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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An afterthought in a zombie film?
If you're reading this it's more then likely you've seen a zombie film so you'll know what to expect. You'll have your unlikely group of survivors slowly dwindling in numbers, plenty of suspense and of course lots of blood and internal organs being used as zombie chew toys.

What you probably won't expect is to find yourself leaving the cinema with a lingering...
Published on 9 April 2008 by D Johnson

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars George's Zombie Stage Play is Marmite but below 5, a bargain
...as in you will either love it and get what Romero's trying to do, or hate the lack of action even by the standards of his other Dead movies. You're given "2-3 Nights of the Living Dead" as Romero goes all the way back to the beginning, Savini's cameo is a voiceover only and George himself pops up instead. In terms of recurring character archetypes we get the "Roger"...
Published on 18 Aug 2012 by Born Again Bookworm


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An afterthought in a zombie film?, 9 April 2008
If you're reading this it's more then likely you've seen a zombie film so you'll know what to expect. You'll have your unlikely group of survivors slowly dwindling in numbers, plenty of suspense and of course lots of blood and internal organs being used as zombie chew toys.

What you probably won't expect is to find yourself leaving the cinema with a lingering thought in your head at the closing line of the film. There aren't too many films I've seen recently that leave me with an afterthought and it was something I certainly wouldn't expect to find in a zombie film.

It's quite a modern twist in it's production values as you view the film through a film being produced by our lead, Joshua Close. In concept it's similiar to the Blair Witch Project but while that is more about suspense and your imagination here you're seeing plenty of action as the survivors decrease in numbers through foolishness and sheer bad luck.

The survivors themselves are reasonably likeable, a teacher and a group of students all trying to get back "home" as the chaos ensues around them. I was also slightly surprised at who survives the film which is never a bad thing. After all if you can guess who's going to end up dead upon seeing your survivor group it takes away that element of surprise any good film needs to hold your interest.

This is definitely an essential purchase if you're a lover of zombie and horror films in general and even worth a watch if you're just getting into horror films. There's quite a few amusing moments throughout the film and it doesn't take the route of becoming a needless gore fest like some other horror films.

Give it a watch and if you like it you've got the original series of The Dead films by Romero to go back and enjoy as well. To a lesser extent there's also two other modern re-makes of Dawn of the Dead and Land of the Dead to satisfy your urges as well.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'You Tube the Dead'!, 13 Mar 2008
I saw Diary of the Dead at the cinema and I have to say I am very impressed with the result. Whereas other more recent Zombie movies have gone for action-packed thrills(The Dawn of the Dead remake)and silly martial arts (Resident Evil 1-3), Director George A. Romero shows them all how its done. 'Diary' is pitched in the same vein as the recent Cloverfield movie, showing events unfold through the lense of a hand-held digital camera, showing the film's characters emoting to a largely unseen cameraman whilst trying to extricate themselves from danger and seek sanctuary.

I urge everyone with a passing interest in Zombie movies or in the work of George A. Romero to head out to the multi-plex and show support for this film, it needs your support. Mr Romero deliberately shot it on a low budget (only $5 million), and at the moment it is not experiencing a huge amount of success in its domestic market. In the US, after the Weinstein Company secured a deal to distribute the film (to much fanfare), they have buried it on only 47 screens, making it struggle to make a profit. It deserves to be seen and has a surprising amount of depth for a low-budget piece. It has a lot to say about the modern day nature of human beings becoming increasingly more voyeuristic, and disassociated from the true horrors which are taking place, by viewing and recording everything through the shifting focus of a video camera. "Just let me get that on film, thats looks great!".

Its at least as involving as Cloverfield and features some very inspiring moments. The opening of the film sees the director illustrating his chagrin at modern zombie movies' habit of showing zombies being able to run at full speed whilst displaying huge strength and agility. George is right! zombies are the dead, and dead things rot! He also has his key participants (as film students) making a low budget 'Mummy Movie', only for the increasingly insane student director to later on stage an actual reconstruction of this scene as one of his female friends is chased by an actual monster.

The only criticism to be levelled at this film would be that, in the final act of the picture George's characters (the surviving film students) become more allegories for what He wants to say as a director, instead of perhaps behaving in a more realistic way if, hypothetically speaking, this kind of apocalyptic event actually took place. Why for example do the survivors take no interest at all in fortifying the abandoned manor house compound in which they find themselves? With all the undead wandering around, keen for their warm flesh, why do they not bother to even close the front gate and lock the doors of the mansion??!! However, this is a minor quibble in an all-round engaging picture, and intelligent social commentary.

