Released in 2006, The Zombie Diaries was an independent, low-to-zero budget British film about a zombie apocalypse seen though the eyes and camera of a group of ‘average joes. ‘ The film went straight to DVD, garnering mainly negative reviews. The unpopularity of the first one raised questions regarding the need for a sequel, and the final product confirms that being forced to watch this would result in a fate worse than becoming one the living dead.
It’s been three months since the majority of the worlds population became flesh hungry living dead creatures, and it’s up to a small group of civilians and soldiers banding together in an abandoned army barracks to stave off multiple attacks. They get wind of an evacuation mission: boats are taking people to countries not yet affected by the disease. When the refuge is overrun by the undead, they have no choice but to flee to the coast in the hope of getting there in time to be rescued. But in a landscape littered with the walking dead, their journey is far from simple, and the fate of mankind rests in their hands.
Believe me when I say, there’s an incredible amount of hyperbole in that synopsis to make it sound even mildly entertaining. Let me break it down a little more; by ‘multiple attacks’ I mean 1. When I said ‘overrun’, there’s about 10 zombies. When I say ‘landscape’, a field would have been more accurate. This film is so devoid of life, it almost makes you wonder whether that was the intention because of the subject matter. Speaking of which, I feel almost sympathetic towards the tragic excuse for extras in make up that we are meant to believe are ‘zombies’. Slightly blue in the face, minimal tears in their clothes and red splodges around the mouth, these ‘undead’ beings look more like they’re returning from a particularly exhausting football training session. They pose no threat whatsoever, and appear to be more of a minor irritation to the group, who scream and shout every ‘trapped survivor’ cliché known to man and zombie. They also move at about 1 metre per day, so when the band continue to fire at them from nearly a hundred yards away, it seemed like a shameful waste of ammunition.
The handheld camera effect is annoyingly inconsistent: one stand out scene for example shows the group trekking up a hill, cameraman in tow. Then it cuts to an extreme long shot, as if he’s filming them walking up the same hill. Well if you’re documenting a difficult journey being undertaken during a zombie apocalypse, you’ve got to make sure it looks good for whoever finds it, right?
The performances, unsurprisingly, are dire. That is, with the exception of Philip Brodie as Maddox. Not only does he lead the team, he’s without a doubt the only character who’s well being is worth caring about. The others are forgettable, disposable and I admittedly found myself hoping they’d be torn to shreds by the undead.
So the acting is as poor as the script, the zombies are ridiculous and the camerawork is shoddy. What else could possibly be negative about Zombie Diaries 2? Did I mention the multiple rape scenes, one involving a female zombie?
After about 40 minutes of wandering in a forest with the occasional zombie getting shot from a safe distance, the gang stumble upon 3 manic rapists. Their inclusion isn’t explained, unless there’s something from the first one that I’ve missed, and it’s here that it stops being a zombie movie for a while and begins to be a rape/revenge tale. Granted, it’s pleasing to see the psychopaths get what they deserve, but the whole section doesn’t feel like it fits in this particular film and genre.
Put simply: World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2 is a waste of your time, effort and (by the looks of it) £25 of the producers money. Avoid.