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September 16, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked

"Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked"
By: Ted H

An analytical look into the various failings of the George A Romero film DIARY OF THE DEAD. In an effort to make up for the short comings of his previous DEAD film, Romero made a whole new batch of inexcusable errors, further sullying the genre he helped popularize. This starts off as an exercise in torture only to end as more of a eulogy for a beloved franchise.


Diary of the Dead
2007
George A Romero
Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts
Horror
[independent] / Distributed by Dimension Films














Part 1: Dear Diary...

Part 2: ROLL CALL!

Part 3: Priorities

Part 4: Why I Hate Deb

Part 5: Women and Children First!

Part 6: Challenge Pissing (of the Dead)

September 4, 2016

Update goes here

[Posted by Ted H]

A good portion of my shit is in boxes, and the vast majority of my free time is spent painting...

...so yeah, Pure Human is kinda on the bench for a minute...

Here's something random to fill the void!

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[Shambles]

As I sift through shambles
I miss those days

When nothing meant anything
Anything meant nothing

Those days are gone
Replaced by days gone by

Familiar pains replaced by unwanted
Unending joy replaced by scheduled

A laugh taken for granted
Now cherished and rare

Concepts once foreign
Now prescribed their dose

What were you before?
What was I then?

Is your picture a liar?
Or I the fool?

I can't fix you.

But I'll try to hold those pieces together.

August 21, 2016

Pure Human - Shadow Caster

[Posted by Ted H]

Big move day is coming. Prepare for delays...

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[Pure Human - Shadow Caster]

            "I can't identify any of this," Kimberly said as she continued to stick her hands in the human gelatin. "Anyone tell you lately you're a little gross sometimes?" Blake asked, not fazing Kimberly in the slightest. "I've touched worse things," she said "But yeah, I can tell you this is human, uh, stuff, but judging with my own eyes, I can't tell what it's from...but it is squishy."
            Blake was about to say something when he heard John screaming "Blake! Fading man! Right now!" Blake stood up while Kimberly gave him a puzzled look. "What's a fading man?" she asked as Blake helped her up and they stepped out of the chamber. "You need to leave, now," Blake said as he stepped out and strained himself to look out into the hall. "What are you looking for?" Kimberly asked as Blake pulled her with him into the hall.
            "Blake?" John called from the other end of the hall. "Where is he?" Blake called out. "One of the chambers, I dunno which!"
            "Right," Blake said as he dug into his pocket for his lighter. He also reached into his coat for what looked like a blue piece of chalk. He pinned the chalk in his left hand with his thumb and ignited the lighter with his right hand. "I don't see anyone," Kimberly said as Blake stood in front of her and raised the lighter. He extended his left hand behind the flame, keeping the chalk almost touching the fire. With that, a blue hue was cast forward, extending throughout the hall wherever Blake was aiming it.
            Blake panned around the hallway until a dark shadow appeared against a wall deeper into the hall. "What the hell is that?" Kimberly asked as everyone looked to the empty space where the shadow was occupying. "Shadow Caster," Blake said "Nifty little trick. Casts a light that hits everything, seen and unseen. It won't illuminate the unseen, but if it's here, it'll cast a shadow."
            The faded man, unseen to everyone in the hallway, walked towards Blake, who kept casting his light to match the location. Kimberly broke from Blake and ran to John, who had his gun drawn, though he questioned its current need or effectiveness. By time he reached Blake, he was absorbing the brunt of the generated light, casting a large and imposing patch of darkness behind him on the hall.
            "Blake, get out of there!" John called. Blake smirked, but did not move. Instead he closed his lighter and pocketed it and the chalk. "We're fine," he said "We can't touch him and vice versa."
            "You sure about that?" John asked.
            "I'm...Pretty sure?"
            "Oh my God!" a voice cried out from behind where John came in. "Oh, no," Blake said while making a face "Did you invite Whitey?"
            "I didn't invite anyone!" John protested as Blake marched over to him "She just showed up. Said she was tracking you."
            "Fan-freakin-tastic," Blake said as he kept walking.
            "I knew he'd be annoyed," John said.
            "Wait," Kimberly said as Blake and John walked away "What about Mr. Invisible over there?" Blake shrugged. "He's just scenery right now," he said "Just don't fall asleep...or be alone in a dark room with him." Kimberly quickly ran to catch up.

August 14, 2016

Pure Human - Attempted Arson

[Posted by Ted H]

At this point I realize my already written material is almost caught up to where I am right now...

