Monday, July 14, 2008

Review: Diary of the Dead (2007)

Diary of the Dead is a documentary reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. It is taken from footage recovered from a group of college film students in Pennsylvania. Compiled and edited by world-renowned zombie expert George Romero, it is an interesting exploration of how people respond differently to undead outbreaks. Here is the trailer:

[YouTube Link]

The film highlights this critical component to survival in the midst of a zombie apocalypse; what I like to call "mental turn-around time". Some people, upon encountering attacking zombies, are able to rapidly adjust their worldview to accommodate the new, harsh realities of survival. More often, however, people cannot pull themselves out of the mall-shopping, frappiccino-sipping numbness of the suburban mundanity. This is why slow-moving creatures with less intelligence than cockroaches are able to slaughter and eat faster and 'smarter' humans.

Mental agility is the single-most important contributor to survival in the event of a zombie attack. The cameraman and his girlfriend are a study in contrasts of this factor. In the midst of the destruction of human civilization, Jason is most concerned about capturing events on film and posting the videos on his blog. While his girlfriend Debra seems to grasp the catastrophic nature of the risings, Jason is thrilled that his blog traffic has surged to gargantuan proportions -- until the collapse of the Internet.

If you want to survive, you have to have the attitude of survival. You have to be able to quickly accept catastrophic situations without panicking, but also without denying the reality of them.

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