Shaun of the Dead

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Shaun of the Dead_table_infobox_0

Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_0_0
Directed byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_1_0 Edgar WrightShaun of the Dead_cell_0_1_1
Produced byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_2_0 Nira ParkShaun of the Dead_cell_0_2_1
Written byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_3_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_3_1
StarringShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_4_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_4_1
Music byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_5_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_5_1
CinematographyShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_6_0 David M. DunlapShaun of the Dead_cell_0_6_1
Edited byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_7_0 Chris DickensShaun of the Dead_cell_0_7_1
Production

companiesShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_8_0

Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_8_1
Distributed byShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_9_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_9_1
Release dateShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_10_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_10_1
Running timeShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_11_0 99 minutesShaun of the Dead_cell_0_11_1
CountryShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_12_0 Shaun of the Dead_cell_0_12_1
LanguageShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_13_0 EnglishShaun of the Dead_cell_0_13_1
BudgetShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_14_0 $6.1 millionShaun of the Dead_cell_0_14_1
Box officeShaun of the Dead_header_cell_0_15_0 $30 millionShaun of the Dead_cell_0_15_1

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_0

The film was written by Wright and Simon Pegg, who stars in it as Shaun. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_1

Along with friend Ed, played by Nick Frost, Shaun is caught unaware by the zombie apocalypse; they attempt to take refuge in a local pub with their loved ones. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_2

The film co-stars Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Penelope Wilton. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_3

It is the first installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, followed by Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World's End (2013). Shaun of the Dead_sentence_4

The film developed from ideas Pegg and Wright used for their television series Spaced, particularly an episode where Pegg's slacker character hallucinates a zombie invasion. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_5

The title and plot also refer to the Dead films directed by George A. Romero. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_6

Principal photography took place across London and at Ealing Studios between May and June 2003. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_7

It premiered in London on 29 March 2004 and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 9 April 2004 and in the United States on 24 September of that same year. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_8

It was met with universal critical and commercial acclaim, grossing $30 million worldwide against a budget of $6.1 million and receiving two nominations at the British Academy Film Awards. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_9

It was ranked third on the Channel 4 list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films and quickly acquired a cult following. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_10

In film studies, the film is seen as a product of post-9/11 anxiety, as well as a model for transnational comedy. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_11

The spread of in the film has been used as a modelling example for disease control. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_12

Plot Shaun of the Dead_section_0

In Crouch End, London, electronics salesman Shaun has no direction in his life. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_13

He is disrespected by his colleagues, does not get along with his stepfather, Philip, and is dumped by his girlfriend, Liz. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_14

Heartbroken, Shaun gets drunk with Ed, his slacker best friend, at their favourite pub, the Winchester. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_15

At home, Shaun and Ed's flatmate, Pete, complains of a bite wound from a mugger and berates Shaun into getting his life together. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_16

By morning, a zombie apocalypse has overwhelmed London. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_17

Shaun and Ed are slow to notice until they encounter two zombies in their garden, whom they beat to death with a shovel and cricket bat. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_18

They devise a plan to rescue Liz and Barbara, Shaun's mother, and then wait out the crisis in the Winchester. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_19

They escape in Pete's car and pick up Philip, who's already been bitten, and Barbara. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_20

They then use Philip's car to pick up Liz and her flatmates, David and Dianne. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_21

Philip reconciles with Shaun before becoming a zombie. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_22

The group abandon the car and sneak through their London neighbourhood, running into friends and evading zombies by imitating them. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_23

They take refuge inside the Winchester, where Shaun discovers that the Winchester rifle above the bar is functional. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_24

Barbara reveals she was bitten along the way, and dies after giving Liz and Shaun's relationship her approval. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_25

David attempts to shoot Barbara, but Shaun stops him, causing the group to argue: Shaun accuses David of being in love with Liz, which Dianne admits. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_26

Shaun, distraught, is forced to shoot Barbara when she reanimates. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_27

Zombies break into the pub, devouring David, and Dianne rushes into the horde in a vain attempt to save him. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_28

The zombified Pete appears and bites Ed, and Shaun shoots and kills Pete. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_29

Shaun, Liz, and Ed take cover behind the bar, which Shaun sets ablaze before the trio take refuge in the cellar. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_30

Realising they only have two bullets left, Shaun and Liz contemplate suicide while Ed elects to be devoured by the zombies. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_31

