Zombie Diaries (2006)
A Bad Movie Studios Short Review
So I’ve decided that the month of October is going to be a feature for Bad Movie Studios. Yes much like my inspirations, the Nostalgia Critic and Cinemassacre (James Rolfe), I will be doing a theme for this month of reviews. And I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and claim October of 2013, Convention Crusher Month. That’s right, all October long I will be continuing to break tradition for myself and do things a bit differently than usual. So, to continue this new found idea, today I give you my review of Zombie Diaries. What will make this review convention breaking is that A. It will be short and B. I won’t be sticking to my usual formula of talking about things as I feel necessary. No instead I’m just gonna play it bare bones and give you as simple and effective a review as possible. This movie is an independent Horror film from Britain that was directed by Kevin Gates and Michael Bartlett. Some people might think that the idea of a movie having more than one director is weird but actually a lot of movies do it. For example, King Kong (1933) had 2 directors. And it’s also not uncommon for a film to have A and B unit directors, who handle different sequences to ease production.
Zombie Diaries is an interesting film although it’s kind of hard to place. It was all filmed with a hand held camera and shot using DV tapes, the same I used in film school. This gives the movie an obvious found footage feel to it. It has three chapters with branching, overlapping, and eventually connecting storylines and characters that surprisingly doesn’t feel to convoluted. The story if fairly solid and throws a few minor curve balls here and there as well. Also the introduction of new characters every so often keep things fresh and that’s a good thing. The story is also very character focused, much like the Walking Dead TV show, but this isn’t nearly as well put together. Not that Zombie Diaries has poor structure, it’s just not as good as The Walking Dead’s. It’s all about the different groups of survivors that all come from different backgrounds trying to make it in the zombie apocalypse. And you know what? I think that’s the weakest link in this film’s chain. The movie is solid. Not great but alright. It even manages to have some creepy moments and decent scares. But it’s just so unoriginal. This premise has been done about 1000 times in the Horror genre, and most zombie films usually take the “survivors in the apocalypse must survive” motif. I don’t want to give the wrong vibe here, I like this movie, it’s not a bad film and already I can tell you that it’s worth a watch if you’re a fan of the genre. But if you ARE a fan of the genre, you’ve just seen this movie before.
The found footage thing does change things up a little bit, giving us a little different perspective on things. It’s like some other found footage films like The Last Broadcast (1998) and The Blair Witch Project (1999). You get drawn in by watching what’s happening and since a lot of it is in first person, there’s a personal experience factor that goes along with the presentation as a whole. Still though, this film does very little in the way of innovation, as if you’ve seen those movies you’re in for nothing new. I don’t want to keep beating a dead horse, but like the movie I can’t help it (see what I did there?).
So I guess I recommend Zombie Diaries. The story is fine, the characters are all portrayed well (especially one particularly sick fellow), the zombies look decent and there are a handful of scares to be found. The problem is that with it’s sheer lack of bringing anything new to the table I can’t recommend it highly. The movie is as bare bones as this review.
Final Rating: 75. Good, but nothing special.
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