Not too many people knew about Diary of the Dead, the latest film by the master of the undead, George Romero. In fact, there wasn't one ad, even in the newspaper that I saw and it is only playing in 1 theater from where I am at (not a major theater, but a small boutique one). Usually, when a film gets little to no fare, it's because the studio knows it will be a dud (Hottie and the Nottie), but they release it anyway. What a shame, because DOTD was a good movie. Not a great movie, but classic Romero. And if you are a Romero fan like me, you know what that means.
What is unique about DOTD is that it is shot from the viewpoint of the camera, a la Cloverfield and Blairwitch (this is a first for Romero). This adds a sense of realism and sets up "jump" moments where the movie can scare you from something rushing off camera onto the camera. The story goes like this: a group of students and a professor are making a zombie film in the woods when they hear reports of dead people coming back to life attacking the living. There is even footage of this on the tv. As a result, the group tries to get back to their respective homes and families/friends. They stop off at a dorm, hospital, woods, 2 houses, a farm etc only to encounter the walking dead. Jason is the die hard student that does the filming with the camera at each location and then when possible, uploads the feed to the internet for others to watch.
As with all Romero movies, there is intentional humor thrown in (the part with the Amish farmer was funny) and of course some inviduals(s) who do something stupid in the film which wrecks it for the rest of the survivors.
This movie was shot on a low budget. There were no extravagant sets to build, no shopping malls, no kind of street shots (where they would have to pay a city fees to shoot scenes). I take that back. There was a hospital scene, but that was the hallway and a room, which would be cheap to build. Everything was done pretty much outdoors and within houses. Plus, the actors are no-namers so no big salaries spent on that. Figure in, no advertising by the studio and so, whatever this movie makes, it will definitely make a profit.
What they did spend money on was the killing shots. Bullet to the head, pole through the head, even this cool scene of acid dissolving the head. Nice. Overall, there wasn't that much gore as compared to his other movies (no limbs coming off, no closeups of guts being eaten or necks being torn); Again, I think if he was given a bigger budget, these things would have been added. But as it stands, even though the gore is somewhat missing, it doesn't take away anything from the movie. But, from the perspective of a person who likes gore, this is why I gave the move a B-. The movie had all the elements to it. Just needed a bigger budget and more gore. But as it stands, it is a good movie. Would I recommend you watch it? If you are a Romero fan, pay the $7.50 - $10 and watch it if it is being shown in your city. If you aren't a Romero fan, then this is a DVD rental due to the fact that here isn't enough blood, gore and action in this DOTD film that we are used to seeing now in movies (But, this is classic Romero).