Shaun discovers a keg lift that opens out onto the street, and Ed volunteers to stay with the rifle as the zombies break in. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_32

The British Army then arrives and takes Shaun and Liz to safety. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_33

Six months later, civilisation has returned to normal, and surviving zombies are used as cheap labour and entertainment. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_34

Liz has moved in with Shaun and Shaun keeps the zombified Ed tethered in his shed, where they play video games together. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_35

Cast Shaun of the Dead_section_1

Production Shaun of the Dead_section_2

Conception and writing Shaun of the Dead_section_3

The film was developed from an episode of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's sitcom Spaced. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_36

The episode, "Art", which was written by Pegg (along with his writing partner and co-star Jessica Stevenson) and directed by Wright, features the character of Tim (Pegg), under the influence of amphetamine and playing the video game Resident Evil 2, hallucinating that he is fighting off a zombie invasion. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_37

Knowing they had a mutual appreciation for George A. Romero's Dead trilogy, Pegg and Wright decided to write their own zombie movie. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_38

The pair pitched the film to Film4, who took it on until their production budget got cut back. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_39

Wright was still invested in production and refused to take television directing jobs until Shaun of the Dead got made, as he would have been pushing it back, which left him in some debt for a while. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_40

Other companies passed on it, according to Wright, "because they weren't sure what the tone was and said it wasn't all that scary and not that funny. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_41

They didn't get it". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_42

After eighteen months, Working Title Films picked it up, which Wright felt was somewhat ironic as the film mocks the classic British rom-coms that Working Title usually makes. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_43

The film had been conceived of in late 1999, and was announced at Cannes Film Festival in 2002. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_44

Wright has said both that he suggested the film when in a cab with Pegg after the excitement of filming the zombie scene in Spaced, and while watching a horror film with both Pegg and Nick Frost. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_45

He began developing it in earnest after playing Resident Evil late one night himself, and going out in the early hours of the morning wondering what a British person's reaction to the zombie apocalypse would be. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_46

He considered the lack of assault weapons typical of American zombie movies, and his experience of the dazed early-morning walk to the shop turned into a scene in the film where Shaun does the same thing. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_47

Another influence from Wright's life came from how he missed the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic by simply not having paid attention to the news for a fortnight, turning his television on one day to see cattle being burnt, leaving him confused. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_48

Because of this, he said "it's plausible that the world could be ending and these two guys could be the last to know" as they also skip over the news on television in the film. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_49

The gag about Shaun and Ed spending all their time at the Winchester also comes from the actors' lives, as Pegg and Frost "always used to go to the same bar all the time", according to Wright, who had been trying to convince them not to. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_50

The screenplay was written by Wright and Pegg in eight weeks. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_51

They were inspired by films including Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978), as well as Raising Arizona (1987), Back to the Future (1985) and The Birds (1963). Shaun of the Dead_sentence_52

The actors met three weeks before filming began for read-throughs, where they also made changes to the script. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_53

According to Pegg, the script has a set structure, with certain lines and actions being repeated throughout the film, making improvisation harder. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_54

Only two scenes were improvised: when Ed begins to describe the people at the pub and when Shaun offers their associates some peanuts. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_55

In terms of writing, Pegg said that it played well into being an actor in the film because he "could write to [his] own strengths" and create his own wish fulfilment. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_56

Casting Shaun of the Dead_section_4

The film's cast features a number of British comedians, comic actors, and sitcom stars, most prominently from Spaced, Black Books and The Office, and co-stars other actors from these same shows. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_57

Cast members from them include Pegg, Frost, Stevenson and Peter Serafinowicz. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_58

Frost met Pegg when he was working as a waiter, and was brought onto Spaced despite a lack of acting experience; Frost explained that Shaun and Ed have a dynamic similar to that of Simon and himself in real life, as they had been living together for years. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_59

The production had originally approached Helen Mirren to play the part of Shaun's mother Barbara, which she turned down with a note that she would rather play other, funnier, characters. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_60

The role of Barbara went to Penelope Wilton. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_61

She was asked to take the role because of her work in the 1984 sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_62

Shaun's father is played by Bill Nighy, who accepted the role after Wright sent him an early script to read. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_63

Cameos and extras Shaun of the Dead_section_5

Secondary roles and cameos include Dylan Moran, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Julia Deakin and Reece Shearsmith. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_64

