on 25 February 2015
Simon Pegg plays Shaun, a salesman, who leads a dull and mundane life, and lives with two flatmates, Ed and Pete, played respectively by Nick Frost and Peter Serafinowicz. Ed, his best friend, believes a good night out is at 'The Winchester', their local pub. However Shaun's girlfriend, Liz, played by Kate Ashfield, has other ideas, and doesn't want to spend her nights in a pub. This in turn splits Shaun and Liz up, and when there's an outbreak of zombies, his only thoughts are to save his mom and Liz from their clutches.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are both brilliant in this spoof of the zombie genre. If you are into zombie films, or comedy, then you will enjoy this film. It is a well made film that dosen't fail to bring a smile to anybody who watches it. the print used for the transfer is clean and free of scratches.
Picture Quality is pin sharp with solid colours. This blu ray transfer is in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The sound is in 5.1.
For all Simon Pegg and Nick Frost fans,
on 9 September 2004
Did not see the film at the cinema, but was impressed by the soundtrack I was given as a present, could sense it was going to be a funny film. I have always been a horror fan, so I liked the idea of a send-up, especially a British one.
Was certainly worth it, no point in giving you the full rundown, there are already other reviews that do justice.
As for the actual DVD, the extras are as long as the film and worth checking out. I think if you enjoy a film that much you will always check out the extras for extended or deleted scenes, outtakes etc.
This has all those and they are amusing in the same vein, including Plot Holes, which does a "If you wondered what happened when Shaun led the zombies away from the pub" comic strip bit, plus a couple of others. There are commentaries and still-shots (think you need to be totally obsessed to get into these that much). Anyway, I think the film itself is worth the money regardless. I certainly preferred it to 28 Days Later, for the laughs and the imagery.
Many a film – and in particular zombie film – seems to be based on a pun (‘Flight of the Living Dead’ I’m looking at you). However, few actually exhibit enough originality to be worthy of the film they’re based on. ‘Shaun’ changes all that. In 2004 zombies were still relatively uncommon on the cinema screen. You had the ‘Resident Evil’ films and that was about it. Therefore, being dumped by one’s girlfriend on the same day the dead come back to life and start eating the living, was definitely something a bit different back then.
It’s fair to say that ‘Shaun of the Dead’ is a classic. Since its release it’s been imitated plenty of times and none of them have really done as well. The fact is that ‘Shaun’ is just damn funny, while at the same time being pretty horrific when it tries and even touching and sentimental when the mood takes it. Therefore, despite largely being lumped into the ‘horror’ genre, its appeal actually stretches much further to those looking for a good comedy, or even a ‘date movie’ to share with someone.
Simon Pegg plays not exactly a loser, but certainly an underachiever. His titular character, Shaun, is generally coasting through life, never really applying himself. All he wants to do is hang out at the local pub with his mate, Ed (who definitely IS a loser!). It’s no wonder his girlfriend, Liz, is getting more than a little sick of his lack of drive. However, that all changes when the dead rise from the grave and he hatches a plan to save those he loves (and even a few of those he doesn’t – Liz’s flatmate to be precise).
What follows is a jaunt across a zombie-infested London as they desperately try to get to safety. And, in Shaun’s mind ‘safety’ equals the local pub where he spends pretty much all his life. What works best about the film is the way the characters play off each other. They’re pretty much all friends in real life (check out some of the other films and TV they’ve been in), therefore they’re all used to working with each other and, more importantly, playing off each other. You really get the impression that they really are a bunch of friends, caught up in a life or death situation.
Bottom line, if you like horror, you’ll like this. If you like comedy, you’ll still like it. And, in case you’re wondering what the ‘cornetto’ reference is in the title – this happens to be the first film in the fabled ‘cornetto trilogy.’ Simon Pegg wrote the film with his friend (and director) Edgar Wright. Together they wrote a further two films, all subtly working in a nice ice cream into the mix. If you like Shaun of the Dead, try ‘Hot Fuzz’ (comedy and action) and ‘The World’s End’ (comedy and sci-fi), all the time watching out for the cornetto reference.
I liked this British dark parody of horror and disaster flicks, very appropriately undertitled "Romantic comedy with zombies". Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is an electronics store employee, whose prospects for a successful life and/or career were mostly ruined by his best friend Ed (Nick Frost), a slob and a slacker allergic to work, who enjoys the most being gross, vulgar and insult people. Ed basically lives on Shaun's coach and subsists on Shaun's hand-outs - and it was like that since like always.
