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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.