The voices of Mark Gatiss and Julia Davis can be heard as radio news presenters; Trisha Goddard also makes a cameo appearance, hosting two fictionalised episodes of her real-life talk show Trisha. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_65

Many other comics and comic actors appear in cameos as zombies, including Rob Brydon, Paul Putner, Pamela Kempthorne, Joe Cornish, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Mark Donovan and Michael Smiley. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_66

Coldplay members Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland also have cameo roles in the film; Martin is a close friend of Pegg, who is the godfather of Martin's daughter, and also contributed to the soundtrack by guest singing the cover of Buzzcocks' "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" with Ash. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_67

He does not appear as a zombie, but as himself in a charity drive. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_68

Zombie extras were recruited from Spaced fan communities. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_69

Wright said in 2020 that "[the] zombies spent a week cooped up on set. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_70

They had to stand outside The Winchester, the pub where our heroes take refuge, banging on the windows and not doing much else really. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_71

When we eventually involved them properly, they had this electric energy: a pure, crazed hysteria". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_72

Originally, there were 40 stunt performers hired to be the zombies, but the production realised that they would need a lot more to fill the set pieces. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_73

So many fans responded to the online call that auditions to select zombies were set up. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_74

There were 150 zombie extras until local children saw the zombie make-up and wanted to be involved, leading to another 50 child zombies being added. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_75

Filming Shaun of the Dead_section_6

The film was shot over nine weeks between May and July 2003. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_76

Wright uses in-camera transitions, typical to his style, to enable powerful visual storytelling. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_77

Pegg also commented on the use of a magical realism style, which he says is part of Wright's direction. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_78

The production was filmed in London, on location and at Ealing Studios, and involved production companies Working Title and StudioCanal. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_79

Many exterior shots were filmed in and around the North London areas of Crouch End, Highgate, Finsbury Park and East Finchley. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_80

The electrical appliance shop that Shaun works at is a real shop located in North Finchley. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_81

The scenes filmed in and around the Winchester Tavern pub were shot at the Duke of Albany pub in New Cross, South London. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_82

A three-story Victorian pub, it was turned into flats in 2008. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_83

Music Shaun of the Dead_section_7

The film's score by Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford is a pastiche of Italian zombie film soundtracks by artists like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_84

It also uses many musical cues from the original Dawn of the Dead that were originally taken by George A. Romero from the De Wolfe production music library. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_85

A friend of the assistant editor on the film had been compiling music library tracks from zombie films, making finding some music for the film much easier. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_86

Before production began on the film, Wright and Pegg had created a mixtape of songs they wanted to use. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_87

The Goblin music, though, was used as a temp track by Wright in editing; he liked the feel of it so much they decided to get the clearance to use it. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_88

Bobby Olivier of Billboard attributes the initial rebirth of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" to its appearance in the film, which "introduced it to a new generation of listeners", saying: "Perhaps the most famous scene from Shaun of the Dead features "Don't Stop Me Now" which blares from a pub jukebox while stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Kate Ashfield bash a zombie with pool cues to the song's hurtling beat". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_89

The moment had been Wright's idea, as he loves Queen and "had the idea of playing Don't Stop Me Now – one of the most positive, exciting, happy tunes ever – over a scene of extreme violence". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_90

Pegg explained that the fight in the pub was choreographed to the song even before it had been cleared to be used in the film, so they wrote to Brian May and begged to use it. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_91

The other choreographed sequence, near the start of the film, used different music to that which it had been set to. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_92

The original was a Cornelius song, and had been the track written in for the scene from the screenplay. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_93

Wright then heard the song used in the film, by I Monster, when editing, and felt that it worked better. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_94

The tempo of both songs is the same, so the new song fit the original choreography. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_95

Release Shaun of the Dead_section_8

Marketing Shaun of the Dead_section_9

The film was distributed by United International Pictures (UIP) in the United Kingdom (UK) and Universal Pictures in the United States (US). Shaun of the Dead_sentence_96

UIP created a heavy targeted marketing strategy, including hiring actors to play zombies and dropping them around London to create disruption shortly before the film's release. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_97

This part of the campaign was run by ZenithOptimedia; their head said that "It has to be the most powerful way to communicate what Shaun of the Dead is all about". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_98

Beyond traditional print advertising, posters were also placed in the London Underground. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_99

