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Bloody Brilliant! Literally!
Gafke5 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
"Shaun of the Dead" is not only the best zombie flick I've seen in a long time, it is simply the best film I've seen in a long time, PERIOD! Clever, witty, sweet and nasty and, at times, gory and horrific, SOTD has it all. Of course, I didn't think I could go very far wrong with a film that George Romero himself said he enjoyed.

Shaun (Simon Pegg) isn't having a very good week. His co-workers have no respect for him, his uptight stepfather is on his back and his beloved girlfriend Liz has had enough of his laziness and inconsideration. Really, Shaun isn't such a bad guy, but he has no ambition and seems to prefer the company of his unemployed, flatulent, video-game obsessed slob of a flatmate Ed to anyone else. And as if this were not enough, the dead have risen and are walking the earth in search of human flesh to feast upon. Shaun doesn't notice this fact as quick as he should, but Shaun is somewhat of a zombie himself, lost in his own world and distracted by his own thoughts as he strolls right past the rotting cadavers that now fill the streets of Britain. Not even news flashes can get through to Shaun, as (in an incredibly hysterical scene) he channel surfs rapidly, every station finishing the sentence of the one before and giving everyone but the oblivious Shaun the grim news of what is happening in the world. When Shaun and Ed finally do realize what is happening, it quickly becomes a race against time: save Shaun's mum, rescue Liz and go to the pub where they can wait out the zombie infestation with a pint and a smoke.

Of course, not everything goes as smoothly as planned. There's undead flatmates to deal with, "bitey" zombies along the way, petty arguments between friends and Ed's cell phone going off at inopportune moments. But Shaun, armed with a cricket bat, is determined to save the woman he loves and nothing is going to get in his way!

This film should be seen side by side with Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" as both films cleverly and sarcastically comment on our zombified society and virtually show no difference between the living and the living dead. There's not much gore here, but there is one very unexpected and Savini-worthy moment in "Shaun" when the zombies rip a living man to shreds, yanking out intestines and tearing off limbs. I really hadn't seen such a gory scene coming and was too stunned to look away. It's truly graphic and nauseating...and, though I usually hate gore, very well done. For a low budget film, the zombies are pretty menacing looking and there are some genuinely scary moments to be found in "Shaun." There's also several touching scenes between Shaun and his mum and dad...sorry, I mean stepdad. Shaun himself is forced to grow up and take charge as the zombies close in around them.

I don't want to give away the incredible ending of "Shaun" except to say that the living dead are not immune from pop-culture commercialization, and though loved ones may die, video games are forever.

SEE THIS FILM!!! You do NOT have to be a fan of horror movies to appreciate the sublime satire that is "Shaun of the Dead." I haven't seen a movie this good for a very long time. 10 stars.
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Instant cult status.
Damian_Piesse17 April 2004
Shaun of the Dead is quite a surprising and brilliant piece of work which I suspect will achieve the accolade of instant cult status as word of mouth snowballs this film to richly deserved recognition.

Simon Pegg, both the joint writer and the main star of the film, has been a comedic force for some time, most notably in the fantastic BBC2 series 'Hippies' (which inexplicably bombed in the ratings) and the cult Channel 4 series 'Spaced'. Both programs hinted at Pegg's saliently dead pan comedic manner (and writing skills) which comes to full fruition in 'Shaun of the Dead'.

In a nut shell, this film is a romantic comedy with zombies (or zom-rom-com) who appear for no good clear reason (although some tantalizing clues are offered). The film is an amazing blend of the funny, the violent and the poignant.

Pegg has cast himself as one hell of a serious loser in this film. And not in the 'American' form of: 'I am a loser but I work in TV and have Jennifer Aniston as my wife' kind of loser as portrayed in tripe such as 'Bruce Almighty' or dozens of other US 'loser' films. Pegg's Shaun is a genuine loser and extremely recognisable too, he's an everyday man who works for an electrical retailer and his life is just plain dull and disappointing - and this is where all the comedy comes from in this film. There are two scenes in the film which seem to summarise this (and also shine a light of Simon Pegg as a very clever and funny writer) and both scenes simply involve Shaun walking to the nearby corner shop. The first time Shaun plods semi-comatose to the store we simply get the feeling that he is a loser. However, by the time the film shows him making the same journey again we realise that there is a lot more going on! The scene is played with such exquisite subtleness that it has to be one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in any film! Not that this film is subtle however, there is a stunning array of visual comedy, one liners and (best of all) some digs at other films from the horror genre. The funniest being a very subtle snipe at Boyles `28 days later' - see if you can spot it!

The only problem with reviewing this film is that there are so many funny moments in it that it is hard to pick any to write about without spoiling the film. All I can say is that I cannot remember a film ever being this consistently funny with probably five or six serious laugh-out-loud moments. It was a joy to watch and my only disappointment is that I can never watch this film for the first time ever again - every viewing will forever be a repeat viewing.

Shaun of the Dead is not very everyone though - the language from the beginning is strong and the violence was quite surprising for a 15 certificate film (in the UK). This film is definitely going to be most appreciated by horror fans who know a huge back catalogue of horror films. It will also be enjoyed by teenagers (who filled the cinema when I viewed this film which was terrific, as they laughed loudest). Finally, I do have some criticism of this film and that is there is some wasted talent in the movie. Black Book's (channel four) star Dylan Moran seemed a bit wasted and so was Martin Freeman (from BBC2's The Office) - who would have made a terrific zombie! Also, did I spot Matt Lucas (from BBC3's 'Little Britain') in this film? I am not sure as I was laughing too hard maybe!