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[Pure Human - Attempted Arson]

            John and Bryant returned to the parking lot so Bryant could retrieve the rest of his gas. The early morning sun was already being hidden behind some ominously dark storm clouds that were quickly moving in from the west, the brunt of them still approaching from the distance. "I know you don't want me to do this," Bryant said "So why allow me? Is it because your friend holds the leash?" John rolled his eyes. "I used to be a cop," he said "I know six different tactics off the top of my head to detain you, some of which I don't even need to use my gun for."
            "Then what?" Bryant asked, intrigued.
            "Then I'd call the police and have you arrested for attempted arson."
            "But you won't will you?"
            "I never said I wouldn't. I just need to make sure Blake has enough time to investigate. Once I call the police, they'll be all over this place and no one will be able to investigate."
            "And once he's done with that? Will you try to stop me then?"
            "No. I plan to do it much sooner." John then pulled his gun out.
            "Threatening my life won't work," Bryant said plainly "I already want to die."
            "I never said I'd kill you," John said as he raised his arm slightly to take aim and shoot Bryant in the left foot." Bryant screamed and fell over as blood gushed out of him. "You crazy son of a fucking whore!" he screamed. "I've been called worse," John said as he casually walked to his car to get a pair of handcuffs. Bryant meanwhile was trying to hobble his way back into the office so he can either hide or blow it up, he wasn't yet sure of which. John was easily able to catch up though, and dragged him to his own car and handcuffed his arms behind his back with the cuffs threaded through a door handle.
            John patted him down and retrieved his lighter and key card and tossed them aside. "You won't be needing either of these, right?" he asked as he heard approaching footsteps. At first he figured they were either Blake or Kimberly, but they were coming from the wrong direction. He spun around, pistol ready, when he realized who it was. "Lena," he said as he lowered his gun "What are you doing here?"
            Lena looked more pale than usual, and she kept her one hand pressed to her side. "You aren't hard to find," she said "I can sense the demon power in your buddy's coat. It's just a matter of following." Bryant's cries for help caught Lena's attention. "Who is that?" she asked. "As far as I know?" John said "The last living person responsible for all this." Lena's eyes went wide as she stormed around John to Bryant and looked him over.
            "You shot him?" she asked. "He was looking to burn down this building and all proof of his crimes with it...and himself," John responded.
            "So you shot him?" Lena asked, baffled "What gives you the right?"
            "Spare me," John said "Not all of us can do funny tricks, or have God given powers."
            Lena looked like she was about to respond, but didn't. Instead she placed a hand on Bryant's shot foot, bowed her head and started praying. "You know," John said "If Blake were here, he'd call you out on following us around despite you constantly threatening us not to do the same thing to you." Lena stopped praying a moment to regard John. "Well it's not like you two actually honored my threat, so I don't see the problem," she said before going back to praying.
            "Not quite the same," John said "What are you even doing?"
            "Healing him," Lena responded without looking up. Bryant had remained silent throughout the whole conversation.
            "So long as you don't let him go," John said as he walked to return to the office building.
            "Where are you going?" Lena asked.
            "There is no way you're going in there before Blake knows you're coming," John said. Instead of waiting for a response, he continued on his way inside and back down to the complex. Once back in the control room, he noticed the computer with the camera feed on it was back working. "I'm getting used to the rotting corpse smell this place has taken on," he said to himself as he walked to the computer "I don't know if that's good or bad."
            He shifted from camera to camera until he found Blake and Kimberly in one of the chambers, both kneeling over a pile of human waste. The feed's view setting was different as it wasn't a regular view, but colored differently. Blake and Kimberly lit up with bright colors to indicate where they were, almost like thermal vision. The pile of human waste left behind by the test subjects after becoming the creature also lit up, but the rest of the room remained black.
            John wasn't interested in the awkward view, so he tried to set the camera to a more normal view setting. He clicked what he could, but he found he could only switch to different cameras. He switched from view to view, trying to see something besides empty test chambers when something different caught his eye. Another figure lit up the screen, in darker colors than the others, and he walked into view before walking through a wall in the direction of the chamber Blake was in. "Oh shit!" John said as he jumped away and ran for the door in the direction of Blake.

August 7, 2016

Pure Human - The Melrose Theory

[Posted by Ted H]

Holy hell, remember this story?
I'm not sure if I'll have anything right for next week since I'm prepping for a move. We'll see. But in case I got nothing, I leave you with a pretty long bit...

