Diary Of The Dead George A. Romero

Diary Of The Dead George A. Romero
Succumbing to the adage "looked better on paper,” Diary Of The Dead (Romero’s fifth instalment in his definitive zombie films) is easily the weakest link in what was once a brilliant franchise. As is typical of Romero’s style, the film serves a dual purpose, with the living dead offering up shock treatment on the surface while the hirsute, bespectacled director strives to comment on the state of humanity underneath. In the case of Diary Of The Dead, this happens via a first-person recording of events unfolding over the course of three days. In an almost Blair Witch Project vein, a group of young adults filming a zombie movie (ha ha) for film class inadvertently wind up documenting an unexplained outbreak of reanimated corpses that feast on human flesh. As their experiences struggling to find safety unfold, the group download their raw footage to the internet for all to see. This, of course, is Romero’s utilisation of current events — the widespread use of electronic information — to comment on society as a whole. While the intent is clear though, Diary Of The Dead falters, as nothing shocking, neither societal nor flesh eating, is realised. The entire affair seems whitewashed with objectives that don’t quite commingle. In the end, the zombie portion of the film is minimised in the interest of observation on a subject that isn’t probed very deeply. Even the range of special features offers little. The obligatory commentary by Romero and his associates is standard fare, a feature-length "behind the scenes” documentary is only interesting during the gore effects portion, the myspace contest winner short films are patience testing during the first viewing and "Character Confessionals,” shot by the cast in character, offer little to the end product. This is one diary not worth opening. (Alliance)