As if Ed was not enough of a problem, Shaun is also considered as a big disappointment by his mother Barbara (Penelope Wilton) and especially by his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). He is also disliked by his stepfather Phillip (Bill Nighy), totally disrespected by his younger work colleagues and is in deep conflict with his housemate Pete (Peter Serafinowicz). His one joy and consolation in life is his favourite pub, the Winchester, where he and Ed spend every evening.
And then one day, a zombie invasion begins...
This is a quite honest comedy, with some pretty good jokes, not the least of which is the fact that initially Shaun and Ed (not being very bright) are completely oblivious to the undead threat and the apocalypse that just began...))) Once they really realise what is happening (it is then almost the middle of the film), well, for a time jokes decline a little bit in quality, but things get better again towards the end. I particularly appreciated the final scenes, in which we discover that zombies, once appropriately trained, can be actually used as cheap labour or partners in some entertainment activities...)))
Other than the weaker jokes in the middle of the film I had also a little problem with Ed, whose character was for my taste a little bit overdone - this guy is so repulsively gross and foul that it was actually difficult to watch him by moments...
But still, this is a very honest, mostly funny comedy, which parodies very nicely zombie flicks and other disaster movies. Enjoy!
on 31 July 2011
I first saw this movie on my honeymoon in a resort... yeah not exactly the most romantic movie to see whilst on a honeymoon, I know. This is the movie that got me switched on to the whole Simon Pegg and Nick Frost combo (having never seen the so much talked about Spaced). I have to admit that I bought the DVD because I was feeling a bit nostalgic.
This movie is a comedy / horror movie (weird combo) but trust me it does work... I find the comedy style in most Simon Pegg movies to be refreshing and somewhat subtle when compared to the in your face slapstick Hollywood comedic styles. Come to think of it there is a bit carried over from this movie to the movie Hot Fuzz [DVD].. the morning sequence (where Shaun gets up in the morning and goes through his daily rituals in fast sequence of shots) and Ed's `Yeah Boooyyyyyyy!' Not that it takes anything away from either of the two movies. I tend to find Hot Fuzz [DVD] funnier than this one, but this is still a funny movie.
I have to agree with the other reviews when they say that there are scenes with quite a bit of realistic gore in them that might make people cringe. Also, there is slight amount of profanity in the movie... but it shouldn't be too much of a problem as the kids will not be around to watch this one for sure!
All in all a funny movie with a change from American style comedies and it kind of has a compromise ending in the end where it isn't the happiest ending in the world, but at least everyone is sort of happy where they are!
I went to see this at the cinema and because I had my Spaced head on, I was expecting a lot of laughs and some cheesy zombies (like the ones in Spaced in fact). However, I wasn't prepared for a well constructed plot that patiently mounts the tension all the way through the film.
Having said that, if you are a fan of the TV sitcom Spaced then this inhabits much the same universe, and Shaun is similar to Tim Bisley. The script is hysterical in places, and the direction and clever editing are the same.
I watched it again on dvd last night, and I noticed how much Shaun of the Dead is a 'real' zombie movie, and although you could call it a homage to Romero's movies, it's certainly not a spoof. The soundtrack is a classic John Carpenter style sountrack, a mix of The Thing and Assault on Precinct 13, and sits so far in the background you are not aware how effectively it's setting up dread and tension, as well as the ever rising sounds of zombies moaning. All of this makes the laughs better, and there are lots of them, none of which I want to spoil.
If you like straight horror movies, then maybe the humour might get in the way for you, but in my opinion the mix of horror and laughs is perfect and this is one of my favourite films. Simon Pegg uses a broader range of emotions than he does in Spaced - especially towards the end of the film, which helps to convey a feeling of reality that elevates this beyond the realms of an extended episode of Spaced. Nick Frost is great too, playing a very different character to Mike.
In my opinion this is a classic film which will have every bit as long a shelf life as the films which inspired it. At the very least it's destined to be a cult classic.
on 5 October 2015
Their masterpiece along with Hot fuzz. A amused and irresistible parody of the genre, with such a rich variety of scenes, ideas and brilliant script and visual solution, that makes it something much better and more than just a parody.
Here cinema is not just a vehicle to tell a funny story, but its language, its references and its mechanism are so well exploited and manipulated to entertain you in a surprising, refreshing and innovative way.
