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Shaun of the Dead (2004) Poster

Trivia

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George A. Romero, creator of the movies to which this movie pays homage and lampoons, was so impressed with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's work that he asked them to cameo in Land of the Dead (2005) as zombies.
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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."
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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".
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Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright considered a sequel that would replace zombies with another monster, but decided against it, as they were pleased with this movie as a stand-alone product, and thought too many characters died to continue the story. The proposed title was "From Dusk till Shaun".
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Shaun and Ed's friendship is based on Simon Pegg's and Nick Frost's when they shared a flat together.
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Many of the zombie extras are fans of 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 website.
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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.
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Just when Shaun is exiting the corner shop, 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."
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Almost all bit-part characters can be seen later in this movie as zombies.
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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.
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All of the newsreaders and television presenters are real people portraying themselves.
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Night of the Living Dead (1968) Director George A. Romero was given a private viewing of this movie near his house 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 movie Night of the Living Dead (1968), and only found out later after a phone conversation with Edgar Wright.
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Nick Frost (Ed) allegedly kept his genitals shaved throughout the production to create a genuine need to scratch that the character demanded.
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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 was shot in one long, unbroken take.
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It cost £4 million to make, and grossed £30 million worldwide.
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Quentin Tarantino dubbed this as one of the top twenty movies made since 1992.
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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.
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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.
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Because of the timing and the similarity of the names, distributors were forced to hold this movie back until two weeks after Dawn of the Dead (2004) was released in the U.K.
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The zombie that Shaun and Ed find in their garden is Mary, the check-out girl from this movie's credit montage. A short story detailing her transformation into one of the undead was featured in issue number 1384 of the classic British science fiction comic 2000 A.D. The issue went on sale April 7, 2004. The strip was called "There's Something About Mary" and was written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, with art by Frazer Irving.
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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.
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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 in Spaced (1999), which was also directed by Edgar Wright.
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Near the beginning of this movie, when Ed is playing on the Playstation 2, Shaun directs him (top left, reload, good shot, et cetera). 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 TimeSplitters 2 (2002).
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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).
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When Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg began pitching this movie, Film4 Productions showed interest in it. Then, Film4 significantly cut back its budget, leaving the movie without a production company for a while. Because Wright was still hoping to get this movie made, he held off on taking other directing jobs while searching for new financing for this movie, and ended up having to borrow money from his friends. "For me to take on a television job, meant that I was like pushing the film back, so ... I was going rapidly broke. I was like majorly in the red." According to Wright, Pegg still hasn't allowed him to pay back the money he owes him from those lean times.
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First part of Simon Pegg's and Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy. The other two parts are Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).
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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 of the other items were real, and would have hurt the extras playing zombies if they had been hit with them.
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Shaun berates Ed for calling the creatures zombies. 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 use 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.
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Although sporadically hinted at, the cause of the zombie invasion is never properly explained. When people are about to, they get interrupted by something.
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According to Edgar Wright, Cornettos appear in this movie is because he once ate a Cornetto to get over a hangover, and thought it would be funny if Ed did the same after a night of drinking.
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Shaun's last name is Riley. It can be seen on a poster ad from Shaun's Disc jockeying days.
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Shaun's place of work is Foree Electric. Ken Foree starred in Dawn of the Dead (1978), and had a cameo in Dawn of the Dead (2004).
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At one point, a zombie appears in a yellow cycling helmet and Lycra shorts. He's comedian Michael Smiley, who appeared in Spaced (1999) as a bicycle courier named Tyres, dressed in the same outfit.
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As this is the first part of the unofficial Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, the red wrapper (strawberry flavor) makes its appearance in this movie. According to Edgar Wright, red represents the blood and zombies, which is the main motif in this movie. For Wright's other movies, Hot Fuzz (2007), it was blue and vanilla flavor, representing the Police, while in the final part, The World's End (2013), it was green and peppermint with chip, representing science fiction and extraterrestrial elements.
