|Diary of the Dead [Blu-ray]
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From legendary frightmaster George A. Romero comes "one of the most daring, hypnotic and absolutely vital horror films of the past decade" (fangoria.com). Romero continues his influential "Dead" series, this time focusing on a terrified group of college film students who record the pandemic rise of flesh-eating zombies while struggling for their own survival. Intensely gruesome and relentlessly grisly - fueled by the director's signature realistic special effects - Diary of the Dead is must-see horror that "is Romero at his finest" (bloody-disgusting.com).
George Romero has always come up with new ways of treating his zombies, and Diary of the Dead is no exception: Romero keeps his dead fresh, with an original approach to the undying subject. This one purports to be the video record of a group of young people who are shooting a low-budget horror movie when the terror strikes: corpses begin re-animating, intent on chewing the living. Our heroes trek across Pennsylvania, encountering the staggering zombies as they go. Other pieces of video are incorporated, which gives Romero a chance at some great set-pieces, including the brilliant opening sequence, a live local-TV feed that goes horribly, horribly wrong, and a home-video tape from a family birthday party, where the party clown turns out to be a dead ringer. All of Romero's Dead films are political, and this one's no exception, with a stark view of the way things are today; it doesn't offer the Hawksian heroics of the survivors in Dawn of the Dead or Land of the Dead for comfort, just a group of bickering, shocked youths. There's too much talk about the detachment of watching things through a lens, but in general this is a bracing, intelligent movie. Plus, there's some excellent splatter. --Robert Horton
- One of the Best Zombie Films Ever Made
I can't believe the "negative" reviews I'm reading here. These people liked "Dawn of the Dead" but abhors this? Did I watch the same movie?
First, enough with the comparison with "Cloverfield" and "Blair Witch Project." Whoever even tries to make a connection/comparison obviously did not get this movie. Both "Cloverfield" and "Blair Witch" ARE pretentious garbage whose only purpose is to scare its audience. AND FAILS, by the way.
Romero's zombie films--on the other hand--are "social commentary" first, then "scare-the-hell-out-of-everyone" second. "Diary of the Dead" is basically "Dawn of the Dead" in a modernized re-telling. The origin of the "zombies" was never really explained because it did not matter; the focus of the film is HOW the society has abruptly decayed.
Romero did use hand-held cameras but it was nicely done. "Cloverfield" and "BWP" had the same attempt but it was pitifully executed: it was done for the sake of inducing seizures.
As far as character development...or the absence thereof as some reviewers noted here. Well, guys, given the manner of screenplay, how would you have a complex character development that has a timeframe of less than 72 hours? What, you needed flashbacks? I wouldn't say there is ZERO character development...but I can't explain it without ruining it for the rest who hasn't seen it. I would say something though: you wouldn't notice the romantic tension between Tony and Debra unless you really pay attention.
I do agree that the effects are poorly done, though. It could have been better, but perhaps it's going to cost more money.
"Are we worth saving?" pretty much sums it up. Is it preachy? No, it is not. I mean, jeez...it's a ZOMBIE FILM for crying out loud. Romero DID want the audience to learn something from it and not just scare them...why is he labeled "preachy" all of a sudden?
And as far as the inevitable comparison with the brilliant "28 Days Later" (not the stupidfest that is "28 Weeks Later"). Well, to me, the ending of "Diary" made much more sense compared to the "fairy tale" ending of "28."
- worse of all ROMERO movies.
This movie was horrible,hardly no gore, i advice not to waste your money on this movie....more info
- Good Entertainment
This is a college documentary made while kids are running from zombies. Don't gag as it is NOTHING as awful as that Blair Witch much overrated snot nose running disaster. This movie was actually pretty good and I enjoyed it. I am giving this movie a a 5 because after watching 2 very bad movies "They came back" and "Hell's Ground", this movie deserved a standing ovation. ...more info
- Better than Land of The Dead
I thought 'Diary' was better than 'Land Of The Dead'.
Putting aside the films shortcomings it was a fun quick 90 minutes.
I am glad the entire movie wasn't done like 'Blair Witch'.
