Have you ever had the experience where someone you know excitedly says “Hey, ya gotta see this film!“? Then once you watch it you’re left thinking “What the heck was that about?”, or worse “There is something SERIOUSLY WRONG with my friend!” Welcome to to World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2.
Immediately you can tell that this project has a higher budget and is visually more satisfying than the 2006 predecessor. Then you get into the story and you start to see the problems…
The first thing you notice — as with the original film — is that the DVD cover is once again horribly misleading. The cover art looks better than the film, and it represents something other than the content of the film.
The zombies feel very non-threatening — even less than in the original film. The make-up is insufficient, the scares nearly non-existent, and the zombies are often so stiff they would be played better by untrained department store mannequins. Add to that, when it comes to shooting the zombies I get the impression that the British film makers don’t have a clue as to what firearms sound like anymore (especially in the scene pictured). The firearm sound effects left me non-pulsed — perhaps they were just the on-location recording of the blanks the actors were firing.
The biggest downfall of the movie…
… aside from the emaciated plot and the you-are-there hand-held cinematography — are some of the specific content choices that film makers Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates included. Various gangs of survivors prove to be even more vile than the zombies. This is well summed up in a review by FlickeringMyth.com when they wrote…
“There are a couple of, frankly, unneeded rape scenes (one on a female zombie) that just felt like Bartlett and Gates wanted to do some kind of rape revenge film, but gave up and worked zombies into it”.
Frankly it left this bagpiper & humble amateur zombie-film reviewer astounded. I cannot recall feeling this disturbed by any zombie film I have previously seen. This content included a challenged young man bullied into delivering a beating upon one of the primary male characters, and then pushed into committing a graphic rape/murder on one of the female primaries. I have to wonder where the writer and his co-director think that this was appropriate, or fit within the film! I also have to wonder about the actors (or even the crew) assuming they saw the script before they agreed to do the film — why would they participate in bringing this film to fruition?
Is there any redemption for this film?
There are elements to this film that really work — the albeit over-used zombie-trope military element, the military and civilian survivors trying to escape from England, and the guys who ambiguously appear wearing protective suits and gas masks. However it seems as though Bartlett and Gates thought that their ideas were so great — so sound — that they didn’t think to check their script or finished film with a third party. And if they did, they didn’t listen to them say “There’s some good stuff here, but over all THIS IS A BAD IDEA.” Or maybe they just half-assed it and figured this would fill a feature. In the end, it is as The Daily Mail described the film, it’s an “88 minute waste of electricity.”, and I rate it Red Blood.
Seriously, I’m starting to think I ought to make a list titled “Zombie Films To Avoid Watching“. Do you think I would have this one on it? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!
A List Of Words Irrelevant To This Zombie Film
- Smash hit
- World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries – IMDb, Wikipedia, and RottenTomatoes
- The Daily Mail (UK newspaper)
- If you noticed one of the soldiers say in the beginning of this film that they’re in the “TA”, that stands for “Territorial Army” which is the UK equivalent of the Army Reserve.