Shaun of the Dead (2004) Poster


Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Spoilers (11)
George A. Romero, creator of the films that this movie pays homage to and lampoons, was so impressed with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's work that he asked them to appear in Land of the Dead (2005), the fourth part of his Dead series, in cameos as zombies.
When asked by an interviewer why they chose to have slow moving zombies instead of running zombies, Simon Pegg simply replied, "Because death is not an energy drink."
Shaun tells Liz that he's going to take her to "the place that does all the fish". When he opens the phone book you can see that the restaurant is literally called 'The Place That Does All the Fish'.
Quentin Tarantino dubbed Shaun of the Dead (2004) one of the top 20 films made since 1992.
The day of the zombie invasion, when Shaun walks to the corner shop and doesn't notice zombies in the streets and corpses all over, the scene is shot in one long, unbroken take.
Shaun and Ed's friendship is based on Simon Pegg's and Nick Frost's when they shared a flat together.
Nick Frost (Ed) allegedly kept his genitals shaved throughout the production to create a genuine need to scratch that the character demanded.
John and Bernie run the Winchester. These are the real names of the landlord and landlady who used to run Simon Pegg's local pub, the Shepherds in Highgate. John used to make toasted sandwiches for regulars, hence the reference to "the Breville out back." Pegg and Nick Frost were regular attendees of the Shepherd's Thursday night quiz, hence the line "we do the quiz" when Shaun is knocking on the Winchester's door. Chris Martin of Coldplay, who plays a zombie in the film, also used to attend quiz night.
When Shaun is heading to the shop for the first time, a worker on the street is listening to the radio. The newscast mentions a space probe that unexpectedly re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and broke up over England. This is likely a reference to Night of the Living Dead (1968) in which radiation from a satellite returning from Venus was given a possible cause for the dead returning to life.
Night of the Living Dead (1968) director George A. Romero was given a private viewing of the film near his home in Florida. During the scene in which Ed (Nick Frost) yells into the phone, "We're coming to get you, Barbara," Romero was oblivious to the fact it was a direct lift from his film Night of the Living Dead (1968) and only found out later after a phone conversation with director Edgar Wright.
First part of Simon Pegg's and Edgar Wright's "The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy". The other two parts are Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).
Many of the Zombie extras are fans of the TV series Spaced (1999), which also starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and was also directed by Edgar Wright. They were recruited through the Spaced Out fan web site to be in the film.
Just when Shaun is exiting the Indian-run deli, which is tuned to a radio station playing songs from Indian movies, the song stops and a newscaster begins speaking in Hindi. The content of the news, when translated in English, is, "People are waking up from their graves."
Shaun walks past a road sign for Weston Park which is a street in Crouch End, London, the same locale as Spaced (1999) and where Simon Pegg now lives.
When Shaun, Liz, David, Dianne, Barbara and Ed run into the alternative 'gang' as they make their way to the Winchester, there are quite a few comedy partnerships brought together again. Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes - Tim and Daisy from Spaced (1999). Lucy Davis and Martin Freeman - Dawn and Tim from The Office (2001). Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig - Bernard and Fran from Black Books (2000). Julia Deakin and Nick Frost are, of course, in Spaced too, as Marsha and Mike respectively.
When Philip (Bill Nighy) is leaving Shaun's (Simon Pegg) place of work, we see quickly that the name of the store is Foree Electric. Ken Foree starred in Dawn of the Dead (1978) and had a cameo in Dawn of the Dead (2004).
All of the newsreaders and television presenters are real people portraying themselves.
The zombie that Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) find in their garden is Mary, the checkout girl from the film's credit montage. A short story detailing her transformation into one of the undead was featured in issue 1384 of the classic British sci-fi comic 2000AD. The issue went on sale 7 April 2004. The strip was called "There's Something About Mary" and was written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (the film's co-writers) with art by Frazer Irving.
Because of the timing and the indisputable similarity of the names, the distributors were forced to hold the film back until two weeks after Dawn of the Dead (2004) was released in the UK.
Shaun's last name is Riley. It can be seen on a poster ad from Shaun's Disc jockeying days.
The original script called for Shaun to beat Mary and the hulking zombie with a girl's bicycle.
At one point, a zombie can be glimpsed wearing a yellow cycling helmet and lycra shorts. He's played by comedian Michael Smiley, who made appearances in Spaced (1999) as a bicycle courier named Tyres.
Shaun berates Ed for calling the creatures zombies ("the zed word," which they are, of course). This alludes to the curious fact that many of the most iconic zombie movies (including Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Resident Evil (2002)) never feature the word "zombie" at all. It can also be a reference to Danny Boyle, director of 28 Days Later... (2002), and his insistence that it isn't a zombie movie.
