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SHAUN OF THE DEAD, 2004
Movie Reviews!

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SHAWN OF THE DEAD MOVIE POSTER
SHAUN OF THE DEAD, 2004
Movie Reviews

Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy David
Review by Chris Harding



SYNOPSIS:

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a loser, he has a dead end job, a useless oaf of a best friend,(Nick Frost) Ed. After messing up another anniversary, Shauns girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) has decided thats enough and finishes him. Now Shaun's goal is to win back the heart of Liz, with little help from Ed. Theres only one small hitch, the zombie apocolypse is upon them.

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REVIEW:

The best comedy to come out of Britain in at least a decade, not surprising as it was written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, the master minds behind the cult classic sitcom "Spaced" which also started the career of Nick Frost and resulted in their careers taking a flying leap.

It also resulted in Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright working together again in their next feature film, Hot Fuzz.

Shaun of the Dead is described as a rom-com-zom, a romantic comedy, with zombies. Not the most common of genre's seen in recent years. But does it work? Yes! It works perfectly, blending the comedy and the horror with some genuinely emotional scenes, so there is always the chance that the girlfriend or friend who is a bit of wuss, will agree to watch it, and if they do, they definitely wont regret it.

While there are a few ways to approach a film such as this, Shaun took the most difficult road: Making the characters funny while taking the zombie outbreak surrounding them very seriously. All without resorting to rediculous amounts of over-the-top gore and the overused and often imbecilic bathroom humor that infests many of today's comedies. Think of Shaun as the anti-Scary Movie movie.

Written over a span of 18 months by director Edgar Wright and lead actor Simon Pegg, they manage to create a series of hilarious situations and characters while simultaneously maintaining the truly gruesome nature of one of the most beloved icons of horror. It's not the zombies that are the butt of the jokes. They're kept honest, and as zombies have a tendency to do, they'll rip you to shreds should they get their paws on you. Gore is used unabashedly, though at the same time kept at a realistic level. Admitted horror geeks themselves, it's obvious that Wright and Pegg have an incredible respect for the genre, and specifically for the zombie creations of George Romero.

As far as scripts go, this one goes all the way, except maybe a few British terms unfamiliar to American audiences. But as with all great scripts, it can unravel on the screen without solid actors. But with Shaun there is no danger of that, as all of the actors are fantastic. Bill Nighy as Shauns Dad, erm, Stepdad, aces the role which perhaps should have been a bit bigger. Kate Ashfield is simply perfect as Shaun's fed up girlfriend, Liz. Simon Pegg's comedic talents are clearly evident throughout the film, pulling off his lines to perfection, and he's equally adept when the movies tone takes a dramatic change into the more dramatic scenes. The thief of the scenes however is Nick Frost, who seems to perform effortlessly, whenever Frost is on screen, you will not be able to stop yourself from laughing. Even the zombies, whether they be background zombies or main zombies, the performances are perfect, and make the movie just that little bit better.

Not only did Wright co-write the film but it was also his job as the director to pull the movie together, and that he does masterfully. His keen eye and creative camera work make for a very attractive looking film. And while it's a comedy first and foremost, the horror and the use of gore fit in seamlessly.

The films soundtrack is also something worthy of a mention, from the gets-stuck-in-your-head tune "The Blue Wraith" (I Monster) all the way through to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" which guaranteed you will never listen to without thinking back to THAT pub scene, it's all very good and works well with the film.

Basically, this is an all time great and will be watched for years. With no other like it in the zombie, comedy or romantic genre's this one definitely stands out from the crowd and will keep you laughing everytime you watch it, just make sure, if you watch it with a particularly scaredy cat sort of person, you don't use the "z" word before you put this gem into the DVD player.

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