July 10, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt3

[Posted by Ted H]

I'm gonna try to power through this movie as best I can before I move. That way I can give this shitty movie back to my brother. I'd hate to rush the end. If I'm gonna hate on a movie, I'm gonna hate on it right, God dammit!



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[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt3]

Part 3: Priorities
Into the hospital we go...and it too is abandoned. At this point Deb pulls an idea from the Fred Jones playbook: Let's split up, gang! So the group splits up despite one group not being able to bring the injured Mary with them. What happens if they find help first? Run around lost, looking for Mary so they can save her? I know Deb said "We'll look for the ER" but what if whatever help you find goes to the ER to meet them there only to find that Deb and company went to the wrong fucking floor or something? This was not a rational decision, but a Romero decision because we're gonna be in a situation soon where it's just Jason talking to Mary and we need the other characters to not be around for that.

So Jason, Deb and the lovebirds take Mary and eventually run into a zombie. Along the way they hear a radio transmission that explains that you gotta shoot em in the head. Thankfully the male love bird has the gun so he can fight off the zombie. What the shit though-everyone splits up but only one group takes Mary AND the only weapon.

Now another zombie shows up, but OH NO! THE GUN JAMMED! Then Deb walks by the zombie within arms reach and gets some defibrillators, and the zombie doesn't even attempt to go after. Then Deb does the clich├ęd defibrillator dispatch from every move featuring one ever (except for CRANK) then the zombie falls dead out of frame in a way that won't match its position when the camera pans down to see the body. Sloppy sloppy sloppy. But wait, the zombie isn't dead and gets up for a jump scare despite Jason facing that direction. And I know he's facing that direction because that's where the fucking camera is pointed! A little heads up, Jason?

Time to resume getting help, but wait, the camera is low on battery power. Clearly Jason has to stay behind to charge the camera while still filming despite there being nothing to film because everyone else has gone ahead to find help but leaving Mary behind with Jason. So now one group has the only gun, Jason alone has Mary, and the other group has nothing. WHY BOTHER SPLITTING UP? The most likely outcome here is the group with the gun finds nothing while the other group gets eaten because they're defenseless while Mary just dies because she's sitting around waiting for help in a clearly abandoned hospital!

So now we have Jason alone with a dying Mary and a couple dead zombies that I swear to God their position on the floor changed again. Jason is lamenting on how useless he feels being unable to help cuz he's stuck babysitting his charging camera. Don't worry, charging a video camera, and documenting the charging of said video camera is WAY more important than trying to save the life of your friend. This is invaluable footage of a girl dying that the world needs to see!

Scream off-screen and gunshots happen. Normal people would think to help, but not Jason because this camera charging footage isn't gonna shoot itself. Deb returns with a video camera of her own in tow. She uses it as a shame tactic against Jason for everything I talked about in the previous two paragraphs. Jason pleads for Deb to put her camera down and just tell him what happened. Deb does with Jason still filming because fuck consistency in an argument! She tells the story and plays it up for the camera, then halfway through her bullshit another dead guy arrives and Deb IMMEDIATLY starts filming it too on her camera. Didn't you just get done chastising Jason for doing nothing except film shit during this whole ordeal?

Male love bird, that was his cue, now walks in and dispatches the new zombie like it's his fucking dead end job or something then gives one of the most phoned in "I just killed another man" zombie movie speeches ever. And out of nowhere comes the Professor to give some speech about how he was in war or something and killing becomes easier and blah blah blah. Then it becomes his turn to chastise Jason for videotaping everything instead of doing a damn thing to actually help.

Jason, seriously, not a single person so far has said anything along the lines of "Dude, yes, videotape the zombie apocalypse. This is definitely helping us survive this ordeal." Everyone who has weighed in on you so far (Tony, the random criminal in the girls dorm, your girlfriend and your fucking college professor who is the reason you got into directing) have all agreed: stop being a twit and actually contribute.

Before anyone can delve deeper into how much of a fuckass Jason is, Mary dies and starts turning. Male lovebird once again phones in his performance as he goes through the motions of trying to decide if he can go through with killing zombie-Mary even though she's his friend (I think? It was never really established how she knew the rest of the group. My only theories are 1-Deb's bff...2-no ones friend but rather the one chick who has access to the RV everyone wants to party in so everyone pretends to be her friend to get to the RV...3-the naive chick who the Professors been fucking on the side cuz the Professor looks like the type to take advantage of the occasional student) Anyway, the professor takes the gun, dispatches Mary, then continues to bitch out Jason while pawning off the gun to Tony because of psychotic reasoning. Dude, the Professor is a fucking asshole when he's sober. Somebody get this man a whiskey!

Some more preachy bull shit from Deb's voiceover happens and I choose to not acknowledge because I'm trying to get through this part in one sitting. Then the cream-de-la-crop of Jason being a fucking useless human being happens. He fucking films a zombie walking right up to the male love bird and barely warns him as the zombie bites into the guys arm. Then he just fucking stands there filming while the poor bastard tries to fight off the zombie while Elliot feebly pushes the zombie away, then uses an IV pole to stab the attacker in the chest to show everyone else that the zombie is a zombie.

