I vividly remember just how much this movie blew me away the first time I saw it. I actually watched twice that night as I was fairly stocked up on weed and beer. At that point in time, I didn’t know about The Return of the Living Dead or The Evil Dead, two eighties classics featuring a similar vibe. Additionally, this was a sleek, new, and highly popular movie that just took the world by storm. Shaun of the Dead is a masterfully crafted horror comedy featuring zombies, dark humor, and excellent production values.
It’s also a movie that showed just how talented Edgar Wright is. He would go on to direct such classics as Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. The first thing that I loved about this movie was the characters. And not just because I identified with them but because they’re so well-written and charming. Dancing a fine line between a parody and an actual movie, this is one hell of a ride. With a running time of just ninety minutes, Shaun of the Dead will be over before you know it.
And then you would want more and more. This is why I suggest you do the same thing I did and play the movie again right after it ends. Many of the scenes are so fucking relatable that you will crack up every freaking time. I think that it goes without saying that the production values are excellent along with the special effects. Makeup is especially important when it comes to zombie movies and they fucking nailed it here.
Meet Shaun, a guy who effortlessly glides through life to the dissatisfaction of almost everyone around him. His coworkers don’t like him and his girlfriend just dumped him. However, his only friend Edgar, who’s also his dealer, is always there for him. One day, he wakes up and realizes that there’s something wrong. He doesn’t know it yet but the world is currently in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Is this the end for Shaun and Edgar or a chance for a new start?
The entire plot is a brilliant social commentary on the current state of our society. And it’s not pretentious or dull like in some other movies but very intelligent and sharp. Moreover, it’s full of that special brand of British black humor that I came to love so much. When you combine that with deliciously explicit gore and graphic acts of violence that feel like slapstick you got yourself a classic. To prove just how much of a zombie masterpiece this is, just compare it to The Walking Dead tv show. You’ll notice a lot of similar situations although the atmosphere couldn’t be more different between them.
If you’re looking for movies like Shaun of the Dead, I suggest you check out Wyrmwood, The Revenant, and Undead. You can keep going with two distinctly British movies, Cockneys vs Zombies and Doghouse before moving on to Dead Snow. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention visually alluring Dellamorte Dellamore. Finally, near the hour mark, our merry gang of survivors will run into another, equally cool-looking gang. And I hope that one day, Edgar and Simon will grace us with their adventures. With Martin Freeman starring, of course.
Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Cast: Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Peter Serafinowicz
Fun Facts: The game that Ed (Nick Frost) is playing throughout the movie is Timesplitters 2.