But what became of Texas after she took off in the RV at the end? ...more info
- An awful attempt that could've been good
Simply put--this starts out terribly and continues to spiral downward. You have college students making an amateur film that's, get this, a horror film. Strike one right there. Romero could've made this believable like Cloverfield did--make them doing something else, something normal, like simply filming a retreat on a camcorder. Plus, when the dead start to come to life, the band of students don't even act scared. The only normal response was by one girl who attempts suicide...and hey, what do you know, she comes back as a zombie. They go to a hospital, and no one's there. So what do they do? They scream "Hello?" Slap a big label on these losers that says, "Zombie dinner". I dunnno--normal people would be freaking out really bad if this was happening. But these kids stand around and say, quite calmly, "What do you want to do?" I'm givning it two stars because the first ten minutes are pretty intense. But that's all you get. It's a struggle to get through....more info
- Stupid, bad, dumb nauseating plot.
I paid about $7 for this movie used at Blockbuster. I traded it to a guy at the flea market as fast as I could after watching it. This movie is as mindless as the zombies in it. We all know that a good zombie movie can be so thrilling and scary. The best of the movies created a cult following and turned it all into a zombie genre. A movie like this could end up halting production of other zombie movies. I hope I never see another movie with someone carrying around a camera documenting action. These movies do nothing for me at all. ...more info
- Watch out -- there's a meandering, disorientated zombie about!
I've never been a fan of the Living Dead franchise, mainly because I've always found the shuffling, lurching zombies too farcical for my tastes. This is the first of the series that I've watched all the way through, and I was pleasantly surprised. The film within a film approach is more effective, and less annoying, here than in some other examples as Romero doesn't allow the camerawork to become too shaky, disjointed, and ultimately irritating. However, the voiceover jars in places and I think more use of captions would have been a better option. The dialogue is also very ripe at times. But there are some nice ironic touches and some very funny moments. Romero's attitude towards the media and the blogosphere is suitably ambivalent although the moralising is occasionally heavy-handed. And I mustn't forget the gore, which is both well produced and marvellously over the top in places. All in all this is good fun if you like a slickly-made, intelligent gorefest....more info
- I wanted to like it, but...
Normally, I love Romero's zombie films. I also thoroughly appreciate the biting social and political commentary that is present in his films. With that being said, however, I really dislike this movie. The special effects were good and there was some cool gore. However, the storyline itself made absolutely no sense and there were too many movie gimmicks for it to really grab me or ever feel real.
For example, I am an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh, which is where the movie starts as our student filmmakers are shooting their horror flick. In all the years I spent there, I have yet to meet a student who had an RV. Another example would be the whole sequence in Philly. They get to the rich guy's house after something like three days and no one stops to ask him why he's still wearing the mummy costume? If things are so great, why hasn't he showered or changed clothes? It's the first thing that another one of the charcters wanted to do. Moreover, after they find the zombie swimmers and realize that the rich guy has been bitten, they don't think to warn their cleanliness-minded friend? Stupid moves by people in horror films are too much of a cliche to be worthy of a Romero film.
Social commentary is all well and good, but first foremost a movie needs to have a cohesive plot. Quality acting would also be nice, which was sorely missing in this movie as well....more info
- George Romero Is A Victim Of His Own Success...
Ever since the creation of the protoypical and legendary zombie film "Night of the Living Dead", and the other Romero outings that followed, fans of the genre have cemented in their minds a very specific idea of what makes a good zombie movie.
While most agree that George is the king of this genre, within that universe, there is much dissent as to what makes one of them better than the other. Some love Dawn more that Night. Some consider Night the undisputed champ and will consider no other opinion. Some even like Day of the Dead as much as the others.
My point is that the bar for Romero films has been set so ridiculously high by rabid fans, (all with their own very specific ideas of what the ideal zombie film is), that nothing George produces will ever satisfy his entire fan base. Such is the life of an acknowledged and prolific genius. Those who love his work think their first experience with one of his films is the definitive one. That's why there are unanimous lovers of Romero's work and such diverging opinion of what work is best.
That brings me to Diary of the Dead. I thought that the story was very compelling. I genuinely cared about the characters, (the first order of business in any good horror film). It was also acted very well by actors I did not immediately recognize. I was impressed. The effects were great. George even pokes fun at his own penchant for "subtext" in the film. And there is subtext in Diary. Very relevant to our times in taking on the media machine of today as well as our rather disgusting love affair with the digital age. It's not too heavy handed and that's important. There is balance there because afterall we want to see some zombie action right? There's plenty to be had and it's a fun ride with a modern spin. For my money George Romero did a great job....more info
- COME ON!!!!
