Friday, March 20, 2009

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Looking at the title, Shaun of the Dead is obviously a zombie film parody, but the great thing about it is that it is better than the vast majority of zombie flicks out there. Written by Spaced alums Edgar Wright (also directing) and Simon Pegg (starring), with numerous others appearing in the cast from that memorable, short-lived UK sit-com. The film revolves around Shaun (Pegg), distraught electronic shop employee seemingly stuck in a dead end job, with a girlfriend growing tired of his repetitive barfly social life (among other things), and tension at home between his best friend Ed (Nick Frost) and his other flatmate, Pete (Peter Serafinowicz). One night, things erupt for Shaun. It's just his shit luck that at this same time the dead are rising in London.

The film is riddled with pop culture references of all kinds, a la Spaced, usually revolving around other zombie films, Spaced itself, or various Star Wars movies. However, where that show had frequent flashback/fantasy sequences, Shaun of the Dead moves through at a steady clip. Clocking in at 99 minutes, it's only a little over an hour and a half, and yet it feels nothing like that, not dragging at any point and leaving you wanting more after the credits are rolling. Performances are good all around. Sarcastic comic/actor Dylan Moran puts in a memorable and hilarious performance as Shaun's girlfriend's friend's flatmate (phew) David, cast wonderfully.

Spaced and Shaun of the Dead both have a particular charm about them that is hard to put into words, combining dick and fart jokes with clever gags that connect seemingly normal comments to later incidents, as well as the fact that the movie is shot beautifully, with two identical extended steadicam sequences coming to mind. Shaun travels all the way from his flat to the corner store and back -- once as things are normal, and the second during the midst of the zombie invasion, with Shaun oblivious to this, hung over. As for action, there is plenty of it, as well of course hilarious and disgusting gore.

Shaun of the Dead is just all around executed to perfection as a zombie spoof, and it's unlikely that if you are reading this blog you haven't seen this movie. However, if you haven't, what the fuck are you waiting for? Find it, watch it, enjoy.

Verdict: Epic Win [10/10] (you've got red on you)


RobinD said...

Fun review, nice buzzer beater!

frank austin said...


autothrall said...

What I really love about Shaun of the Dead: despite being a comedy, it maintains some of the gruesome death style of the original Dawn/Day of the Dead.

is this your life? said...

Perfect movie, perfect review.