I first saw Zombie Diaries about a year ago and wish I had written a bit about it at the time. It’s funny I find myself rather verbose when it comes to movies that I think are pretty bad and sort of quiet about movies that I really like. I think that’s mostly because when it comes a bad movie I’d like to save you the trouble of having to go and see it if it’s really that bad. Or maybe it’s just fun to bitch about bad cinema. But when the movie is really good and worth watching I’d rather only say a little bit about it and not give too much away. This is one of the better ones.
the image above is I believe, the DVD cover. Although it’s not as bad as some other DVD covers I’ve seen before where a number of photos have been sort of spliced together in Photoshop to make a single image it’s still not exactly one of my favorites. The two characters in the foreground are pointing guns at the oncoming wave of zombies. At first it gives us the feeling that they’re trying to fight them off in a desperate attempt to save London. But if you look at it even for a moment you realize that there are way too many zombies for those two rifles to take on and that one of the characters isn’t actually pointing the gun at the zombie that’s closest to him. In fact that zombie seems to be so close that the gun is practically resting on his shoulder. You’ll also notice that the woman on the left is not actually even using her gun as she seems to be holding the end of it in rather a funny way.
It’s not such a bad poster or DVD image but it is a bit misleading. It seems to have very little to do with the actual contents of the movie. All you can really tell is that this movie is set in England and that zombies are the result of a biological outbreak. It is not entirely set in London however as the cover suggests and mostly takes place out in the country.
So we follow a group of reporters into the countryside as information is coming in that London has suffered an incident, as has New York, as has somewhere in Romania, and several locations in Asia. The movie manages to pull off a rather nice realistic feel because of the way it’s shot. Sort of first person perspective with one of the characters, (the cameraman,) filming everything in order to document what could turn out to be a really big story.
We follow the main characters into the country, maybe some of the last people to get out of London before panic hit though they don’t realize it at first. They don’t find any people and run into a bit of car trouble, stranded in a seemingly empty village. This was actually a smart idea on the part of the filmmakers in that it allowed them to put the main characters in an isolated area without actually having to pay for expensive locations. If you try to make a movie pretty well and do it on a bit of a budget, and this movie is a bit budget, you make smart writing decisions that compensate for the lack of money to pay for things like effects and expensive city locations. You focus on the story. You make it good and that’s what I think these people did. Yeah it seems kind of hokey at first that they ran into car trouble and they’re stranded in the village and we’re getting the information about what’s happening in London by overhearing one of the main characters phone calls to someone in London. But take it with a grain of salt.
When you take a budget movie like Zombies vs Stripers and the sheer crap they came up with and compare it to a budget movie like this, you can see they are miles apart. These film makers were clever and worked hard with what they had.
As the movie goes on we see the story from the point of view of other survivors who also ran into similar dire straights and get a hint at how their stories criss cross. As you can guess, things go from bad to worse and even stranger over time. But that’s as much as I want to say. Watch it. It’s fun.
I actually think it’s a good story-telling element but there are some scenes of suggested brutality in this movie that might be offensive to some viewers. The woman who plays Michonne on The Walking Dead said she thinks her character is a good example of what happens to women when a government system or society breaks down and men are left to run rampant all over the place. This movie also paints a pretty realistic and brutal picture of this. I think it’s too simple to say it’s actually “bad.” It uses the fiction genre to paint a picture that reflects reality. But if you are looking for just a fun zombie flick, look elsewhere. This one packs a punch.
Have you completely lost the plot?