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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.