Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Movie Review: "Shaun of the Dead" (2004)

Director: Edgar Wright
Year: 2004
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

A slacker stuck in a dead end job tries to rise to his full potential and be a hero after the zombie apocalypse breaks out in London.

"Shaun of the Dead" is the first film in what is now called the "Cornetto Trilogy," a trio of genre comedies directed by Edgar Wright. Wright also wrote this movie along with the film's star Simon Pegg, who plays the titular Shaun. Joining Pegg is Nick Frost, who always plays Pegg's sidekick in the Cornetto Trilogy films. In this case, Frost plays Ed, a perpetual man-child and flatmate of Shaun's. Shaun is a bit of a slacker. He works a dead end job and is stuck in a rather mundane, unhappy, unfulfilling routine. All of a sudden, the zombie apocalypse breaks out, and Shaun decides to rise up and try to be a hero in order to save the people he loves. His solution? To gather everyone they know in their favorite local pub, the Winchester. Also in the film are Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis and Dylan Moran as Liz, Dianne, and David, Peter Serafinowicz as Shaun and Ed's roommate Pete, Bill Nighy as Shaun's stepdad Philp, and Penelope Wilton as Shaun's mum Barbara.

It's hard to believe it has been 13 years since this hilariously funny film first hit theaters. We are fans of both horror movies and comedies, and think the genres regularly go hand in hand. "Shaun of the Dead" focuses on one particular aspect of the horror, one that has been explored more and more as the years have gone by: zombies! This isn't the first time a zombie flick has been turned into a comedy. The first zom-com we can remember seeing is 1985's "Return of the Living Dead." That was a zombie movie that existed in a world where its characters have seen movies like "Night of the Living Dead." "Shaun of the Dead" is similar in this respect. The characters here even make a joke about Shaun actually saying the word "zombie," which is something rarely if ever done in actual horror flicks. Even shows like "The Walking Dead" refuse to use the 'zed-word,' as Ed calls it.

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg play a lot with expected genre tropes, poking fun at the stereotypes seen in both horror movies and comedies to make one hell of a riotous flick. There is a ton of wit found within the dialogue and some genuinely clever gags that pop up throughout the film's run time. Even though "Shaun of the Dead" is a comedy, it doesn't shy away from the blood and guts typically found in the horror genre. We also get some perilous situations as Shaun chooses to find the people he cares most about in the world in order to gather them all together so he can save them. Because of this, there are even a few truly heartfelt moments as well.

We have a lot of fun whenever we watch "Shaun of the Dead," and it's obvious that Wright, Pegg, Frost, and company had an absolute blast making this zom-rom-com. If you have never seen this film, we highly recommend you stop what you're doing and watch this extremely quotable, extremely smart, highly gory laugh-fest of a movie NOW!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.0/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 92%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!


  1. Its because of this movie that if a zombie apocalypes ever comes around, I'm hiding in a pub.