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GHOULS ON FILM

Forty years ago, George Romero and a bunch of his buds threw together Night of the Living Dead, a piece of happily primitive filmmaking that scared the pants off the midnight horror crowd and inspired a whole generation of zombie films doubling as cultural commentary.

With Diary of the Dead, Romero goes back to the beginning, only this time the amateurish look is calculated and the resulting film far less effective - if only because a handful of filmmakers have beaten him to the punch. Even while enjoying Romero's return to his roots and admiring the glee he brings to the trip, it's hard to see this as much more than an old dog revisiting his old tricks.

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Diary of the Dead (The Weinstein Co.) Starring Michelle Morgan, Scott Wentworth, Joshua Close. Written and directed by George Romero. Rated R for violence, language and zombie feasting. Time 95 minutes.


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