Shaun Of The Dead

"Good"

Shaun Of The Dead Review


A huge hit in England last spring and a shoe-in for instant cult-classic status, "Shaun of the Dead" is a hysterical dual-genre spoof about a 29-year-old London layabout who sees a zombie outbreak as his big chance to win back his peeved, reliability-seeking girlfriend by coming to her rescue -- a plan he manages to screw up in every conceivable way.

Writers Edgar Wright (who directs) and Simon Pegg (who plays the title character) have labeled their flick a "zom-rom-com" (zombie romantic comedy), and they delight in taking wickedly funny potshots at all the clichés that inspired them, beginning with the morning Shaun wakes up oblivious to a world full of flesh-starved ghouls.

Having managing to channel-surf past all the previous night's news reports of spreading undead hysteria (of course), he drags himself to a convenience store and back, in his own half-dead morning stupor, completely failing to notice his entire neighborhood is overrun with walking corpses. Eventually he catches on and sets out, with a cricket bat and his couch-potato roommate (amusingly slovenly Nick Frost), to round up his mum and his ex (Kate Ashfield) so they can fortify themselves inside -- where else? -- his favorite pub.

It's a terrible strategy (especially since he drags the chagrined girl and some friends out of a virtually impregnable high-rise apartment), but that's part of the joke. In fact, one of the movie's more round-about laughs comes as Shaun and his quickly-diminishing party continue to cross paths with a friend who is faring much better at leading her own group of survivors to safety.

An enjoyably low-budget endeavor given a sense of mock-slickness through zippy zooms and artsy editing, "Shawn of the Dead" is packed to the rafters with hilarious homages (George Romero and Sam Raimi films, a mocking reference to last year's "28 Days Later," goofs on John Woo movies, "Star Wars," "A Clockwork Orange" and more). But Wright and Pegg also get surprising mileage out of cheap, well-delivered one-liners ("Next time I see him, he's dead!") and slack-jawed double-takes from its gifted comedic stars -- many of whom honed their chemistry together on the hit Brit sci-fi satire "Spaced."

When scores of zombies inevitably encroach on the barricaded booze house, the movie's humor dips markedly as the bloody body-count rises, which is the one shortcoming that can't be easily shrugged off as part of the flick's cut-rate charm. But all will be forgiven with the ironic finale and an imaginative tongue-in-cheek epilogue that accompanies the closing credits.

In the days before quick turn-around from theatrical release to home video, "Shaun of the Dead" would surely become a staple of the midnight-movie circuit. But insomniac screenings or no, this movie is a guaranteed gut-buster for anyone even vaguely familiar with the fundamentals of zombiedom.



Shaun Of The Dead

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th September 2004

Box Office USA: $13.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $30M

Budget: $4M

Distributed by: Focus Features

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 183 Rotten: 17

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Shaun, as Ed, as Liz, as Dianne, as David, as Pete, as Barbara, as John, as Mary, as Mark, as Phillip, as Yvonne

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.