Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Diary of a disaster
When will people stop making 'Blair Witch' type films? Have we not come to the end of that era yet? Can we rush it along?
This hand-held video stuff has got to stop at some point, right?
Am I the only person who is sick of amateur filmmakers thinking they can bite off a piece of the Blair Witch pie and run with it?
The latest entry (at least the latest I've seen, as I have yet to watch Quarantine - though it is in my Netflix queue...) is the god-awful Zombie Diaries.
Which is, in effect, George Romero's Diary of the Dead reworked (and not well) from a British point of view.
I didn't care for Romero's latest either, but I have to admit I liked it better than this 'why-did-they-even-make-it' time waster.
I know, I know... somebody out there is gonna disagree with me.
Someone will no doubt say it is a marvel of cinematic brilliance.
Well I'm here to tell you NFW!
So here we have a yet another zombie invasion (yawn) in Britian.... Come on people, was this not effectively done already in the vastly superior 28 Days Later? Even its sequel, 28 Weeks Later (which I think I enjoyed even more than the first) was a better example of zombies run amok.
Stressing the hand-held factor, a news crew is gathering interviews and data regarding an apparent flu of some sort that is spreading like wildfire in England. They talk to people on the crowded streets (some of whom are already wearing masks on their faces- and not the Halloween kind) and it does add a bit of a realistic feel to the movie. But if I wanted to see that crap I'd watch America's Funniest Home Videos (which I certainly DO NOT enjoy)...
The news crew ends up in the countryside (how convienient) where there are lots of old houses, barns, garages and the likes for the zombies to play hide and seek in.
Of course there is your obligatory zombie-thrashing and writhing in the grassy patches (does every zombie flick have that? I guess the red blood does look lovely against the green grass...?) and the dead, haunted eyes that are also a pre-requisite in the Romero-type shuffling zombie style.
The makeup effects aren't bad. The background music is effective enough.
But I was never once frightened, terrified, freaked-out or even slightly nervous.
There was simply nothing scary about Zombie Diaries and in fact, it was rather boring.
This is billed as one of Dimension's EXTREME HORROR flicks. Oh.My.God.
There was very little to no gore. At the very least they could have thrown in some good grue effects to keep things interesting.
I guess they were attempting to make a survival movie (?) or something similar, but for me - I'd take the original (or in this case, even the '90 sequel) Night of the Living Dead over this attempt. There is absolutely nothing new here.
I've read some other reviews in which people are comparing it to NOTLD and 28DL but to be honest, it can't hold a candle to those gems. Not even a match.
People who call it a low budget wonder could never have seen NOTLD or BWP. Period.
If I didn't know better I'd have thought ZD was a Uwe Boll crapfest.
I will give it props though, as I think it could quite possibly turn someone into a confused, moaning, half-dead zombie if they have to sit through the whole thing.
And the video camera shit? Can we just stop with that? Please.
Until there are ACTUAL zombies shambling about, keep your video recorders at home.