Friday, February 15, 2008


Diary of the Dead

As a cinematic pioneer, George A. Romero remains uniquely selective. For nearly 40 years, the father of the modern zombie movie contributed a humble quartet of undead squalor to the newly revived genre, applying anthropological focus to the collapse of civilization. In his latest entry, Diary of the Dead, the aging director returns to his starting point and sets the now-legendary story of a zombie outbreak in the present. The times have changed, but his unflinching portrait of humanity’s innately self-destructive tendencies hasn’t frayed a bit.

For his fifth outing, Romero chose to ditch the original timetable: The first four zombie films, beginning with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and culminating with Land of the Dead in 2005, adhered to a chronological progression. The world gradually adapted to its debilitating plague, and so did the infected. In Diary, Romero pits the zombie epidemic against the digital quirks of the new millennium (the survivors download a news report of the outbreak off the web), which completely shatters the real-time logic of the earlier entries. In doing so, however, he makes a valiant attempt to resurrect their original impact.

Read the rest of the review in New York Press...

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