Friday, 30 June 2017

Shaun of the Dead

Year of Release:  2004
Director:  Edgar Wright
Screenplay:  Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Starring:  Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Dylan Moran, Lucy Davis, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Peter Serafinowicz, Jessica Stevenson
Running Time:  99 minutes
Genre:  Comedy, horror

29 year old Shaun (Pegg) is an electronics salesman with little to no ambition or direction in life.  his free time is torn between the two great loves of his life: his girlfriend Liz (Ashfield) who is increasingly frustrated by what she perceives as his laziness and lack of ambition, and his best friend Ed (Frost) an even bigger loser than Shaun, who prefers to spend all his time in the local pub or playing video games.  Finally losing patience with Shaun, Liz dumps him.  Heartbroken, he determines to win her back.  However, the course of true love never did run smooth, and Shaun's romantic quest is hampered, not only by the fact that Liz's friends, obnoxious David (Moran) and his dippy aspiring-actress girlfriend Diane (Davis), obviously hate him, but also by the fact that London is overrun with flesh-eating zombies.

Following their success with the cult sitcom Spaced (1999-2001), writer-director Edgar Wright reteamed with writer-actor Simon Pegg and actor Nick Frost, with this lively, dark and hilarious blend of comedy and horror.  The film opens as an almost conventional romantic comedy, with only slight hints initially of what is to come, and the characters are so wrapped up in their own lives, they don't notice the disturbing signs around them until it is too late.  Comedy and horror are two deceptively difficult genres to make work - it's hard to make people laugh, and even harder to scare them.  Combining the two successfully is like catching lighting in a bottle.  However this manages it.  The comedy is genuinely funny, and the horror elements are genuinely disturbing; the zombies are threatening, and when characters die, there is real weight to it.  The film shows off Wright's hyper-kinetic style of film-making, full of pop-culture references.  Fans of British comedy will no doubt recognize cameos from Martin Freeman, Reese Shearsmith, Tamsin Greig, Julia Deakin and Matt Lucas among others.  It is a hugely entertaining film that will appeal to hardcore horror fans, but also to general audiences.  It forms part of the so-called "Cornetto Trilogy" along with Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013).

     Dylan Moran, Kate Ashfield, Simon Pegg and Lucy Davis prepare to battle the undead hordes in Shaun of the Dead

No comments:

Post a Comment