These problems however are so minor and can easily be forgiven. My suggestion is to go and slowly shuffle down to your local cinema to see this film and give Simon Pegg the money and recognition he deserves so that he can go on and make more films that are this good including what the UK papers have suggested as his next project - `From Dusk 'Till Shaun'.
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You'll laugh till it hurts!
Erol16 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Shaun Of The Dead isn't your typical zombie movie. In fact, the zombies don't truly enter the story until almost a third of the way in. So what's it really about? A man named Shaun, played by Simon Pegg, who lives in London and is a bit of a loser. He works in a dead-end job at an electronic goods store and spends most of his spare time at the local pub or playing video games with his unemployed roomate, Ed. One day Shaun's girlfriend, Liz, decides she's had enough of his lazy attitude and decides to leave him. When the city suddenly gets taken over by the living dead Shaun finds the perfect opportunity to prove himself to Liz, so he sets out to save the day, win his girlfriend back and keep his mum, Barbara, from being eaten by his step-dad who's slowly turning into a zombie.

Don't let the title and premise fool you, this isn't a simple spoof of Dawn Of The Dead, it's more a romantic comedy that just so happens to be littered with the undead. The film is also very clever, with a clear social commentary running throughout. The jokes that stem from this are absolutely hilarious but will probably be lost on any non-Londoners. It's actually quite unlikely that this film will translate to anyone outside the UK and this is a real shame and perhaps the films biggest flaw. But if you do get it, then good for you, because there is a lot of great stuff to be seen here. The script is wonderful and throws up many comedic moments, such as when Shaun and Ed are looking through Shaun's LP collection for a suitable vinyl to throw at two oncoming zombies, "Dire Straits?" "Chuck it!", or when Shaun and his friends beat up an elderly zombie in the pub using cricket bats, all to the rhythm of Don't Stop Me Now by Queen. The humour comes thick and fast, never have I laughed so consistantly during any film before, it only pauses briefly for a few dramatic scenes, all of which work surprisingly well. In fact the film tends to genre-hop quite a lot, and while some find this unappealing I think it works in its favour. One minute it's a comedy, then it's a drama and then it's a full blown horror. In fact some scenes are quite jumpy and certainly violent. One extremely gory part in particular is a clear homage to another famous horror film that shall remain unamed, but if you know what I'm talking about when you see it then good for you. That's the thing about this movie though, you don't need to be a horror fan to enjoy it. You just need to have the right sense of humour. Can I explain it? Well, no. You'll just know if the film's for you when you see it. I can assure you that most will like it. If you don't, then I really am sorry for you as this is about the most fun I have had in the cinema since Kill Bill . Ok, that wasn't long ago, but before that I don't think there was a film that was so rip-roaringly funny and then unashamedly brutal at the same time. There is nothing subtle about this movie, and yet it will simply go over the heads of most people. I urge you to watch the film and decide for yourself if you love it or hate it. It's not without its faults though, losing its spark slightly during the third act but it comes back with a vengence and gets in some really good jokes just before the credits roll.

Shaun Of The Dead is a great film. It's funny, it's clever and it's got zombies in it! Just when the British film industry appears to be dead this gem pops up and shows us what someone with a sense of humour and a real passion for the media can achieve. Go watch it, you'll laugh till it hurts!
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The best rom zom com ever! A loving satire with lots of British humour.
Colette Corr17 December 2004
Shaun's nearing 30, stuck in a crappy sales job, and his girlfriend Liz is unhappy with the amount of time he spends with his ultra-slacker B-class drug dealer friend, Ed, at their local pub, the Winchester. When Liz dumps him, Shaun's so glum he doesn't even realise that London's been overrun with flesh-eating zombies. But somewhere within his console-happy lazy self, a hero is born.

I can't even begin to emphasise how cool this quintessentially British film is. The amount of time it takes for Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) to realise anything's wrong is priceless. Director Edgar Wright, who co-wrote the film with Pegg, also demonstrates that there's little difference between glassy eyed commuters and their undead brethren.

The plot rips along beautifully and parodies both the romantic comedy and zombie genres, while at the same time remaining true to them. Hopefully a new genre, the romzom com, has been born – incidentally, that's where you can go to find out more about the movie – The fabulous supporting cast includes Bill Nighy (Love Actually) as Shaun's supercilious stepfather, Penelope Wilton (Calendar Girls) as Shaun's absent-minded mum, Dylan Moran (Black Books) as Liz's snooty housemate David and Lucy Davis (The Office) as wannabe actress Diane.

Shaun of the Dead was partially inspired by the classic zombie flick, Dawn of the Dead. Its creator George Romero was reportedly so impressed with Shaun of the Dead that Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are taking on cameo roles in Romero's latest instalment, Land of the Dead.

Shaun of the Dead is one of the best comedy of 2004 and a must-see for all rom zom com (romantic comedy with zombies) afficionados. ****½/***** stars.
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When there is no more room in hell, Shaun will walk the earth and...
dee.reid26 September 2004
...He'll kill some zombies too! Brace yourself for some nonstop zombie action and laughs with the delightful horror-comedy "Shaun of the Dead."

