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Shaun of the Dead

A 2007 horror-comedy movie

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Starts well but quickly loses steam and grinds to a dull halt.

  • Oct 5, 2004
  • by
Pros: Nice idea, some good jokes.

Cons: Very dull final 20 minutes, loses direction in the final 1/3 of the film.

The Bottom Line: Could have been much better, but as it stands, its a rental.

With the recent influx of the walking dead at your local multiplex, it would be easy to dismiss the British film "Shaun of the Dead" as just another cheap zombie film. While few will mistake "Shaun" as a landmark in cinematic history, but despite its flaws, there are a few funny moments on the film.

The film attempts to mix horror and comedy and largely but works best if viewed as a comedic satire of the genre. Shaun, (Simon Pegg), (who also helped write the film), is a working class stiff who toils away his time in an London district selling electronics by day and squiring the love of his life Liz (Kate Ashfield), to the local pub much to her dismay as the monotony of the situation and Shaun’s obscene slacker friend Ed (Nick Frost), have worn on her last nerve.

Despite getting an ultimatum from Liz to take her to someplace other than the pub, Shaun becomes distracted and fails to secure a table elsewhere, causing Liz to storm out and send Shaun into a spiral as he begins to question his place in life and suspect that there is much more that he should be doing.

As if this was not enough of a burden for Shaun to endure, the local population seems to be acting oddly as reports of mayhem and carnage are starting to arise and the streets start to fill with Zombies. At first Shaun and Ed are oblivious to the changes around them as they continue their daily routines without noticing the blood stains, bodies and walking dead in the neighborhood, that is until one decided to attack.

Shaun and Ed soon get a nasty dose of reality and Shaun eventually decides that he must get his mother and Liz to safety, so armed with his Cricket bat, he takes on the grisly horde of undead against overwhelming odds.

While the film does have some good comedic moments, it drags horribly for the last 20 minutes as only a funny but albeit brief segment involving a zombie attack to a Queen classic is the only respite in the monotone that the film crawls to. The biggest problem is that the film seems to run out of material about 40 minutes in and the makers of the film try to stretch the film using standards from past zombie films. We have the desperate stand in a surrounded building, the improvised weapons, the infighting between survivors, and the classic bearing of the soul when it seems darkest.

I do admire the creative element that the creators of the film came up with especially with the obvious budget restrictions they were under. That being said, the film is not worthy of the praise that is being heaped upon it. Yes, it shows promise for the cast, and yes it is a nice twist on the tired zombie genre, but any momentum that was gained in the early portion of the film is quickly destroyed by the sputtering plot that crawls its way to the finish with a ho-hum climax that will disappoint any in the audience who still care.

3 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


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More Shaun of the Dead reviews
review by . June 03, 2013
I must have watched this film 100 times now, the more you watch it, the funnier it gets. Full of subtle human and not for the fainr of heart, its a film you definately have to sit down and pay attention to.
review by . April 11, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    Edgar Wright is the kind of guy who I would best describe as nice. A director of comedy films - always has, always will be, I hope - , it's surprising that one of the genre's greatest minds working today does not succumb to the universal demands of the folks overseas. A filmmaker working primarily in his homeland United Kingdom, Wright isn't one to rely on gross-out gags or excessively crude humor. He does however seem to like blood a whole lot. But that's …
Quick Tip by . September 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I was not expecting to enjoy this movie at all. I am not much of a horror film fan, but this movie is funny and done very smartly. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are the perfect comedy team in this movie.
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
totally stupid in a very funny way, i didn't think i would like it but i did.
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Probably my favorite British cult favorite, a zombie movie is never this fun. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are an incredible duo.
Quick Tip by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
While this is a good movie, I don't like it as much as a lot of other people seem to.
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
This movie is a great mix of horror and comedy. Pegg is excellent as usual.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This horror-comedy is one of the best out there of its type.
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A zomedy (zombie comedy). Quite funny and very good to watch wth friends.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Cheesy, but funny
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Edgar Wright's horror-comedy film, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, follows the title character (Simon Pegg) through his mundane life in London. Joined by his immature and ever-present roommate, Ed (Nick Frost), Shaun excels at nothing except drinking pints of ale and watching television, which causes friction with his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield). Before Shaun can save his relationship, however, he's got to fend off a horde of zombies that are slowly taking over the city. Armed with a cricket bat and a vague sense of direction, Shaun must rescue his friends and loved ones, and bring them to the only safe place he can think of--the pub.

Cowritten by Wright and Pegg, SHAUN OF THE DEAD succeeds remarkably well at combining droll British humor with good, old-fashioned zombie cinema. While the movie is often hilariously amusing, it takes its horror pedigree seriously, offering up moments of genuine suspense, and even a healthy dose of gore. Pegg is oddly charming as the put-upon lead slacker, and Frost is ap...
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Director: Simon Pegg
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 2004, September 24, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Simon Pegg
Runtime: 1hr 39min
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