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In this movie, Shaun's mother calls him "pickle", and apparently that's not just something the filmmakers made up. Edgar Wright's own mother called him that as a boy, apparently while she taught some of his classes at school, much to his embarrassment.
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The morning of Z-Day, as Shaun is flipping through the channels, the few words that we hear from each channel, together form a full sentence explaining what's been happening. "Although no one official is prepared to comment, religious groups are calling it Judgement Day. There's..." "...panic on the streets of London..." "...as an increasing number of reports of..." "...serious attacks on..." "...people who are literally being..." "...eaten alive..." "...but witness reports are sketchy. One unifying detail seems to be that the attackers, in many instances, appeared to be...Dead excited to have with us here.. "
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In March 2011, this movie was voted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra listeners as their second favorite movie of all time. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) came in first place.
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The rifle they use in the Winchester is, naturally, a Winchester model 66. It is the same weapon used in Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Night of the Living Dead (1990).
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The original script called for Shaun to beat Mary and the hulking zombie with a girl's bicycle.
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This movie was inspired by Spaced: Art (1999), in which Tim, under the influence of amphetamines and Resident Evil 2 (1998), hallucinates that he is fighting off a zombie invasion. After "Art" was filmed, Edgar Wright pitched the idea of a feature-length zombie comedy.
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Among the voices in the news reports you hear on television and radio you hear David Walliams on a television news broadcast, Mark Gatiss on the radio, Keith Chegwin hosting the "Fun Dead" program, and Rob Brydon voicing the "Zombies From Hell" show at the end. The voice at the end dismissing the infected monkeys as the cause, is Edgar Wright.
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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 made several fan-pleasing appearances in this movie.
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The non-featured zombie extras were paid the princely sum of one pound 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 (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985).
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While flipping through the Yellow Pages, Shaun finds the number for an Italian restaurant named "Fulci's", a reference to Italian horror Director Lucio Fulci.
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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 Michael Jackson: Thriller (1983), and to the British chain of convenience stores named Londis.
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The "pajama zombie" had his voiced dubbed over by Simon Pegg.
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The title began as what Edgar Wright describes as a "one-page Word document" that sketched out the general idea of the movie. Back then it was called "Tea Time of the Dead".
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WILHELM SCREAM: The famous sound effect can be heard faintly in the background when the soldiers initially come to the rescue.
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During cast commentary at the end of the movie just before the credits, Simon Pegg makes a possible joke reference to a sequel that is coming soon titled "Shaun of the Dead 2: From Dusk Till Shaun". This never happened, but it may have been the plan before the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" ideas were founded.
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Simon Pegg turned down a role in Dog Soldiers (2002) to do this movie.
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Northern Irish rock band Ash donated three songs used in this movie: "Meltdown", "Orpheus", and "Everybody's Happy Nowadays", featuring Chris Martin. These songs were donated as Edgar Wright's girlfriend, Charlotte Hatherley, played guitar and sang backing vocals for Ash at the time.
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The pajama zombie was originally scripted to walk along the pole, upon which it was impaled, which is why it is hanging off the end when Diane is doing zombie lessons.
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When Noel rings Ed, Ed calls him "Noodle". Alex Noodle was a bit player in Spaced: Gone (2001). Noel also says, "E-Ball says you're holding", Edgar Wright's nickname is "E-Ball".
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This movie was shot over nine weeks between May and July 2003.
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All the staff at the electronics store are chewing gum.
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Near the beginning, when Shaun is leaving the shop where he gets a can of Coke and the Cornetto, there is a pizza place behind him and to his left. The name of the restaurant is "Bub's Pizzas", probably a reference to the main, chained-up zombie (who's taught to hold and point a gun) in Day of the Dead (1985). In that movie, the doctor named that zombie "Bub".
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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 fuc-king work in four fuc-king hours!") that has been dubbed over for television airings, thus replacing all obscenities. "Fuck" was replaced with "funk", "prick" became "prink". The feature has the fitting title "Funky Pete", and is found in the alternate bits section.
