The fact that the mobile deceased retained their primal instincts makes them ideal recruitment for the [food] service industry. – A DVD review by John D’Amico
A DVD Review
“The fact that the mobile deceased retained their primal instincts makes them ideal recruitment for the [food] service industry.”
In one of Shaun of the Dead?s most brilliant scenes, we follow the main character, a thirty-something slacker, through his morning routine. He walks down the street, trips on the curb, goes to the supermarket, leaves his money on the counter, and avoids a neighborhood panhandler. This is no different than any other day, save for one detail ? everyone in the city is either a zombie or being eaten by one. Shaun, who is distracted by a hangover and his recent break-up, does not notice. Luckily for Shaun, the zombies in the film are the lumbering oafs of old and not the supped-up 28 Days Later breed, which would have torn him to pieces in seconds, making this a very short film. This is a good thing for the audience as well, because Shaun of the Dead is the funniest horror-comedy since the similarly themed Return of the Living Dead hit theaters in 1985. What is fascinating about Shaun of the Dead is that it would have worked almost as well as a straight horror film without the humor or as a traditional romantic comedy. I have never seen another zombie movie, not even the seminal Dawn of the Dead, where the zombies took a backseat to the lives of the characters. The characters are so much the focus of Shaun that according to writer Edgar Wright the inevitable sequel ?may not involve zombies.? It is impossible to imagine Night of the Living Dead, Army of Darkness, 28 Days Later or any of the dozens of other living dead movies without zombies, yet Shaun of the Dead is so well-crafted that it seems plausible.
Gorehounds should not fear, however, because when the zombies do appear, they are just as grisly as any of the serious horror films. The famous ?Choke on ?em!? sequence from Day of the Dead even makes an appearance in the film?s climax.
While it will never be mistaken for a special edition, Shaun of the Dead has a more than enough extras, all of which are fascinating. Makeup tests, special effects demonstrations, deleted scenes, outtakes, a video diary, casting tapes, commentaries, and a filmed explanation of the film?s plot circa 2001 all show how much work was put into the film, as well as how much fun it must have been.
You can get Shaun at Amazon.com, as well as the incredible 4-DVD version of the film that inspired it.