Armed with a cricket bat, razor-sharp wit, and an attitude, Shaun (Simon Pegg) is perhaps the last guy that you'd want to save the world from the legions of the living dead that have suddenly begun to storm the London neighborhood where he lives. It could be stated, as this is a running gag here, that we're all dying slow deaths, so it's no surprise that when zombies begin to eat the flesh of the living, Shaun couldn't be any more oblivious to the chaos that has gripped most of London.

Shaun loves his dead-end existence of wasting his days at the Winchester, a local pub, with his friend and flat mate Ed (Nick Frost). The film's money shot arrives about 20 minutes in, when Shaun, hungover from a hard night's drinking, goes to the store and because he's so hungover and is worried about his ex-girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield), he doesn't even notice that the street behind him is teeming with the living dead.

While in the store buying a beverage, he doesn't notice the bloody handprints on the refrigerator door and he almost slips in a puddle of blood. I was quite amazed at the response this film got from people in the theater: it seemed that every time something funny happened, the response was almost always with riotous laughter.

Straight from Britain, we have what is certainly one of the most original horror movies to come out in a long time. Even in a genre that embraces gore, "Shaun of the Dead" is fairly light on it (at least for the first 45 minutes) and is dominated by laughs galore.

You may remember the character of "Ash" (Bruce Campbell of "Evil Dead" fame), who has remained pretty much the supreme demon slayer in the horror genre. But you know, Campbell's pushed past 40 and people today may not be weary of his history slaying evil Deadites in Sam Raimi's notorious film series. So maybe with "Shaun of the Dead," the torch has been passed to Simon Pegg, who slays more than his fair share of the living dead in this film.

It's pretty obvious that "SOTD" was greatly influenced by the works of George A. Romero (the director of 1978's supreme epic of zombie action-mayhem "Dawn of the Dead") and 2002's "28 Days Later" (directed by Danny Boyle). There are little itty-bitty references to the two zombie flicks throughout the movie.

Granted "Shaun of the Dead" is aimed largely at the gorehounds who idolized Romero's "Living Dead" trilogy, but it's also the first zombie flick to attempt making a hit with the mainstream. I guarantee any viewers out there that you'll spend more time laughing than you will being frightened.

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The best comedy of the year!
Grigory_the_Wanderer7 October 2004
Here in the States they don't show too many foreign movies, even if they are from the countries like UK. When they show them, however, they tend to outdo some of the American movies in the box office. Although the British movies are rarely shown here, they're a guaranteed success - do you recall the popularity of the last year's "28 Days Later"? Well, this movie is even better - it's a hilarious combination of comedy, social parody, tragedy and drama, spiced with the references to every zombie flick ever made. Some references are pretty slim, though - for example "We're coming to get you, Barbara!" is a reference to "The Night of the Living Dead" - a reference that many people (including George Romero!) didn't get. Most of the actors are unknown to an average American, yet they played great! I hope that movies like "Shaun of the Dead" will make big wigs in Hollywood realize that there are many great foreign movies, and that integrity is always better than crude remakes which the States are so notorious for... I encourage everybody to come and see SOTD - the best comedy of 2004.
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May be the best comedy-horror mix of recent years
Brandt Sponseller12 February 2005
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is in the midst of a lousy patch--he hates and is embarrassed about his job, he gets no respect from other employees, one of his roommates is on his case about the other roommate--a slacker friend of Shaun's, his girlfriend is on his case about the fact that all the ever do is hang out at a pub, and he hates his stepfather, who is also on his case about doing something nice for his mum. As if that's not bad enough, suddenly, everyone is turning into a zombie. Shaun must both straighten out his life and fight for it at the same time.

Shaun of the Dead is a superb blending of horror and comedy ala An American Werewolf in London (1981), Idle Hands (1999), Frankenhooker (1990), or the Evil Dead films (beginning with the 1981 original, although there is progressively less to more comedy in that series). It manages to successfully both pay homage to and spoof a number of classic zombie films and horror film zombie mythology in general.

The film begins firmly in very British comedy/drama territory, with a number of stylistic directorial flourishes that seem like a cross between Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream (2000) and Danny Boyle's Trainspotting (1996). The horror material enters gradually, beginning with a couple background gags, then entering Desolation Boulevard territory via another Boyle reference, this time to 28 Days Later (2002) (although that itself was basically a version of The Last Man on Earth (aka L'Ultimo uomo della Terra)(1964), based on Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend). This arrives in the guise of Shaun crossing over to the corner store to buy his morning soda. He doesn't notice the deserted streets or store because he's so hung over from the night before.

Before long, our ragtag bunch of heroes is in the midst of a full-fledged zombie apocalypse--of the traditional, slow-moving zombie type. Acknowledging the cultural differences that strict gun laws bring about, they have to use their wits to commit the requisite head busting, enlisting unwanted LPs (after some debate over the merits of each), cricket bats, shovels and other items for the job. Of course it would be easier if any of our heroes were the slightest bit athletic and had any aim, but they get the job done. More or less.