The garden scenes were originally a lot longer, featuring a hanged man zombie and a woman being eaten by her own dog (The dog was intended to be played by Spaced (1999)'s Colin).
Almost all bit-part characters can be seen later in the film as zombies.
When Shaun and the group are running out of Liz's flat they are all carrying weapons of some kind, but only Shaun actually hits any zombies. This was because only the cricket bat that Shaun was carrying was a padded fake, all the other items were real and would have hurt the extras playing zombies if they had been hit with them.
When Shaun's girlfriend objects to going out to the Winchester he suggest a few other pubs, one of which is the Shepherds, which actually used to be Simon Pegg's local pub in Highgate until it was closed and reopened as a themed bar.
Mary, the zombie in Shaun's backyard, works at Landis Supermarket. This is a nod to John Landis, who directed An American Werewolf in London (1981), and to the British chain of convenience stores named Londis.
Among the voices in the news reports you hear on television and radio you hear David Walliams on a TV news broadcast, Mark Gatiss on the radio, Keith Chegwin hosting the "Fun Dead" programme, and Rob Brydon voicing the "Zombies From Hell" show at the end. Also, the voice heard at the end dismissing the infected monkeys being the cause is Edgar Wright.
Although sporadically hinted at, the cause of the zombie invasion is never properly explained. When people are about to, they get interrupted by something.
Near the beginning of the film, when Ed is playing on the Playstation 2, Shaun directs him ('top left, reload, good shot etc.). When the gang are in the Winchester pub and Shaun is firing at the zombies, Ed repeats exactly what Shaun instructed him to do during Time Splitters 2.
The non-featured zombie extras were paid the princely sum of £1 a day for their troubles. This was likely an homage to George A. Romero paying his extra zombies one dollar for Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Day of the Dead (1985).
The rifle they use in the Winchester is, naturally, a Winchester model 73, the gun that won the American west. It is also the same weapon used in both versions of 'Night of the Living Dead'
All the staff at the electronics store are chewing gum.
The phrase "fried gold" originated behind the scenes of Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes and Edgar Wright's sitcom Spaced (1999) and was mentioned several times on the DVD commentaries for that series. It makes several fan-pleasing appearances in the film.
The "pyjama zombie" had his voiced dubbed over by Simon Pegg.
While flicking through the Yellow Pages, Shaun finds the number for an Italian restaurant named Fulci's, a reference to Italian horror director Lucio Fulci.
Northern Irish rock band Ash donated 3 songs used in the film: "Meltdown", "Orpheus" and "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" featuring Chris Martin. These songs were donated for free as Edgar Wright's girlfriend, Charlotte Hatherley, played guitar and sang backing vocals for Ash at the time.
When Shaun is at work, he is showing a couple the TVs. As he is flipping through channels, the program Tricia with a woman guest, and a game show. At the end of the movie, these same woman and game show will be seen on TV. The woman who is dating a zombie, and zombies attached to bungee cords.
In the entire film, apart from the celebrities appearing as themselves, none of the character's surnames are given or heard.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the end of the movie there is fake movie trailer about a boy named Ramirez who, using a shotgun, fought off his entire zombie family. This is a spoof of the Menendez brothers who murdered their parents with a shotgun in August 1989.
When Noel (Rafe Spall) rings Ed (Nick Frost), Ed calls him Noodle, which is the name of one of the teenagers in an episode of Spaced (1999). Noel also says, "E-Ball says you're holding," which is a reference to director Edgar Wright, whose nickname is E-Ball.
Dylan Moran's character, David, has the unmentioned surname 'Fastidious'.
On the DVD (at least the region-two and region-one versions), there is a feature that plays an edited version of the scene where Pete yells at Shaun and Ed for playing the music too loud ("I've got to go to fucking work in four fucking hours!") that has been dubbed over for television airings, thus replacing all obscenities. "Fuck" is replaced with "funk," "prick" becomes "prink." The feature has the fitting title "Funky Pete" and is found in the alternate bits section.
The pyjama zombie was originally scripted to walk along the pole it was impaled upon, which is why it is hanging off the end when Diane is doing zombie lessons.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David Walliams auditioned for the role of David.
When Shaun and his friends are trying to get inside the pub, horror writer and Frightfest organizer Alan Jones can be seen as a zombie walking past the phone box. He's the bald one in a checkered shirt.
