I love zombie movies. I love George Romero even more. It is easy to say that every movie he comes out with is an event for me, so it brings me great sadness to say that I felt let down by his latest effort, “Diary of the Dead.”

Jason Creed (Josh Close) is a film student making a low-budget horror film with a bunch of his friends when they hear the news that the dead are coming back to life to stalk the living. So Jason decides to film everything that occurs as more and more of his friends are brutally murdered. It’s a cool premise that is mired with bad acting and laughably lame dialogue.

Romero has a way of taking a decent idea and really hammering it on the head with hammy dialogue. In a post-Hurricane Katrina world, it was a bit much to see so many references to that particular event so obviously expressed. Couple the dialogue issues with a spoonfed voice-over and an unlikeable lead character, and you have a very disappointing cinematic endeavor.

All told, this isn’t as bad as “Land of the Dead,” but not by much. There are some fun, scary moments and other memorable bits, so if you are a Romero or a zombie fan, it doesn’t hurt to check this out. But for the rest of you non-diehards out there, if you want a great first-person, horror narrative, you might as well stick with “Behind the Mask” or “Cloverfield.”

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