As the poster shows Shaun crammed tightly against windows surrounded by zombies, the company chose to buy up poster spaces that "would give the impression to anyone walking through the tunnels between platforms that the zombie carriages were on the tracks"; this is a tactic that UIP had not done before, but the creative angle of the posters' positioning naturally lent itself to such a move. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_100

A similar tactic was used with digital posters for the film at a football match for England against Sweden: less-restrictive advertising laws in Sweden, where the game was held, meant that UIP had "hoardings incorporating flailing zombie-like arms", which would not have been permitted in England. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_101

Box office Shaun of the Dead_section_10

In the UK, Shaun of the Dead took £1.6 million at 367 cinemas on its opening weekend (9–11 April 2004) and netted £6.4 million by mid-May. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_102

It was second at the box office, following 50 First Dates with £1.65 million. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_103

In its opening weekend in the US, Shaun of the Dead earned US$3.3 million, taking seventh place at the box office despite a limited release to 607 theatres. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_104

As of June 2020, the film has earned US$30,076,102 worldwide in box office receipts since its release. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_105

The film was released only two weeks after Zack Snyder's 2004 remake Dawn of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_106

Both are internationally distributed by Universal Pictures, with the company only taking on Shaun of the Dead after setting the condition it be released after the remake. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_107

Home media Shaun of the Dead_section_11

The film was released on VHS and DVD shortly after its theatrical run in the US, with a VHS and DVD release on 6 September 2004 in the UK and around December 2004 in the US, in widescreen-only for both formats. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_108

Features included several audio commentaries, EPK featurettes about the film's production, pre-production video diaries and concept videos, photo galleries, bloopers, and more. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_109

The film also saw release on the HD DVD format in 2007, with a Blu-ray Disc release following in 2009. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_110

The Blu-ray release had high-definition visuals and a 5.1 surround sound audio mix. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_111

Special features include four audio commentaries, the DVD features, and U-Control features giving access to "storyboards, missing bits, and of course the Zomb-O-Meter trivia track". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_112

Comic adaptations and other media Shaun of the Dead_section_12

Main article: Shaun of the Dead (comics) Shaun of the Dead_sentence_113

Pegg and Wright scripted a one-off tie-in comic strip for the British comic magazine 2000AD titled "There's Something About Mary". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_114

Set the day before the zombie outbreak, the strip follows and expands on the character of Mary, who appears briefly in the introductory credits and is the first zombie whom Shaun and Ed are aware of; the strip details how she became a zombie. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_115

The strip was made available on the DVD release of Shaun, along with two other strips that wrapped up "plot holes" in the film, like how Dianne escaped and survived the Winchester incident, and Ed's fate after taking refuge in the pub's basement. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_116

The comics, which feature Pegg and Wright's voices on the DVD and are in black and white, were drawn by Oscar Wright, a graphic artist and Edgar Wright's brother. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_117

In 2005, IDW Publishing released a four-issue adaptation written by Chris Ryall (with input from Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg) and drawn by Zack Howard. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_118

The comic also contains scenes that were left out of the movie. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_119

In 2006, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association announced that it would be producing action figures based on the film. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_120

Upper Deck Entertainment released a card for the popular World of Warcraft TCG in 2007, an ally named "Shawn of the Dead", with the power of bringing back allies from the enemy graveyard. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_121

Pegg and Frost reprised their roles as Shaun and Ed for a public service announcement video, The Plan, released on 19 March 2020 on YouTube. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_122

Shaun and Ed share advice about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with Shaun urging Ed to follow NHS guidelines, stay home, and avoid the pub. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_123

Cultural references Shaun of the Dead_section_13

The film contains many references to Romero's films Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead, with Dawn in particular being referenced. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_124

A hand-in-mouth theoretical sequel called From Dusk Till Shaun was discussed by Wright and Pegg as "pub talk", referencing From Dusk till Dawn. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_125

A poster was made for From Dusk Till Shaun to feature in the alternate universe Times Square in the 2018 animated Sony Pictures Marvel Comics movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; a co-director of this film, Rodney Rothman, had reached out to Wright to ask for a movie suggestion that he could have theoretically made in the alternate universe. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_126

Other zombie film references include one to 28 Days Later, made during the ending scene when Shaun and Liz are watching television and a news report mentions the idea of "raging infected monkeys" – in 28 Days Later the rage virus was started by monkeys in a laboratory – and one to Italian gore director Lucio Fulci with the restaurant called "Fulci's". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_127