Down to the genius ending, that reveals all the irreverent yet smart british spirit of this brilliant operation
on 23 February 2016
This film really is very clever. The concept of it all, with a comedy/drama on the bottom line, and a tongue-in-cheek zombie apocalypse punctuating the rest, some proper, laugh-out loud, very engrossing entertainment is exhibited. Simon Pegg's endearing, unique comic acting style is also something to be marveled at, and it suits this film's tone to a tee. The violence of this film is the main reason why it's received a top-end 15 rating from the BBFC, (and there is also a single use of very strong language). However, it's all in a comic setting, and actually I'd say that the most violent scene is actually among the funniest - in it's own dark-humored way - (you'll be laughing your head off when that most obnoxious guy in the Universe gets disembowelled and decapitated by the zombies!) The not-so violent humor is great as well. Shaun and his flat mate both pretty much spin a comedic moment at every turn, ensuring that you'll be laughing so continuously that your diaphram may well be hurting before this film even reaches its half-way point! The ending is really very good as well. Because this is such a short film, you're terrified that after all of the splendid humor shown during the main stages, the ending may be a tacky letdown. But don't worry. Every loose end is tied up, and the film ends with a bang.
This is an epic comic masterwork which has surely set the standards for its genre.
Reviewed by Arron S. Munro.
on 15 December 2012
One of my favourite Simon Pegg & Nick Frost films well one of my favourite films altogether, The film is very very funny and a great mov1e to watch specially if you're a lover of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost films ( not for young people though and specially ones who don't like zombies)if you are worried about being scared it's okay becaus it's a comedy they make it funny so you don't get scared. It's a good story line and just a great film!
Its a must see
I'm a big fan of the George A.Romero zombie trilogy, and also of the Spaced TV series, so a comedy parody of Romero by the creators of Spaced pretty much gets a couple of stars head start before I have even seen it.
I didn't see the film in the cinema, so it was all new to me. Given British TV's habit of spawning naff films I was a bit wary, but needn't have worried. The first part of the film is really just like a big screen version of Spaced with only a few little hints in the background of the trouble brewing and lots of big laughs. The film then moves into the slightly strange territory which Spaced sometimes inhabited when the main characters start to realise that there are really Zombies on the move. When the action really starts the overt comedy is reined in a bit to let the pace pick up, which is about right: by then you are more interested in what happens next than in where the next joke is coming from.
Simon Pegg makes the transition from small to large screen well, and more surprisingly Dylan Moran does too. Much as Black Books is brilliant, Moran is still basically acting out his stand-up persona. here he is much more rounded character.
Fans of recent British TV comedy will have fun spotting all the actors from The Office, League of Gentlemen and Black Books turning up in roles ranging from major to blink-and-you-miss-it.
I can't really comment on the picture quality as my TV is on the way out, but the use of surround sound is very effective on this disc. During the seige scenes there is a permanent presence of zombie moans and scratching coming from all around to add to the atmosphere.
So, the film is a hit, but what about the disc? Its as good as you would expect from writers and directors who are big fans of the DVD medium, and one of the most loaded single discs you are likely to come across. The extras include 4 full-length commentaries, video diaries from several actors, outtakes and extended scenes as well as the now traditional photo galleries, making-of, TV spots and trailers.
Some of the less conventional extras are a run through of the original story idea on a flip chart, plot holes explained in comic strips with actor voiceovers, and one scene acted in the styles of Sean Connery and Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King. The flip chart extra is especially interesting as it pre-dates the filming, and even the full script-writing. Some of the original plot ideas or back story details didn't make it to the film, but its impressive how many details from the original conceptual stage made it all the way through, which says something about the completeness of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's original vision.
The thoroughness of the extras is exemplified in what the menu calls the "TV Bits". At various points in the film the characters watch a bit of television, and even though only a few seconds might appear in the film they actually made TV segments of several minutes which are included in full on the disc. And there are some 2000AD comic strips, poster designs, and loads more. There are even some extra extras, not listed on the box, which are tucked away in the sub-title options - a storyboard comparison and the Zomb-o-meter. The zomb-o-meter is a trivia track which lists everything from what the music is on the soundtrack and where a scene was filmed, to what films are being referenced and what game is being played on the Playstation. (Just like the feature on the DVD of the 2nd series of Spaced but even more informative.)
I am already more than satisfied with this film and disc, and I haven't had time to listen to the commentaries yet. Pegg already proved on the Spaced DVDs that he can do an essential talk track - essential to point out all the film references if nothing else - and he features on two of the commentary tracks: one with co-writer and director Edgar Wright, and the other with the main actors. The third commentary is my Shaun's parents (Bill Nighy and Penelope Wilton) and the last track is by actors who played Zombies.
In a recent interview Simon Pegg mentioned that George A. Romero himself liked the film, and if its good enough for him its certainly good enough for me. Roll on the sequel!