Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead
Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Edgar Wright and Nick Frost
(number 240)

This is especially a fun watch after having seen the original Romero movies. I also watched Hot Fuzz not that long ago so although it’s out of order, it was a fun watch. I remember watching this when it first came out, at the movies, and thinking it was a bit too scary for me during the climax. I was okay with it on this watch, I guess I’ve adjusted in the last 12 years.

Shaun of the Dead is best in the examination of the traditional zombie tropes like, all the news reports are showing info about a crisis but Shaun just keeps clicking through the channels – which hilariously creates a new message of its own. I think his hungover walk to the dairy to get an ice cream is one of my favourite sequences in any movie – just the mundanity of the task with weird horror things happening behind him. The blood stained handprints on the drinks fridge, etc. It’s very nicely filmed.

I also love the bit where Shaun and his crew come across his friend and all the same crew she’s got together including Martin Freeman and Tamsin Grieg. It’s elegantly done.

The zombies are pure Romero – very slow and stuff, minimal make up and easy to fight off. This is classic zombie, where the terror comes from the relentlessness and the strength of numbers. Matches the slow build of the film and the story nicely. I’m sure there’s a bunch of particularly British jokes in there that I don’t follow but it’s still very funny all round.

Does it make me love the people? Yes. Shaun is a no-hoper, but he’s nicely contrasted as being better than Ed who has no job beyond drug dealing and is generally an awful flatmate. I feel for Liz, because generally she has some very good points about wanting more from life and ultimately… she doesn’t really get it. But she has respect for Shaun at the end, and that’s something.

My least favourite bit is when Dylan Moran’s David dies, not the last because it’s disgusting and genuinely horrifying, but also because he looks so much like a grown up Harry Potter and I don’t want him to die for that reason.

Bechdel test: Yes! Liz and Barbara talk a few times. At first just ‘nice to meet you’ and then later on about Barbara’s bite wound she’s been concealing. Dianne also talks to Liz and Barbara at various times. Yay for Edgar Wright!

Best line:

Shaun: As Mr. Sloan always says, there is no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in pie. And there’s an “I” in meat pie. Anagram of meat is team… I don’t know what he’s talking about.

Shaun: If you get cornered… [hits himself on head with cricket bat] …bash ’em in the head, that seems to work. Ow.

State of Mind: I enjoyed this movie, watching it again. I sort of thought it’d be too horror-y for me again but yeah, it’s brilliant. I do enjoy a rom-zom-com… although I guess I can only name three of those but this was the first!

Watched movie count


One thought on “Shaun of the Dead (2004)

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