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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
TBC
Cast
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Bill Nighy
Dylan Moran
Penelope Wilton.
Directors
Edgar Wright.
Screenwriters
Edgar Wright
Simon Pegg.
Running Time
100 minutes

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Shaun of the Dead


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Plot
Shaun, a North London loser, is a disappointment to his girlfriend, family, friends and flatmate. Only his mate Ed, an even bigger loser, looks up to him. Then flesh-eating zombies overrun the city and Shaun is forced to take responsibility for the survival of his corner of humanity…


Review
Somewhere out there is a movie graveyard for the careers of British comedians — successful in home entertainment — who died a death trying to make an impact on the big screen. For every break-out Peter Sellers or John Cleese there are a dozen disappointments, as national institutions such as Morecambe and Wise, Smith and Jones, and… um, Cannon and Ball land with a thud.

In Shaun Of The Dead, director-writer Edgar Wright and star-writer Simon Pegg — plus many of their mates from the innovative Channel 4 sitcom Spaced — spin off a Resident Evil sketch wrapped-up inside five minutes in one episode into a whole feature.

This is a rare TV-to-film transfer that retains the things you liked on television but still comes on like a proper (if low-budget and shambolic) movie. A difference between American crazy comedy and the British variety is that Hollywood always puts out pretend losers as leads — in Bruce Almighty, for instance, we’re supposed to accept Jim Carrey as a failure, though he has a job on television and is living with Jennifer Aniston; Pegg’ s Shaun watches a lot of television and is living with a friend from college
who hates the friend from primary school who’s on a permanent visit.

The point is not to make you feel good, but to prompt laughs of horrified recognition that we really are like that. The basic joke is that Shaun stumbles zombie-like through his regular life, not paying attention to the Night Of The Living Dead crisis taking place in the background, but shapes up when society falls apart and, though still essentially useless, becomes the best chance his friends have to survive (most of them, it’s fair to say, don’t).

It’s a workable premise and the early scenes, with unnoticed zombies on buses, working checkout tills or snogging in the street, are creepy-funny. But the film gets impatient (especially in two or three awkward ‘serious’ bits) and eventually winds up down the pub, with beer on the table, inappropriate music on an apparently malign jukebox and hordes of zombie flesh-eaters hammering at the doors as idiot Ed (Nick Frost) tries to cheer up his just-dumped mate with, “It’s not the end of the world.”


Verdict
A surprisingly good TV transfer for the Spaced crew. It may not exactly be Ealing, but it’s funny for long stretches. Even when in danger of self-destructing, it cadges laughs with smart lines, silly observations or blokish inside jokes about zombie movies, video games and pub nibbles.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Shaun of the Dead
Empire Star Rating

Left for.............Shaun?

A film that bring zombies with comedy something I like to call Zomedy. This film may have a slightly weak story line but really hits you with realism and the occasional burst of sadness as you feel sorry for poor old Shaun......but the English cricket team really missed out on someone who can wield a bat. Bill Nighy (Or Marcus if you like Underworld) brings his extenuated S's to our screens and give us some fine mental dining. You can basically call this film an Action ,Romance , Zombie, sports,... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by silence1 at 11:42, 15 July 2013 | Report This Post


A great comedy from Edgar Wright.

To begin with this film is now 8 years old, but still holds up well. To begin with the cast, they are all brilliant and funny in their own unique way, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the two leads. The jokes come fast and when they hit, they really hit. There is also a nice bit of zombie action as well which is good and the story isn't exactly out of this world but you're watching a comedy, not a drama after all. A fun movie that has tons of re playability. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reaper996 at 12:30, 29 August 2012 | Report This Post


Shaun of the Dead Review

Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 01:40, 29 February 2012 | Report This Post


Shaun of the Dead Review

Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 01:40, 29 February 2012 | Report This Post


3 Star

Not A Fan Of Horror, But When Comedy Is Involved, Then Count Me In. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ryanchallenger at 22:17, 13 February 2011 | Report This Post


3 Star

Not A Fan Of Horror, But When Comedy Is Involved, Then Count Me In. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ryanchallenger at 22:17, 13 February 2011 | Report This Post


its electro...prik!

kill phil ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamiebanks at 14:54, 29 September 2010 | Report This Post


its electro...prik!

