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Shaun of the Dead
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Shaun of the Dead (2003)

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Plot Summary:
"Shaun (Simon Pegg) is your below average thirty something who it seems has no real goal in life. Lacking any real ambition. He drives his long suffering girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) around the bend. He seems to pay more attention to his fellow loser pals and housemates Ed (Nick Frost)and Pete (Peter Serafinowicz). Other than his basic faults. Shaun is other wise a decent enough sort. But soon realises how much Liz means to him when with out warning. The undead begin to walk the earth (or to shorten it down, Crouch End in London). Now it's a race against time for Shaun to not only spring to the rescue of the girl he loves. But his dear sweet Mum as well. After watching this. You'll never look at 'Dawn of the Dead' the same way again."


Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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@horrorasylum
Review Date: 18 April 2004 My Rating: out of 5

 

The team behind cult show 'Spaced' brings us this 'Zomromcom' and you can believe the hype because it's bloody brilliant!!

When Shaun and his best mate Ed wake up one morning with really bad hangovers (as a result of trying to get over the end of Shaun's relationship with his girlfriend Liz) they find that the majority of their local community have become zombies!! 'Sssh we're not saying the Z word'.

I'll be honest, I wasn't really hyped about this movie because A) I'm not really into British humour B) The majority of British films are bad and C) I'm not a big fan of British horror.

Well, I stand corrected because A) I loved the humour B) I'm proud that this is British and C) This film has just single handedly revived the British horror genre!!

Shaun of the Dead perfectly captures everyday life in Britain with hilarious jokes, copious amounts of gore, great effects work and lots of jump scenes too.

Also a huge plus was the wonderful comical look at retail, and the subtle horror references such as Shaun's place of employment being called Foree electricals (an obvious nod to Dawn of the Dead star Ken Foree) not to mention the excellent reworkings of the original scores from 'Night of the Living Dead' and 'Dawn of the Dead'.

The cast are excellent and Kudos goes to Simon Pegg for managing to be hilarious one moment and at the height of emotion the next. British audiences will also be pleased to see a whole crop of familiar faces in cameo roles.

OVERALL SUMMARY
A truly enjoyable film, that has everything a horror fan could ever want and more!!



Reviewer: Steven Davies @braindeadsteve
Location:Luton, UK
Review Date: 15 April 2004 My Rating: out of 5

In the late 90s a new style of English sitcom premiered on Channel 4 here in the UK. The show was called Spaced. It was a fast paced attempt at contempory television and it succeeded on all counts. Hilariously different and uniquely shot, Spaced, filled with its references and in-jokes to keep any movie buff in hogs heaven, hit cult status.

The show, written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and directed by Edgar Wright, featured a very brief dream sequence whereby the hero Tim had been caught up in a zombie shoot-em-up. Clearly bought on by his constant love for playing his video games and most notably Resident Evil. And from this, Shaun of the Dead was born.

I had been excited about this project ever since I heard about it. I felt anything starring Simon and directed by Edgar would be fantastic. But a comedy about zombies premise - it just blew me away. I couldn't wait. But like so many movies before this I was afraid I may have too many expectations and end up being bitterly disappointed......not a chance!

Shaun of the Dead is quite frankly a superbly crafted little movie. It has a good script, a fast pace, an irreverant humour and superb acting. I was greatly impressed with Simons Pegg's performance. We all know he's one hell of a funny guy but here he shows how good an actor he really is. There are one or two scenes when the guy looks genuinely upset or angry. Its great. But the whole cast was excellent in my opinion. They all gave great naturalistic performances which is becomming very popular in British comedy of late (i.e The Office).

Like so many coming of age, zero to hero tales, this movie takes deals with underachievers. In this case its Shaun (played by Simon Pegg). Shaun is a below average thirty something who seems to have no real goal or ambition. Dumped by his girlfriend (Kate Ashfield) and bought down further by his loser pal Ed (Nick Frost), Shaun can't sink to any lower depths. But just as things seem bad the undead begin to walk the Earth. And now Shaun must rescue his family and the girl he loves.

The zombies, the blood, the gore. It all looks great. The humour is the same satirical humour that Spaced became known for and of course contains stacks of movie and pop culture references. There is in fact masses of zombie movie references which Im sure real buffs would enjoy picking out on numerous viewings. Its one of those TV to film transfers that just works. And I'm not saying that Shaun of the Dead is strictly a TV to film transfer but viewers of Spaced will understand. Spaced was always made with that extra cinematic quality and so adapting similar styles and techniques to the big screen seemed flawless.

Shaun of the Dead was a thoroughly enjoyable movie and whether you like zombie movies or not I fail to see how anyone couldn't enjoy this on some level. It does have its scary moments, in fact many of the scares seem overshadowed by the feeling of wanting to laugh out loud at it. It looks great and bloody hell what a fantastic soundtrack!!! So if romance and comedy...with er.., zombies and a little apocalypse thrown in is your bag then head for your local cinema now!

OVERALL SUMMARY
Shaun of the Dead is a gem. Not the greatest comedy of all time, not the best horror of all time. But most definitely up there as one of the greatest horror/comedies I've seen. And between you and me it was the funniest film I've seen in a long time and everyone in the cinema with me seemed to agree. In fact us Brits as you know aren't ones for whooping and cheering during a movie but here there was definite whoops, laughs, screams and applause! 'Who died and made this king of the zombie comedies?'




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