Given that Mr. Romero has made four previous films based on the zombie apocalypse, it is puzzling that he decides to go the route of a plodding cast with no chance of being remembered. The strength of previous actors prevented the other movies from falling into outright farcical material; the actors were flawed yet endearing. This film has the viewer hoping that the actors will die in hopes that a better movie is in the making.
Recent zombie fanfare has taken the satire out of the genre, therefore an underlying diluting of the concept. It is my hope that better research can be done to prevent Japanese people from giving advice on killing zombies: Japan has a no gun policy, so shooting is out of the question. Oh. my goodness, this should be forgotten....more info
Thee greatest film I've ever seen.Wow where do I start.Has to to be one of thee greatest film Romero has ever made.Don't let these other chumps think it is not a great film.BUY! BUY! BUY!...more info
- The Weakest of the Romero Zombie Flicks
This is not a terrible film, but i will admit it is by far the weakest of the Romero Zombie movies. It's problems are (unfortunately) numerous:
1. The acting for the most part is HORRIBLE. We are talking sub-porno movie level here. Only occasionally does a character actually act like a normal person, the rest of the time they behave like a bunch of college kids that are trying to act.
2. The character development is bad. Character development is usually a big part of Romero's zombie flicks. You actually care about the characters and what happens to them, and you begin to understand them on a certain level. not in this movie. You dont learn much about the characters and you dont care if they live or die. Well, that's not entirely true. Towards the end of the movie I was hoping they would all be horribly killed, but i dont think that is the effect Romero was going for.
3. No sountrack to speak of. There are short bursts of music occasionally, but not NEARLY enough. Most of the time it is silent and all you hear are the forced and crappy dialog from the characters. Not good. Also, the lack of a definable soundtrack takes away much of the impact from the zombie attacks.
4. It is too preachy. There is an underlying moral message in the movie, which is good, but the characters pound it into your head by saying the same points over and over and over again. There is not a trace of subtlety, which is surprising, because that has always been a Romero strong point.
5. There is no story to speak of. Zombies attack a film crew so the film crew runs, and the story just follows them as they drive through the countryside. That's it. No revelations, no plot twists, nothing. Just following these dorks around.
Here are things I DID like:
1. It is Romero, which means that even if it isnt that great, it will still be better than 99% of the zombie flicks out there.
2. I am not a fan of the first-person camera style, but it is used well here, and doesn't get all shaky constantly like it is b eing held by Michael J. Fox. The use of surveillance video and news broadcasts was a cool touch too.
3. The zombie deaths are imaginative and look good. No one can kill a zombie like Romero.
4. Despite being shot independantly with a small budget, the film looks very good and does not have that "cheap" look a lot of indy films have.
5. The special features are cool, especially the commentary track by Romero himself. ...more info
- Diary of the Dead - Blu-ray Info
Version: U.S.A / Region A, B(?), C(?)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
VC-1 BD-50 / Advanced Profile 3
Running time: 1:35:23
Movie size: 27,29 GB
Disc size: 34,69 GB
Average video bit rate: 30.52 Mbps
Number of chapters: 24
Subtitles: English SDH / Spanish
Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2841 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 24-bit / 2841kbps (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 640kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48kHz / 448kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48kHz / 192kbps
#Commentary by Writer/Director, Director of Photography and Editor
#Documentary: For the Record: The Making of - in 5 parts (78 minutes)
--The Roots: The inspiration for the film (2:06)
--The First Week: A visit to the set (4:23)
--Familiar Voices: Cameo outtakes (5:14)
--Character Confessionals (19:47)...more info
- Excellent Zombie Movie
I was planning on seeing this movie in the theaters but I never had the chance to catch it. I have been a fan of Zombie films since I could ever remember. I just bought this movie and wow....its amazing. The movie itself is very good and I like the first person feel of the movie. The acting is actually very well and you never feel as if the actors are over acting. The special features on the dvd are also pretty good. They have a lot of mini documentries on there and they are fairly entertaining. The only downside that I could see is that the ending just leaves it open. It's kinda like how the remake of Dawn Of The Dead was. I hope that they continue this story soon and I will be sure not to miss this one again....more info
- for a Romero fan this is a big disappointment
i am such a fan of George a Romero it hurts me so to say it but this is not a good movie night dawn day even land are far better movies then this i love dawn of the dead its not only my favorite Romero film not only my favorite zombie flick but my favorite movie and this seems like a amateur trying to do what he did then for this day and age his understanding of "the net" only shows his age he is in his 70s and it shows but its not all on him (most but not all) the acting is horrible the teacher who has the wost accent the kid behind the camera is just bad the girl narrating gets on my nerves its really bad even the subtext is horribly done he beat you over the head with it some one could have come on and said "the media is bad we are the media we are bad" and got the same effect which is so surprising because he was so good in his other films i could go on for days but to make it short i can't recommend this for any one
now i gotta go watch dawn to get the bad taste out of my mouth ...more info
- Worth a look
I'm too much of a Romero zombie fan to give an objective review so I'll just give my impressions.
