December 3, 2008 11:07 A.M.: Dear Diary. Today I had a very harrowing experience. I think this event has left me feeling rather shaken, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to forget the horrors I have just witnessed. It all started when I decided to watch the new direct to video horror film Zombie Diaries. I just couldn’t wait. As I picked up the box and read the interesting description, my heart just went pitter patter in my chest. The box promised the best zombie film since 28 Days Later, maybe even the best zombie movie ever. Well, I’ll tell you what, dear diary, that was something I just had to see. So, without hesitation, and maybe shaking somewhat in unbridled anticipation, I placed the disc into my player and watched restlessly through the start-up screens. When I was finally presented with the play option I nearly dropped the DVD remote, I was so eager to press play. It took some effort, but I was able to calm myself enough to work the small buttons of the remote. That FBI warning came on, and as I watched with baited breath, it happened.
December 3, 2008 2:05 P.M.: Dear Diary. I just couldn’t go on. Still, I think it best if I summon the courage to write about this life changing event while I still may have some strength. Last I told you, I was waiting for the film Zombie Diaries to begin. Before long I was dealing with so many emotions that I couldn’t sit still. I was….
December 3, 2008 4:40 P.M.: Dear Diary, I’m calmer now. Perhaps it is best I begin with the film’s story. I think I can finally consider the plot, no longer falling into fits off hysterical laughter. The film doesn’t really have a plot. Instead we are treated to the “found footage” concept that started with The Blair Witch Project and was seen most recently in Cloverfield. These “survivors” move about the infected area doing mostly useless things, leading to mostly useless gore effects. The film is generally broken down into three parts: The Outbreak, The Scavengers, The Survivors. Time jumps around a bit to match the jittery camera style. This stuff is no longer artistic; it just gives me a headache. Will someone pass on a memo to all independent (and major) filmmakers that this is no longer clever and new? The acting is as horrible as the camera work. You end up not caring for any of these characters, who, for the most part, are completely interchangeable. There’s nothing new here. I love a good, bad horror film. This film is just bad.
Zombie Diaries is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It’s almost a waste of time to review the video. The intent was to create an amateur looking film that could have been shot by anyone with cheap store bought equipment.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track has dialog and that’s pretty much it. In keeping with the artistic intent you won’t even hear all of the dialog. We’re intended to believe all of the audio came from a cheap condenser mic. I’m a believer.
There are 2 Audio Commentaries. The first features crew from the film and is not very entertaining. The second is a cast affair and is a bit more animated. Look at it as a welcome diversion from what you’re watching.
Deleted Scenes: They could have made this a little easier. Instead of putting all of the scenes in one menu you must take them from the 3 segments of the film I described above.
Until The Last Light Goes Out – The Making Of Zombie Diaries: Why is it that the absolute worst films give you the longest making of features? This one runs for an hour. It’s actually a little more entertaining than the film itself, which isn’t saying much. You get all of the cast and crew comments and plenty of gore creation footage.
I had awful high hopes for this film. Instead what I got was the awful, and I’m still left holding my hopes. This is one of those films where you find yourself shaking your head when it’s over, and most of the time before. I love indy films and have witnessed impressive diamonds in the rough over the years. If you paid for this film with real money, they get the diamond. You get the rough. Stay away or risk an hour and a half repeating: “What’s going on”.