When the army shows up outside the pub, Joe Cornish can be glimpsed as a zombie being gunned down, shown in his video diary on the DVD. He's being shot in the back, facing toward the camera.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A poster in Shaun's flat is an image from the Edgar Wright-directed video for Psychosis Safari by 'The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster'. Members of the band feature as zombie extras and a song of theirs, "Mr. Mental", is featured on the soundtrack album.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
It took £4 Million to make and grossed £30 Million.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the posters in Shaun's flat reads "SI BEGG" which is NOT a reference to Simon Pegg, but to Simon Begg, an electronic dance music DJ, musician and record producer from Leicester, England.
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the beginning of the film, when Shaun is riding the bus, the young man in front of him is listening to music. The song that can be heard is the dance club classic "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation, whose melody is borrowed from the song "Stardust" (the theme for the C64 game, Lazy Jones).
9 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Joe Cornish is on screen, we see Lucy Akhurst (Sophie in season two of (Spaced (1999)) as a zombie getting shot in the back. She's the blond girl in the center of the screen, with Cornish to her right.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Most of the posters in Shaun's living room are of artists on the Ninja Tune record label. These include Funki Porcini and The Herbaliser.
4 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Battle Royale (2000) poster in Shaun's living room is designed by Fred Deakin of Airside, as is the green poster with the flowers and girl in Liz's flat. Deakin is also a member of the band 'Lemon Jellÿ', which provides music for the soundtrack.
3 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Did you know that Penelope Wilton (Barbara) and Bill Nighy (Philip) also played husband and wife in another movie (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel).
2 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the zombies seen in the film previously featured in a TV ad for the Mini as a zombie.
2 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Director Cameo 

Edgar Wright:  during the Remembering Z-Day montage, there is a long shot of the zombies walking through a park; Edgar is the one in black who falls over himself. He also makes a voice cameo as the host of Fulci's Italian restaurant.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to writer-director Edgar Wright in the DVD commentary, when Ed attempts to cheer Shaun up at the Winchester with plans of binge drinking, he is actually summarizing the events of the next day (Z-day) entirely in drinking references. "Bloody Mary" - Checkout Girl, "Bite at the king's head" - Phillip, "Couple" - David and Di, "Little Princess" - Liz, "Stagger back" - impersonate zombies, "Bar For Shots" - firing rifle.
Even though according to the zomb-o-meter feature stating that Di dies, the DVD's animated special feature Plot Holes: What Happened to Dianne When She Left the Winchester? (2004) explains that Di makes it through the crowd of zombies, climbs a tree, passes out, awakens to utter silence and out of fear stays in the tree surviving on Dave's severed leg, and eventually going to live with an aunt.
When Shaun and Ed are listening to Electro, Pete tells Ed if he "wants to live like an animal, he can live in a shed". Later, Shaun keeps Ed in the shed at the end of the film after he becomes a zombie.
Chris Martin of Coldplay, who appears as himself on a news report near the end of the film promoting ZombAid, also plays a zombie. After Shaun and Liz escape from the basement of the Winchester, he can be seen playing the zombie walking past the phone booth from right to left.
WILHELM SCREAM: The famous sound effect can be heard faintly in the background when the soldiers initially come to the rescue.
After Shaun (Simon Pegg) joins Ed (Nick Frost) at the Winchester after breaking up with his girlfriend, Ed uses his "Clyde impression" (Clyde, the orangutan from Every Which Way But Loose (1978)) in an attempt to make Shaun feel better. Later in the movie, when Ed is being bitten by two zombies, his cries of pain ring similar to orangutan sounds.
During cast commentary at the end of the movie just before the credits, Simon Pegg makes a possibly joke reference to a sequal that is coming soon entitled Shaun of the Dead 2: From Dusk Till Shaun. This of course never happened but it may have been the plan before the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" ideas were founded.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the zombies are making their way into the Winchester, Shaun shouts to Ed "Get behind me, get behind me" the same way as Han Solo shouts to Chewbacca as Stormtroooers are entering on the Death Star in Star Wars: A New Hope - One of Simon Peggs favourite films.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Chris Martin', the lead singer of Brit Pop group 'Coldplay'is featured in the movie as a zombie in the ending scene just before the soldiers arrive (on right hand side) and as one of the 'Zombaid' workers featured on one of the tv shows (right hand side also).
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the group are in the Winchester and Shaun has returned from distracting the zombies, David questions his motives as to why they are in a pub, he refers to Ed as Shaun's "boyfriend". Ed hands Shaun a beer who replies with "Thanks Babe". This is a common conversation between the two actors in "Spaced" (1999) which is also directed by Edgar Wright.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The conjoined photo frames shown behind Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Liz (Kate Ashfield) sitting on the sofa at the end of the film are that of the deceased Barbara (Penelope Wilton) Philip (Bill Nighy) and Dianne (Lucy Davis) however David's (Dylan Moran) photo is not shown on screen.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page