George A. Romero revolutionized the Zombie in films. He wasn’t the first to portray Zombies in a movie – not by a long shot. No, he was the one that brought the Zombie into the mainstream and kept it there.
Diary of the Dead is another movie in the “The Dead” series (starting with the iconic “Night of the Living Dead”). While not a direct sequel to any of the movies, it takes place in the same…ummm… Universe. A group of art students are in the woods, filming a scene for a mummy horror film when the zombie outbreak starts. Hearing reports on the radio, at first they are sceptical (some more than others). As the night progresses and more reports start coming in, the students realize that maybe something it actually up. The group gathers together in an RV and head out of the city, attempting to escaper the carnage (and possibly get to their own homes in order check on family members). All the while they are capturing everything on film to document what is happening. Encounters with Zombie Doctors in hospitals and being attacked by siblings as well as being robbed by rogue military are all situations that add to the action and to the feeling of desperation. Characters you like get killed, and characters you don’t like also get killed (for a bit…and then again – Zombies, you know). Just when they think they’re safe… well, you know. Hey, why not head out the rich friend’s place where he’s got a panic room and all the amenities you could wish for… That all work out right? Um, this is a Zombie movie – a Romero Zombie film. The film has a quick pace that doesn’t allow you to get bored. As well, I think Romero did a great job “re-jigging” the Dead series for the modern era. Is this better than the original Night of the Living Dead? Of course not. Is it good? I’d say so
You know, I thought I had seen this film before… and then I watched it this past weekend only to find I was wrong.
George Romero’s 2007 Diary of the Dead tells the tale of a group of University students who, while attempting to make a Zombie film, end up documenting their experiences during a Zombie Outbreak.
While filming a scene in the woods for a University project, the group starts hearing reports of chaos in the cities and towns, with rumours of the dead rising up and feasting on the living. Add to the news footage, video clips that people are uploading to social networking sites, and the group starts getting a picture of just how widespread the outbreak is. They decide to travel together to each other’s homes (or whatever destinations they have picked. Along the way they see more and more evidence of this outbreak, and lose a number of their entourage along the way. They run into a couple of groups (one good and one bad), but make progress on their journey.
This is another “Shakycam” film, where it is supposed to be made up of footage taken from a person that is experiencing things and filming said experiences. This type of movie can be very crappy, but happily that isn’t the case here. I found this movie well made and entertaining. While it’s no Night of the Living Dead, or Dawn of the Dead, it is still a fun, entertaining Zombie film from the Master, George A. Romero.
Check out the trailer here:
This 1973 (or 1972 depending on your source) Zombie film about a troupe of actors brought to an island by the troupe;s douchiest of douche-bag leaders, Alan to perform a necromantic ceremony – for shock value… I guess.
This group of actors are bossed around by Alan continuously. I mean, this guy is completely unlikeable – and had the worst pants in history (watch the movie just for the pants, if you must). Freaking out the women continuously – one of them already a hippy basket case anyway. Oh, and the guys aren’t to impressed with Alan, either.
Anyway, they dig up a corpse and Alan performs an incantation – poorly- to raise the dead. Since he did such a piss poor job that one of the woman takes over and performs the ritual with more gusto. Soon the place is over run with recently raised zombies with a hunger for living flesh. Now these are slow, lumbering zombies that often causes this film to be compared to George A. Romero’s classic, Night of the Living Dead – and I am sure that the success of that film had much to do with this Zombie film being made. There are differences: these Zombies are paranormal Zombies, raised through a Satanic ritual. Romero’s Zombies were radiation – plague Zombies – and Romero’s movie was much better.
Anyway, they get attacked by Zombies, hole up in a house (more similarities to Night of the Living Dead), but like all Zombie movies, the Zombies eventually get them.
I watched this film way back in 1980 at the ripe old age of 11 years old. I didn’t find it scary then (much), and I don’t know, but as I stated at the beginning of this post, it is interesting.Should you watch this film? Well it’s not great, but if you are into the Zombie genre (and you should be), then yes, I think you should watch it as it is kind of important in the evolution of the Zombie film genre. You only have to watch it once, mind you… An interesting note: Director Bob Clarke went on to direct the 80’s classics Porkys and A Christmas Story!
Check out the trailer here:
Last week I watched two versions of Night of the Living Dead, The Millenium Edition (avoid this like the plague), and Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 Tom Savini remake. Savini’s version IS worth watching. You might not know Tom Savini by name, but he is one of the best special effects guy in the business.
More of a re-imagining than a re-make, I found this very enjoyable. It starts off very much like the original, and mostly stays with the same story line. The main differences come in the portrayals of the characters. Barbara in the original film spends most of the film in a pathetic near catatonic state, whereas in this edition she turns into a lean, mean Zombie Killing Machine – actually a nice change. You Sci-Fi fans out there might recognize Babara as the actress Patricia Tallman who went on to portray the telepath Lyta Alexander in the television series Babylon Five. Although Tony Todd puts in a typically good job in the roll of Ben, the protagonist, there’s a more than a bit of cheezy acting, but that is a good thing (in moderation) in this type of film.
I really didn’t expect much before I started watching this, and I was pleasantly surprised at not being bored, or pissed at a poor remake of a classic. This movie acts as a great lead in to the other Romero “Dead” movies and I really suggest watching it.
Check out the trailer below:
Tonight we’re watching the third and final (so far, that is) episode in the Evil Dead trilogy. This one takes place in medieval times (see The Evil Dead 2 to see why this is so), and is another over the top Horror romp starring our buddy Bruce Campbell as Ash once again. Thrust into the middle of…ummm the Middle Ages, it’s once again up to him to save the world from the Darkness that we were introduced to in the first two movies.
Two things remain consistant in all three Evil Dead movie: Bruce Campbell and the humour. Despite being horror films, they manage to be quite fun. Little off hand remarks by minor characters go along way in these films… And Bruce Campbell ALWAYS rocks.
Lots going ioon in this film and the big battle against the army of the Dead iis like a giant Homage to Ray Harryhausen (the stop motion master behind the great Sinbad films and the original early 1980s Clash of the Titans). Nothing like an army of smart-ass Skeletons doing battle!
This movie has a lot going for it but please, watch the two precursors, The Evil Dead and the Evil Dead 2 first – It will be worth it!
Check out the trailer below:
Last night we began the first of the three great films that make up the Evil Dead Trilogy. We watched the original 1981, Evil Dead – a movie that I have seen many times, and will match many more time most likely.
This as a great, cheezy and ground breaking horror film that introduced the world to the acting Juggernaught that is Bruce Campbell. The gist of things? 5 friends travel to a cabin in the woods, accidentally raise some Demons and then the fun starts. Creepy looking, evil voiced demons take over most of the group and all Hell breaks loose (yeah, pun is intended).
This movie was (and is) very influential for horror movies that went forward, and while low budget, very watchable. If you are a horror fan, and haven’t seen this film, then you must.
Over the next few days I’ll be talking about the next two movies in the series, also.
Check out the original tailer from The Evil Dead below: