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« DVD Journal: "Wordplay" | Main | DVD Journal: "Talladega Nights" »

May 28, 2007

DVD Journal: "Shaun of the Dead"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Shaun of the Dead. This British take on the George Romero horror-zombie movies surprises by being a satisfyingly intense horror picture in its own right, as well as the expected well-turned spoof of the genre. The film's exuberant masterminds (and co-writers) are director Edgar Wright and star Simon Pegg. Pegg and his fellow performers (including Kate Ashfield, Nick Frost, Lucy David, and Dylan Moran) deliver eccentricities, polish, energy, and droll humor galore. "Shaun of the Dead" is currently on sale at Amazon for $6.99.



posted by Michael at May 28, 2007


I thought this movie was fun and unique for a spoof. They excluded the blatant special effects and physical commedy that seem to be the main theme of the big Hollywood horror spoofs.

Posted by: vclosets on May 28, 2007 10:55 AM

I liked the way that the movie used cliches of cinematography, like a hyper-dramatic jump-cup to something undramatic like a cup of coffee.

Posted by: John Emerson on May 28, 2007 11:26 AM

Agreed. I never would have rented the DVD had my wife not wanted to see it (and in the event I enjoyed it more than she did). I'm not a fan of horror films but the combination of horror and screwball comedy, and even a touch of the old Ealing comedy spirit, with good work from the players, had me in stitches a lot of the time.

Posted by: Rick Darby on May 28, 2007 4:42 PM

Heh. Soooo good. The best joke in the movie goes unstated, though.

In all the early scenes, you see trashed neighborhoods, half dead looking commuters, derelict cars. The joke is that after the zombie apocalypse happens, it takes Shaun a while to notice. Because, um, his part of England already looks a bit like a zombie apocalypse.

As a Midwesterner who lived in London for three years, I had great sympathy with this outlook.

My favorite small moment was when Shaun goes to the convenience store post-outbreak, doesn't particularly notice the zombies, and slips on something off camera as he reaches for a bottle of milk. The way it's done, the audience just knows he's slipping in blood, but the camera only shows him from the waist up. Isn't there a theory of jokes that the best ones work by making you fill in a blank on your own?

Biggest detraction though is the pub scene near the end. Why did they suddenly have to get all emotional and inject real drama? It didn't jive.

The Holzbachian

p.s. And if you think a zombie outbreak couldn't happen here, it just did in SF:

Posted by: Holzbachian on May 29, 2007 8:43 AM

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