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A spy has read Romero's DIARY!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Now I know I've been a negative nancy on George A. Romero's proposed DEAD flick, DIARY OF THE DEAD. You can read my debate with Harry about it here. I know kinda came off as a bit of a judgmental asshole, but I take my Romero DEAD films very seriously and while I was still trusting of Romero, I really hated the concept of filmmakers out in the woods videotaping zombies.

Still do, actually. And the recent reports of this film being made to go straight to video don't do much to bolster my confidence. However, I like a lot of what I read in the script review below, sent in by contributor "Boba Fat." I like that the film seems to quickly go from "We're making a movie" to a desperate attempt at survival. That avoids my worries of these kids going out and stalking zombies through the woods with the video camera, inserting them into the film, etc... In other words, it puts a little more reality back into the world. Anyway, before I go on too long, here's the review! You'll find out some details, but nothing too spoilery! Enjoy!!

Hi Quint

Hope you're well. I've had a short "Be Kind Rewind" report posted before but here's my first script review.

I managed to get my hands on the "Dairy of the Dead" script and my inner geek was doing back-flips, my outer geek tried to remain calm but screw him. Anyway, to be clear, I'm a big Romero fan but my faith had been shaken by Land Of The Dead. Then, after reading your and Harry's IM chat, my heart sank. It seemed a weak idea, cheap and beneath George. A.

So is it that bad? No it is not, in fact, half way through reading the script I started wishing that this had been the film he'd made instead of LOTD. To clear a few things up, The film takes place outside of the Night, Dawn, Day and Land chronology. We see the dead start to rise much like the Dawn remake. It's present day and there's no explanation. The students are shooting a Mummy film in the woods and it takes up about 3 scenes. When they pick up news reports on the radio they abandon the film and head home or back to their dorms. There's some nice jokes about slow or fast moving Mummy's during the filming scenes. One student, ambitious film-maker Jason Creed, keeps filming as a documentary much to the others disgust. The film then becomes a standard Zombie apocalypse story as the group, split and one faction make their way back to Jason's girlfriend's house.

The handheld camera style is really a stylistic device so it doesn't come over as cheap as it sounds. The action takes place on the road and in many locations and for some of the shocks, think of the night-vision first look at the troglodyte in "The Descent" i.e disorienting and unexpected, it adds to their effectiveness. All the traditional ways for a filmmaker to technically build suspense aren't available with this style so the zombies appear almost out of nowhere. With the glut of Zombie films we're faced with, this approach seems fresh and not as dated as I first feared.

There are parts of the story that seem odd, an, African, American, guerilla army pop up in the middle section and when Jason posts the footage onto his My Space page he gets a million hits in an hour. The Dead Walk and everyone turns to My Space for answers? There's also an alcoholic, English character that rivals Day of the Dead's drunken Irish man for cringe inducing dialogue but it's basically a Zombie road movie with the sort of imagery Land was missing. We get to see Amish zombies, golfer zombies, burnt zombie cops and a character keeping the rest of his undead family, in the deep end of the swimming pool, underwater, because he doesn't know what to do with them.

So, I'm a convert, in fact while were at it George why not get Savini out of retirement too?

If you use this call me Boba Fat

Sounds good, but I'm not too sure what I think about the whole "new universe" aspect, of it being modern day and existing completely out of Romero's other zombie movies. If Romero really digs this concept and wants to go forward with it, I don't know about you guys, but I'd love to see him set this on the same night as the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, with the young filmmakers using a 16mm or even Super 8mm camera to make their Mummy movie.

It sounds like it'd be an easy switch and I actually find the idea of making a parallel film to the original NIGHT pretty fascinating. At least more interesting than starting a modern day zombie film outside of the ones we all know and love (plus it eliminates all possibilities of a MySpace reference). What're your thoughts?

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