The film was the first of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, in which each film makes a reference to a different flavour of Cornetto ice cream. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_128

Shaun of the Dead features red strawberry-flavoured ice cream, signifying blood. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_129

The Cornetto was included as Ed's hangover cure because it is Wright's actual hangover cure. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_130

Wright and Pegg had contacted various artists to ask for use of their records in the famed scene where Shaun and Ed throw LPs at a zombie to defend themselves. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_131

While some artists never got back, Wright said that "Sade was the coolest. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_132

She said we could trash Diamond Life without hesitation". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_133

Wright would later include a Sade song in the soundtrack of his 2010 film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – the Beachwood Sparks version of "By Your Side". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_134

It was on an original list of songs for the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel, and Wright joked that he owed Sade "some publishing money" after destroying the album in Shaun of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_135

Of the moment, Pegg said that they "love using Sade as a weapon", noting that she was one of only two artists who gave permission to show cover art in the scene (the other being New Order). Shaun of the Dead_sentence_136

Besides the short The Plan made during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the film saw renewed interest in this time as an Internet meme. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_137

It began trending on Twitter because the film's poster, showing zombies pressed up against door windows, bears a striking resemblance to a photojournalist's image of protesters in Ohio at the Statehouse demanding lockdown be lifted. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_138

The situation was also described as "reminiscent of some of the scenes towards the end of the movie". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_139

The photojournalist was Joshua A. Bickel, who said that he "thought the windows and door were an interesting compositional element"; Dawn of the Dead prosthetist Tom Savini said it reminds him of Shaun of the Dead because both use the pressed-up-against-glass horror trope. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_140

The film also has tribute with a zombie hand sculpture at the Hakone Museum in Japan, where it is a cult hit; it did not see a theatrical release in the country until March 2019. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_141

Films that have been based on or inspired by Shaun of the Dead include Juan of the Dead, Hsien of the Dead, and Shed of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_142

Analysis Shaun of the Dead_section_14

Film scholar Kyle Bishop, Literature scholar and leading zombie film researcher Peter Dendle, and Sci-Fi scholar Gerry Canavan all comment on Shaun of the Dead as part of a large body of zombie narratives produced in the wake of 9/11. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_143

Bishop explained that the "renaissance of the subgenre reveals a connection between zombie cinema and post-9/11 cultural consciousness", because "horror films function as barometers of society's anxieties, and zombie movies represent the inescapable realities of unnatural death while presenting a grim view of the modern apocalypse". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_144

He finds that the subgenre of zombie films "can shock and terrify a population that has become numb to other horror subgenres", with Dendle similarly assessing that "the possibility of wide-scale destruction and devastation which 9/11 brought once again into the communal consciousness found a ready narrative expression in the zombie apocalypses which over thirty years had honed images of desperation subsistence and amoral survivalism to a fine edge". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_145

Dirk Eitzen also examined the film in depth as an example of how comedy is made in film, particularly how interpretive humour and satire are used. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_146

For example, when Shaun slips and falls in the shop in the opening sequence, per Eitzen's explanation, it is funny on several levels. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_147

Falling is funny; not noticing the zombie apocalypse is funny; the social satire that contrasts Shaun's mindless behaviour with the mindless zombies is funny; and the self-reference to where Shaun had slipped on a curb earlier in the sequence is funny, too. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_148

Media scholar Lindsey Decker wrote on how the film created comedy through transnational generic hybridisation, taking cues from American zombie movies as well as "British comedic practices from WWII-era Ealing comedies, television two-man comedy teams and the Monty Python sketch troupe". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_149

In this use of British comedy within an American genre, it also serves as commentary on British-American relations in the film industry. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_150

Multiple chapters of the 2016 book The Laughing Dead: The Horror-Comedy Film from Bride of Frankenstein to Zombieland are devoted to analysing aspects of Shaun of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_151

Steven Webley's chapter looks at the use of the Uncanny in the film, while Shelley S. Rees' chapter discusses the film's Marxist implications and the transgressive nature of zombies and zombie films in terms of relationships and sexuality. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_152

Comparatively, Kathryn A. Cady and Thomas Oates write in their article 'Family Splatters: Rescuing Heteronormativity from the Zombie Apocalypse' that the film "imagines a single-generation heteronormative family as the outcome of zombie invasion". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_153