There is an excellent collection of documentaries on Disc 2; including a detailed 90 minute documentary revisiting the making of the Original Night of the Living Dead in all its low-budget glory. Also included are clippets of a George A.Romero Q & A from 2007, behind the scenes recordings of the guest speakers who read out news reports during the movie, and the usual deleted scenes. A worthwhile cinematic experience and essential DVD purchase. Excellent!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improves with each viewing, 25 May 2008
By 
Mr. Nd Spellman (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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Romero is my horror hero. I need to state that right away. However, I feel that there is cause for this respect - he makes damn fine movies. I saw Diary in the cinema and I must admit I wasn't sure. I'm convinced part of my indecision was down to the wonderful "cinema experience" - the A level media students laughing every second and determined to hate it/ the constant chatter/ people who had clearly gone to the wrong film etc etc. In fact, it was one of the few films where I have seen people walk out and this really affected my enjoyment. Was I watching the the fim through my Romero tinted glasses?
Having bought the region 1 dvd, I can honestly say it gets a resounding thumbs up. Despire being a little tired of the hand held camera genre, this still stands up. No it's not Dawn of the Dead, but it is a worthy addition to the series. I remember seeing Day of the Dead in the cinema and being disappointed. Now it's my favourite. I don't think Diary will ever get to that position as it is more of a side entry to the series, but a second viewing does wonders, as it did for Land of the Dead. You have to accept the low budget origins and therefore restrictions. It is entertaining, thought provoking and delivers at least some of Romero's zombie gags. On the down side, it does lack the full on zombie carnage we expect and the 'message' is a little too obvious and forced down the throats of the viewer. All Romero's movies have a message, however, you didn't have to 'get it' to enjoy the movie. Hope he eases off in the sequel. Thankfully, the hand held angle is being dropped for Diary 2. I hope he aims more for a bigger scale, more zombie action and less force feeding of the message. He is still one of the few masters left in the horror genre.
With the dvd, the extras are satisfactory. I was expecting more insight and indepth making rather than mainly covering the basics. A little too much about how great George is and less comprehensive on the making.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my fav zombie films ever., 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Diary Of The Dead [DVD] (DVD)
The scariest thing about the film is the psychological and social impact it has.
It has some really cool kills in it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars George's Zombie Stage Play is Marmite but below 5, a bargain, 18 Aug 2012
...as in you will either love it and get what Romero's trying to do, or hate the lack of action even by the standards of his other Dead movies. You're given "2-3 Nights of the Living Dead" as Romero goes all the way back to the beginning, Savini's cameo is a voiceover only and George himself pops up instead. In terms of recurring character archetypes we get the "Roger" from Dawn of The Dead. This indie film's concession to Hollywood is a handgun that never seems to run out of ammunition.

The whole combination of the Zombie Apocalypse with modern cameraphone culture and social networking, with the cast being students and their teacher, no problem with that. This isn't the first Romero movie where the humans are dislikeable and it's almost like he's rooting for the Zombies. However, making this lead character so over-the-top dislikeable and self-centered is a mistake as you end up caring less about the group and more about the people they meet along the way as they take to the road. Those encounters with other humans are more substantial than the end of the main action of the film where more than one character believes the camera takes precedence over fighting the Zombies. The proper ending loops you back into another of Romero's recurring themes which invokes shades of Tom Savini's 1990 remake of Night Of The Living Dead.

On this DVD Package - the extra 90-minute documentary about the 40th anniversary celebration of Night of The Living Dead is the icing on the cake and one of the best double DVDs ever released. Combined with all the extras for the modern film and the commentary on disc 1 it's almost three hours of extras. The commentary takes the form of a Skype conversation with the director in a different country to the editor and cinematographer but if they hadn't told you they weren't sitting in the same room you wouldn't have noticed, it hangs together very well and the film short enough to listen to it again after watching the film normally, which isn't something you would say about Lord of the Rings or other big epics. So if you're a fan, get this DVD, it's well worth it in a sale where it might drop to below 5. Otherwise if you like Zombie films with action, it's not for you unless you want the Night of the Living Dead anniversary documentary.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romero's back on top!, 24 Mar 2008
When I first went to see this I must confess it was with trepidation that I approached the screening - although an entertaining zombie action film Romero's last film Land of the Dead left me cold - an overblown mess, it had little of what has made me such a fan of his work in the first place.