Anyone remember Tom Savini's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake? Remember the scene where not-Barbara shoots a zombie a couple times in the chest to show it's a zombie because she's sick and fucking tired of everyone bitching about how the attacking zombies can't possibly be dead? Yeah, Elliot's doing pretty much that right now. My problem here is we've seen plenty of zombie killing action to the point that no one should be questioning that the dead are returning to life. Fuck, didn't everyone just get done watching Mary die and turn? Elliot and not-Barbara's tirades are always a pleasure to watch, but only if you don't feel like it was forced in after you stop and think about the context for a moment. Trust me, there was plenty wrong with Savini's NIGHT, but that scene wasn't one of them (now that shirtless zombie that happened immediately after is a different story, but let's save that for a review that I hopefully never do)

Zombie dead, female love bird rushes to her now (slowly) dying man, who is now poorly acting his way through his post zombie bite. Deb is filming this when she suddenly catches herself and realizes she's a fucking hypocrite. Now more Deb voiceover where she wonders what is it that makes people so interested in tragedies. Let's skip that and talk about what makes Jason so compelled to record everything thus far.

Yes, people are interested when crazy shit happens. And yes, they often times record it. Nowadays it's because their YouTube hits will skyrocket for it. But what they don't do is record horrific events while they themselves are active participants in immediate danger. Yes, people are compelled to record terrible things, but only from a position of relative safety. Need a plausible real world example?

Let's talk about 9/11...

The events at the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 stands as one of (if not #1) the most well documented tragedy in freakin history. Go to YouTube right now and type in 9/11 or anything similar and you'll be buried in a shit ton of results made by people taping and documenting the attack and eventual collapse of the two towers. You've got angles of people hanging out of windows with an inferno behind them. You have angles of people jumping to their deaths, with the camera following their decent as best they can. You even have some idiots who run onto the main plaza to get a better look at the scene (naturally unaware of the potential of the towers collapsing, otherwise he'd be a mile away.)

And speaking of collapsing. There are angles upon angles upon footage upon footage of each tower collapsing. And on top of that, we have countless shots of the 2nd plane crashing into the south tower to go with the one or two rare pieces of footage of the 1st plane hitting the north tower. (Fun fact: the most well known footage of the 1st plane strike was taped by a guy shooting a documentary of a rookie firefighter. He was getting some B-roll footage of the chief doing some lazy Tuesday morning bull shit when the plane happened to fly low overhead and get everyone's attention.)

So, where's the outrage for anyone making 9/11 tapes? Well, it wasn't like they were shooting their footage while inside the towers. Unlike Jason, they were recording their footage from a safe perspective. I mean, yeah, on 9/11 America was under attack and technically nowhere was safe, but everyone with a cell phone camera or whatever were recording their footage from a (relatively) safe place. And it's not like any non-first responder is gonna be of any use anyway.

Jason, on the other hand, is right smack in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. He is not shooting his film from a safe location and he can be of use to his friends if he bothered to put the camera down and help. People around him are dying and all her can do is record it as opposed to bothering to help. There is the outrage. He is a detriment to his group and his actions (or non-actions) are costing other people their lives.

New day and Mary is buried. Jason had the common courtesy to not film the process but I highly doubt he lifted a finger to help. Everyone with a shovel (where did they find a couple shovels?) is finishing up the grave while we pan out to find that the male love bird is already dead. You guys think that maybe a 2nd grave is warranted? No? Did nobody like this guy? Was he only around because he was the blond chicks fuck buddy?

Enter the standard fare of "Why is he dead after one bite?" and the usual conversation as to what could have caused such a quick and fatal infection. Nothing to gripe about there unless you don't like zombie movies (And if you don't, why are you here?). Tony decides that it's time to kill the male love bird before he turns...and for some reason decides that the best way to announce this is by cocking the chamber right next to the grieving (poorly grieving) girlfriend's ear. (Why are you cocking the gun? It's already loaded and has already been fired before. All you're doing is wasting a bullet!)

More run of the mill "He might not turn" or "Let's just wait and see what happens" which is fucking stupid because you just got done burying Mary! Who died and came back without being bitten! So guess what's gonna happen to someone dead who was bitten! This all ultimately turns into the girlfriend having to kill her dead boyfriend as he awakens...alone...because closure? This never really gets explained, which is inexcusable. Jason insists on taping everything he finds relevant to this apocalypse, and if people get pissed, he just pretends to stop filming, just to get what he wants on film. So the conversation where the girlfriend decides she'll wait alone for her boyfriend to reanimate so she can kill him seems like a pretty big conversation to skip.

Whatever, boyfriend reanimates, and the girlfriend shoots him in the head, first try, without properly aiming (or any firearms training but I guess it's assumed that since she's from Texas she should already know firearms? Like it's taught in grammar school right after Math.) Male lovebird is now gone, poorly acting his death as he did everything else in life. Then the Professor makes some tasteless comment about the boyfriend "he just flunked out." I know he's been drinking steadily since at least Mary's burial, but you don't get to make a stern speech to Jason about being a twit in the zombie apocalypse, then turn around and make stupid one liners like you're kicking off an episode of NCIS Miami.


Dead are now buried, we can get on with this road trip. But not before Jason pisses off more people by taping their reactions to the impromptu double burials. You guys go on ahead though and leave me with the bodies. No? Fine, let's keep this train wreck a-chuggin!

Next stop: Amish country!

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