Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Shaun of the Dead Review

Comedy Horror - Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield.  Written by Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright.  Directed by Edgar Wright. (2004)

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. (source:

Shaun of the Dead is unlike any zombie film that I’ve ever seen. It’s the perfect mix of good old-fashioned zombie killing horror and comedy. Shaun is the slacker hero with the even bigger slacker best friend, disenchanted girlfriend, Liz, and of course mum and Stepdad Phil ( the awesome Bill Nighy). Throw in Liz’s influential flat mates David and Di, add zombies and you’ve got one of the most entertaining zombie films of all least in my opinion.

The thing that stood out for me, which I’m sure most took note of, is the overall apathetic demeanor of the characters right from the very beginning. Shaun, played brilliantly by Simon Pegg, seems to shamble through everyday life with little concern or awareness about anything other than his best friend, Ed (Nick Frost) and fed up, soon to be ex (Kate Ashfield). It basically took a zombie invasion to rouse Shaun and his careless, pot dealing bestie from their fantasy world of video games and nightly drinking. And even then, it took them awhile to realize exactly what was going on.

Shaun has the best of intentions, don’t get me wrong. However, good intentions are not enough for Liz and she’s grown tired of the countless nights at the Winchester and not one moment spent with Shaun that doesn’t include Ed. Of course, I can’t forget Pete, Shaun’s flat mate, who would love nothing more than to see Ed become zombie chow, after having to repeatedly get on his case over locking the front door, not working, not cleaning up, and a whole laundry list of complaints. And of course, Shaun is always there to come to Ed’s defense, despite the fact that Pete may be right.

For me, the best part was the irony. The Winchester was the one place that Liz was trying so hard to get away from, as evidenced by her ultimatum. However, it ends up being the place where the group ultimately ends up and it’s also the place where some of the cast meet their demise, including Shaun’s mum, who really looked no different after she turned.

What I love about Shaun of the Dead is how it pokes fun at zombies and plays up the “ridiculous” and far-fetched notion of an imminent Zombie Apocalypse. It still remained enthralling and a bit serious when it came time to off zombies, which unfortunately included loved ones. Shaun and Ed’s friendship is almost endearing at times even when making crude jokes about flatulence. It’s almost touching…almost.

I have to point out that Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Hot Fuzz) did an amazing job directing this film, as well as writing alongside Simon Pegg. I really enjoyed how he managed to throw in several references to George Romero films, especially since he is a huge fan and made a cameo appearance in Land of the Dead. The cast was top notch and I feel that everyone was perfect for the role that they played. If someone were to ask me how I could improve this film…I would be speechless. As I said earlier, Shaun of the Dead is one of the best zombie films ever made...plain and simple.

Rating 5 out of 5

By Debbie Lord
4th August 2012

1 comment:

  1. Agree completely, and for fans of Spaced it's even more of a wonderment excellent all round