Beyond film studies, a Bayesian mathematical model using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods was performed on examples of epidemic progression by Caitlyn Witkowski and Brian Blais in 2013. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_154

As an example of how such modelling could be applied to infectious disease control, Witkowski and Blais took examples of zombie apocalypses in Romero's original Dead trilogy and Shaun of the Dead to demonstrate disease dynamics. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_155

Reception Shaun of the Dead_section_15

Critical response Shaun of the Dead_section_16

Shaun of the Dead received critical acclaim. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_156

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 92%, based on 209 reviews, with an average rating of 7.78/10. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_157

The site's critical consensus reads, "Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_158

On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_159

Nev Pierce, reviewing the film for the BBC, called it a "side-splitting, head-smashing, gloriously gory horror comedy" that will "amuse casual viewers and delight genre fans". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_160

Peter Bradshaw gave it four stars out of five, saying it "boasts a script crammed with real gags" and is "pacily directed [and] nicely acted". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_161

Wendy Ide for Screen Daily wrote that the film "proves that the move from small to big screen comedy does not always end in artistic failure", saying that the film stays true to Pegg and Wright's style but also makes use of comedy more accessible to the British masses than that of Spaced. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_162

Pierce felt that the choice of weapons was amusing, and suggested that the film's real strength was the characterisation of the unhappy leads, but also wrote that the climax at the pub was lacking in horror and comedy compared to the rest of the film. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_163

Like Pierce, Ide felt that there is "a convincing emotional depth" despite the comedy; she similarly noted that the second half was slower, but chalked this up to being darker in tone at the climax. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_164

She praised the special effects make-up and prosthetics created by Stuart Conran. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_165

Keith Phipps of The A.V. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_166 Club enjoyed the record-throwing scene, citing it as an example of where the film "doesn't mind putting in extra work for its laughs", as it comes off funnier with Shaun and Ed debating which records they sacrifice rather than throwing indiscriminately. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_167

He found Wright's technical skills to be impressive, adding that Wright left the spotlight to the performances rather than the camerawork, but found the finale to be disappointingly played straight. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_168

Both the American critics Roger Ebert and Robert K. Elder said that the film brought something more to the zombie genre. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_169

Ebert wrote that he was "by now more or less exhausted by the cinematic possibilities of killing [zombies]", and so he was glad for what Shaun of the Dead brought to the table outside of this, writing that "instead of focusing on the Undead and trying to get the laughs there, it treats the living characters as sitcom regulars whose conflicts and arguments keep getting interrupted by annoying flesh-eaters". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_170

Elder agreed that by its release the zombie movie had "ambled its course", but thought that "Shaun of the Dead stands on its own, a romantic comedy crossed with a quarter-life crisis drama–just played against a background horde of brain-hungry, decomposing undead". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_171

B. Alan Orange of MovieWeb wrote that "The British Zombie experience "is" different enough to change the outlook of a whole genre". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_172

Of the cast, Ebert particularly praised Nighy, writing that "there's something endearing about his response ["I ran it under the tap"] when he is bitten by a zombie". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_173

Elder described Nighy as the film's scene stealer. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_174

Peter Travers also gave the film three out of four stars, and praised Pegg: "[he] makes you root for Shaun, even when he’s slacking with Ed [...], neglecting Liz and battling with his mum". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_175

Phipps' take on Shaun was that "Pegg gives his hero a defeated look that slowly melts away as the crisis at last gives him a chance to become a man of action". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_176

