Diary Of The Dead

Ok I admit it. I wasn’t that big into zombie movies for the longest time. I have seen a few but The Walking Dead has turned me into a zombie lover and I needed some zombie fix to carry me on during this gap until season 3 of that great series begins. So I got this movie – Diary Of The Dead released in 2007 as the 5th of George A. Romero’s zombie films. Shot in Canada and with a mostly Canadian cast, it’s not a sequel rather just a re-tweeking of the myth. The film follows a bunch of young film students who were making a horror movie at the time of the outbreak of the and who decided to document the zombies as they are attacked & chased by them.

The film stars Michelle Morgan (beautiful Michelle who I first saw in 2 episodes of Stargate Atlantis), Shawn Roberts, Joshua Close & Amy Lalonde. The movie starts off with footage of a tv news crew who are covering a story about an immigrant man killing his wife and son before committing suicide. As the bodies are being taken out to an ambulance, they begin to reanimate and they attack and kill a medic & the reporter before they are killed by the cops. This news was never reported by the camera secretly uploaded the clip to the internet. Most of the movie is narrated by Debra (Michelle Morgan). We see a group of film students making a horror movie in the woods near Pittsburgh when they hear reports of mass killings, rioting & suicide. The kids are shocked by the news of cannabilism and  they decide to leave the area and go to their homes.

Two of the students, Ridley and Francine, decide to leave the group, while project director Jason, who wants to film the events documentary-style, heads to the dormitory of his girlfriend Debra. Debra is unable to contact her parents and wants to go to Scranton to see them. They group travels in an RV and on the way and see an accident on the road and Mary, who is driving the RV, has to drive over a re-animated cop and 3 other zombies. As they stop on the side of the road, unable to bear the fact of killing people, Mary shoots herself but does not die. The rest take her to a hospital which they find deserted except for the dead who have turned into zombies and they are forced to kill them, including Mary who has also becomes one. One of the students, Gordo, is bitten by a zombie. After Gordo dies, his girlfriend Tracy begs the group not to shoot him immediately; she is ultimately forced to shoot him herself when he comes back as a zombie. The students leave and keep riding but when their RV is sidelined when the fuel line is broken.

They get assistance from a elderly deaf Amish man but are attacked by zombies and the man is killed. Tracy is able to fix the RV but they are stopped by an armed gang. Better armed and supplied,  the gang takes the students to their hideout where the group rest and edit their videos. Meanwhile the news is heavily censored and a cover up is running on the lines of keeping people in check and avoid widespread panic. The only true news comes from bloggers on the internet. Debra also receives a text from her younger brother, who verifies that he and their parents where camping in West Virginia and are now on their way home. With some supplies from the gang, the students hit the road again and at Debra’s house, they find her mother and brother reanimated and her father being consumed. Escaping from the house they head to Ridley’s mansion, which the find abandoned. However a bookcase opens up to a panic room and Ridley steps out.

He reveals that all his family & staff turned into zombies. The bodies were dumped into the large family pool where the zombies are reanimated but are underwater. Ridley soon turns into a zombie and hunts the rest; he  kills Eliot by electrocuting him in the bathtub, then attacks Tracy and Jason at the RV, before Jason distracts Ridley long enough for Tracy to knock him out. She then runs to the RV and drives away, angry at Jason for filming rather than helping. Jason doesn’t believe surviving in this world is worth it and decides to stay and continue shooting. Ridley returns and infects Jason. Maxwell kills Ridley, and Debra shoots Jason. Debra decides to continue the video. In the morning they awake to see zombies beginning to emerge their way to the mansion. The only remaining survivors, Maxwell, Tony & Debra lock themselves in the panic room and they watch the last thing that Jason had downloaded from the net – a shooting zombies of people they previously left tied to trees, leaving them to die and reanimate and using them as shooting targets.

Debra muses at the end of the movie if the human race is worth saving. With this introspective bit the movie ends. Good for all zombie fans. 7 outta 10!

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