Diary of the Dead

Posted: May 26, 2008
Category: Almost King
The fifth movie in George Romero’s Zombie saga is now finally out on DVD. It’s title is Diary of the Dead and it tells the story about a group of friends that’s out in the forest to make a horror movie when they are reached by news about dead people that are starting to come back to life. At first they think it’s a hoax but as the reports are starting to pour in they decide to call it a day, pack up and leave.

On their way back they encounters numerous Zombies and one in the group, Jason Creed, decides this needs to be documented for the future. From that moment the camera rarely leaves his eye. What we, the viewers, then see is his movie cut together with news clips and clips that the person who edited it downloaded from the Net.

Those of you that have seen the movie Cloverfield will recognize the filming technique. Diary of the Dead is shoot so that it looks like it’s done with Jason’s handheld camera as was the case with Cloverfield. But when you start compare the two, please remember that Diary of the Dead was actually shoot first.

Diary of the Dead is a very intense movie and I like it. It has some problems with logic though and that doesn’t come as a big surprise since the fact that it’s supposed to be shoot with Jason’s camera limits what Romero could show. He has however minimized those issues by letting the finished movie also have clips form other sources as well as surveillances cameras. What I do miss in Diary of the Dead is that feeling you got in Romero’s earlier Zombie moves when the survivors are totally surrounded by the Zombies, that claustrophobic feeling... you don’t really get that in this one.

As many of you probably know Romero is no stranger in the world of Stephen King. He has adapted several of King’s stories for movies and King also did his first acting role in Romero’s Knightriders. And with Diary of the Dead Romero has once again invited King to be part of his filmmaking. If you listen closely you’ll hear King’s voice in the movie. He does the voice of a radio priest that the group listens to while in a car. Also, in the bonus material you can hear how King’s recording happened. Really interesting if you ask me.

As I said, I like Diary of the Dead even if it’s not the best of Romero’s Zombie movies. Personally I like the first one, Night of the Living Dead, the best and as it happens you can now get a special 40th anniversary edition of it on DVD, an edition that is packed with extras material.

Lilja's final words about Diary of the Dead:

If you’re a fan of Romero’s Zombie movies you sure want to check out these movies. Night of the Living Dead is a classic and Diary of the Dead compliments the series quite well and also brings it in to the 21st century. Oh, and while you’re at it, look for Romero in a cameo in Diary of the Dead, he plays a cop.

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