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Stuck in a state of perpetual uneventfulness, Shaun, the lovelorn electronics store employee, already knows that his life is going nowhere. Whiling away the time playing video games and downing pints at the neighborhood's pub with Ed, his best friend and roommate, Shaun is letting his girlfriend, Liz, slip away, and as if that weren't enough, there's something strange going on in North London. Now, as an unexplained plague threatens to take over Britain from end to end, for the first time in a long while, Shaun has to rise to the occasion, and risk life and limb to rescue Liz and his mother, navigate through the town's zombie-infested roads, and then, hole up in the Winchester, the safest place he knows, until it's all over. How hard could that be?
Shaun (writer Simon Pegg) is headed nowhere in life, and fast. He lives with his obnoxious, slacker of a friend Ed (Nick Frost) and an asshole of a fellow by the name of Pete (Peter Serafinowicz). He gets no respect at work, and his step-father Phillip (Bill Nighy) is breaking his balls due to him forgetting to bring flowers to his mum Barbara (Penelope Wilton) for mothers day. To add to the stress level, his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) is griping about Shaun never taking her out to any place besides the Winchester, a sleazy little pub. Shaun runs himself ragged trying to appease his parents wishes for him to spend some time with mum, his girlfriends request to have a nice, quiet evening out, and attempting to keep the peace between Pete and Ed, who are at each others throats. When Liz breaks up with Shaun, he's heart-broken and does everything in his power to get her back... in fact, he focuses so much on her and the other things going on in his life, that he's completely oblivious to the fact that the dead have risen and are making meals of the UK population. When a zombie lady shows up in Shaun's backyard, however, the surrounding events start to catch up to Shaun and Ed, so they plan to get their family members and hole up in the safest place around... the Winchester pub. The first people on the pick-up list are Shaun's mother and step-father, even though the step-father has been bitten... and I'm sure that we all know what happens when someone is bitten by a zombie. Next on the list is Liz, even though she was a cold-hearted bitch in dumping Shaun. Her friends David (Dylan Moran) and Dianne (Lucy Davis) tag along, even though they despise poor Shaun. Of course, as is typical in Shaun's life, things never work out quite the way he planned...
Review by Chad
Added: November 11, 2004
A horror film that mixes in romance and comedy, but still pays respect to the zombie genre? While it has been done before (see: "Dead Alive"), this isn't the type of movie that one would expect to work out, especially a grizzled old zombie fan such as myself. Work it does, however, with director Edgar Wright getting that perfect mix of horror that's sure to cause a few jumps, comedy that is guaranteed to bring about roars of laughter, and romance that'll require at least one box of tissues. OK, maybe I exaggerated a bit on the romance, but the movie does click together extremely well with the bizarre mix of genres and styles. It only helps matters that there's a number of references to the classics in the zombie films, such as Foree Electronics where Shaun works, and the "We're coming to get you, Barbara" line. Little touches, but they're sure to make the Romero fan-boys (such as myself) squeal with delight.
The storyline and setup are great on their own, but the thing that really makes this movie is Shaun and Ed, the two stars of the show. I'm sure that we all know or have known someone like Ed; an obnoxious, farting, embarrassment of a man. Though the role is as hilarious as anything one could compare it to, it also comes off as being realistic; I knew someone who was exactly like this, and Ed responded to the surrounding events just as I'd expect said person to act. Shaun, however, is beyond great in his role of Shaun. Once again, Shaun is a character that most everyone could identify with... how many times have you, the reader, had more than a few things on your plate with everyone expecting top priority in the queue of events? Again, it's the realism here that makes everything work out so smoothly. Upon discovering the zombie plague ("Don't use the Z word!"), Shaun doesn't immediately turn into a shotgun-wielding bad ass; no sir, he's still prone to the same bouts of extremely bad events following him, and more than once manages to escape death by sheer luck alone. It's quite easy to compare Shaun to Ash of "Evil Dead" fame, as they both manage to be complete imbeciles throughout the movie, but still wind up as the hero just before the credits roll. If the rumored sequel ("From Dusk 'Til Shaun") does happen, I wouldn't be surprised to see Shaun creep up on Ash as the king of horror heroes. He's just that damned good.
Though I would think that my opinion of this movie has been adequately covered in the above review, I'll sum it up for you. If you're one of the few who didn't catch this in the theater, be sure to pick it up when the DVD arrives in stores. It's well worth it for both horror and comedy fans alike. 10/10.
As the first half hour of the movie rolls along, it's shown how Shaun lives his everyday. What he does in the morning, who he deals with, your average deal. When him and his roommate Ed stumble upon two Zombies in their backyard, they make up a plan. They have to get Shaun's mother and then his girlfriend, Liz. Then they'll head off to some where safe. A safe place being a pub that Shaun and Ed hang out at all the time. Nothing goes as planned. Shaun's mother drags her second husband along, even though he's been bitten by a zombie. Then Liz's parents come along for the ride.
When the second husband transforms into a zombie, their transportation gets ditched and they are stuck walking to the pub. Battling some zombies on their way there, they discover the pub is crawling with zombies. They manage to get in and rest for awhile. Though the zombies eventually make their way inside and the group has to fight them off.
Universal took another stab at a zombie movie. Thankfully it's not a remake of some crap an old fart put together decades ago. In the same sense, it's no way original. Zombies are attacking people, the only way to kill them... destroying their brains. Then, everyone gets trapped in one place that's surrounded by zombies and they have to figure a way to get out. Not unoriginal enough for you? The two main characters are a guy and his ex-girlfriend and he's trying his best to get her back.
Even though this movie has everything every other zombie flick has, it turned out to be very entertaining. It had a lot of comedy thrown into it which was actually funny. There was enough blood through out it all and one really nice gore scene. One of the guys gets his intestines ripped out, his legs ripped off, then his head ripped from this body. Very graphic, very sweet looking. No one did a horrid job of acting, which surprised me when I found out Universal picked it up. Good acting seems to be something they push away from. Can't wait for the dvd release on this one.
Final Conclusion: 7/10
- added 09/13/2004, 04:17 PM
Sorry, I'm going to use the Z word...
this movie! During the opening where the Universal
logo comes up you can hear a rip-off of the Dawn
of the Dead music! All the way through the movie
you can see/hear links to Romero's Living Dead
Trilogy. Also some down right silliness too, for
Shaun: we may have to kill my
Ed: ooh ok!
See this movie
now! But one question you'll almost certainly ask
when they're battling the zombie in the living
room is, why the pillow???
Buy this movie,
rent it, whatever! Just make sure you see
- added 09/28/2004, 07:11 PM
You, nothing quite says good old fashioned fun
like two Brits going after zombies with a shovel,
a cricket bat (yes, I know there's another term
for it, i just don't know what it is at the
moment,) and an old Winchester that nobody is even
sure works. A credit to a long history of zombie
movies designed more to make you laugh than
scream. Would've liked to hear the zombies ask to
"Send more paramedics," though.
- added 06/24/2005, 07:53 AM
I hated this movie. I hope I never have to see it
again. And I've watched it twice already.
- added 07/17/2005, 02:55 AM
I loved this movie. It was really funny and
- added 10/21/2005, 11:01 PM
Really funny and very good, a must see for any
zombi movie lover or horror for that matter.
- added 02/17/2006, 11:18 AM
I loved this movie. Great plot and one of the
funniest zombie movies ever made. The whole
concept of using a cricket bat as a weapon struck
me with..." Why hasn't anyone done that before?"
More importantly, there is a part that could be
interpreted as a quick "Evil Dead" referance: when
Shaun is talking to his co-workers about how there
manager is ill he also says "...and Ash seems to
be feeling a bit under the weather..." I can't see
how anybody could not like this movie... I bought
it. I only purposely buy movies that I'm sure I'll
like. And I loved this movie.
- added 04/24/2007, 10:56 AM
I love Dylan Moran...Oh right, the movie.
This is a FAB movie. Ive never met anyone whos
seen it and NOT loved it. Cant wait to see the
take on the cop genre in their new movie...
- added 11/27/2007, 12:13 AM
I was not expecting much when i watched it I
thought it made light of zombie films, and was not
to be taken seriously, and
I...Was...So...Very...wrong. Scary as hell, and so
much less pretentious than Ipod Phone commercials.
- added 07/31/2008, 11:02 AM
As a person who does not generally watch zombie
movies due to a minor phobia, I was roped into
watching this (but only during the day) by a
couple of caring friends and a bottle of
Jaegermeister. Having seen "Hot Fuzz"
first, I was already familiar with the actors
involved and I had some small idea of what kind of
directing and visual style to expect. What I NEVER
expected was that I would laugh my ass off at a
zombie movie. And make no mistake, whatever the
reviews say, this is definitely a zombie movie.
The acting was impeccable, the sets and makeup
were simple but awesome, and the visuals just
knocked me for a loop. Best part: when Shaun takes
his usual morning walk to the shop...and then the
next day he repeats the same routine after the
zombies have come to town...and he doesn't notice
a thing, even despite nearly walking into one on
his way home. (The whole scene is one continuous
4-minute shot, I can't imagine how many takes it
"Shaun of the Dead"
manages to poke fun at the zombie genre while
still remaining scary as hell (one word:
dismemberment) and introduces us to two guys who
will hopefully make lots more movies together.
- added 03/19/2010, 05:37 PM
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are such a great team.