"We're coming to get you, Barbara!"
Shaun of the Dead is one of those films that benefited from the release date since a few weeks earlier the zombie horror flick, Dawn of the Dead hit theaters worldwide. A couple of years before that Danny Boyle scared audiences in England with his successful zombie flick 28 Days Later. Shaun of the Dead works as a spoof to all zombie movies so the distributors had perfect timing which is essential for a comedy. The film also had a pretty strong fan base considering Simon Pegg and Nick Frost had worked with director Edgar Wright in the past in the TV series Spaced. The setting for this film was just perfect and Wright and Pegg did a great job with the script. Thanks to Shaun of the Dead we got to see these actors team up together for another great film: Hot Fuzz (a spoof on pretty much all the 90's action movies) and for the upcoming The World's End which is receiving great reviews from critics. Fans of the TV series Spaced might enjoy some inside references in Shaun of the Dead, but regardless of wether or not you've seen it you will still have a great time with this film because the script is witty and clever while the performances are also all pretty strong. The more zombie movies you've seen the more you will enjoy this because it makes fun of several of those generic stereotypes. I wouldn't say this is a horror flick because there isn't really a scary moment, but it is an intelligent comedy that makes fun of those cheesy moments in horror films (jump scenes where one person shows up all of a sudden with creepy music in the background). Shaun of the Dead is worth your time if you are looking for a good and fun time.
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is kind of a slacker who hasn't done much with his life. He is content to spend his days with his roommate Ed (Nick Frost) and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) hanging out at the local pub where he is a frequent customer. The problem is that Liz is tired of the relationship since all they do is hang out with Ed at the pub and she barely gets to have time alone with him. Shaun promises to take her out to a nice restaurant and turn his life around, but the next day he gets distracted by a visit from his stepdad (Bill Nighy) who reminds him he has to go visit his mother (Penelope Wilton) thus forgetting to reserve a table for dinner with his girlfriend. Tired of Shaun's broken promises, Liz decides to break up with him. Shaun realizes it's time to turn his life around, but something strange is happening in his town. All of a sudden dead people are coming back to life and attacking everyone so Shaun realizes this is the perfect opportunity to prove to Liz that he is capable of saving and protecting her from the deadly zombie attacks.
Shaun of the Dead works really well thanks to the great chemistry between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; you can tell their friendship transcends the big screen and seeing them pair up is what works best in this film. The British gags and cultural references cross borders and the jokes are effective anywhere. This is one film anyone can enjoy because it works on its own. It isn't one of those spoof films which you can only enjoy if you've seen the movie it's making fun of. The fun and the jokes work on their own and the relationship between the characters is also really strong. Shaun of the Dead came to my attention when Quentin Tarantino shared his list of the 20 best films of the last 20 years and this movie appeared on that list. I really enjoyed this movie, but I don't consider it among the best comedies of our era. In my opinion Hot Fuzz was even funnier, but I really look forward to The World's End which looks really promising. Shaun of the Dead is worth checking out if you are one of the few people that haven't seen it.