Perhaps the most famous masterpiece in Edgar Wright’s repertoire, this 2004 film changed not one, not two but three genres by splicing them together in a hilarious combination. The impact on the world is legendary. Not only does it still appeal to a hoard of fans, but it has been hailed as one of the best British movies of all time, voted second on a poll by Radio One, is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favourite movies and is quoted by millions worldwide. I am talking of course, about Shaun of the Dead.
Shaun of the Dead is quite a simple concept really. Shaun is a slacker, a salesman whose life has no real direction. While wasting his time with his man friend Ed, Shaun is losing touch with the people he loves most. His girlfriend dumps him, his flatmate hates him and his parents are concerned. After one argument leads to another, Shaun decides to sort his life out by winning his girl back, patching things up with his parents and gaining some self respect. He also has to survive a zombie apocalypse which has appeared on the streets of London…
Taking three relatively simple concepts, love, comedy and horror, and cooking them together gives Shaun of the Dead this ultimately fresh and unique meal that has yet to be matched. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright work amazingly well as writing partners here to deliver not only a pretty damn funny movie, but also a nod to the great zombie movies of yesteryear. The movie is sliced with tributes as well as some great scenes such as an attack on a zombie cued perfectly to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” There is not one moment that misses the beat. Shaun of the Dead is an incredible example of brilliant British comedy with dry wit, sarcastic jokes and surreal humour. Combine this with an energetic director, who implements fast paced camera shots and a kinetic feel to the film, and Shaun of the Dead is a romantic comedy with zombies and brains.
But Shaun of the Dead doesn’t forget its heart and the movie is much about the bromance between Simon Pegg’s Shaun and Nick Frosts Ed. The evolving leadership role of Shaun as he finally becomes a man juxtaposed with his man Friday who manages to save the day whilst still being himself is a wonderful character pairing. So it is natural to have two actors such as Pegg and Frost who has as much chemistry on screen as they do off. There are some wickedly emotional moments that are just two friends hanging out during a national crisis.
With all these brains, hearts and courage flying about it isn’t any wonder that Shaun of the Dead is a favourite not only with our nation but worldwide. The first of the Cornetto Trilogy (strawberry flavoured) is filled with utter amazing acting, writing and directing. A combination that started the Wright takeover of the world