Director George A. Romero returns to the subject matter that made him famous with this postmodern take on the zombie genre. DIARY OF THE DEAD begins in innocuous fashion as a group of film students head out into the woods to make a low-budget horror film. This film-within-a-film is directed by Jason Creed (Joshua Close), who draws on a group of friends, and his college professor, to get the job done. But the filming comes to an abrupt halt when news comes in that the dead are springing back to life, devouring people, and taking over the world. Film obsessive Creed doesn’t put his camera down for long, and he’s soon heading out on the road with his friends in a quest to document the real-life carnage as it unfolds. The film is shot entirely from the point of view of Creed and his camera-wielding friends, and in a neat nod to contemporary technology, Romero’s feature is full of references to websites such as MySpace and YouTube. This interesting sidestep from Romero’s long-running zombie saga is a 21st century take on the initial zombie outburst that occurred in the director’s 1968 classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Romero unleashes much of his trademark gore and violence as the film progresses, and there are some increasingly witty and inventive ways in which characters become zombiefied. The cast of young unknowns fit snugly into their roles, particularly Michelle Morgan, whose character is in charge of piecing together Creed’s film in the editing room. But what really sets DIARY OF THE DEAD apart from its horror-movie contemporaries is the hefty dose of social satire that Romero works into the film, making this a welcome return to the director’s trademark style following the more straightforward gore-fest of 2005’s LAND OF THE DEAD.
- NTSC Region 1
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