Furthering genre-fan fun, director/writer Edgar Wright and co-writer Pegg insert a lot of references to other zombie films--especially when it comes to explaining the source of the "epidemic". The "scientific" explanations given in Resident Evil (2002), 28 Days Later, all of Romero's Dead films--beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968)--and possibly even Romero's The Crazies (1973) and then some are all mentioned in the background, but resolutely cut off before they're finished. Part of the reason might be that usually, the explanations were pretty ridiculous, and we didn't really care--we just wanted to get to the cool zombie stuff, such as limbs being torn off, guts being eaten, and brains being blown or smashed out of skulls.

Wright and Pegg also insert clever nods to the subtexts of zombie films. Shaun looks and walks like a zombie when he's waking up. We see zombie like office workers, retail workers, and so on. There's also an amusing nod to filmic attempts to study and tame zombies, as well as organized militaristic defenses (both very prominent in 28 Days Later, but present in other films as well). There are interesting, more subtle and original zombie subtexts in Shaun of the Dead, also, such as the "mirrored" scene where Shaun and his crew meet up with Yvonne and her crew.

As long as you like outrageous comedy, somewhat gory horror, and you don't mind mixing the two, Shaun of the Dead should provide an enjoyable ride. Although it is the most fun when you're very familiar with the source material it is spoofing and referencing, it is still a great comedy-horror film if viewed with fresher eyes, and not so much as a spoof.
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Like Spaced...with zombies
meako19733 April 2004
In a London suburbia, Shawn is almost 30 and hasn't really achieved much in his life. He comes home from his mundane job each day, and goes to the same pub (The Winchester) that he always has gone to. He shares his flat with an ex-student friend, and his lifelong slob of a friend. On top of that, his girlfriend has had enough of him. Oh.and the dead have started walking the earth!

Hot on the heels of recent remake Dawn of the Dead comes Simon 'Spaced' Pegg's black comedy zombie spoof, in which Shawn must save his friends, mum, and ex-girlfriend from the masses of lumbering dead by, erm, going to the Winchester! Unlike recent zombie-fests, these dead-ites are pretty lame, lumbering monstrosities, much like the ones from the older zombie films. This is used to simple comic effect throughout as the 'heroes' seem to have plenty of time to think about things before being attacked.

The film balances the humour excellently with a decent zombie-story, and the array of characters within are not there just for laughs, there are plenty of poignant moments scattered throughout. Issues of family, love, and friendship, along with growing older and accepting responsibility are contained within the script. Much in the way that TV series Spaced managed to play the absurd with the serious, so does this film. It is easy to compare it to a 'big screen Spaced' episode, but that doesn't sell the film enough. It is much more than that, and is the perfect homage to zombie flicks, and social satire too. Watch towards the early stages of the film to see that most of the population could be confused for zombies anyway, and as for the end scenes of the film.well.suffice to say it will keep you laughing right to the end.

With a cast pulled from many cult British shows (Dylan Moran from Black Books, Matt Lucas from Little Britain, and nearly everyone from Spaced), and an excellent appearance by Bill `Love Actually' Nighy, there isn't really anything negative I can think of in the film. Even the action is well handled, with enough gore to satisfy any fans of zombie flicks.

This is a must see film which showcases Simon Pegg's talents excellently. The only drawback is that if it catapults him to international stardom he may never get around to making that final season of Spaced!!
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Flesh-eating fun for all the family
Tom Clarke15 April 2004
The great British sit-com has undergone something of a revival in recent years. Galvanised by the new wave of smart, sassy imports from the US, the Brits have girded their loins and produced a spate of quality comedies that have banished memories of the bland, identikit dross of the late eighties and early nineties.

One such series is Spaced, a wholly original and delightfully quirky comic bagatelle which has built up a small but dedicated following in the UK. Now writer/actor Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright have teamed up once again to give us Shaun of the Dead which is, in a nutshell, a feature-length episode of Spaced (with added zombies). Happily timed to coincide with the Hollywood remake of the 1978 classic shocker Dawn of the Dead, Shaun is the perfect antidote: Irreverent, warm and very funny.

Shaun (Pegg) is your stereotypical sit-com loser: An ineffectual slob in a dead-end job, he is terminally afraid of commitment and spends all his time with his flat-mate Ed (Nick Frost, also from Spaced) who is an even bigger loser. After his girlfriend dumps him, Shaun and Ed seek solace in their local pub the Winchester - a good old-fashioned English hostelry with warm beer and pork scratchings which is infamous for its lock-ins. They stagger home in a state of advanced refreshment, unaware that the dead are now walking the earth. Indeed, it takes Shaun a little while to work it out the following morning despite interacting with a few of them (one of the recurring themes is that most of us go through the drudgery of our daily routines in a trance close to inertia).

When the penny drops, Shaun resolves to rescue his mother and his (ex) girlfriend and generally stand up for himself for the first time in his life. There is not much more of a plot than that. The film, like Spaced relies on a flawless script, observational humour and the theatre of the absurd. Pegg has perfected this in his writing but he is also a surprisingly good actor. It helps that he has surrounded himself with the pick of the British comedy fraternity who seem to have been lining up (literally in one scene) for a cameo. The stars of similarly acclaimed series' such as Black Books, The Office and Little Britain are all on show here as well as Jessica Stevenson, Pegg's Spaced co-writer, who plays a jolly-hockey-sticks human vigilante with a stiff-upper lip and can-do attitude ready to give those nasty zombie's what-for.

Veteran support comes from Penelope Wilton (a sit-com stalwart from a bygone age) as Shaun's curtain-twitching mother and Bill Nighy as her fearsome second husband who performs one of the most dignified and poignant descents into zombieness ever caught on camera.

