I love zombies. I mean I really love zombies. Not in the necrophiliac penetration of the bum way, but if there would be one thing you could wake me up for in the middle of the night its zombies.
Unfortunate most things that are about zombies are just plain brainless pulp. This means that most of the time I find a movie or book that has to do with zombies, it's usually the biggest crap on earth. Even porn has a better storyline then some of the zombieflics out there.
Luckily these last years have seen a steady increase in quality zombie products. World War Z is one of my favorite books, Shaun of the Dead and the remake of Dawn of the Dead were quality and every monday I get my zombie fix from this lovely webcomic.
But still everyone of these gems all pay tribute to the one man who is truly the godfather of the zombiegenre: George A. Romero.
Night of the Living Dead and the original Dawn of the Dead are one of my favorites and it has always saddened me that I would never see a Romero movie where it belongs: on the big screen. ( No, I did not go see Land of the Dead in the cinema because it was utter crap and Romero unworthy. I blame the studio not the godfather )
However Romero luckily returned to his independent roots and revived his Dead series with Diaries of the Dead. Unfortunate since it is a indie movie this means it will almost go straight to DVD and I was afraid I would never get to see it on the big screen. Imagine my elavated jumps of joy when I discovered that Diaries of the Dead would be screened during the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival. So last friday I bought myself a ticket and finally went to see zombies the way they are supposed to be viewed: enlarged and with dolby surround.
I can honestly say that Diaries is one of the better of Romero's movies, maybe even his best one. Diaries rebooted the whole universe so it starts at the beginning, making a new fresh start. Well as fresh as a movie that revolves around walking, rotting and smelly corpses can be.
The story revolves around a group of students and their professor making a little horror movie of their own. However when zombies begin to appear everywhere the group decides to flee and the young moviemaker decides to document their flight.
The whole movie you view through the eyes of the characters themselves, almost as if you were there. This considerable adds to the fear factor because you feel as if you are jumped by the undead instead of some geezer on the screen. Although there are some scare moments, there are not a lot of them. What Diaries does is creating a tense feeling you have the whole time your watching. Yes your safe now, but only for the time being. The next zombie is always just around the corner.
Funny enough Diaries is also one of the more funnier Romero movies, there are a few jokes in the movie that will make you laugh aloud, especially the part with the Amish.
It does not mean however, that Diaries is perfect. The actors are not really that good and some of the lines are just plain annoying. Also the social commentary what always made the other Dead movies so great really doesn't work in this one. Yes you have bit about the big tv networks contorting the truth but for the rest you basically follow a group that tries to survive.
In the end Diaries is a great movie and even if you don't love zombies the way I do, you will still like this one. Now I just have to get by on the pulp before the next Romero.