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Shaun of the Dead

UK 2004
produced by
Nira Park for Working Title, Big Talk
directed by Edgar Wright
starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Peter Serafinowicz, Penelope Wilton, Bill Nighy, Jessica Stevenson, Arvind Goshi, Steve Emerson, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss, Julia Deakin, Matt Lucas
written by Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

Cornetto Trilogy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
When his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) dumps him because he has too little ambition to do anything but hang out in his favourite pub The Winchester with his best pal Ed (Nick Frost), Shaun (Simon Pegg) knows it's not one of his better days - what he doesn't know though is that the dead have chosen exactly this day to rise from their tombs & feed on the living ... & it takes him & Ed quite some time (until the middle of the next day) to find that out too since after another drunk night at the pub a serious hangover prevents them from immediately getting the whole picture.

But Shaun also sees an opportunity in the new situation: Firstly, he can get ruid of his hated stepfather Philip (Bill Nighy), who has been bitten by a zombie (& will thus become one himself) & now needs killing, secondly he can save his mum (Penelope Wilton) & this way reconcile with her after having forgotten mother's day, he can save Liz & this way reconcile with her too, & then they can all go to the pub until the thing blows over ... or so he thinks.

When he arrives at his mother's house withj Ed though, he has to realize it's not quite that sim,ple to off a still living human being, wo they take Philip with them (despite his state), when he arrives at Liz' place, she seems in no hurry of getting saved & when he finally persuades her, her 2 best mates Dianne (July Davis) & David (Dylan Moran) - who is secretly in love with Liz - decide to come as well - which means their escape car gets pretty crowded. & when Philip finally does turn into an undead, the car even crashes & Shaun, Ed, Shaun's mum, Liz, Dianne & David have to make their further escape on foot ... only to find out the Winchester is sieged by zombies.

In a heroic attempt, Shaun can distract hte zombies in order to get the others into the pub, & even shake the undead off when he acts as bait ... or so he thinks.

Soon the pub is under siege again, but this time with our heroes inside it, & despite the fact that they have a gun now noone knows how to shoot. Several relationship crises break out all at once too, to be topped off by the fact that Shaun's mum confesses to him she has been bitten by a zombie as well.

All seems lost when Shaun has to shoot his own mum, the zombies find a way to enter the pub, David is graphically torn apart by the zombies, Dianne disappears in the undead mob in a futile attempt to save him, Ed is bitten by the zombies, & when Shaun & Liz escape, they find out their escape route only lead them out of the fire into the frying pan ... until Shaun's ex Yvonne (Jessica Stevenson - Simon Pegg's partner in Spaced, also directed by Edgar Wright) comes along with a bunch of soldieers who conveniently kill off all the zombies ...

6 months later: the zombie-invasion (or Z-day) has become another media-memory, the zombies who are still undead are nowadays used for menial work or as novelty gadgets in tv-shows, & Shaun & Liz have become a happy couple again. But in his garden shed, Shaun still keeps his best buddy Ed (now a full fledged zombie) chained up for company ...

Peter Serafinowicz gives a good performance as Shaun's & Ed's you-just-love-to-hate-him flatmate.

 

With the re-emergance of the zombie genre over the last few years (see 28 Days Later or Resident Evil for example), a film like Shaun of the Dead was (fortunately) inevitable:  

A blend of (mostly Italian) zombie-film clichés with dry British humour, which is not at all unfunny, since Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright do know their source material (as they have previously proven in Spaced) & know how to lovingly make fun of it. However, the inclusion of some more serious scene (e.g. Shaun having to reevaluate the relationship to his stepdad & having to shoot his own mum) does not necessarily help the film, as it takes the story into an opposite direction all too promptly, a direction that is abandoned again all too promptly only a little while later. Still, the movie does contain some very funny scenes for all who love - or hate - the zombie-genre.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD