Friday, March 11, 2011

Shaun Of The Dead

 God how I love a good zombie movie!!! After watching this I just cannot believe I hadn't seen it before. It is inexplicable and I don't know why. But anyway I have now and am battling in my mind as to whether I have a new favorite zombie movie. Ever since seeing Return of the Living Dead, and reviewing it recently, I thought there would never be anything to top it.
 I may have been wrong! Shaun of the Dead is as good a zombie flick as any made. The great thing about the zombie genre is that they can either be serious gore fests ( ie Land of the Dead etc ) or comedy gore fests ( ie Zombieland ). I love both.
 Shaun though has raised the bar. It may be a comedy but there is some gore, but what I really liked about it is that it has a very quiet, subtle, serious side to it. It is in fact a very intelligent zombie flick under the disguise of a romantic zombie comedy. Read on and I will enlighten you all!
 Did any of you notice the opening scenes when Shaun walks down to the shop and then rides to work on the bus? Did you notice all the people around him? Did you notice they were actually living zombies? No? Well they are! I suggest you watch Shaun again, and very carefully. Look at the people lined up at the bus stop. They are all living zombies going through the daily grudge and routine of catching a bus to work. Look at the people riding on the bus. They are also living zombies caught in the daily routine of riding on the bus to work.
 This is the serious under tone of the movie. Not only is it a comedy but it is a subtle satire of our daily lives and how brain dead we have become to our daily routines. It is so quietly done as to be absolutely perfect. If you don't believe me then the makers have put in a juxtapostion to make their point. Shaun the next morning re-traces his steps to the shop and passes the same people, trips over the same kerb, goes to the same shop and the same cooler all the whilst being totally oblivious to all the zombies and blood around him. Brilliantly done! Perfect!  This is why I think this now the greatest zombie flick made.
 It is not only about the living dead but is about the living who are all but dead! It is a satire on how even with a zombie apocalypse going on around him Shaun, representing all of humanity, is so blind and oblivious to it because life has been become one big routine. Get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, and so on and so forth until you die. Routine, routine, routine. So the message is this, is there really any difference from being a dead zombie and being a live one? Great stuff and is a nice little touch to the movie.
 If you don't believe me then look at the poster and its marketing line, ''Ever felt like you were surrounded by zombies'. Told you so!!
 I also told you it had a serious side even though it is touted as a comedy!  But at the end of the day that is what it is, a comedy. Simon Pegg is so good at playing the loser dead beat with a heart of gold. He co-wrote Shaun and his touch is everwhere as the humour is subtle rather than laugh out loud. It is hilarious watching him and his fellow loser mate throwing records at two zombies in an attempt to kill them. What dicks! What is so funny is that Shaun starts out not fully appreciating the situation to leading a group of people and looking after their well being by the end. He has a transformation and grows up!
 It hasn't the gore qoutient of most zombie flicks as it is more the message of zombieism that is the key here rather a gore fest. If you want that then there is a guy called Romero who you should watch! But there is a bit of flesh eating and the zombies do look good. It is relativly scare free and any there are are more at the beginning and are tounge in cheek and humourous rather than genuine scare moments.
 Shaun of the Dead for me has set a new bar for zombie flicks. It has a quiet but very thought provoking mesage behind it regarding our daily lives and how, in many respects, we are not much different from the living dead in just ambling pointlessly around day in day out in a mindless routine.
This is now my absolute favorite zombie flick. It is both a parody and homage in one. More gore minded zombie followers may draw their breath in horror but Shaun's greatness is that it doesn't rely solely on blood and guts alone to be a great zombie movie. It does it with subtlety and humour which in many respect make this the best of the zombie genre.
 Absolute brilliant fun!! If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for!
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  1. Thanks there one of two or three readers Karina. It is such a subtle film that even the professional films critics reviews I have read have missed the obvious symbolism within this movie.

  2. Another masterpiece from Pegg, Frost and Wright, probably the finest comedians on the planet today.

  3. It is without doubt one of the truely great zombie flicks and only these two screwballs could have pulled it off!!