of the strongest selling points of the Zombie flick has been replaced with a seriousness of alarming pretentiousness. The final line of "Are we worth saving?" sadly puts this film in the same category as the others named in the opening sequence. And that category is Shit.

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