Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a quintessential loser. He’s been dumped by his girlfriend, stuck in a dead-end job, his best friend still thinks he’s in college. Oh yeah, and then the Zombie apocalypse starts.
Edgar Wright, the film’s director, Pegg, and Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes) did a British show called Spaced from 1999 to 2001. Nick Frost was also in the show, but with Shaun of the Dead they seemed to move from television to movies. Hynes took a back seat in Shaun of the Dead, although she had a minor part, playing Yvonne, an ex-girlfriend of Shaun’s who ends up surviving a well. Wright, Pegg, and Frost all collaborated again with Hot Fuzz in 2007.
It’s nice how they have some misdirection in the movie. There’s no better example when the camera pans up as Shaun is lethargically waking up and getting ready for the day. You could mistake him for a zombie, and then you realize it’s Shaun.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost work very well together. I enjoyed their chemistry in this film and in Hot Fuzz, though I wasn’t crazy about Paul. They have good chemistry and play off of each other well. Another person who I enjoyed, but at the same time found irritating was David (Dylan Moran). His brunt honesty was refreshing, but he did seem like a guy with a chip on his shoulder. Moran and Pegg also did Run Fatboy Run later on, another film I thoroughly enjoyed.
This movie serves as a comedic homage to zombie movies, and it’s unapologetic about that. I like it when a film embraces being over the top if it’s supposed to be. “It’s supposed to be as silly as it sounds and succeeds magnificently. Perhaps one of the main reasons lies in the way its lead characters behave and interact. There’s an authenticity here that can only be achieved when the writers and director genuinely understand and are part of the same demographic to which their characters belong.”
I’m not much of a zombie movie person, but Shaun of the Dead is one of two zombie movies I enjoy, the other being Zombieland. I think their appeal, at least for me, is that they’re more a comedy in a zombie setting.
I enjoy watching Shaun of the Dead whenever I see it, but it’s one of those movies that I need sometime between viewings. It’s also interesting that I find out new things about other projects those involved have done and the additional layers of references that come as a result of that. Enjoyable zom-rom-com, I’d recommend it.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars