Friday, March 17, 2017

Video Killed the Zombie Star, or Thoughts on George A. Romero’s Diary of The Dead

Featuring one of the greatest zombie kills since the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) helicopter scene, the CPR zombie brain fry until the eyeballs explode is a highlight in George A. Romero’s Diary of The Dead (2007).  There’s an unfortunate reliance on digital makeup effects but it was a new and cheap technology at the time and dude, it’s George A. Romero, he gets a lifetime pass for single handedly inventing the modern cinematic zombie genre.
Diary of the Dead was released on the cusp of social media, before Facebook was a thing and the same year that the first generation of the iPhone came out.  We were about to become a nation of videographers with a worldwide platform, but this movie follows a group of student filmmakers producing a horror movie about a mummy; a traditional, old school/supernatural zombie.  This movie within a movie framework gives legitimacy to the presence of a sound guy and a camera, but suffers from the same flaw of all of these first generation found footage movies; actors acting like filmmakers instead of regular people who would either put the camera down and help the person being attacked by a zombie, or put the camera down and run.
George A. Romero likes to focus on the beginning of zombie outbreak; there’s more of a story there, and survival in a post-zombie apocalyptic landscape can easily de-evolve into a zero sum game misery-fest.  This chapter pays special attention to the new media and how it actually just produces more disinformation and background noise.  It’s a reboot in the sense that it covers the same event that occurred in the 1968 original Night of The Living Dead, but now modernized with all that fancy newfangled digital technology.
There’s a cameo from the director as a police chief, and listen to the announcers on the radio and see if you can recognize Stephen King, Wes Craven, Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo Del Toro.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).