Die-ner (Get it?): Hey. Waitress! This food tastes like it was marinated in stupid!
“Pulp Fiction meets Zombieland?”
What killed me about this movie from the word “go” was the title. The “Get it?” part of Die-ner (Get it?) isn’t me, folks. That’s the title of this window-licker. It’s like that one fat kid we all knew in middle school who smelled like too much cologne, fancied himself the “Class Clown,” and laughed like hell at all of his own jokes.
Yeah, that guy.
The movie opens with Ken talking to Rose inside a nondescript roadside diner in a small town located in Godknowswhere, United States. She tells him her life story and then realizes that he is a hitchhiking serial killer and tries to run away. Ken kills both her and Fred, the cook, then locks them in the cooler.
A young couple having obvious marriage issues wanders in and sits. Ken throws on an apron and plays himself off as a late-night waiter at the diner. He is about to kill the couple, Kathy and Rob, when Sheriff Duke wanders in for a coffee. Duke sees zombie Fred walking around in the kitchen and tries to talk to him.
Ken goes into the kitchen and tries to rally Fred back into the cooler when Duke comes back and tries to talk to Fred again. Fred lunges at Duke and bites him in the neck. Kathy and Rob rush back to help and discover that Ken is not who he says he is.
Actually, Ken straight up tells them he is a serial killer.
What follows is a constant cat and mouse game between Ken and his hostages while dealing with a zombie outbreak. As far as the story goes, the entire things takes place inside the diner, so there really isn’t much to tell. It’s much like my love life as a teenager.
Lonely and rather sad.
Things escalate quickly when Rob and Kathy knock Ken out in the bathroom, tie him up, and try to hotwire their car. Kathy is distracted by a zombie and manages to take him out. When she gets back, she discovers that Fred has gotten loose and is eating Rob.
Inside, Ken comes to and realizes that he’s been tied up. Duke turns into a zombie and attacks Ken. Kathy comes back in and kills Duke, then cuts Ken loose and demands that he help her escape.
They are about to leave when Duke’s partner, Jessie, comes in and holds them at gunpoint. Ken fools him into thinking Kathy is the killer, and Jessie shoots her in the shoulder. The diner door opens, and a swarm of zombies shuffles in and overtakes Jessie.
Ken tries to make a run for it but goes out the back door and right into a horde of zombies. He screams that he has no regrets as the zombies proceed with the obligatory disembowelment scene. Inside the diner, Kathy screams as Rob comes in and approaches her.
The movie ends with the big rig outside the diner starting up. The camera shifts up to the windshield, and we see that the driver is a zombie.
VERDICT: Food poisoning.
What killed me the most about this movie was how hard it tried to be a Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino film. ALL of the dialogue was nothing but casual conversation, casually delivered. Even when things were supposed to be intense, the calm and cool line delivery just made the characters seem cardboard and monotone.
It was like watching a zombie movie starring Ben Stein as the protagonist. His weapon of choice? A rifle that looks like Ferris Bueller and shoots Ben Stein’s money out of his a**.
The acting is just plain bad, even for an independent film. The camerawork in this movie was just as slack as the acting, with bad shots, shaky cam in the worst spots, and shadows that shouldn’t be constantly distracting me from the non-action of the movie.
Let’s get it straight: I can totally appreciate old-school makeup styles. But, the reality is that those styles are done. They’re part of a past generation, and trying to use them in a modern setting even as a nod just doesn’t work. The current zombie is expected to look like the zombies in The Walking Dead or at least the Dead Rising video game series.
But the writing. Dear God, the writing.
Most of the lines in the movie were pointless, and it was far too evident that they were trying (and failing) to be funny. I couldn’t laugh because I was so dumbfounded in the decisions the writer/director made for the characters in the script. How did he even concept this movie? Will I wander into a random diner and find the outline written on the stall in the men’s room?
“For a good time, DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE.”
What could’ve been at least an entertaining indie flick is utterly drowned in bad dialogue that is poorly delivered and sub-par effects that make most indie flicks look high-tech. Not saying that a diner isn’t an ideal location for a zombie-survivor lock-down movie, but I certainly would want more personality from my fellow survivors than these people had.