Edgar Wright and Simon Peg’s Shaun of the Dead is a romantic comedy, yeah that’s right, a romantic comedy! Only it carries a special added ingredient- zombies! Who would have ever thought that two such polar opposite genres would mix together so well, it’s like those people who put ketchup on their hotdog- it works! Genre crossing has become a new fad as of late in the film industry and Shaun of the Dead is a perfect example of why.
The main character Shaun (Simon Peg) is a deadbeat- a loser who works a low-end job and spends his evenings drinking with his buddy Ed (Nick Frost) at the Winchester. Shaun’s friends and girlfriend all think that Ed is a bad influence and that Shaun needs to learn responsibility and grow up. What they don’t know is that Shaun is a good guy, and has the best of intentions, which come to play later in the film. As the romantic comedy between Shaun and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) progress, weird things begin happening in the background of their town, which Shaun or his friends don’t seem to notice- not at all. Soon there are zombies everywhere and Shaun is fighting to save his family, girlfriend and himself from the clutches of brain dead- slow moving- zombies!
Where the movie really succeeds is in the area of “believability”. Yeah, I know you’re laughing, what’s believable about zombies? Its more of, if YOU were in their situation, what would you do? Edgar and Simon both took a step back from the cheesy zombie genre and said, “How can we make this funny- yet believable?” Their sense of what would happen in dead on in my eyes, for example: One of Shaun and Ed’s first encounter with a zombie is in their back yard. They think the girl is drunk out of her mind and they head outside and harass her. The scene is HILARIOUS- yet it’s what would happen in this type of situation. After playing joke after joke with the ‘drunk’ girl, she gets impaled on the ground and gets back up- and suddenly the jokes stop for a minute as Shaun and Ed are dumbfounded.
So I bet you’re asking whether the film is a comedy or a horror film? The answer is both, and they both feed of each other. Whether the comedy is there so the scares have more of an effect, or whether the scares are there to provoke the comedy is irrelevant- they work, and we’ll leave it at that.
The acting is superior to many horror films I’ve seen as of late, which is shocking considering Nick Frost has no acting experience under his belt. Shaun is the ruthless leader, with a goal- and nothing is going to stop him on his mission. Simon is brilliant as Shaun and he works incredibly well with his sidekick Ed. There wasn’t a moment when I said, “what the fuck is with this person and that line?!”
So it’s a comedy and a horror film, usually that means there’s no blood right? Hell no! The film progressively gets more and more shocking, which is why the romantic comedy angle works so well. Who would have ever thought that Shaun of the Dead would contain the SINGLE BEST “human torn to pieces by zombies” scene since Day of the Dead?
Look at the list Shaun poops out: Brilliant script, genuinely unique humor, colorful characters, blood, guts and a killer score- Shaun of the Dead is flawless; it’s entertaining to the last drop of blood, or maybe it’s the last laugh? Check out this brilliant zombie flick from the UK on September 24th from Rogue Pictures.