Diary of the Dead (Blu-ray)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Joshua Close, Michelle Morgan, Shawn Roberts, Amy Ciupak Lalonde, Scott Wentworth
Directed by George A. Romero
Distributed by Dimension Extreme
Since 1968 Romero's Dead have been alive and kicking, and with good reason. Each film in this series holds up a mirror to ourselves. These flicks aren't just about flesh-eating menaces; they each have their own message. Their own thing to say about the times we live in and the metamorphosis of our ever-changing lifestyle. Said messages range from subtle and vague to heavy-handed and slammed over your skull, but if you know George, that should come as no big surprise.
In this day of YouTube and user provided content, privacy as we once knew it has become a thing of the past. If something so unbelievable and catastrophic as the dead returning to life were to happen, it's a safe bet that millions of people everywhere would be filming and uploading it. That's exactly what happens in Diary of the Dead, and with this entry the master of horror truly hits his mark.
Now that the movie has made the jump to Blu-ray, I must admit I was a bit puzzled as to what we were going to see and get from the high definition treatment. Here's a film that was shot cinéma-vérité style with hand-held cameras. Would it look OK or more importantly ... should it?
Bottom line ... this visual transfer is among some of the best I've seen. The image is crystal clear and brimming with depth. Even the nighttime sequences look nothing short of amazing. Every detail, from snapping tendons to flesh-filled teeth, is shown in startling detail right down to the tiniest speck of blood. There's a definite wow factor to be had here.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound option without question keeps pace with the quality of the image. It will jar your senses. To say it's immersive is an understatement. You will think the dead are really out there as they groan close and in the distance. As they shamble on and beat upon your doors and walls. It doesn't get much better than this.
As for the supplemental material there's nothing new to be found here, but all of the stellar DVD extras have made the jump to this new format. For a full synopsis of what you can expect from them, just read my original Diary of the Dead DVD review here.
There's never been a better time to be a Romero fan. With Diary now looking sexier than ever and almost all of the rest of the films in this acclaimed series also available on Blu-ray, life is pretty good. Now then! Hopefully Dimension will release a high-def version of its latest release of Night of the Living Dead so we Blu-ray junkies can complete our set. And be on the lookout ... George is cooking up a new Dead film as I write this for fans to sink our teeth into, one that from what I've seen and heard is packing plenty of bite! Hell yes!
4 1/2 out of 5
5 out of 5
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