Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Review: Shaun of the Dead (2004): A-

This film works on too many levels and the best complement I can give it is that it's the best Rom Com Zom movie I’ve ever had the privilege of watching (even if there aren’t many entries in the genre). First, you have your basic but essential comedy experience. Even before all the social commentary and Wright’s excellent visual direction come into play it’s comfortable to know the filmmakers are trying to make you laugh before think. For me, the first viewing of the film was almost strictly a comedic one. The more I watch it the further away from the comedy I wander. Most comedies lose their fun after multiple viewings, but this film just turns the adventure into a more academic one. The basis setup follows our hero Shaun (Pegg), a 29-year-old with no real ambition in life. With only a loyalty to his lazy best friend Edgar (Frost), a dead-end job where his employees step on him, and the good-ol' days, Shaun is drifting through life. But when the undead start to rise around modern-day London, Shaun must come to the rescue of his girlfriend (Ashfield) and mother before all hell breaks loose. This Pegg-Frost partnership would later be seen in Hot Fuzz, a parody of action films that might even surpass this film in the laugh-ability factor.

The zombie culture undercurrent rippling through this project is amazing. There’s something about the culture of zombies that speaks to the imagination of the Western World. Zombies as social criticism are always a bit of fun so let me indulge myself for a moment. Many times in film, the only way to conquer the beast is to become him. SOTD’s argues that we already are the beast. The beast being in this case: a modern capitalist society. In such a society, the citizens drift through life and forget to pursue happiness because they’re too busy consuming false indulgences. Next, my head starts singing “And the people in the houses/All go to the university/And they all get put in boxes/Little boxes, all the same”. Just before I lose myself in zombie geekiness, Frost screams “Yeah, boyyyeee!and I’m dragged back into a fun buddy movie that represents independent cinema at its peak.


  1. I had to read this post, its such an excellent film and i couldnt agree more with still finding enjoyment (on all levels) no matter how many rewatches. If you peel back the comedy and the romance, and yes the zombies aswell, it's still wonderfully filmed. There were some great techniques in there (a favourite being Shaun falling asleep on the chair in the kitchen) but it really did have something massive and valid to say about the world! A tick in everybox I say.

    April Skye xx

  2. A cracking film, I can always watch it when it's on without fail. Can't we just go for a pint in the Winchester and wait for it all to blow over? Classic!!