In 2006 the U.K film The Zombie Diaries was released on the world, premiering at London FrightFest Film Festival but sadly not really creating much of an impact. The reason for its unimpressive eruption was that by all intents and purposes the audiences had seen and heard all the ideas it had before – only better.
Not only was it a zombie movie – and Buddha knows how many of those have been released since Romero reinvented the walking dead – but it was also a horror movie made on a low budget on digital video as a first person documentary style diary, witnessing the horror of the fall of man and the rise of the undead, released 7 years after Blair Witch.
Now we can all see that as a concept it sounded like a great idea for a British zombie movie however the execution was less than successful. What was planned to be a revolutionary horror breaking the boundaries of cinema while simultaneously scaring the bejesus out of us all ended up looking like a cheap amateurish straight to DVD movie with actors improvising around a non existent story and no scares at all.
So fast forward to 2011 and The World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries (or The Zombie Diaries 2) is here. Will it be a new beginning for an interesting and imaginative storyline? Is it the perfect chance for the film makers to redeem themselves since the first one? Can it be the fresh start to reinvent the docu-style genre of horror cinema? Nope it’s just the same old story, this time with less imagination, less frights and a cast of worse actors.
The story is set 3 months after the outbreak of a virus which blah blah zombies blah blah end of humanity blah blah you all know the drill. Following a gang of stereotypical soldiers one of which just happens to have the urge to document everything that is going on with his handy everlasting battery powered camera, the groups attempts to escape England to find a safe haven somewhere in Europe.
As in the first film there are zombies everywhere and to make matters worse the only other humans still alive are nasty, evil, sex crazed bandits who love to rape and mutilate zombies while hunting out human survivors – who they also love to rape and mutilate.
The World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries is made by the same duo as the first dreadful film meaning there is even less of an excuse why this sequel does not improve on the original. Written by Kevin Gates who also directs along with Michael Bartlett the only difference is this film follows one set of idiots escaping from zombies rather than three separate stories of idiots escaping from zombies.
There is some okay gore but the movie is let down by the cast who can barely walk around convincingly and the plot which has been seen in a zillion other zombie movies.
Filmed badly both deliberately and accidentally with the green night vision making it look like an episode of Most Haunted, the directors desperately try to create tension but the ever increasing ridiculousness of a solider who would rather film the zombies than shoot at them is distracting and preposterous. This leads to the audience not caring about the characters.
The scenes of rape and torture on zombies and the female members of the cast (especially one scene involving a mentally disabled bandit being bullied into joining in) are offensive and gratuitously pointless, and the films overall degrading treatment of women as victims including the main female solider is troubling. However the film is so bad it is not worth worrying about anyone seeing it, or being effected by it.
The fact that since the first Zombie Diaries first person found footage and fake documentary horrors such as REC, REC 2, Paranormal Activity, The Last Exorcism, Romero’s own Diary of the Dead and the upcoming brilliant Australian ghost story Lake Mungo (look out for our review soon!) have all come out and delivered all the things both The Zombie Diaries films failed to do is proof that Gates and Bartlett need to try something new or give up film making entirely.
Oh hold on lets see what there next project’s called?
The Paranormal Diaries.