Despite all the high praise, it must be acknowledged that Shaun of the Dead is still a spoof - a comic tool that you could argue is as low a form of wit as sarcasm. But where it scores highly is in its respect for the original material. Most spoofs (the Scary Movie franchise, for example) are vicious lampoons that unmercifully mock the films they are taking off. Shaun of the Dead gently pokes fun but doesn't lose sight of the fact that if something is worth parodying, it must have some merit. Pegg is also careful to ensure that his film can stand up on its own - there is barely a minute goes by without a very good joke and despite the light-heartedness, there are some satisfyingly scary moments and ample gore.

What is most encouraging is that us Brits have started playing to our strengths. It took a long time for comedy writers to realise that making an English version of Friends is doomed to failure (in the same way that The Office will not work with an American make-over). We should celebrate the Britishness of this film, laugh knowingly at the in gags, and be proud that it doesn't take a huge budget or movie stars to entertain people at the cinema.

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Fried Gold!
tinstar_9 April 2004
Some 5 years before the making of this film the same team behind it wrote and directed series (season) 1 and 2 of an offbeat UK sitcom named "Spaced". Massively overlooked at the time of broadcast yet with a hardcore fan base of loyal devotees a third series was long overdue but never did materialise.

Shaun of the Dead is the continuation of what went before; of a similar format yet in a completely new setting, with new characters, plus new cast members and for the first time a feature-length run time for the big screen. So how does it play out? Even with such a departure from the original setting, the history of TV to cinema adaptations is a dodgy one to say the least. Fortunately for those of us who already fans or (more likely) if you've never seen the series before prepare to be impressed.

The style is all it's own. With inventive direction and editing making the visual impact which fans will instantly recognise, to the writing which importantly is firstly genuinely funny, interspersed with references to popular culture of the past two decades, always with a self-knowing grin, a wink to the viewer rather than a pretentious nod. And of course several self-references and in-jokes of the TV series all fill in the gaps between the tastefully presented killings. There is blood, after all this is a "rom-zom-com" or "romantic zombie comedy" - a self-proclaimed new genre and rightly so. This is as about as original as it gets. They actually manage to pull off humour, violence, decapitations, action, romance, suspense, sadness and joy all within the space of 90 minutes!

This is the best film I've seen in ages, and a real credit to British film, we already knew about "Fried Gold", now the rest of the World can see it too. An instant classic.
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The power of the movie is in its professionalism.
Boba_Fett113816 September 2005
This is the best mix of beer and blood I have ever tasted. "Shaun of the Dead" has some great comical moments and yet it has been made with lots of professionalism like this was a serious gory horror movie they were making. Because of this, through its seriousness, the movie becomes perhaps even more hilarious and really delivers. Both the fans of the (British) comedy-genre and the fans of mainly 'Zombie' movies and other gory horror-movies, will be entertained by this movie.

Visually the movie is really good looking. Its not like many other British movies and has a good looking use of cinematography and lighting. The gore, make-up and visual effects are extremely good and are even something that I haven't even seen in 'serious' Zombie/horror flicks.

You might think that this movie is just mainly a spoof of "Dawn of the Dead" (1978) but its really more than that. The movie is good and creates a good story on its own so that it becomes more than just a simple spoof. All of the characters are well written and are funny in their own way.

The acting is good for comedy standards and the actors perfectly know how to play in both hilarious/funny scene's as well as in serious/emotional one's. Plus of course it has the wonderful Bill Nighy playing a role in it. This guy really is a terrific actor that always is at his best in comical roles like he plays in this movie.

Basically this is a very good looking and professionally made movie that also is funny and hilarious at moments. I can't see how anyone could not like this movie.

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Just didn't click with me
Gambitt31 May 2005
I was really looking forward to enjoying a quirky, English comedy but from start to finish I just could not get into Shaun of the Dead.

It should be noted that I'm generally not a fan of zombie movies. The genre has always seemed to focus on gore, effects, and thrills over plot and innovation. But I didn't think this would be an issue since Shaun is a spoof.

But it's not a spoof. Or at least not entirely a spoof. Shaun is a conglomeration of spoof, satire, horror, thriller, fantasy, romance, and of course comedy. Very rarely do I enjoy movies that attempt to bridge more than three genres simultaneously. The only similar movie I can recall for comparison is Mars Attacks! (1996).

I had some laughs, but overall I could not slip into the proper mindset to enjoy this film even though I desperately wanted to. At times it was clever and creative by placing average Joes in bizarre zombie situations. But at the same time it suffers from all those traits that infuriate and annoy me in horror and thriller movies.

In short the primary problem was an inability to empathize with the characters. One reason I don't care for horror movies is because the main characters are generally morons. Shaun himself was no exception; he repeatedly makes poor choices and either under or over reacts to all sorts of situations. His mother is a cross between senile and dim-witted. Ed is borderline retarded.

Truthfully, in real life, I can't stand people like Shaun. They are so absorbed in their own problems that they are completely oblivious to their surroundings and events around them. They have no one to blame but themselves for their predicaments. The characters just don't seem to behave realistically, which would be fine if the movie was an outright satire sketch like Monty Python, but it's not.

