Sunday, October 12, 2008

Have You Seen It? Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead is one of the easiest films to recommend to just about anybody. It’s witty, subversive, hilarious and loaded with gratuitous violence and gore. It’s also a romantic comedy. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

I was first introduced to this film on DVD in the summer of 2005. I had previously been aware of its existence, but the idea of a zombie genre spoof didn’t really hit home with me at first despite everyone telling me how great it was. If I could travel back in time, I would kick my former self square in the ignorant nuts. Shaun of the Dead is now one of my favorite movies and it’s the perfect way to get yourself into the Halloween spirit this year if the whole “economic crisis” doesn’t have you terrified enough.

The movie centers around Shaun (Simon Pegg), a 29-year-old slacker, who is trying to get his life together, reconnect with his mother and win back his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). Shaun’s quest for self-improvement is further exacerbated when the dead rise to feast on the flesh of the living. Armed with a cricket bat and his best friend Ed (Nick Frost), Shaun is thrust into a leadership role for the first time in his life as he fights off the undead hordes and his own inadequacies.

If you watch Shaun of the Dead once, you’ll probably laugh at the running jokes, the visual gags and the over-the-top violence. That’s a given. But the film will only grow on you as you begin to realize that every joke, every moment and every character nuance is important to the overall plot. You don’t need to notice them on the first go-around to enjoy the film, but by the fifth viewing, you’ll find pleasure in discovering that Shaun switches to from Coca-Cola Classic to Diet Coke after deciding to turn his life around (and lose some weight). See? There’s triumph in being an obsessive nerd…or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Shaun of the Dead is a film that you simply need to see if you’re a fan of comedy, romance, horror or any combination of the three that you can think of. Oh, by the way, you’ve got red on you.

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