Despite giving this 4 stars this is a movie that people seem to love or hate so you should try before you buy. If you think that the best romero zombie movie is the first then I think you'll enjoy this. If you think the second one is the best then you I'm not so sure.
This movie seems to follow the Night of the Living Dead and Day of the Dead mold where there's more character development but not as much action as in Dawn and Land of the Dead. This is a plus in my eyes considering that most of the recent zombie movies seem to follow the Dawn of the Dead mold as seen in the remake and in the 28 series. If you have different taste however you'll probably be left wanting for more.
The special effects where very good and work despite the fact that Romero starts goofing around in some scenes as usual. Thankfully he decided to not do something as ridiculous as the elastic zombie in Land of the Dead.
The one big negative I see is that the movie looks too clean for its own good. Had this movie been made earlier with old school grainy film I could bet that it would get a cult following from people who think the original NOTLD is the best movie in the series. Unfortunately the crisp visuals can make follwing the movie distracting and some people just won't be able to relax and let themselves be entertained....more info
- Good Idea, Horribly Executed
My wife and I own all of George Romero's "Of the Dead" movies, including Day of the Dead. However, Day of the Dead is no longer the weakest link in the "Of the Dead" franchise. Not even close. We were considering purchasing "Diary" without watching it first, thinking, "It's George Romero. How can we go wrong?" Suffice to say, we are glad we didn't purchase that DVD.
The idea is simple: college students filming a horror movie get thrown into a real one. However, whatever merit the original idea had gets sidelined by the absolute horror of the script, the screenplay, and the acting.
To follow are spoilers:
Let's get this out of the way first: you can't edit your video during the zombie apocalypse. And you don't edit music into a movie in which your significant other dies. Part of the beauty of other first-person movies like The Blair Witch and Cloverfield was their complete lack of music or editing... well, not quite complete in both cases, but neither had music or, God help us all, voiceover. The voiceover by the female lead was monotone, it was trite, and it was quite bad. Any movie that relies on voiceover to accomplish its aims, whether it be a moral message or simply a scare, will fall to its knees(the best example of this was Lynch's Dune).
With this said, you'd think that at least the script or the acting would make up for it.... but it doesn't. The actors say exactly what they are thinking whenever they think it. The script is full of meaningless, cringeworthy lines. Whoever wrote this movie needs to learn the value of silence in a horror movie. Filling the silence is not always a good thing.
All this would be redeemed, as in Day of the Dead, if the movie had some serious gore! However, it doesn't. There is an incident with a farmer, but that is about it. The zombie on the gurney spilling its guts out is done once again, after being done in Day of. It seems as if they ran out of on hand cash for special effects, however that's another issue - what's with the CGI gore? The acid on the head CGI was absolutely atrocious, and completely unbelievable. Most of the gore was computer generated, and it showed. Advice to the producers: stick with the makeup artists. They served you well.
Basically, this movie had some promise in an abstract sense, but failed to deliver. It had no subtlety, no gore, and no acting. The narration, music, and fortuitous editing sealed the coffin, but this one ain't waking up any time soon.
We will never again watch this movie, unlike the rest of the Of The Dead franchise which have an honored position on our DVD stand....more info
- What happened to the director of "Dawn of the Dead" ?
Bad acting . Want to see a good zombie movie ? Dawn of the Dead remains the best of all. Avoid it !!!...more info
- Not THAT bad!
Im a huge fan of the whole Romero-Zombie-Stuff.
Diary of the Dead is a nice spin-off, but cannot mess with the classics or the remake of Dawn of the Dead. Just enjoy another, mostly frightening zombie-movie. I like it :-)...more info
- They're dead and we're all messed up
Everyone seems to be leaning toward the "it was okay" review. However, this is a masterpiece. I love the social commentary that Romero is pounding into everyone's head. It's great and it is VERY much needed in a day and age where everyone does nothing but film mayhem and never does anything to help someone who is in dire straits. I am guessing people are afraid of this film because it truly shows how much of a society of dumb-dumbs we are. Cell phone users are included.
