What war did the Professor fight in? Judging by his accent and the fact he went to Eton, he's clearly British but he's too young for WWII (which is what people usually mean when they say 'the War') or Korea and too old for the Gulf. Was it meant to be the Falklands? Or did somebody not realise that the British were not involved in Vietnam?
Perhaps he served in Vietnam by coming to the U.S. and enlisting? Some immigrants do serve in the US Armed Forces, it is one way to earn citizenship. However, the fan wank explanation is that it was WWII. Romero said that Diary was set on the same night as Night of the Living Dead, which was set in 1968, making the professor exactly the right age. He didn't really explain how the modern technology fit into that.
There has only been one year in the last century which the British armed forces have not been engaged in active duty somewhere in the world. There's probably a lot of wars he might have served in.
What the heck is up the "Are we worth saving? You tell me." at the very end? There didn't seem to be an overall commentary about how humans suck, and it seemed to come completely from left-field. Where the hell did she get that from? (Of course, if she said that we were too stupid to live, I am down with that.)
Romero's default position appears to be Humans Are Bastards. He had to get it in somewhere. Although, to be fair, some of the Professor's world-weary complaints could be taken in that way.
As can some of the dialogue about people watching accidents instead of helping.
The entire film establishes that people all over the world are sharing videos and the zombie apocalypse is a viral video phenomenon. Ostensibly for the purpose of disseminating survival tips, but the more moribund reason being for the purpose of watching-the-car-accident. That's why we're not worth saving.
So because of camwhores, we're not worth saving? Well crap, that's great.
Chalk it up to an Unreliable Narrator. Yeah, I know Romero intended the line to be taken seriously, but really, think about the person saying this. She has been a member of a group of Too Dumb to Live whiners who basically lucked their way out of getting killed on numerous occasions. If all of humanity was that stupid, yeah, maybe we don't deserve to live. However, if a group of competent survivors banded together, they'd have far better success. However, that scenario doesn't gel with Romero's Humans Are Bastards worldview.
When they reach the mansion near the end, the first thing I said to myself was "you would close the gates behind you". Yet they wander in and allow zombies to come through the open gate and over-run the house. As I recall the building had walls around it and would of been quite defendable.
Depends on how big the grounds are, if they can defend such a large area, etc, but you're definately right that closing the damn gate would have helped. Or rather, realizing that the gate and the front door is wide open means something bad has happened as they shouldn't stick around. Closing a gate seems to be too smart for these people.
So you're saying that I shouldn't take a shower if I'm in that situation?
Well, you should make sure all the doors are closed first, at least.
Hell no you shouldn't shower. The world is filled with the living dead. That means that you are now prey in an over-predated world 100% of the day, everyday. Which means, unfortunately, the days of letting your guard down to have a shower are long long gone.
Of course you should take a shower! Even zombies wanna have some clean, peach-scented flesh once in a while!
If zombies hunt by scent, an occasional shower is a good idea. But better to check up the place first and lock the door.
As a mental exercise, try to trace the path of the zombie clown from the point he put that makeup on to the point where he turns up at the birthday party: so, he goes to the party, checks in with the homeowners (he emerges from inside the house, so obviously someone let him in), goes into a private room (presumably to change into his makeup - if he showed up in makeup then presumably he went to use the bathroom), dies of an aneurysm or heart attack or something, lies there long enough to reanimate without anyone checking on him or wondering where he went, then - as a zombie - gets out of the room he's in, and finds his way to the backyard without running into anyone on the way. (This is pretty common in zombie movies - zombies who obviously reanimated under circumstances that only make sense if the change from living person to zombie happens more-or-less instantly. The Romero movies are actually better that most in that regard, in that anyone who dies becomes a zombie; in movies where you have to get bitten to change, you're faced with people who apparently got bitten by an obviously unhealthy person, then went about their normal routine for the few hours it takes to transform, despite the fact that they're getting progressively sicker the entire time, so that they can show up as zombies in bridal gowns, mascot uniforms, bikinis, etc.)
He works in show business, and you know the old adage...
The entire group seems to accepts the dead are coming to life at face value and already decide they must be killed rather quickly, based on only a few sketchy reports from the radio. This all occurs before they before they have their first encounter with the walking dead. While it does help get the ball rolling so to speak, the transition from everything is normal, to full blown acceptance of the zombie apocalypse feels rather rushed.