kill phil ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jamiebanks at 14:54, 29 September 2010 | Report This Post


Classic

Made with a lightness of touch and a genuine love for everything Horror. Edgar Wright proves that he can hang with the likes of Romero, Raimi and Carpenter. Shaun of the Dead is a classic among the Horredy genre. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bnicholson50 at 20:11, 20 August 2010 | Report This Post


Awesome

when I first saw the cover from the dvd of shaun of the dead i thought this is gonna be a stupid on original movie. But when i saw it I watched it six times in 3 days. So if you like horror, comedy and romantic movies. than this is a big plus for you! I loved it and when you watched it I think you love it too! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Anke at 14:43, 11 August 2010 | Report This Post


LOL

Absolute JOKES ! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by elimonator at 02:20, 19 May 2010 | Report This Post


2nd best

this film is truly awesome. second best british film EVER!!!! (second to billy elliot) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Saam3003 at 18:01, 18 February 2010 | Report This Post


Execellent movie very whitty and extremley funny, zombie effects are very good in all a great laugh. At times it swicted to a serious tone and at times was quite sad. Brilliant movie definetly recommend watching. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RyanNolan32 at 17:33, 09 November 2009 | Report This Post


Shaun of the Dead

Its an okayish film but not the best horror comedy out there compared to Doghouse. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by deppfanatic at 20:43, 15 October 2009 | Report This Post


Boring

Simon pegg (Twat) simple as. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 18:57, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


How's that for a slice of fried gold?

Best British comedy film ever! ....sorry, I meant best comedy film ever, period! Fast paced, intelligently written, great direction and a shit load of zombies! Bliss! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 00:53, 08 March 2009 | Report This Post


Brilliant!

a fantastic film and one of my favourite comedy films of all time up there with Hot Fuzz, Autstin Powers, Airplane and Team America so so so so so funny! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by THE DALTONATOR at 07:50, 25 January 2009 | Report This Post


Who died and made you fucking king of the zombies?

Best.British.Film.Ever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Manhattan at 22:32, 13 December 2008 | Report This Post


Shaun of the dead

I think this has to be the best horror comedy film ever. Some of the gore is outrageous and some of the lines are hilarious, especially the one where the woman zombie is in Shaun's back garden and he says 'OH MY GOD SHE'S SO DRUNK'. Nick Frost is brilliant as Shaun's slobbish mate and Dylan Moran is hilarious. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CIW at 03:16, 29 October 2008 | Report This Post


i <3 zombies

this film is amazing in evey way it was funny it was gory (lest just say that david had it comin) but most of all i loved its relasionship between shaun and ed i will love the movie 4 ever ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bradzilllla at 15:52, 31 July 2008 | Report This Post


Bored of the dead

I'm a huge fan of romero's original trilogy, this film although aspiring to be a tribute is only a one watch deal. nowhere near as sublime or funny as stuart gordons Re-Animator, it doesnt have the comedic violence of Braindead. SOTD is an average comedy aimed at middle class twats in their thirties. like all british movies it stumbles into "it looks like a extended television episode" territory. it's nothing special. like 28 days later before it, yet another dissapointment from bri... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Horrorguru at 15:21, 19 July 2008 | Report This Post


Damn Brilliant!

What a hoot! I love Shaun Of The Dead, so funny and true romance along the way with dead zombies! Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a proper duo, best friends and moving moments between them. It's a rom-com-zom and it has it all, romance, comdey and a lot of zombies! Adore the plan, gotta be the best funny moment ever! I did enjoy it and I can't wait for more of this funny duo! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:02, 30 April 2008 | Report This Post


Come on empire, this movie clearly is a classic by now, maybe the star rating should change? Fantastic movie though, Nick Frost steals everyscene ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tango fett at 19:15, 27 April 2008 | Report This Post


Best of da British

This is the best zombie film ever ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hedgehog Nolan at 17:32, 08 April 2008 | Report This Post


A Romantic Comedy. With Zombies.

'Shaun of the Dead' is, perhaps, the greatest British film I've ever seen. That could be saying something about me, but there's no doubt 'Shaun' is brilliant! Great humour + love + family + friendship + perfect acting + the undead = A five-star review! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 1der at 14:24, 25 March 2008 | Report This Post


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