This in my opinion is Romero's best film since 1985's "Day Of The Dead".
Much much much better than "Land Of The Dead". Looking at the simplicity of a mansion that has a built in panic room...only to be that the mansion itself is a panic room. And that we see things on tv and try and say that it is "really not happening" when in fact it is.
Look to interviews with Tom Savini and his stint as a combat photographer in Vietnam and how he said that him looking at the carnage through the lense was a seperation from what was very much in fact happening around him.
I love this film and will stand by my statement. If people still wanna try and compare this to the original "Dawn Of The Dead", then you are cheating yourselves and this film becuase NOTHING will ever measure up to it's standards.
Oh, and I hate reality tv and this too makes fun of that garbage....more info
- George A. Romero Kinda Went Downhill For Me!!!
I love George A. Romero's Zombie flicks! My favorites are Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Land of the Dead! Day of the Dead and now Diary of the Dead are my least favorite. I don't hate them, they are just kinda weak. I was really pumped to see this movie because it was a new beginning to Romero's Zombie series. I was expecting to see people being ripped apart by zombies, but that didn't happen. I do love the opening scene, with the immigrant family coming back and eating people. I love the background in the opening too, that orange kind of sunset is really awesome! Jason Creed wants to make a mummy movie for his college class, then his friends hear about the zombie epidemic. They all get in a Winnebago and look for help. The whole movie takes place on a handheld camera. There are some cool zombie gore scenes. Some parts are kinda boring. If you love zombies and George A. Romero, you might like GEORGE A. ROMERO'S DIARY OF THE DEAD!!!
p.s. I can't wait for Diary of the Dead 2!...more info
- unexciting with garbage characters
First off, I didn't care about the characters. At all. I couldn't relate to them, I didn't want to hear them talk, I wanted them all to die. And from there, we get what George Romero must have thought would be cute: a homevideo style chronicle of the start of a zombie outbreak. It was sort of interesting to watch at points, seeing the background reaction of the media and everybody posting to youtube and all that. But it ended at sor t of and never grew. It didn't provide anything new, and I mean if George Romero is going to plaster his name right there in the title he better back himself up with something that will make me think some more about the genre. Even a little. I didn't. It's all stuff that I've either seen on tiny low budget movies, read in novels or short stories, or hell even just read on a typo filled message board. It was so flat and uninspired.
I did have some hopes for this film, but they were all dashed. It just annoyed me more than anything else.
- Romero Looks At Today's Cyber-World & Puts His Zombies Right In The Middle...
When it comes to the genre/films of Zombies and the Undead, especially the works of it's biggest creator George A. Romero, I am one of it's biggest fans. It takes alot for me to dislike the barrage of films we've received since it's official conception over 40 years ago with Night Of The Living Dead. But after four films by Romero himself, one being the somewhat disappointing & commercial Land Of The Dead, does a now 66 year old George still have what it takes to scare us with these creatures? With his latest chapter Diary Of The Dead, he still proves he can be relevant while bringing us some old time scares at the same time.
Diary basically is a reboot of his franchise bringing it back to the first outbreak of the dead rising from their graves. But this time their coming back in the digital age, where now any Joe Schmo could video record the events and post them on a variety of websites for the whole world to see rather than just the local news. The film concentrates on a group of Pittsburgh film students shooting a Mummy monster movie when the initial outbreak begins, and in their Winnebago they try to travel back to their homes and safety. All along the way, they turn their movie into a documentary trying to capture, obsessively mind you, the events of Horror and Death they encounter every time, using the logic of "If the camera doesn't see it, it really didn't happen".
Unlike other films in Romero's Dead library, this one is in an "edited after the fact" documentary style, but unlike last year's Cloverfield, instead of a small handheld camera bought at any electronic store, the main camera used is the type you'd notice carried by your local news team, so the picture it produces wouldn't be as shaky and uncontrolled. And much like The Blair Witch Project, what you see has already been edited, so it's more like a movie made from raw footage instead of just plopping in the original tape in a player and pressing play. For the film it works quite well, but unfortunately it leaves open other problems of logic along the way.
