Shaun of the Dead – 9

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Director – Edgar Wright

Cast – Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Nicola Cunningham

Release Year – 2004

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Boy did this flick come out of nowhere and create a ruckus on the horror scene.  I remember seeing this flick when it debuted at a movie theater I was working at in 2004 and thinking “Wow, this is totally made for zombie fans”, and it’s true, it is.  Incorporating many shout-outs to the zombie sub-genre and adding the witty UK humor we have grown to love, writer/actor Simon Pegg and writer/director Edgar Wright struck gold with this film and gave us zombie fans a treat to feast on.

This flick follows Shaun(Simon Pegg), a lazy 29 year old living the boring life that is going nowhere quick.  Adding to his one-way trip to losersville is his mooching best friend Ed(Nick Frost), who always finds ways to stupidly, yet incidentally, hinder Shaun’s advancement in life.  Living in the doldrums for so long has caused the two friends to ignore the world around them, even if the world around them is being run over by flesh eating zombies.  By the time the guys realize what is going on around them, the zombies have taken over and all hell has broken loose.  Simon is determined to save his mom and his ex-girlfriend, whom he still loves, and must venture on a quest through zombie-filled streets to do so.  What is Shaun plan to get them out of harm’s way and to safe ground?  He has no idea.  Will Ed ruin another one of Shaun’s ventures into actually doing something positive for once?  Ed nor Shaun has any idea.

Finally, a horror comedy that puts forth the goods.  Not only does this flick not give us the cheap laughs Scary Movie did(although I did enjoy the flick) but we get some great gore and zombie kills.  It’s an obvious note that Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are big zombie fans, and impressed zombie maestro George A. Romero so much that he gave them both cameos in Land of the Dead, as zombies of course.  Edgar Wright’s direction in this film is awesome, and shows the guy has some real talent.  The film paced well and his fun use of cinematography and camera angles made this a fun technical film to watch.

The story for this film is a fun one.  Time and time again we’ve seen a hapless guy with a deadbeat friend have to save the day or save a relationship with a girl he didn’t appreciate.  Now throw in the element of a world overrun by zombies and well…you’ve turned a common used story into one that has never been done before.  Awesome!  The dialogue was funny, which came as no surprise given the success of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s previous effort, the television series Spaced.  I really hope these guys take a trip back to the horror genre, but it’s obvious these guys have a knack for comedy and if they return to the horror genre I’d love to see them put out a straight up horror flick.  It sure would be great…wouldn’t it?

Overall, this is an amazing horror/comedy that I recommend to all horror fans, and especially to aficionados of the zombie realm.  True fans of zombies will not be disappointed with this film’s numerous shout-outs to some of horror’s most epic films.  Give this a watch ASAP because they don’t get much better than this.

Rating: 9/10

– I ranked this film #9 in my Top 50 Horror Movies of the Decade(1-10) post.

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