This however is a very different film - independent and with a much smaller budget, with Diary of the Dead the zombie meastro has gone back to basics, back to his roots and back to the first day the dead stopped dying. The story follows the fortunes of a group of film students in a new 'z' day - and explores what would happen if the zombie holocaust happened now, in this time of fast and constant information sharing and celebrity where 'if no one filmed it it didn't happen'. As the group struggle to go cross country in their camper, reach family and friends and survive themselves the action is all filmed by various members of the group. This central conciet of the film, that the footage that they found is put together later is not quite adhered to constantly in the film, but it does work well despite this reservation.

I loved Diary of the Dead - it was smart and funny, fast paced and with some great gore! The acid head zombie and deaf Amish farmer were particular highlights that proved that Romero has lost none of his humour, edge or charm.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's still got it ...., 12 Mar 2008
By 
m.bison (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Considering it's been 40 years since George A. Romero practically invented the zombie genre with Night Of The Living Dead, Diary Of The Dead has no right to be as good as it is. For me, it falls behind the unsurpassable Dawn of the Dead as the second best instalment of the exceptional Dead series. If you think of any artist in film or music, they won't be working in 40 years time, let alone producing some of their highest quality work. As Diary of the Dead trounces all the soulless, videogame zombie films we've seen recently, the old master shows them all how its done.

After making artistic sacrifices to get a bigger budget from the studios for Land of the Dead, Romero made this film with his own production company. Although Romero has to work with a lower budget, the documentary feel of the film really gets his creative juices flowing, as the heavyweight, 68 year old director assumes the role of first-time, student filmmakers who are documenting the zombie outbreak. Even one of the young characters has Romero's trademark big, black glasses.

Free to make the kind of film he wants, Romero (as usual) uses what appears to be a straightforward, gory horror film to make piercing insights into today's society. His target in his 5th Dead film is the youtube generation, where everyone has an opinion and an online blog about anything and everything. The mindless zombie's trudging around the shopping mall have been replaced by the faceless masses who upload video clip after video clip onto the internet hoping to be stars.

Without studio interference, Romero cuts loose with the gore and makes full use of the 18 certificate. Even after 4 decades and with far less money than most of the horror films being churned out today, he proves that no one is as creative as him with the special effects. In 1978's Dawn Of The Dead, Romero caused people to leave the cinema in shock with the controversial head exploding scene ... and he still hasn't lost his touch. Acid that slowly dissolves the brain of a walking zombie and a head that is blown off just below the eye line (the brain is still in tact and, therefore, the zombie is still alive as half a head) is one of several great money shots that will stay with you. Not only is he showing all the young pretenders to the zombie throne how to use their imagination, but, with the first line of dialogue, he's putting them straight about their rule breaking in remakes. Zombie's cannot and should not sprint like athletes.

All in all, Romero has surpassed all expectations. After all this time and after the genre has been flogged to death with so many zombie films, his 2008 film shouldn't be as immensely original and relevant as it is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Twilight of an Idol, 2 July 2010
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That Romero was responsible for perhaps the greatest horror film ever made (Day of the Dead) only made the experience of watching this dirge more painful. Not funny enough to be a comedy, not scary enough to be horror, not engaged or consistent enough to be philosophy, too derivative to be original and zombie-like only in an insisting and pathetic aspiration to be all these things. This really is a film in limbo. Don't be taken. Blow its brains out.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch the trailer instead!, 25 Oct 2009
The trailer for this film is really good.
Watch it on YouTube,it honestly makes you believe that Diary Of The Dead is going to be a good horror flick.

That's the only positive,the rest,as in the actual film itself,unbelievebly rotten.

Actually,I advise you do watch this film,and then right your own review on here.It deserves all the backlash it gets.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Diary of the terrible !!, 4 Aug 2013
By 
Mr. N. J. Bevis "BEV_RED_HOT_B" (Suffolk , Eng) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Diary Of The Dead [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I have been putting off buying this film for a while due to bad reviews. But at 2.50ish delivered I thought I could not go wrong, how wrong was I ? This film is really poor. Terrible acting, terrible script and a terrible story line that simply does nothing to engage with your brain in any way. Even the effects were poor. I was hoping for a through the camera view at a fast film, but I got pure boredom. The filming of there friends while they were being attacked was simply terrible. I think this could be the worst zombie film I have EVER seen. If you are a die hard zombie fan like me then still do not buy it. It does not get any worse... Sorry !!
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Diary Of The Dead [Blu-ray]
Diary Of The Dead [Blu-ray] by George A. Romero (Blu-ray - 2008)
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