Top 365 Films – #071 – Shaun Of The Dead (2004)


Top 365 Films - Shaun of the DeadDIRECTED BY: Edgar Wright

STARRING: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Jessica Stevenson, Peter Serafinowicz, Rafe Spall, Martin Freeman, Reece Shearsmith, Tamsin Greig, Julia Deakin and Matt Lucas

BUDGET: $6.1m

EARNED (Worldwide): $30m

AWARDS: None (BAFTA Nomination for Best British Film)

 

SYNOPSIS

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

 

Shaun is a middle-aged electronics shop salesman who isn’t have the best of times at the moment as he isn’t taken seriously in his dead-end job and quickly his girlfriend Liz has enough of their relationship going nowhere fast and decides that he’ll sort it all out the next day…which just happens to be when the living dead have risen and are everywhere, leading to Shaun and his best friend Ed set out to rescue those that he loves.

 

Coming off their TV series Spaced, the trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost bring us a rather simple and clever film on the zombie genre that George A. Romero made famous but with a comedic twist that works completely well on its own, but it’s nice to catch the nods and winks to other films and pop culture references here and there. The film flows perfectly well without feeling like it’s one set piece after another, the characters interactions all feel honestly genuine in the situations they are in and the dialogue….the dialogue is terrifically funny and highly quotable and the directing from Edgar Wright is terrific and Chris Dickens does a stellar job of editing the footage together. The cast also does a terrific job, particularly the bromance between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is as hilarious to watch here on screen as it was in Spaced and speaking of which, it’s nice to see Jessica Hynes pop up in a cameo role. Kate Ashfield does well in the role of Liz, playing it straight and bringing the focus back to the film amongst the laughs and Lucy Davis and Dylan Moran are a great foil couple to Shaun and Liz. While the there is laughs to be had throughout, the film does have its dark moments which may lose some people but overall a thoroughly entertaining horror-comedy with great replay value and my personal favourite of the Cornetto/Blood and Ice Cream trilogy.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: It’s such a small ‘minor’ scene but I always do enjoy the television channel changes perfectly flowing in sync with the zombie situation at hand.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: Shaun: As Bertrand Russell once said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.

Liz: Was that on a beer mat?

Shaun: Yeah, it was Guinness Extra Cold.

Liz: I won’t say anything.

Shaun: Thanks.’

DID YOU KNOW?: Many of the Zombie extras are fans of the TV series Spaced (1999), which also starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and was also directed by Edgar Wright. They were recruited through the Spaced Out fan web site to be in the film.

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