Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's Dead To Me Now

Something happened today that really gave this horror fan pause, something that stopped me, um, dead in my tracks. Apparently George Romero's latest chapter in his Dead saga (or his reboot to a new series or whatever), Diary of the Dead was released to DVD this week. As I strolled through the aisles of my local Circuit City, there it was in the horror section somewhere between Dementia 13 and Dreamcatcher. But what surprised me to see it was the fact that I was surprised to see it. This is a new Romero movie after all - a new Romero zombie movie at that - and yet its arrival came as news to me.

Oh sure, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that it was due on DVD soon. I've half-glimpsed the online ads for it that've appeared lately. But I never bothered to make a mental note of what date it was hitting stores. And that in itself is strange. A lot of movies fall through the cracks for me these days but I never thought I'd have such an indifferent reaction to a new Romero film. Not only was I surprised to see Diary of the Dead out in stores, but after seeing it was available I didn't even make a move to buy it.

Not just that, I didn't even make the minimal gesture of physically picking up a copy to look at the back sleeve to see the synopsis or special features! Seeing that this was out should've at least prompted a pick-it-up, walk-around-the-store-with-it, then maybe - grudgingly - put it back moment (with the intention to pick up a rental copy on the way home!). But yet I walked by Diary of the Dead like it was a box set of the Prom Night series.

Each Romero release used to be an event - as a kid I made it a mission to see films like Creepshow and Day of the Dead in theaters even though at the time I wasn't of age to see either. And even though the films he's made since haven't been his most exceptional work, I still looked forward to them - even Bruiser was a movie I rushed to watch on video. And as recently as Land of the Dead, I was hotly anticipating his latest film.

But Diary of the Dead is going to go unwatched by me and yet I couldn't even tell you why I can't bring myself to see it. The scathing reviews might have something to do with it but I wouldn't let that stop me from watching something I already had an interest in. Maybe it's just that I can't take any more zombies from the man. For me, as a fan, Land of the Dead closed that book to my satisfaction. Whatever the case, whatever is keeping me away from Diary of the Dead, all I know is that walking past Romero's latest without even a backwards glance made me sad.

Like something had died.


CampBloodCounselor said...

Jeff, You missed absolutely nothing from not viewing this horrible waste of a Romero movie. Dead Rising on the X-Box 360 is a better zombie movie than Diary of the Dead was. Thank God I did not purchase this waste of $$$. I rented it, since it was a Blockbuster exclusive only rental, took it home, burned a dvd copy on my pc, then returned it within 3 hours. It was miserable and the most unsatisfying dead movie out there at present. The credits from Day of the Dead were better viewing than this entire movie was. A 100% pure disappointment to all....The only thing dead is Romero's directing abilities anymore. He is like a great hall of famer than should have went out on top, the best, an all-star supreme. But, he had to keep going, and going, and each movie got worse and worse. Creepshow, Night, Dawn, & Day of the Dead are the masterpieces. Bruiser was not bad either. But it reminded me of a 2 hour episode of Tales from the Crypt.

Jeff Allard said...

Ouch! Thanks for the confirmation of my worst fears! Usually when I hear terrible word of mouth on a film, I still feel that I have to see it for myself just in case I break rank from popular opinion but I'd rather not take that chance here. I'm not counting Romero out completely - I hope he has the chance to make a few more films before he finally calls it a day - but Diary of the Dead just looks like a feeble effort. And as a fan, I'd rather spare myself the pain of seeing Romero trying - and in this case, failing - to stay relevant.