On the negative side, the unknown actors used here act about as stiff as the Zombies they're recording. Even though this is supposed to be really happening, at times they just don't seem believable in their emotions & reactions. Another is the fact that at times the girlfriend of the group narrates the documentary but mostly comes across like she's the little sister of Sarah Connor, flat and unaffected. Also, if a Zombie was coming after you I personally would be too afraid to just keep rolling and hope someone else comes to save me instead of putting the damn thing down and running like Hell. But again, these kids are from the "You Tube" generation, where hobby becomes life itself, and that should be taken into consideration when watching this film.
On the plus side however, there are deaths here that I can assure you that you haven't seen before, the acting does either get better (or you just get used to it), the overall vibe of the film takes on a '85 Day Of The Dead-like quality, and unlike Land Of The Dead never seems too commercialized or sterile. I'm giving this movie a low 8.0, and that's in part to the disc's great extras including commentary, behind-the-scenes, and some great home movies shot by fans for some contest ran before the movie premiered. I would say if you own at least four Zombie movies in your collection, Diary should be in there as well. It is a very good representative of the Digital Age & Social Commentary we now live in and how today's youth would handle it. It's not a Romero Masterpiece like others have claimed, but after four films George could have done alot worse.
(RedSabbath Rating:8.0/10)...more info
- If you like George Romero this is a must-own.
George Romero's name goes a long way with undead/zombie fans.
This movie is not part of the other films, but it is a step out of time, but it still has biting social commentary (pardon the pun.) The acting is not great, but it's a fun story, if your style of fun is watching zombies killing everybody they can....more info
- ROMERO GETS BACK TO BASICS
George Romero's four previous zombie films have all followed a natural progression. The Zombie outbreak started in Night of the Living Dead and by the time we reached Land of the Dead the zombies had become the dominant species. However, Romero takes the series back to its roots with Diary of the Dead in more ways than one. Consider this a reboot or a re-take on the start of the zombie outbreak. We are back in Pennsylvania just as the first few reports of the dead returning to life are being broadcast on local news stations. A group of University of Pittsburgh students, working on their own horror film for a class project, pile into a motor home to try and get home. Jason (Joshua Close), the director of their film, decides to start recording the entire event on his camera.
The group has their first encounter with a zombie along the highway as a burned up state trooper tries to stop their RV. The full realization of what is happening finally hits them as they take an injured friend to a hospital only to find it empty...except for a few undead doctors and nurses. Even as the carnage unfolds, Jason continues to film, uploading his footage onto the Internet even as his girlfriend Debra chastises him for his insensitivity. Immediately you're thinking Night of the Living Dead meets Cloverfield because of the handheld camera. The camera work in Diary is certainly less jerky than in Cloverfield and much of the time you'll barely notice it.
Diary is the closest zombie film yet in terms of scope to Night of the Living Dead. It's a small cast working within the confines of a handful of sets and locations. There are fewer zombies than in any previous Romero zombie film since "Night". This is all by design. Romero wanted to return to a smaller, independent feature. His intent was to make the film for under a million dollars. This was a very personal film for George, one that he could do entirely his way without having to please studio bosses. Romero talks quite candidly about this during the making of documentary. While he certainly enjoyed working with the bigger budget he had with Land of the Dead, you get the feeling that he's more comfortable with a smaller film.
The cast is largely unknown but not inexperienced. Most of the actors have at least a couple of dozen credits in both film and TV. No one stands out but no one hams it up either. What the film lacks, however, is any real tension. The difference with Diary and the rest of the series is that our survivors are mobile, and are not trapped within a farmhouse, shopping mall, underground bunker, or a walled city. The one time they are pinned down within an old barn they are able to make a quick getaway.
Diary is also less bloody than Romero's previous films, in part because of the camera work. Since the whole thing is supposed to take place through the lens of Jason's camera, some of the zombie feeding activity must be imagined. There are some notable special effects, such as the zombie who gets a jar of acid busted over his head and his skull slowly is dissolved down to the brain. Still, you have to admire Romero. He could have made another big-budget zombie film but he told the story that he wanted to tell.
Pulling up the grade on the DVD is a nice set of extras. Romero, Director of Photography Adam Swica, and Editor Michael Doherty provide a lively audio commentary. The best extra is the feature lengths (80+ minutes) making of documentary covering the cast, crew, special effects, make-up, and more.
Other extras include featurettes on the first week of filming, character confessionals, and the inspiration for the film. Romero recruited some well-known horror personalities to do some of the voices you hear over the radio and TV in the film and these are covered in a featurette called "Familiar Voices".
Finally there are five short zombie films, winners of a Myspace contest that are quite entertaining and well-made.