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
Thank you to everyone that made the Calgary Horror Convention an AMAZING event. A fantastic lineup of guests, including a reunion of the cast from the fantastic 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead: Bill Moseley, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman and Tony Todd,
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:
Wow… This movie was simply awesome. A slasher/horror flick from 1980, Fade to Black is a real surprise.
Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), is a movie loving loser, living with his aunt and working at a film distributor. You might say he’s almost a savant when it comes to classic movie knowledge. When he’s not being harassed by his bitchy, wheelchair bound aunt Stella, bullied by co-worker Richie (played by a young, pre-plastic surgery Mickey Rourke) or harassed by his ass-hole, stress-case boss Mr. Berger (Norman Burton), he watches classic movies in his room or attends midnight screenings of classic movies.
Eric makes by chance meets Marilyn O’Connor, an Australian want to be model who looks like… well, Marilyn Munroe. She takes a shine to Eric, and agrees to meet him for a date. Unfortunately, she accidentally stands him up, which shatters Eric’s already tenuous hold on reality. Drowning in pity, Eric goes home and plunges into old movies and depression. His aunt, always the bitch gets to scolding him about his lifestyle and sends his projector crashing to the floor, enraging Eric. Eric, taking a scene directly from the movie Kiss of Death, causes his Aunt and her wheel chair to go careening down a flight a stairs, causing her to die in what appears to others as an accident. Hell, he even attends the funeral dressed as a character from the same film. This sets off a series of murders that Eric perpetrates against people that have wronged him. With each murder, Eric effects a different movie characters, including Dracula, The Mummy, Hopalong Cassidy and Norman Bates (though, as Norman Bates, he doesn’t murder anyone, but the scene is a masterful recreation of the shower scene from Psycho).
While this is going on, the police are trying to track down Eric. Helping them is criminal psychologist Dr. Jerry Moriarty (played by consummate “That Guy” actor, Tim Thomerson), who’s looking for a pattern for these killing (classic movies, Captain Obvious), and getting no support from the police (aside from a female officer who’s doing him). Moriarty’s main road block is Police Captain Gallagher who has no respect for psychology in police work.
The film culminates with Eric luring Marilyn to a modelling job, which is interrupted when the police arrive. Fleeing with a now drugged Marilyn they are chased to the famous Grauman’s Chinese theatre, where in a replay of the final scene from the James Cagney classic, White Heat, he dies in a hail of bullets while sending out a hail of classic cheezy movie dialogue
That, in a nutshell is Fade to Black. If you enjoy horror movies then you owe it to yourself to watch this film.
Here is the Trailer:
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:
Oh, don’t watch this, please. This is so bad. An original writer and the original, first zombie from the original film add 15 plus minutes of shitty, unnecessary poorly acted scenes at the beginning of the film, a bit in the middle and a new ending..that sucked. The main parts of the film, the original 1968 footage has been cleaned up very well – but then they slap that shitty music on it.
If you want to watch Night of the Living Dead (and you should), don’t watch this version – it’s a travesty. There are many other versions of this film out there and you can watch the original masterpiece on line for free (link at bottom of post), as it is public domain due to a screw up when released.
So… Don’t bother with this.
Here is a link to the original Night of the Living Dead that you can watch on line: