Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Funny script, good zombie make-up, fun horror

A lot of comedy if you want pure horror

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Shaun of the Dead

Studio: StudioCanal

Genre(s): Comedy/Horror/Romance

Release Date(s): April 9, 2004

MPAA Rating: R

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Batman Soundtrack…ok.

Shaun (Simon Pegg) has problems…he’s in a dead-in job, he’s got a jerk of a roommate (Peter Serafinowicz), he doesn’t like his pushy stepfather Phillip (Bill Nighy), and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) broke-up with him because of his friendship with Ed (Nick Frost)…oh yeah, and zombies are rising from the dead and killing everyone. Now, Shaun has to try to try to get Liz back and try to keep everyone safe from the zombie invasion.

Directed by Edgar Wright, Shaun of the Dead is a horror parody homage.  The movie was released to positive reviews and a strong box office turn out.  The movie is considered part one of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy which was followed by Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013).

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Pop Rocks & Coke does cause you to explode!

What I like about this movie is that despite being a comedy, it is very horrific. Like other horror comedies, the movie tries to find the balance between the horror and laughs. Unlike a movie like The Return of the Living Dead, this movie is more comedy than horror…and that is saying a lot if you’ve seen The Return of the Living Dead or Evil Dead 2. The movie is laced with homages to other horror and zombie movies and holds it ground with them.  Yes, even Night of the Living Dead‘s immortal “They’re coming to get you Barbara” gets some love!  It is fun and fast and definite plus for fans of horror.

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Who knew that The Winchester was such a popular place?

The relationships between the character helps the smart script work. Pegg and Frost are great and realistic friends who are more bothered by the zombies’ messing up their day than the zombies themselves. Pegg and Ashfield also seem like they could be a real couple and her frustration with a guy like Shaun is smart since the viewers can even be frustrated with Shaun. The movie actually makes for a pretty good comedy romance also. If you add in Liz’s friends David (Dylan Moran) and Dianne (Lucy Davis) and Shaun’s mother Barbara (Penelope Wilton), you have a really good ensemble cast that plays off of each other well.

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Dude, we are so screwed

Shaun of the Dead also was fortunate enough to get in early on the zombie craze, but it also held closer to ideas presented in the George Romero style of zombie movie. For all intents and purposes, Shaun of the Dead could have happened during the Dawn of the Dead or something…minus the ending of course which has the characters finding a balance with the walking Dead.

Shaun of the Dead shows what can be done with a good genre mashing. You can argue that Shaun of the Dead is a good romance, comedy, or horror movie…plus add in one of the best buddy movies. The movie isn’t insulting to fans of horror, in fact, most probably can embrace it. Pegg, Frost, and Wright’s follow up movie Hot Fuzz tried to do the same for action/adventure movies, but it doesn’t do it as deftly as Shaun of the Dead.

Related Links:

Hot Fuzz (2007)

The World’s End (2013)

Buy it on Amazon.com or stream it now:

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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