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[Pure Human - The Melrose Theory]

            They waited outside for another hour, John not in the mood to smell the inside of the building any more than he needed to. They talked about random things, as if anything from last night didn't happen, and ultimately argued over whether or not John should go drive to the nearest gas station to buy coffee and cigarettes. Eventually, all conversation ceased when another vehicle made its way towards the parking lot. The approaching car stopped and out stepped Bryant, in a black t-shirt and jeans, with the same tired expression on his face from yesterday.
            "Did you bring coffee?" Blake asked "Or doughnuts? Or anything, really." Bryant gave a puzzled look before regarding the two cars parked nearby. "You came separately?" he asked. "Nah," Blake responded "I got a friend in there." Bryant's expression was of such shock, his mouth fell agape. "Why would you bring other people into this?" he yelled. "So I take it there's no breakfast," Blake said instead.
            "Why would I care about feeding you?" Bryant asked.
            "Because we were here all night," Blake responded quickly "Mostly."
            "I told you to come around now. Did you come right here after leaving yesterday?"
            "Dude, we were all set to call it a night," Blake said as he raised his hands to plead innocence "Things just happened and now we're here. Tell him, John."
            "Shit happened," John said with his arms crossed.
            Bryant shook his head. "How many people have you been blabbing to?" he asked.
            "Calm down," Blake said "Just us. Oh, and Anin, she's involved. And I guess Joey if he wants to believe it. Obviously Kimberly too, though not as up to date as everyone else."
            "Don't forget Matthew," John added, taking pleasure in the increasing misery Bryant was showing on his face with every name brought up.
            "Yeah, Matthew," Blake said "And I guess Clyde and Whitey count as w-"
            "Enough!" Bryant shouted, ready to tear his hair out "Are you planning to just run your mouths until this all gets out?"
            "Listen to me very carefully," Blake said, shifting his tone to a more serious one "This is already out. People are dead. There's a man grieving over his shattered family because of whatever the hell happened in that basement got out. You're not here as a courtesy, either. Don't forget that."
            "You've been in the basement?" Bryant asked, worried about what was already known.
            "Not yet," Blake said "You better have a keycard though."
            "I do, I do," Bryant said as he searched his pockets for it "Just, let me explain before-"
            "Guys?" Kimberly interrupted. Everyone turned to face her as she walked out of the building, covered in blood, with an uneasy look on her face. She led them to the corpse room, where her project for the last couple hours laid with an open chest and a pool of blood around from where Kimberly had been digging around. Upon sight of the creature, Bryant freaked out and began trying to explain, but kept tripping over his own words. "Shut up," Blake said. "But," Bryant began but Blake put his hand up for the man to be quiet.
            "So that...thing," John asked "What did you find out?"
            "It's a person," Kimberly said as she made a sideways face.
            "Please, I can-" Bryant started but Blake stopped him. "What do you mean it's a person?"
            "Well," Kimberly said as she walked to the table "This thing had its appendix removed. Plus what I could make of the teeth, though heavily distorted into these fangs, clearly show signs of a couple cavities being filled. Guys, if this is a person who's missing and this is super illegal shit I'm taking part in, now would be a good time to tell me."

July 31, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt6

[Posted by Ted H]

A friend of mine once saw this movie the day it came out. Afterwards he called me right away to tell me how awesome he thought the movie was.............We're not friends anymore.

Diary of the Dead? More like Diarrhea of the Dead, am I right?

Aaaaaaand it's over. This review clocked in +1 entry and at least a thousand more words than the last review, yet I still feel like I had way more to say and bitch about in the LotD review. I think if I were to ever do another movie review...I'll definitely pick a movie I like instead of a steaming pile of shit movie...just a thought.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt6]

Part 6: Challenge Pissing (of the Dead)

I have previously gone on record as saying George Romero is like George Lucas; following up to a beloved and classic trilogy of genre defining movies with three turds of a follow-up trilogy that ruins the classic movies by association. And while LAND OF THE DEAD is indeed like THE PHANTOM MENACE in terms of a jarring shitty movie to introduce us to the new trilogy, DIARY OF THE DEAD follows that trend well by being like ATTACK OF THE CLONES where you watch it and realize that the previous movie was no accident.

Yes, I do realize that this movie was intentionally low budget, indie style  and what not, and I did try to curb my bile in regards to all that. But what can't be forgiven no matter the movie and budget is poor writing and directing, especially by someone who knows better (and yes, this movie was both written AND directed by Romero).

