WOW, where to start? How about my rating for the 2006 film “Zombie Diaries” … Frankly, I’ve flip-flopped. Originally I gave it a yellow puss — very pale yellow puss. When I started watching the 2011 sequel I dropped it to a red blood. And then I saw more of the sequel and boosted the original flick back to yellow. Yep, that’s right, the first film is better than the second in this humble bagpiper’s opinion!
The back of the DVD case cites The Dark Side (whatever that is) as having said that this is “The best zombie film ever.”* If that’s the case, I’m giving up on zombie films. Fortunately, the are patently wrong in this regard.
(*I tried to find the specific article on their site without luck… did they change their mind, delete their review, and disassociate themselves with this film entirely?)
THE GOOD NEWS
This film could serve as insights to people’s different experiences before Jim wakes up in 28 Days Later — although this isn’t possible according to Wikipedia since “The second chapter, “The Scavengers”, takes place one month later.“, and the third chapter presumably takes place later still.
THE BAD NEWS
Imagine if you will Blair Witch Project (otherwise known as the worst bad film ever) but with the actual presence of a horror threat — in this case smatterings of amateur-actor zombies. Instead of a couple of Blair Witch guys screaming at nothing and pissing themselves like millennials, you get the audiobook version of World War Z giving insights to various people and their experiences as things fell apart due to the outbreak or mass presence of zombies. All of this is done in a you-are-there found-footage hand-held-documentary filming format … which I often find annoying because the filming is overly jerky and the audio is incredibly noisy with hyper yelling. In this case this looks like a an amateur film with decent execution
The film doesn’t begin to get interesting until 14 minutes in. It possibly starts to interconnect around 37 minutes. Perhaps one of the best things about it is that it gets an interesting look around 39 minutes when the visual switches to night vision.
Otherwise, what do you have in this film? Bickering Brits, who, if not for zombies taking over the world, would be complaining about Americans and claiming that they’re SO much better and nothing like us …. except for the bickering, complaining, and conceitedness, all-in-all failing to acknowledge that everywhere you go people are just people. Yep, everyone sucks just as much as everyone else everywhere else, including English people and even Canadians … but especially people in France. In truth, between the rigors of long term survival along with death and fighting off zombies, the stress level in such a situation would be pretty high so bickering seems realistic. The other thing that’s bogus — and common in movies — is that the characters are complaining about not having enough guns in a country where guns are highly restricted, and yet they’re instantly pretty damn good shots for people who are unaccustomed to firearms.
THE YOU-ARE-THERE PROBLEM
One of the things I keep thinking over and over which applies to this film and any you-are-there hand-held film — and I’m sure I’m not the first to ask this — why would anyone film all of this stuff?!? Everyone one of these types of films need to justify this, few if any of them do. Similarly, particularly a story that takes place a number of months, a year, more than one year, whatever — why are these folks bothering to still record, especially when they must be running out of film or disc storage space, how are they continuing to power their devices, eventually why would they bother? While the hand-held you-are-there style film making has a certain feel and effect, to a degree it is also cheaper to make, which may also be a motivator behind writing/creating a story in this fashion. Mostly, I just don’t think it works all that well or at least to say as often as these films come out.
Hopefully the 2011 sequel — World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries — is better. But then you got to wonder about a crummy film that gets the juice behind it to make a sequel … Did other audience members think it was good enough to support a second film? Are the film makers deluded or trying to fix their errors from the first film? Did I leave the stove on? Is the redhead at work flirting with me or does she flirt with everyone? Instead of using gel I wonder if I could use wood glue in my hair and then only have to style it once a week?
- The Official Zombie Diaries Website
- The Zombie Diaries on IMDb
- The Zombie Diaries at Wikipedia
- The Zombie Diaries at Rotten Tomatoes
A List Of Words Not To Believe Relative To This Film