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Shaun of the Dead
DVD disk
12.21.2004 By: Indiana Sev
Shaun of the Dead order
Edgar Wright

Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Kate Ashfield


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Shaun and Ed are two professional slackers and best buds rooming together in the suburbs, watching their lives slip away. Ed’s life revolves around playing videogames and Shaun’s girlfriend just dumped him for lack of excitement and drive. Shaun finally decides to get his life back on track but his new outlook on life hits a snag when the city gets overrun by flesh-eating zombies. Shaun, who lived his life like virtual zombie anyway, must now try to reconcile his relationship with ex-girlfriend Liz, go fetch his mother all while trying to survive the thousands of zombies roaming the city streets in this horror/romantic comedy hit from Britain.
This is certainly a good movie but I can’t honestly say it’s a great one. Maybe I was expecting a much wilder and funnier time due to all the celebrity quotes this film has been getting since its release by genre directors such as Peter Jackson and George Romero as well as horror kingpin Stephen King. All in all, the horror elements and effects all hit their marks, the directing is exceptional and the comedy bits, although not overwhelming in the movie are nevertheless very clever and inventive. Sadly, a large chunk of the funny parts were revealed in the trailer. I suppose what really didn’t work for me were the one or two moments of drama, particularly with Shaun dealing with his mum and stepdad; although these scenes were very well executed they seemed very out of place in a film who’s strong points lay in its aim to be as silly, quirky, bloody and homage-filled as it possibly could. The almost non-existent soundtrack didn’t help matters either. I understand most horror films don’t utilize songs but this is also a comedy and it might’ve helped to use a few more rockin’ tracks in the film. The two Queen tracks used in the film definitely helped add some more ‘oomph’ in their chosen spots.

In the end, Simon Pegg is what really sells this movie. Besides, the fact that he has a roommate, I’d say oftentimes I find myself in the very same position his character is in (minus the attacks by the undead)…and I’d wager there are plenty of other late twenty-somethings out there that can also relate to his romantic and professional woes. He’s a very amiable, funny and likeable actor + character and his situation and charisma alone make this movie a very enjoyable watch. Both female leads, Liz (Kate Ashfield) and Dianne (Lucy Davis) are also a joy to watch, not to mention cute as hell. I took a particular liking to the beautiful Lucy Davis. All in all, this is a very good movie that got just a bit too much hype for it’s own good. I fear if most people’s expectations are as high as mine, they might not enjoy this movie as much as they would have otherwise.
Audio Commentary by Simon Pegg and Director Edgar Wright: These two are great buds and they have a real blast talking you through this commentary track. They kid around and still manage to give you all the goods you’re curious about the making and inception of their hit film. Both this track and the one below can be accessed through the audio portion of your DVD.

Audio Commentary by Cast: This is a separate commentary track with actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, Kate Ashfield and Dylan Moran. The extras on this DVD could not be any better; fans of the film will not be disappointed. Needless to say the cast has a great time together on this audio track.

Simon Pegg’s Video Library (6 minutes): A harmless behind-the-scenes look emceed by Pegg that features humorous comments from many zombies and zombies-to-be in the film. Pegg & co. discuss the film a bit but it’s mostly a look at the surroundings and a glimpse at the undead getting ready for action or taking breathers.

Casting Tapes (4 minutes): Not long enough to really strike your interest but it does feature a couple of the actors doing readings and acting out their roles, pre-casting.

Simon and Edgar’s Flip Chart (13 minutes): Here is even more proof of how supercool and likeable both writer/actor Simon Pegg and writer/director Edgar Wright are. In this feature, which was filmed in the very early stages of production in September of ’01 (!), both Edgar and Simon take you through the idea of their entire movie as they flip through descriptions and pictures of SHAUN OF THE DEAD on a large paper drawing board. Check this one out!!

SFX Comparison (2 minutes): See before and after shots of two scenes that used special effects to create the illusion of bloody happenings. This’ll satisfy horror you horror FX aficionados.

Makeup Tests (2 minutes): Same ole, same ole…

EPK Featurette (7 minutes): The cast discusses what the story and the characters are all about. A bit too short but it’s nevertheless worth the look if you liked the actors in the film. There is also some behind-the-scenes fun thrown around. Edgar, Simon and Nick come off as blokes you’d want to hang out with on the weekend.

Zombie Gallery: A photo gallery and many early, diverse and foreign poster designs are featured here. A welcome addition to all devoted fans of the film.

TV Bits: 4 extended television bits that were featured in the movie. The Jerry Springer-like trash talk show ‘Trisha’ and the “Fun Dead” pieces alone make this worth a look. The other is an elongated version of a TV interview with Brit band Coldplay that was featured for a few seconds in the film.

Funky Pete: This is funking funny sheeeet! The filmmakers take a scene from the film that made excessive use of the expletive ‘fuck’ and replace it with ‘funk’. And it’s even funnier than it funkin’ sounds.

The Man Who Would Be Shaun: Hilarious! Simon does his best Connery impression and Nick does his best Caine as they act out a scene from SHAUN OF THE DEAD as characters from THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.

Outtakes: This is 10 minutes + of the gang flubbing their lines and cutting up on set.

Plot Holes: The filmmakers have jotted down 3 plot holes in the film that they are well aware exist. Click on the plot hole and have the actor explain what happened to them with the use of storyboards drawn specifically for these explanations. A very, very commendable, creative and fun thing to do, to say the least…

Extended Bits: 15 of them to be exact; this should satisfy even the most demanding of fan-boys.

Zomb-O-Meter: You may access this extra in the subtitle section of your DVD. It will allow you learn a lot of zombie trivia as you watch the film.
This is the perfect film if you have that girlfriend (or sissy boyfriend) who gets squeamish during horror movies and is always hassling you to rent a romantic comedy. It’s definitely rental material and it’s worth buying for all you horror fans, extra junkies and SHAUN OF THE DEAD devotees. I’m definitely looking forward to what writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright will cook up next!
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