Now here is a movie that I didn’t get to see in theaters and to be honest, I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t. When this came out, several of my friends had seen it and they knew I would like it and recommended that I go see it. I was all on board to do so but my wife didn’t want to go. Now this is the same person that wanted to see 28 days later on our anniversary but for some reason, did not want to go see this movie. Yeh, it makes no sense but that is what happened and so I wound up not going to see this in theaters but the second it came out on DVD, I immediately bought it and never once looked back. So lets get some zombie goodness going with today’s movie, Shaun Of The Dead.
The plot: Shaun is out at the Winchester with his girlfriend Liz, who is unhappy about the fact that he always has to bring Ed along with him. Along with her friends David and Dianna, who are there with them as well, Liz complains about Shaun’s lack of direction in life and Shaun says he will change and promises to make a reservation at a restaurant for their anniversary the next day. The next day, Shaun is getting ready for work when his roommate Pete starts complaining about Ed living there but not contributing to the house any. As Shaun and Pete get ready to leave for work, Pete asks Ed to clean up since he isn’t doing anything and Shaun asks Ed to do it for him, as he doesn’t want Pete to get more upset than he already is. At work, Shaun is giving a team meeting, being the senior member on staff there, but the kids working under him are disrespectful or ignore him. While working, Shaun’s step-father Philip shows up to remind Shaun about visiting his mother the next day and suggests he bring the flowers he forgot to bring on Mother’s Day when he comes. As one of the kids gets on Shaun’s case about receiving a “personal visit” at work, Liz calls to see if Shaun got her message at the house and Shaun absent mindedly answers to avoid further mocking from the teen. On the way home, Shaun buys some flowers for his mom and starts noticing some strange things going on with some people. He runs into his friend Yvonne, who asks about him and Liz, prompting Shaun to remember about the dinner reservations but when he tries to make one, the restaurant is booked. Liz calls and when Shaun tells her that he forgot to make the reservation and suggests going to the Winchester, she breaks up with him. Shaun grabs the flowers and heads over to Liz’s place, which she shares with David and Dianna, but David and Dianna refuse to let him in at first. When he finally gets in, Liz argues with him about all the broken promises he has made, while David interjects his own comments which angers Shaun. Liz eventually kicks Shaun out of her flat and as he walks towards the Winchester, he sees a couple making out near the door and angrily tosses the flowers into the trash. Shaun sits with Ed, who tries to cheer Shaun up and they end up getting drunk and going back to the house, not noticing that there are zombies wandering around. When they get back to the house, Shaun and Ed continue drinking and partying until Pete throws the record out the window and yells that it is 4 in the morning. He then yells at Ed and tells Shaun to sort his life out when Shaun notices Pete’s hand is wounded and Pete tells them he was mugged on the way home and someone bit him. The next morning, Shaun heads to the market, comp[letely oblivious to the zombies around the area, and when he gets back to the house, Ed tells him there is a girl in the yard. The two go out to check on her and when she keeps trying to attack them, Shaun pushes her, causing her to fall and impale herself on a pole. When the girl gets back up, Shaun and Ed move to go inside when they see a second zombie approaching them. They make it inside and start watching the news only to have a zombie enter the house through the front door, which Shaun forgot to close. Ed manages to kill it and, after hearing a news report on how to stop the zombies, they go outside and start throwing things at the zombies, including Shaun’s records. When it doesn’t work, Shaun breaks into the shed and grabs a cricket bat, while Ed grabs a shovel, and the two kill the two zombies in the yard. Going back inside, they see a report about people being bitten, prompting them to worry about Pete but when they yell up at him, they get no response and think he has already left. Shaun’s mom, Barbara, calls and tells him that Phillip was bitten so Shaun decides they will go get Barbara, kill Phillip, then go to Liz’s and all of them will hold up at the Winchester. As they go to leave, Shaun sees Pete is in the bathroom and he quickly leaves the room before he grabs him and they get in Pete’s car and leave. They reach Barbara and Philips house and Ed chooses to stay outside with the car while Shaun goes inside the house. Inside Shaun asks Barbara about Philip but when he goes to kill him, he finds that Philip is still alive and can’t bring himself to kill him. Shaun takes Barbara and Philip outside and finds that Ed has wrecked the car in order to drive Philip’s Jaguar but before they get in the car, Philip is attacked