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Diary of the Annoying Film Students
Diary Of The Dead (DVD)
Member Name: ryanando
Diary Of The Dead (DVD)
Advantages: A must have for any horror buff. Effects are decent too.
Disadvantages: No one else will really like it.
It has been a long week. Not particularly a bad week, just a long one. Work has been a tad hectic thanks to some brilliant new scheme that has been brought in which boils down to the poor saps at the bottom (that's me) doing a lot more work for the exact same pay and a just a smidgen less self respect. How fabulous. I decided that to cheer myself up, I would have my hair cut and dye it green again (my user picture at the moment is a lie, I am looking vaguely normal for now) but I just found out my supplier is out of stock. At this point I have decided that what I really need is a good old fashioned "lets blow the blood and guts out of anything that even thinks about moving for the next hour" type movie.
The movie I chose to fill my gap is one that has been sitting in my pile of things to watch for a while now. Diary of the Dead is a George A Romero film, who I am told is a legend in the crazy zombie death blood gore movie genre. My tattoo artist adores him and constantly plays his original movies while tattooing which is only slightly worrying till you realise he knows the movies so well he won't jump at the jumpy bits. He will chuckle maniacally...but he wont jump...hmm..
SO! I feel I should be in good hands! He has made Dawn, Night, Day, Land and Diary of the dead before and has recently started Re-making them in full surround sound and blood splattering glory! The one I'm about to watch is his recent Re-release of 18 rated "Diary of the Dead".
Starting with the menu's, they are pretty simple. By which I mean they are both pretty and simple. You get all the usual things, scene select, play movie, special features and subtitles. I do have to mention now though that apparently I have either a faulty DVD or just a really crap player as it won't even let me access the special features. Screw them. I shall watch the movie and decide if I want to moan about not getting the extras afterwards!
---The Blood all over the carpet!!---
My computer really does not like this DVD and decided to play it in French. Thankfully I managed to give it a kick in the nuts and now the peoples mouths are matching up with what they are saying.
We begin with a news report about a man who has shot his wife, child and then himself. The narrator tells us how the film was downloaded from the internet. We then see a nice little collage of riots and looting. The Narrator tells us that her and her friends made a film about what happened. What we are now watching is their crappy little horror film. Fortunately that doesn't last for long and the film doesn't stop rolling between shooting the guys movie. Essentially this is the Blair Witch Project with Zombies.
---Can I kill you please?---
The guy who is making the film is currently prodding his friends on camera for information. He wants to record stuff in case it makes history. He is bloody annoying. It's all really just a bunch of talking at the moment. I believe they are trying to build a history of the characters but it seems a tad forced.
Bring on the Zombie slaughter. Now this movie is a proper zombie film; they move nice and slow and chew down on you. Many people have been confusing recent movie creations with Zombies when the only similarity is an infectious disease.
Now that I have made that clear, I'm going to watch the film and see if it does anything unexpected. Back in a mo!
---Half way house---
So I'm about half way through the film and there are a bunch of ups and downs I feel the need to point out.
The film is a LITTLE (and I need to emphasise that word more than the "caps lock" button will allow) more thought inducing than most Zombie films. The narrator brings up some good points about human nature (like the fact we are all scum) and the interaction between the characters and their loved ones in a Zombiefied state may make one or two of you feel a little touched. Especially in the last minute of the film. Most will just say "Mwa ha, Kick that Zombie Ass"
The next up would be that the demise of the zombies is a tad more original than others I've seen. A lot of it involves the normal bullet to the brain, sometimes though they will use scythes, metal poles, swords and at one point you will get the pleasure of seeing a dead dudes head melt away over the course of about a minute after having a jar of acid smashed on it. Funky. If you like that sort of thing that is.
What that also means is that the effects are up to scratch in this movie. You won't any "quicker than a proclaimers one night stand" shots of gore. It will linger like that feeling of unease most will feel after watching Michael Jackson for too long. Or at all.
Since we are following a bunch of film students around, it can get quite annoying. Firstly because they are students. What's more annoying than that?? (don't tell the boyfriend or the lesbian I said that ok?) Secondly is the "film" part means that you will catch them discussing a lot of film type things. You will get to see them editing the film you are watching and spending a lot of time on the computer. It's a pain in the ass. I suppose it all links in with the story and the characters but it all just bores me a little.
That brings me to my next down. The focus on technology throughout the film is a bit annoying. The film makes a very good point that if crazy shit happens most people will instantly stick it on YouTube or blog about it on Myspace. I, however, would like to believe that if crazy shit did happen, I would not be sitting at my computer going "OMG THAT'S, LIKE, CRAZY SHIT!!". That and it annoys me that even though apocalypse is unfolding around them, the internet and television still functions. What can I say, I want my apocalypse Sans Techno-Techno-Techno.
As with any Zombie movie, there is the ending. It never really satisfies me. Most will leave you in the middle of the end. Some will perform a deus ex machina and all of a sudden everything will be roses again. This one leaves you with Zombies knocking at the door but also gives a little bit of thought provocation to distract you from the fact the ending was essentially canned crap.
---Here come the cavalry---
There are, of course, many of the Zombie movie clichés involved in the movie. But then I suppose you cannot really expect not to have them since it is a remake of one of the first/ original Zombie movie. As with any Zombie/ Apocalypse movie the army show up at one point and turn out to be assholes. Yay for them. You will also experience the old man hoarding zombies because they are "family" regardless of their new found "colder-than-Delia-smiths-midsection" status.
There was a vague hope that I was going to get to see one of the male cast slightly naked, but no, my hopes were dashed. God damn house coats. Instead I got the horrid cliché of the blond bimbo falling over in the woods and bearing her boobies.
Who knows. My DVD players are refusing. All of them. I call faulty DVD!!!!
I can tell you what they are but it would seem someone doesn't want my opinion on them. You have your normal commentary from the Director and a few of his handy little friends who helped cobble the movie together. Usually I refuse to comment on the commentaries anyway. Who needs a bunch of people telling you how ace they think they are over the top of the movie?? Not me.
You can watch interviews with the cast, though since I can't even remember the characters names and it's only been two minutes since the film finished, I am quite ok with not knowing what they have to say. Not that their performances were bad...just that they weren't exactly memorable.
Lastly you should be able to view a featurette type thing "Speaking of the dead" which is apparently Romero at some convention thing talking about the film. Hardcore fans of Romero will be angered if you're copy is crap as you might want to listen to what the man has to say.
Any good then? Well that depends. I would say it is a rather good Zombie Movie. In the grand scale of movies, Zombie Movies are never the greatest. But this is certainly worth the watch if you can imagine your enemies face on a million twisted corpses. As much as some of the characters are stupendously annoying, I quite enjoyed seeing them all get something sharp to the head at some point. The film also raises some interesting questions about and Government / Press censorship (but only if you look hard and even if you do see it, it's hardly ground breaking). You get what it says on the tin with this one and for £5.99 you can't really complain. Apart from the fact that I will since the extras don't work. Hmf.
Summary: A director basically admits the orignals were crap and decides to remake everything.