Both major characters in this film (Jason and Deb) are completely inconsistent throughout the entire run time. Deb constantly switches her opinion on Jason filming the events as the movie goes on between hating him for it and being completely ok with it. Meanwhile, Jason keeps going on and on about making this movie will save lives, but every time someone is in danger, he does fuck all to try to help them. Everyone is running around the hospital, looking for help for a dying Mary, and Jason instead decides to film his camera charging...He watches and fails to bother warning Boyfriend about an incoming zombie...Deb has a zombie hanging off her back trying to eat her, but the angle of the shot was way more important than helping...Girlfriend is running for her life in the woods from a zombie, but he decides to instead act like it's instead his monster movie from the beginning...Hell, at least he's consistent at the end when he himself is finally being eaten, and he decides to film his demise rather than escape it. It's like he was gonna name this movie "Survive the zombie apocalypse by doing the exact opposite of what me and my friends are doing."

So let's talk about the overall theme that Romero forced into this movie, as he does usually. Don't trust the media...and people will always be compelled to record tragedies. The whole "Media tells LIES" thing is a bit unnecessary since the whole "Dead rising to eat the living" thing is a bit impossible to cover up for more than an hour when it's as widespread as being let on. Local? Yes, that could be contained. Worldwide? No, you can't cover that up.

As for the whole "Being compelled" thing. I still call that horse shit. I refer you back to my comparison to 9/11. According to Romero, if Jason was in the World Trade Center, he'd be filming while still inside the burning towers, doing absolutely nothing to help anyone hurt he came across.
Like I said before, yes people will feel it appropriate to film terrible events, but only from a position of safety. There was only one time in this movie where Jason was in a position of relative safety: when he and his gang were with the Black Militia. Bunch of people with runs? Yeah, best leave the zombie fighting to them, you can just film it since there's nothing of value you need to do. If the entire movie took place with the Black Militia, then my biggest gripe about Jason would be gone.
So...Is there a better movie in here?

Is it worth saving? You tell me. (See what I did there?...Nevermind...)

The challenge: Make an improved pitch for the bad movie. I'm not allowed to add new characters or change too much about existing ones. I can ignore some characters, or at least downgrade them to minor characters who have no bearing on the story. The location and elements within must also have minimal tweaking.

Now, I'm going to keep the Indie spirit mentality that this movie was made with and not go for broke on things that happen. I'm also handcuffing myself to the idea that this MUST be a "found footage" style movie, so everything involved must be shot with either Jason's camera or the other camera they found in the hospital. But can I still find a better script in here?

A better version of DotD would work like this:
Skip all the bull shit and voiceovers and start right with our "heroes" in the woods shooting their monster movie. You can still have Elliot calling in the background over how "You guys should hear this, something weird is on the news" but have Jason ignore it because he needs to get this scene where Mummy-guy chases Girlfriend in the woods right. See how I made Jason still an insufferable prick while still making it not retarded?

Enter an actual zombie that Jason and Girlfriend mistake for Mummy-guy in the dark. The zombie eats Girlfriend and THAT is our introduction to zombies in this fucking zombie movie. Not some news video, not a jump scare, but actual action. The group fights off and Mary (who somehow had a gun remember) kills the zombie. Instead of shooting herself out of shock of what she did, the group can take a rational response to Mary having a gun and just take it away from her so she can sulk in the RV for a while.

Everyone can freak out over what's happening like in Romero's version: Mummy-guy and that random girl can drive off while Jason decides he needs to find Deb. Also we can add Girlfriend dying right now and biting Boyfriend's dick off or something. The group can panic here and drive off without them, effectively saving us from bad acting and "Don't mess with Texas" in one awesome swing.

This is where my version gets way better than Romero's: While in the dorm to find Deb, instead of running into some random criminal, Jason instead runs into a zombie that gets a bite in. Jason is now effectively dying. Instead of videotaping his friends all dying, he decides in my version that he wants to chronicle his slow death on camera so that the rest of the world can have a firsthand account of how this zombie virus is happening.

The rest of the movie suddenly becomes tolerable because we're no longer trying to comprehend why Jason is insisting on taping. Then at the end we could have a bad ass death for Jason, where as he finally succumbs to the virus inside him, he hands Deb a camera and says "When I turn...shoot me." Then Deb films him waking up as a zombie before she blows his brains out.

...Also the Professor can still take the stupid bow and arrow, but the idea that it could help him fight off the undead leads to an immediate and hilarious demise.