All in all, I give Shaun of the Dead a 6 / 10, still worth a watch.
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Why can't there be more British comedies like this?
Kudos_King11 September 2005
Shaun of the dead is in a word, brilliant.

I've seen this movie at least 10 times and it never gets old, makes me laugh at each viewing. Having seen Dawn of the Dead, i was expecting just another spoof (as the name implies) but was pleasantly surprised to find a completely original story with some great comedy moments and superb acting all around (not to mention buckets of gore). The first of the rom-com-zom genre, Shaun of the Dead will certainly set the standard for future zombie flicks of its kind, and i can see Pegg having a bright future in comedy. GO RENT IT NOW.

Tom Patterson
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Do you know what the funniest part of the movie is?
Angel Luna20 June 2013
Please tell me cause i can't tell!

i can't believe the reviews saying that this was good, cause it wasn't! I really love zombie movies but this is just horrible. The jokes were awful, the situations were obvious and very predictable, and the story itself was really bad and stupid, the end is even worst. i think this is the worst zombie movie i've seen this year. Don't waste your time watching this, and don't let them make you think this is good. Please take my advice, keep yourself away from this thing.

by the way i didn't laugh Not even once

Angel Luna
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A good horror/comedy but somewhat overrated.
Paul Andrews3 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Shaun of the Dead is set in London where Shaun (co-writer Simon Pegg) has problems, his fat mate Ed (Nick Frost) is holding him back, his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) dumps him & then there's the small matter of hordes of flesh eating zombies that risen from the dead to feast on the living. However, Shaun has a plan to save himself, his mate, his ex-girlfriend & his mum & step-dad which involves barricading themselves into his local pub...

This British French co-production was co-written & directed by Edgar Wright & I have to say I was left a little disappointed by it & I can't quite see where all the glowing praise for it comes from. The script by star Pegg & Wright is obviously a nice homage to George A. Romero's 'Dead' films although to be honest I'd sooner watch Romero's splatter/gore films than this odd mixture of comedy, romance & horror. Shaun of the Dead is all very British & maybe the novelty of it wins people over especially those who don't live here in Britian, unfortunately I do live here & it just doesn't have quite the same affect on me. Apparently both Pegg & Wright were involved in the British comedy series 'Spaced' which to be honest I've never heard of & maybe that's where a lot of it's fans come from. Anyway, it's a moderately successful film & certainly a watchable one, it's amusing, it's pretty clever & well written, it has plenty of fun references to other films, it's a fairly fun film but I found it to be too spoofy, it goes to far into the direction of silliness & some of the things that happen just annoyed me. I'm in two minds really, I will openly admit it's a fun watch but I didn't think it was as brilliant as many seem to think, I doubt I'd watch it again anytime soon & I didn't have as much fun with it as I'd hoped, overall I'd say I was a little disappointed.

Director Wright does a good job, it's shot like a TV soap opera at times although he manages to juggle the comedy, romance & horror quite well. It's not scary & I didn't find it laugh out loud funny either but I'm sure many of you out there do/will. I like the laddish approach that the modern British male would barricade themselves in a pub & wait for it to blow over rather than head for the plush & sensible surroundings of a supermarket as seen in Dawn of the Dead (1978). There's some gore, someone is torn apart at the end, there are someone gunshot wounds to the head but little else worth mentioning.

With a supposed budget of about $4,000,000 Shaun of the Dead is well made although there isn't a great deal of style or flair to it. The acting is good & the cast make their character's pretty likable.

Shaun of the Dead is a decent fun homage to Romero's zombie films, to be brutally honest I'd rather see one of those again than this though. Worth a watch for sure but not as good as I'd hoped & I feel it's slightly overrated.
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Insert Noun of the Dead
moonmonday1 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Zombie films are something that many people have tried to make and many people have failed to make well. Even George Romero and Lucio Fulci, it must be admitted, do not have the Midas touch in this genre. This goes ably to show that even when it's a single genre of horror, it's difficult to pin down.

Multi-genre combinations are typically even more difficult to accomplish successfully, and unfortunately that's exactly what Shaun of the Dead tries to do. It fails in more or less every way that it possibly can: it's not well-acted, it's not funny, it's not scary, and above all it's really not entertaining or amusing. It's depressing and sad, and the film's end leaves one with a sense of futility and pointlessness, a sense of having wasted the entire running time on a completely and utterly meaningless thing.

The whole film is spent with unsympathetic and unlikable clods who manage somehow to survive as long as they do through sheer luck and no real ability or even desire to persevere. The humour is hardly passable, even by today's standards; it's often either crass and unfunny or simply unsubtle and unfunny.

The script is as pedestrian as possible, with attempts at tugging the heartstrings merely coming off as manipulative and illogical, especially given the subsequent 'resolution' the film gets. If the viewer is not furious, then he clearly wasn't paying attention. And the scriptwriters certainly weren't paying attention, as the script's coherency is laughable. Even for a comedy, it ought to be much tighter than this happens to be.