Accolades Shaun of the Dead_section_17

Shaun of the Dead_table_general_1

YearShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_0 AwardShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_1 CategoryShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_2 RecipientsShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_3 ResultShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_4 NotesShaun of the Dead_header_cell_1_0_5
2004Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_0 British Independent Film AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_1 Best British Independent FilmShaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_2 Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_3 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_4 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_1_5
Best ScreenplayShaun of the Dead_cell_1_2_0 Edgar Wright and Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_2_1 WonShaun of the Dead_cell_1_2_2
Most Promising NewcomerShaun of the Dead_cell_1_3_0 Nick FrostShaun of the Dead_cell_1_3_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_3_2
2005Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_0 Online Film Critics SocietyShaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_1 Best Original ScreenplayShaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_2 Edgar Wright and Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_3 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_4 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_4_5
Evening Standard British Film AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_5_0 Peter Sellers Award for ComedyShaun of the Dead_cell_1_5_1 Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_5_2 WonShaun of the Dead_cell_1_5_3 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_5_4
London Film Critics' Circle AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_6_0 British Film of the YearShaun of the Dead_cell_1_6_1 Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_cell_1_6_2 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_6_3 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_6_4
Screenwriter(s) of the YearShaun of the Dead_cell_1_7_0 Edgar Wright and Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_7_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_7_2
British Academy Film AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_8_0 Outstanding British FilmShaun of the Dead_cell_1_8_1 Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_cell_1_8_2 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_8_3 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_8_4
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or ProducerShaun of the Dead_cell_1_9_0 Nira ParkShaun of the Dead_cell_1_9_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_9_2 As producerShaun of the Dead_cell_1_9_3
Empire AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_10_0 Best British FilmShaun of the Dead_cell_1_10_1 Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_cell_1_10_2 WonShaun of the Dead_cell_1_10_3 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_10_4
Best British DirectorShaun of the Dead_cell_1_11_0 Edgar WrightShaun of the Dead_cell_1_11_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_11_2
Best British ActorShaun of the Dead_cell_1_12_0 Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_12_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_12_2
Best British ActressShaun of the Dead_cell_1_13_0 Kate AshfieldShaun of the Dead_cell_1_13_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_13_2
Scene of the YearShaun of the Dead_cell_1_14_0 The records and zombies sceneShaun of the Dead_cell_1_14_1 NominatedShaun of the Dead_cell_1_14_2
Saturn AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_15_0 Best Horror FilmShaun of the Dead_cell_1_15_1 Shaun of the DeadShaun of the Dead_cell_1_15_2 WonShaun of the Dead_cell_1_15_3 Shaun of the Dead_cell_1_15_4
Bram Stoker AwardsShaun of the Dead_cell_1_16_0 Best ScreenplayShaun of the Dead_cell_1_16_1 Edgar Wright and Simon PeggShaun of the Dead_cell_1_16_2 WonShaun of the Dead_cell_1_16_3 Tied with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindShaun of the Dead_cell_1_16_4

Best-of lists and appraisal Shaun of the Dead_section_18

In 2004, Total Film magazine named Shaun of the Dead the 49th greatest British film of all time. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_177

In 2006, it was rated as the third greatest comedy film of all time in the Channel 4 list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Films, with only Monty Python's Life of Brian and Airplane! Shaun of the Dead_sentence_178

ranked higher. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_179

In 2007, Stylus Magazine named it the ninth-greatest zombie film ever made. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_180

In 2007, Time named it one of the 25 best horror films, calling the film "spooky, silly and smart-smart-smart" and complimenting its director: "Wright, who'd be a director to watch in any genre, plays world-class games with the camera and the viewer's expectations of what's supposed to happen in a scare film". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_181

Bloody Disgusting ranked the film second in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "Shaun of the Dead isn't just the best horror-comedy of the decade – it's quite possibly the best horror-comedy ever made". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_182

In December 2009, Now deemed Shaun of the Dead the best film of the decade. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_183

In March 2011, the film was voted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra listeners as their second favourite film of all time. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_184

Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption came in first place. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_185

In 2008, Empire magazine named it as one of the Top 500 films, for which a new release poster was made for the film, and in 2016 Empire ranked it 6th on their list of the 100 best British films, with their entry stating, "it's a masterpiece, right up there with Evil Dead II as one of the finest horror/comedies ever made". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_186

George A. Romero first saw the film after Wright called to ask him what he thought; he watched it in a cinema in Florida by himself, and called them to give his approval. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_187

He was so impressed with Pegg and Wright's work that he asked them to appear in cameo roles in the 2005 film Land of the Dead. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_188

Pegg and Wright insisted on being zombies rather than the slightly more noticeable roles that were originally offered. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_189

Pegg and Frost reprised their roles (in animation) in the Phineas and Ferb Halloween special "Night of the Living Pharmacists" in October 2014. Shaun of the Dead_sentence_190

Quentin Tarantino described the film as one of his top twenty favourite films made since 1992, and horror novelist Stephen King described it as "a '10' on the fun meter and destined to be a cult classic". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_191

It has a cult following, generally among "millennial comedy and horror lovers alike". Shaun of the Dead_sentence_192


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun of the Dead.