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Shaun's phone and answering machine are the same ones used in Spaced (1999).
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When the zombies are making their way into the Winchester, Shaun shouts to Ed, "Get behind me, get behind me!" the same way Han Solo shouts to Chewbacca as Stormtroopers are entering the cell block in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), one of Simon Pegg's favorite movies.
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Throughout this movie, homage is paid to several aspects of Capcom's original Resident Evil game series. A vivid example being during the scene in the pub cellar where a switch to activate the lift is only made visible by activating a lighter.
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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.
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David Walliams auditioned for the role of David.
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There are two possible Evil Dead references : When in the department store explaining the plan for the day, Shaun mentions an employee named Ash (the protagonist of the franchise) and while in his bathroom, Shaun tells a zombie Pete that he is welcome to "Join Us," as the Deadites say this at the end of the first The Evil Dead (1981).
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When the team is barricaded at the pub, Ed turns on a loud slot machine, which Shaun promptly turns off by pulling the plug. Before he does so, the few musical notes indicates that the song theme is "Phantom of the Opera", a weird choice since the game is clearly named "Dracula". The fruit machine is made by Barcrest, and is called "OOH AH DRACULA", and also features in Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).
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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.
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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.
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Bill Nighy (Philip) and Penelope Wilton (Barbara) also played husband and wife in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011).
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The final musical track to play during the credits is a slight remix of "The Gonk" by Herbert Chappell. It was featured prominently at the end of Dawn of the Dead (1978) when the zombies re-enter the mall and is considered one of the most iconic tracks from that movie.
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When Shaun is on the phone with his Mum, Barbara. Ed yells "We're coming to get you Barbara!" - this is a reference to a classic horror movie line said in the original Night of the Living Dead (1968) "They're coming to get you Barbara! There's one now!" said by Johnny who mocks Barbara as a zombie can be seen in the distance making its way toward them.
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At the end of this movie, the advertisement for "Zombies from Hell" shows a graphic of three shambling zombies with their heads exploding. This animation was actually made from a clip of Dawn of the Dead (1978). The clip from which it originates immediately follows the "redneck" scene, where hunters are shooting at three zombies that are shambling over a hill toward them.
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In the beginning, 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 "It Happened Then/Babylon Run" (by Dave Eager and Pete Baker), which is the theme for the "Star Dust" sub-game of the C64 game, Lazy Jones.
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In the DVD Special Features, a vlog of two men who appeared as zombies reveal that the military battle at the end was the last scene shot.
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Simon Pegg, Dame Penelope Wilton, and Tamsin Greig appeared on Doctor Who (2005).
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The music track that plays over the WB and production logos at the beginning of this movie is titled "Figment's Park" from the De Wolfe Music Library. Additionally, the music featured when Shaun discusses his plan for rescuing Liz and his mother is incidental music created by Italian band Goblin. Both tracks were featured prominently in Dawn of the Dead (1978).
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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.
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In the beginning, after Liz splits up with Shaun, the jukebox in the Winchester plays "If You Leave Me Now" by Chicago. Ed says, "Who the hell put this on?", and Shaun replies, "It's on random." Later, in the Winchester, it plays "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, Shaun says, "Who the hell put this on?", and Ed replies, "It's on random."
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The Battle Royale (2000) poster in Shaun's living room was 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 Jelly, which provides music for the soundtrack.
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In one of the scenes in Shaun's house, the vinyl edition of the third The White Stripes album "White Blood Cells" can be seen. This is a reference to how the zombie virus works.
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One of the zombies seen in this movie, previously featured in a television ad for the Mini as a zombie.
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Lucy Davis (Dianne) encouraged her mother, Hazel K. Jackson, to turn out as a Zombie extra. Hazel is perhaps better known for her life-long marriage to comedic legend Jasper Carrott, who is Lucy Davis' father.
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Pete hurls an album out the window similar to how the duo will be throwing them later at a zombie.