After people raving about Shaun of the Dead, it's easy to go in either extreme direction. People jump on the bandwagon easily, especially when friends recommend something, and eventually it reaches a point where people who haven't even seen the film are recommending it to others. The overblown nature of the film, however, makes judgement of it much harsher. If it had been simply the small-time film that it probably was intended to be, it might be easier to forgive. However, as an overrated 'cult classic', it is not worth the praise heaped upon it for being something it is not: namely enjoyable.
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why is this movie getting good reviews???????
Harsimran Singh Gill1 October 2010
I am completely nonplussed why this torture of a movie seems to be everyone's favorite. On top of that its inclusion in the top 250 is bloody outrageous, not once did I laugh or even crack a smile in this movie. On the other hand I was getting irate by the second watching all of 'em on a nonsensical plot. Simon Pegg was an unexpected nasty surprise in this movie as I did not expect that type of dull performance from the brilliant actor. And the way they handle the situation with his mom is absolutely rubbish.Poor, very poor. Go for zombieland which should take this one's place in the top 250. Oh and BTW so Titanic should be in the 250 too.
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really 8/10 ??? are people insane or what???????
damon salvatore12 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
What i can't understand is why this movie is soooo overrated ….there is nothing in the movie to laugh at all…..there are so lame and childish kind of jokes that i hardly even laugh in the whole movie.This movie is actually a disrespect for all the zombies movies out there….And what an idiotic end to the movie.You would be like ….omg what have i just watched!!…..even though the genre is comedy but really !!!!! This movie is clearly an insult to zombie film….i mean c'mon even if your making a zombie spoof make it at least tolerable.

Save your time and money and watch some real zombie movies like 28 day/weeks later or just watch walking dead rather than watching this. I usually don't write reviews but this movie made me write one.Such a poor comedy and direction.I don't know why people are giving it so much rating !! The movie has such a lousy start and there's nothing till half the time and zombies are such like they would walk like snail …i don't even know whats the story in the movie other than zombie which are also poorly made.Even for a comedy movie this movie suck big time!!!
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boring and not funny at all
EchoMaRinE12 March 2010
OK, I am really not one of these 'the worst movie ever' gang member but this one was really bad, I mean it. I tried so hard to enjoy a little bit but I didn't smile even one time. I don't know how this movie can be rated 8 but first time in my life, I am giving such a confident 1 and if there was a chance to give something lover, I would. From the beginning to the end, it is so slow and the jokes are so bad. If you really want to watch it, fasten your seat belt not to escape screaming and drink one liter of coffee so that you don't sleep. It is not only the plot, the acting was bad as well. I didn't find the characters funny. Overall, bad, bad and plain bad.
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Worst Labeled Comedy of 2004
Joe Humphrey19 August 2013
Without a doubt "Shaun of the Dead" is one of the worst comedies (if not the worst) that hit the big screen in 2004. The characters of the film have IQ's all shy of 75. Every single one is borderline retarded. The zombies has more of a mental capacity than those of the living. I did not laugh nor so much as break a smile during this entire film. Anyone who has left a review that has stated that this movie is funny, you have been warned. The entire film takes place in about 2 locations, with very few movements along the way. I wasted over an hour of my life to watch this garbage.

Furthermore, I've browsed some of the reviews that have been previously written where some of you say that us "Americans" can't understand the "English" comedy due to various reasons. Trust me when I say that that isn't the problem here. The problem isn't the dialect, nor the fact that the film boasts primarily English actors. The problem with this movie is that the actors are all C class actors. The problem is that they all lack common sense/intelligence above and beyond the norm. The screenplay is down-right awful and it was just as pathetically acted. Poor acting, poorly written and poorly thought out = an extremely poor film.

There is no reason to watch this. You will not laugh, you will not smile. You will waste your time.

If you are looking for a good quality horror/comedy film. I suggest you watch "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil". That movie is without a doubt, hands down 10x better than this film here. I have yet to watch Zombieland, but would also be willing to go out on a limb and suggest that that film as well has got to be better.

Thanks for reading my review and I certainly hope you take it into consideration.
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Not wholly successful but a solid horror with laughs - fans of Spaced, Black Books etc will love it!
bob the moo10 April 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Shaun is in his late twenties and works in a electrical store with teenagers. He hangs out with his slobbish friend and spends every evening in the Winchester pub. Fed up with this, his girlfriend dumps him, leaving him with the words of his other flatmate ringing in his ears - `sort your life out'. His plans take an unexpected turn when he and Ed eventually notice that London's populace has mostly given into a virus that turns them into, well, the Z word. Shaun and Ed devise a plan to keep safe and rescue Shaun's mother and ex.

Although the makers were cursing themselves for the unfortunate timing of this film's release with the (much bigger budget) remake of Dawn of the Dead - however for me this served as a rather nice experience after the straight-scares of Dawn. A point to note for all those moaners, is that this film went into production before the remake did. Anyway, ignoring this issue it is important to note that the film is a very British affair and is aimed at a very particular sense of humour. In essence, if you love Spaced then you'll enjoy this. The film is NOT a spoof - it is a horror movie with laughs, not unlike Evil Dead in that regard. The gags are good but not as fast as Spaced fans will be used to - instead they are put in with the horror rather than being forced over the top of it.

The film has movie references, but not to the point where they become the gags themselves (Spaced's cutaways for example). In place of that we have references to Deer Hunter and The Matrix that are funny but will not spoil things for you if you don't spot them. I laughed throughout but it is important not to expect to be rolling in the aisles - the film is still a horror, not a Naked Gun style spoof.

As a horror, the film is not really scary but does have a good gutful of gore to go around. The zombies are slow, and this will not work for modern audiences, but it does hark back to the old zombie flicks and also allows the material to work. I closed my eyes a few times as the film provided blood, and it does have the odd moment that is touching. Of course the laughs are everything and, aside from a slow start and a more horror-focused ending, this is consistently funny.