by some more zombies. Shaun fends them off and they all get in the car and head to Liz’s flat. Shaun heads there but when he finds too many zombies at the door, he climbs the wall to their flat and convinces them to come with him to the Winchester, though David argues that they will be safer there. When they head outside, Shaun leads them to the car and they start to drive to the Winchester but Philip dies and turns into a zombie. Shaun fends him off as Ed, Liz, and Barbara get out of the car and Liz lets Shaun, David, and Dianna out of the back, as they were trapped due to the child locks on the doors. Making their way through the neighborhood to the Winchester, the group runs into Yvonne, who is leading a similar group in the opposite direction. As they get close to the Winchester, Shaun notices his mom is missing just as he hears her crying out. Shaun heads back and finds Barbara on the ground, just as he gets attacked by a zombie. Liz and Dianna help Shaun deal with the zombie, which he impales with a tether ball pole. Realizing the street in front of the Winchester is full of zombies, Shaun comes up with a plan to imitate them and make their way to the pub. When they get there, they find the doors locked and as Shaun tries to tell them there is another way in, Ed gets a phone call, drawing the zombie’s attention towards them. David panics and breaks a window but Shaun realizes that they won’t make it in safely so Shaun chooses to lead the zombies away from the pub so the others can make it in. Inside, David starts complaining about what they should do next and everyone is surprised when Shaun reappears, telling them that he gave the zombies the slip and came in through back door. As they sit in a booth, Shaun notices the lights coming on in the street and so he heads down to check the fuses and discovers that the zombies had followed him. When Ed attracts the zombies attention again, just as the jukebox starts playing music, Shaun has David try to stop the jukebox while he, Ed, and Liz deal with the bar’s owner. As they use the deal with the zombies starting to break in, Liz tends to Barbara, who reveals that she was bitten back when she was attacked in the yard. Shaun, Ed, and Dianna head over to try and help Barbara but she dies and Shaun cries out. David suddenly points the gun at Barbara and as everyone argues for him to put the gun down, Shaun calls David out on being in love with Liz, which David finally admits to being true. When Barbara turns, Shaun is forced to kill her, then punches David when he makes a comment about it. David gets fed up and goes to leave but the zombies break through the window and grab him. Shaun, Liz, and Dianna try to save him but he is ripped apart by the zombies and Dianna, mad with grief, runs out and begins attacking the zombies with David’s leg. As more zombies start entering the pub, Ed is attacked and bitten by Pete, prompting Shaun to shoot Pete and then Shaun, Liz, and Ed take shelter behind the bar, which Shaun sets on fire to fend off the zombies. They then head into the cellar and Shaun realizes they have two bullets left, which he and Liz discuss shooting themselves to avoid being killed by the zombies. As they talk, Shaun sees the elevator to the street and he goes to grab Ed but Ed tells him that he will only hold him back and that they should go as they would have a chance to make it. Shaun and Liz head to the street just as the military arrive and start killing the zombies, and they are surprised to see Yvonne there, who had told the military to come there. 6 months later, society has gone back to a semblance of normal, with some zombies being used to handle mundane tasks. Shaun and Liz have gotten back together and as they discuss their plans for the day, Shaun heads out to the garden shed, where he is keeping the zombified Ed around so he can still have his best friend with him, and the two begin playing video games.
Shaun Of The Dead met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.” George Romero was given a private screening of the movie and was so impressed with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s work that he asked them to have cameo zombie appearances in Land Of The Dead. The movie was a box office success, earning $30 million off a $6.1 million budget.
This is such an awesome movie to watch. The acting was great, with Simon Pegg (Shaun) and Nick Frost (Ed) making for a great comedic duo. Kate Ashfield (Liz), Bill Nighy (Philip), and Penelope Wilton (Barbara) also turned in some really good performances. The story was really good, doing a great job of paying homage to the classic zombie movies while adding some really funny moments that didn’t really take away from the horror but some ways, added to it. There were also a lot of subtle references to Romero’s zombie movies as well as other horror directors mixed in which was kind of fun to pick up on. The special effects with the zombies and was really good, especially some of the zombie injuries that were used in the film. Definitely something to watch if you are in the mood for laughs or zombies or both.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5