Tall, Dark, and Dead – 14 – Diary of the Dead
Title: Diary of the Dead
Director: George Romero
Leads: Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close
Favorite quote: “Inelegantly phrased, Mr. Ravello, but accurately put. Mornings… and mirrors. I despise them. Mornings and mirrors only serve to terrify old men.”
Thoughts: Weirdly enough, right before watching Diary (wherein Romero takes on the mass media), I was watching a report entitled, “CNN Uncovers America’s Worst Environmental Disaster”. It was a little eerie to leap directly from that report to a zombie movie with mockumentary elements that simultaneously derides that sort of coverage and relies upon it as a plot device.
While Diary comes across as quite slow after the studio-driven zombie-and-vehicle-fest that is Land of the Dead, it’s still a good film. I think I ended up enjoying it most for its cinematography. The opening is pure Romero, and the movie features some strikingly beautiful scenes. I was particularly impressed by a zombie slaying amidst autumn leaves by a girl in a long white dress.
Unfortunately, the film also comes across in several scenes as Romero mimicking Romero – a little cheesy, for lack of a better term, and not in a good way. Romero is still a clear, compelling, and articulate writer, though, so I can’t help but assume that these moments must have been at least somewhat deliberate.
I am watching way too much of this stuff. Apparently the plot of this film is meant to take place at the same time as the original Night, and I managed to identify the sound clips re-used from NoTLD at first hear. Sad. But also awesome.
Because the film is pre-Day, the zombies aren’t as “evolved.” They lacked personality and ambition. At least we had Samuel, Deaf Amish Scythe Superstar, to save the day.