The one thing that it also does well is have a slight satirical edge to it. It is delivered rather heavily (early scenes of hooded youths lumbering around force the point home too heavily) but it is still true - having done my shopping in Asda just before seeing this film I can definitely contest that many of us lumber around in a semi-trance! This is a nice touch - the Dawn remake lacked any of the comment that it's original made, so it is good to have some here. Again however, non-Brits may not totally pick up on this as we seem to be one of the few countries that has this pub-orientated culture.

The cast are great and will be full of faces recognisable from the TV series that this film will draw the majority of it's fans from. Pegg is great, he is a slightly more advanced version of his Spaced character and he makes for a good leading character simply because he is so recognisable - this is not a Hollywood film with characters we don't know, but instead a bloke from a pub. Despite the fact that I would hate Ed in real life, Frost is hilariously exaggerated. He looks very different from Spaced but he does well with the material. Ashfield is spunky and the only downside to her is that she would never be with Shaun in the first place. Support is good from Moran, Davis and Nighy. There are plenty of in-jokes for fans, including a great cameo from Stevenson, who also shows up with her own group of friends that mirror Shaun's friends in terms of looks and (pretty much) TV series background (eg Tim from the Office and Fran from Black Books).

Overall this will not please everyone and I fear that some will not laugh as much as the adverts and hype suggested. However it is a good horror comedy and easily the best British film of the year so far - fans of Spaced will notice the joke rate is scaled back but it is still very funny. The humour of Spaced has reached the big screen and is doing good things for the British cinema industry. The makers said they threw so much into the film (horror, comedy, romance, drama, gore) because they didn't think they would be allowed to make another film - I hope to god that is not the case.
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kuklei17 April 2011
Oops! To me this movie was a total disappointment.

Perhaps too much British humor that I don't understand but nothing on this movie reflects the current IMDb rating.

Very few lines in the movie made me smirk, and no line at all made me laugh.

I would not recommend anyone to watch this move, but if you are curious about the rating and if it deserves it or no, it is a 1:30h movie, so be my guest and watch it.

The acting was good I might add but that does not add up for the poor plot.

Waste of time 3/10
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I don't care what anyone thinks this is one of the worse films of recent years. Horrendous.
galileo37 July 2008
Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I know that many people will disagree with this opinion, but I really don't care what anyone thinks. This is crap of the highest order but more importantly it is not funny, no it is not funny. NOT FUNNY.

A laughable attempt to spoof zombie films (which on average are crap) to produce the apex of modern cinematic trash. I'm sorry but I can't say much else except that Shaun of the Dead is an insult to British comedy and comedy in general.

Sadistically boring.

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total rubbish
kluismans9 October 2009
everything about this movie annoys me, and i mean everything, especially people's irritating affection for it. it has 'cult' status! well what has happened to the moonies, i ask.

its main crime for me is that it isn't funny - the joke is that silly bumbly but really quite lovable Sean finds his very 'normal' life turned upside down when zombies come to town. well there we are, to me that story is worth perhaps five minutes as a sketch or maybe an advert selling spare parts but a full length feature film?!! no.

in fact the fact that the story lagged and was predictable and dull wasn't what did it for me. i just cant stand sean penn. he reminds me of jerry lewis in the king of comedy. his portrayal of a charming buffoon is rather like being forced fed chocolate muffins, he is the adult equivalent of a child star, pushing the all the buttons so efficiently but with absolutely no conviction or sincerity.
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Partly successful attempt to blend styles that are hard to blend.
Coventry28 November 2004
Okay, even though I surely don't regret having watched this film, I won't be joining the other reviewers around here who all claim it's a hilarious movie and/or the best horror comedy in decades. The intentions of cast and crew are good, there are plenty of good gags and the characters are likable but overall it feels like something is missing. It sure isn't obvious to mix a splatter-horror subgenre with comical situations so the premise of this 'Shaun of the Dead' doesn't work all the time. Nevertheless, there's enough ingeniousness and originality to make this a worthwhile film. The setting of a grey, banal London suburb with its typical inhabitants suits the story really well and the actors do their absolute best to provide this film with a human character. But it's not as hilarious as it looks and it's simply impossible to uphold a light-headed atmosphere when you're dealing with an apocalyptic theme. In case you're not familiar with the plot: 29-year-old Shaun is stuck in his monotonous life of dead-end job, nagging mother and lowlife roommate. His more ambitious girlfriend breaks up with him and just when he plans to make some serious changes to win her back, a mysterious disease resurrects the dead and turns the living into an endangered species. While the army of ravenous zombies keeps on growing, Shaun rescues his girl and some friends by bringing them to their favorite pub. Some of the gags (like when the gang learns to move like zombies in order to keep a low profile) are really good but the film is a bit too long and the drama eventually overrules the horror. Actually, the very best aspects in 'Shaun of the Dead' are the numerous references towards milestone zombie movies, but I fear these sublime findings are a bit lost on wider audiences. Shaun of the Dead brings homage to the Romero trilogy, The Evil Dead and many Italian classics. For true horror fans, it's a joy to track down all the subtle tributes. Overall, this gem sure is worth renting but the hype in enjoys at the moment is a bit unmerited.
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