Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Shaun is a 29-year-old salesman whose life has no direction. His younger colleagues at work show him no respect and he has a rocky relationship with his stepfather, Phillip. He also has a tense relationship with his housemate, Pete, because of Ed, Shaun's best friend who lives on their sofa and deals marijuana. His girlfriend, Liz, is unsatisfied with their social life, because it consists primarily of spending every evening at the Winchester, Shaun's favourite pub, as well as the fact that they never do anything alone together - Shaun always brings Ed and she has to bring her flatmates, David and Dianne. After a routine day at work where he is confronted by his stepfather Phillip, and others he interacts with, Liz breaks up with Shaun when he fails to book a table at a restaurant for their anniversary. Shaun hangs out with Ed at the Winchester and they return home late, only to have Pete confront them. Pete, suffering a headache after being mugged and bitten by "some crackheads", berates Shaun and tells him to sort his life out. Shaun resolves to do so the next morning.
This revelation comes at the same time as an apocalyptic uprising of zombies, although Shaun fails to notice. He and Ed finally realize what is happening after watching reports on TV and several zombies appear in the house, so they decide they need to ensure they are somewhere safe. Shaun and Ed arm themselves with weapons from the shed and realise that the safest place they know is the Winchester. They plan to collect Shaun's mother, Barbara, Phillip, Liz and her flatmates and head to the Winchester. They discover that Pete is still in the house and is now a zombie, so they manage to escape in Pete's car. After collecting Barbara and Phillip, who is bitten in the process, they switch cars and drive in Phillip's Jaguar and head to Liz, Dianne and David's flat, where they collect them. Before they make it to the Winchester, Phillip dies of his bite after he manages to make peace with Shaun. Forced to abandon the car, they set off on foot, colliding into Yvonne, a close friend of Shaun's, and her own band of survivors. Discovering that the path is infested with zombies, they devise a plan to sneak by, pretending to be zombies, with the help of Dianne, who is an aspiring actress. Ed and Shaun get into an argument and the zombies, after noticing the commotion, realise they are not dead and approach. David smashes the window with a dustbin and while Shaun distracts the zombies, everyone takes refuge inside the pub. Shaun joins them after giving the zombies the slip.
After several hours, the zombies return. Ed inadvertently gives away their position when he wins on a Slot Machine game and the zombies converge on the pub. At that moment, the pub's landlords, also zombies, arrive and attack them. Ed manages to get a Winchester rifle above the bar working and they use it to fend off the zombies breaking in. However, Barbara reveals a bite wound she picked up along the way and subsequently dies. Realising she is about to become a zombie, David points the rifle at her, only to be confronted by Shaun and Ed. In the ensuing confrontation, Dianne reveals that she is aware that David loves Liz and not her. After Barbara returns as a zombie, Shaun tearfully shoots her before he angrily punches David. David tries to leave and walks to the door, but Dianne furiously talks him away from it. Before David can apologise to Shaun, the zombies break through a window and drag him out, where they disembowel, decapitate and dismember him. Frantic, Dianne unbolts the door to save David, exposing Shaun, Liz and Ed to the zombies. Ed prepares a Molotov cocktail to fend them off, but Pete arrives as one of the zombies and bites him, only for Shaun to shoot Pete in the head, killing him and saving Ed. Ed manages to get over the bar and Shaun uses the cocktail to ignite the bar. Shaun, Ed and Liz escape into the cellar where they find themselves cornered. As they contemplate suicide, they suddenly discover a service hatch. Shaun and Liz escape through the hatch, while Ed, now mortally wounded, is left behind with the rifle to defend himself against the zombies. Back on the street, Shaun and Liz prepare to fight the zombies once more, but the British Army suddenly arrives and they are rescued. Yvonne, who has also survived, shows up and tells Shaun and Liz to follow her. They approach the safety of the trucks, reconciled.
Six months later after the outbreak, all of the uninfected have returned to daily life, and the remaining zombies, retaining their instincts, are used as cheap labour and entertainment. Liz and Shaun have moved in together in Shaun's house, and Shaun has kept Ed, now a zombie, as a pet tethered inside the shed so that the two can play video games together.
- Simon Pegg as Shaun
- Kate Ashfield as Liz
- Nick Frost as Ed
- Lucy Davis as Dianne
- Dylan Moran as David
- Nicola Cunningham as Mary
- Penelope Wilton as Barbara
- Bill Nighy as Phillip
- Jessica Stevenson as Yvonne
- Peter Serafinowicz as Pete
- Rafe Spall as Noel
The British sitcom Spaced had a large influence over Shaun of the Dead. Pegg and Wright both mentioned having liked George A. Romero's Living Dead (franchise). The decided to make their own zombie film. Shaun of the Dead features a number of British comedians, comic actors and sitcom stars including Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig.
The film was shot over a nine week period between May and July 2003.
In its United Kingdom opening weekend it raked in £1.6 million. In the United States opening weekend, it earned $3.3 million. It earned $30 million worldwide in the box office since its release.
Awards and recognitionEdit
It won 49th best British film of all time in the Total Film magazine.
Romero was so impressed with their work he offered them a spot in his 2005 film Land of the Dead. They insisted on being zombies rather than a more noticeable role.
- The obnoxious teenager working at the electronics store is the same who calls Ed throught the film about marijuana. Hence the line "I've already talked to him, he's just got a Henry. (Henry being the code for an 8th of marijuana.) Ed at the beginning of the film told him that's all he was carrying. Also the "HEY MATTTTEEEEEE!!" is the most recognizable part of his character.
- Shaun announces to the staff at the electronics store that Ash has called in sick along with the manager. An obvious nod to Bruce Campbell seeing as it's a film about the undead and his character worked in a department store setting.
- Many cast members have been guest stars on the renowned BBC Science Fiction program, Doctor WHO. (The exception being Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield and Lucy Davis.)
Language and Culture differences Edit
- In the first few minutes of the film, Ed refers to the group at the bar as c*nts. Although still offending, the word has much less of an impact in that part of the world and is commonly used as the equivalent to "dude" and "bro". Especially amongst hardcore soccer fans.
- When Shaun tells Ed not to use the word Zombie, he says not to use the "Zed" word. That simply is the English variation on the "Zee" word. As in "Don't use that, don't say the "Z" word."
- When Shaun tells Ed that Liz's phone is engaged, Ed replies "That was quick." This is an inside joke for American viewers as "engaged" in the United Kingdom simply means the phone is busy.
- Until the "Cornetto Trilogy" became such an pop culture sensation, the word Cornetto confused many American viewers though they still opted to use the ice cream brand by name.
- Shaun of the Dead at AllMovie
- Shaun of the Dead at the Internet Movie Database
- Shaun of the Dead at Rotten Tomatoes
- Shaun of the Dead at Wikipedia
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