Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary from Simon Pegg
and Edgar Wright. Audio commentary from actors Simon Pegg, Nick
Frost, Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield and Lucy Davis. Audio commentary
from actors Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton. Audio commentary from
the zombies. Extended bits with audio commentary. Outtakes. The
Man Who Would Be Shaun: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost impersonate
Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Plotholes: comic strip sequences
with voiceover from Lucy Davis, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost including
What Happened To Shaun When He Ran Off?/What Happened To Diane
When She Left The Winchester?/How Did Ed Get From The Cellar To
The Shed? Extended edits of the TV shows within the movie. Remembering
Z Day: an interview with Jeremy Thompson. Electronic Press Kit.
Vignettes: Simon's cam/Lucy's cam/Joe's diary. Edgar Wright's
and Simon Pegg's Flip Chart: presentation of the first draft.
SFX comparison. Make-up tests. Photo gallery. Poster designs.
2000AD Strip: There's Something About Mary. TV spots. Official
trailer. Official teaser trailer. 'Fright Fest' exclusive trailer.
Interactive menu. Scene access.
THE creators of cult TV hit, Spaced, make their bid for big screen
super-stardom with a comic spoof of George Romeros zombie
movies, with surprisingly hilarious results.
Billed as a love story, with zombies, the film finds
Simon Peggs under-achiever, Shaun, forced to confront his
personal and romantic failures, at the same time as a zombie plague
hits London, threatening the existence of everyone around him.
Forced to take charge for the first time in his life, Shaun sets
about rescuing his mother (Penelope Wilton) and his girlfriend
(Kate Ashfield), with the help of his slobbish best friend, Ed
(Nick Frost), before heading for his favourite local stomping
ground, The Winchester pub, in a bid for safety.
Helping and hindering in equal measure
are the likes of his step-father (Bill Nighy), and the friends
of his girlfriend, including long-time nemesis, David (Dylan Moran),
and his passive girlfriend, Dianne (played by The Offices
The inspiration for Shaun of the Dead came from an early episode
of the Spaced series, in which Peggs character was trapped
in the game, Resident Evil 2, fighting off zombies.
Both Pegg and writer, Edgar Wright, had so much fun doing it,
that they immediately resolved to make a full-length zombie feature,
which would indulge their passion for film, as well as the horror
Their intention was to create a zombie comedy that was funny
in terms of the characters and dialogue, but which stayed true
to the horror aspect.
And it is safe to say that they have largely succeeded, turning
in a funny, and occasionally horrific, zombie homage, which treads
a very satisfying line between the laughter and the chills.
Pegg is brilliant as the unlikely hero of the piece, while his
banter with Frost is spot-on, helping to ensure that this little
and large duo are worthy of the audiences appreciation.
Yet the support cast shines, too, clearly aware of the need to
keep tongues firmly rolled into cheeks, and revelling in the opportunities
presented by the genre. The in-jokes which helped to make the
series such a cult hit among film buffs are also in abundance.
Visually, the film works wonders, with several of the sight gags,
early on, providing moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, particularly
as Shaun stumbles about his locality, blissfully unaware of the
weirdness surrounding him.
But the nods to Romeros genre-defining horror classics,
as well as to modern fare, such as 28
Days Later and From Dusk Til Dawn, are equally keenly observed
and done in an affectionate way, so as not to do them a disservice.
Hence, when the gore kicks in, and the zombies reach their victims,
youll be screaming with disgust, such is the quality
of the special effects that accompany them.
And while the film does become a little laboured late on, and
the tone a little uneven, viewers should be willing to forgive
it such excesses, for this, at the end of the day, is a genuinely
enjoyable horror/comedy that marks an all-too rare success story
for the British film industry.
Pegg and Wright deserve their acclaim and should rightly be rewarded
with strong Box Office returns.