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Simon Pegg played Unkar Plutt in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) and Dengar in the video game Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) while Peter Serafinowicz played the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).
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Dame Penelope Wilton was married to Sir Ian Holm. Her on-screen husband in this movie is Bill Nighy, who played Sam Gamgee to Holm's Frodo in The Lord of the Rings on BBC Radio. Holm played older Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, and the younger Bilbo was played by Martin Freeman in The Hobbit trilogy. Holm also appeared in Alien (1979), while Rafe Spall appeared in the Alien prequel Prometheus (2012).
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The second album Shaun has ever bought is Various Artists - Street Sounds Crucial Electro (ELCST 999), U.K., 1984. You can see it briefly before it's thrown away.
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At the end, during the pub shooting where Shaun shoots and Ed directs him on where to shoot...this is a reversal on the scene in their house with Ed playing a Shooter game, and Shaun directs him on where to shoot (e.g. "Top Left")
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Cameo 

Lucy Akhurst: The actress who played Sophie in season two of Spaced (1999) appears when Joe Cornish is on-screen, as a zombie getting shot in the back. She's the blonde girl in the center of the screen, with Cornish to her right.
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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.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to 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 in the back garden, "Bite at the King's Head" - Philip, "Couple" - David and Di, "Little Princess" - Liz, "Stagger back" - impersonate zombies, "Bar for shots" - firing the rifle at the Winchester.
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Even though according to the zomb-o-meter feature stating that Dianne dies, the DVD's animated special feature Plot Holes: What Happened to Dianne When She Left the Winchester? (2004) explains that Dianne makes it through the crowd of zombies, climbs a tree, passes out, awakens to utter silence, and out of fear, stays in the tree for days, surviving on David's severed leg, and eventually goes to live with an aunt. She remains in "Christmas card contact" with Shaun and Liz.
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According to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, the latter reacted to the idea of Barbara dying as if his own mother was being killed, and after her death scene was filmed, Pegg and Frost cried real tears.
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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 this movie, after he becomes a zombie. Ed also says, "Next time I see him, he's dead." Next time Ed sees Pete, he's a zombie.
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When Shaun is at work, he is showing a couple the televisions. As he is flipping through channels, we see Trisha Goddard with a woman guest, and a game show. At the end of the movie, this same woman and game show will be seen on television. The woman who is dating a zombie, and zombies attached to bungee cords.
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The conjoined photo frames shown behind Shaun and Liz sitting on the sofa at the end of this movie, are that of the deceased Barbara, Philip, and Dianne. However, David's photo is not shown on-screen.
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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.
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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 Lyle Menendez and Erik Menendez, who murdered their parents with a shotgun in California August 1989.
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When Pete is ranting at Ed for keeping him awake with his electro music, he drops the line "You want to live like an animal? Go live in the shed, you thick fu-ck!" When we last see Ed, he's a chained-up zombie living in Shaun's shed indefinitely. Shaun is wearing his tie like a bandana, which is how he's wearing it at the climax.
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When Dianne tells David that she knows they're only together because after Liz rejected him in college, she was there to pick up the pieces. Foreshadowing what happens later.
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Near the end as Shaun is yawning, you hear a newscaster state that initial claims of the virus being caused by "rage infected monkeys" have been "dismissed". This is a poke at the film 28 Days Later... (2002) where this was indeed the catalyst for a zombie-esque apocalypse.
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When "Don't Stop Me Now" begins to play at The Winchester, Shaun tells David to "Kill the Queen"; referring to the song. This foreshadows David trying to kill Barbara (the Queen) after it's revealed she's been bit. This is makes sense since her husband (Philip) is referred to as "the King" when Ed foreshadows the plot near the beginning.
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After Shaun joins Ed at the Winchester, after Liz breaks up with him, Ed uses his "Clyde impression" - i.e., Clyde, the orangutan from Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980) - 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.
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Shaun tells the football kid "you're dead" and Ed says Pete's dead the next time he sees him, foreshadowing when they become zombies.
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See also

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

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