This movie COULD be good, but it wasn't. Romero tried to go back to his roots a bit with this one after fumbling LAND. We couldn't see ourselves as these characters like in other Romero Dead films. NIGHT had a bunch of strangers trying to survive together in a farmhouse...DAWN had a few schmucks hole up in a shopping mall. Both films involved the characters acting in realistic ways. We could see ourselves in certain characters

DIARY has no realistic characters. No one would be like Jason where you'd have to be a complete scumbag to wanna not only film everything, but also do jack shit if anyone was in danger. And none of the other characters were realistic since literally anyone else would just chuck that fucking camera out the RV while it's driving over a bridge, 1st chance.

This movie is not as bad as LAND OF THE DEAD. LAND was a fucking mess beginning to end. You walked away from that movie with a bad taste in your mouth and no hope for George Romero's career. DIARY had its moments, but you left that movie with a bad taste too, just a different kind of bad taste. You leave it thinking and feeling that it was such a waste of potential. And sometimes that feeling is what makes this movie hurt more than the other.

It's that feeling that makes me never even acknowledge SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD. I'd rather watch that shitty remake of DAY OF THE DEAD a thousand times...and that's saying a lot.

July 24, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt5

[Posted by Ted H]

"Prelude in D Flat Major" is the way overused music in this movie. I've learned to hate it.
...Also, the movie was shot in Canada...because Romero's love for Pennsylvania isn't as big as it used to be...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt5]

Part 5: Women and children first!

The overarching plot to this mess is finally reaching its payoff. We have reached Scranton and arrived to Deb's house. After a bit of speculation as to why the house looks abandoned*, Deb decides to abandon the party and urges everyone to get back on the road without her. I am all for this idea. Sadly, this won't happen.

*Did I mention the family was vacationing at the time? And that at one point they managed to get a text out to her that they're ok (at the time) and are driving home? No? Did I gloss over those parts? My bad, I must not have cared. To be fair, the scene where Deb gets a text is right after the 72,000 Myspace views argument and I was still blind with rage at this movie...

Before deciding to leave, Deb looks to the camera (because that's the only way to talk to Jason anymore) and says something along the lines of "I guess I'll call you," like this whole zombie apocalypse thing was more of an awkward first date or something with Jason replying in equally dumb fashion. At this point Jason is committed to the idea that he's gonna leave his girlfriend home alone during the zombie apocalypse to keep filming his Myspace movie. Tony quickly calls bull shit on this and decides to stay with Deb so she isn't alone. Then everyone quickly decides they have their own reason to get off the RV and chill at Deb's house; Girlfriend wants to pee, Elliot wants to play video games, Professor wants to get drunk...I'm not shitting you on any of these reasons...but the only person who has no legitimate stated reason for wanting to stay with Deb is her own fucking boyfriend.

So, upon reflection, it's more and more likely that Jason isn't so much Deb's boyfriend throughout this movie as much as Tony is. Go back and watch some parts of this movie; whenever Deb needs someone to lean on or for general support, it seems like she goes for Tony way more often than she even acknowledges Jason as an option. Maybe because it's Tony actually making an effort for the group to survive, or maybe it's because Deb has silently agreed that she needs to dump Jason for being a dipshit (she just needs to find the right off camera moment to have "that talk") and has already decided Tony makes a fantastic rebound.

Into the house we go and we discover that the family did indeed make it home, but they're nowhere in sight. Deb discovers the abandoned car they drove home on and is pointed to a damaged and bloody window in the front passenger side. So yeah, shit looks bleak. Deb starts freaking out and needs to find them, only for Tony to stop her and explain that they might not be ok. Ya know, gear her up for the worst case scenario...shit a boyfriend would do....while her actual boyfriend silently records it and says nothing. At this point I'm convinced that they did break up off camera.

While Tony is being the concerned apocalypse boyfriend to Deb, you should at this point take notice of the Professor standing over them, rocking out his dumb fucking bow and arrow set and you just know that shit's gonna get shoehorned in this movie now. Just, gear yourselves up now for that. Meanwhile, Elliot and Girlfriend are somewhere else in the house and...not looking for the family? Cuz seriously, how hard is it to find either 3 zombies, 3 scared alive people, or any combination of the two?

Before we continue, I must warn you, this next bit is where the movie fucking dies. Before it was just a shaky plot with some seriously underwhelming acting. But the part where Deb's brother, as a zombie, ninjas over and jumps onto Deb's back (without biting her, because why would a zombie do anything like that?) is the part where the S.S. Diary of the Dead can officially be classified as a sinking ship.