George A Romero's Diary of the Dead ***
Directed by George A. Romero
George A. Romero is a horror film icon, and even though he didn't really come up with the concept of zombies, he made them what they are today. And his first two zombie films-"Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" are horror masterpieces, even though his last two efforts were a little lackluster-even though the blame on 'Land of the Dead" could be because it was backed by a big studio. But with "Diary of the Dead," Romero goes back to an indie zombie concept, and the product shows.
"Diary of the Dead" is about a group of college students that decide to make a movie. Filmed by Jason Creed their monster movie is interrupted when the news reports several deaths. . . or undeaths. Some of the kids claim that its all media bull, but Jason thinks it something more. And when it becomes certain that the dead are really beginning to walk the earth, they head out in an RV to go to all of their homes to make sure their families are alright, and to keep surviving themselves.
The story is the same, but Romero uses a different method this time around. Every shot is done on a video camera by one of the characters, and the thread is that Jason's girlfriend edited them all together-so we know for a fact that Jason will die. Several scenes goes on for minutes without an edit, and it looks like there was actual acting going on. The editing process probably wasn't too long. And this film is really an improvement on the others, and Romero is obviously making something a little more personal instead of caring about money. And the film offers the same gore that audiences will love, so I don't see why it shouldn't get a big release even though it is independent. And there is some neat stuff about technology and commentary on the media and horror films in general. I'm noticing a lot of films that are moving along with the times, like "Live Free or Die Hard" which had technology as a main focal point for the "plot." Another film is "The Signal," a horror film which I have seen and you have not-and if you have I'd like to know how-but that comes out at the end of October in limited release. The students are with a professor for the entire film, and he is there while they are filming the monster movie, and when one of the other students complain about the stupid script, he says that there is an underlining social commentary. The crowd laughed because it could describe Romero.
Romero was at the screening, as the film was a part of TIFF "Midnight Madness" screening. When he came out at the beginning he was given a standing ovation which I took a part of. He is a real legend. I didn't stay for the Q&A because the film started at 12:30, and by the time it was done I needed sleep. But this should please "Dead" fans, and it really goes back to the first films.