It’s time for me to admit that I’m one of those people who like to maintain some order within theirDVD collection. I’m not so far gone as to alphabetise them, but I do line my shelves in a specific genre order – horror leads into sci-fi, which leads into thriller and drama, then comedies, chick flicks, musicals, and finally, classics. Within each genre you can find certain subgenres; horror is the best, with slasher, torture porn, creature flicks, and Stephen King movies all having a singular section. Zombie movies also hold a place. Which brings me to Shaun of the Dead. Movies like these are hard for me to categorise; is it a zombie flick, belonging to the horror section, or is it simply another comedy, belonging in the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost sub-section of bad bro-comedies.
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is an aging salesman, sharing a flat with an old mate Ed (Nick Frost), dating a woman called Liz (Kate Ashfield). Shaun starts noticing odd signs, newspaper stories, news breaks, street scenes, they all add up to a strange sickness plaguing the streets. After getting dumped by Liz, Shaun decides to straighten out his life, reuniting with his mum, winning Liz back, and all round “succeeding”. Unfortunately, a slight problem comes about when the dead start rising.
Obviously, if it’s a Pegg/Frost due there’s going to be comedy, but the far out gore factor in some scenes begs the question of its horror tendencies. The zombies are great – their development from human to corpse is fantastic, and the blood and bite makeup is pretty good. But Shaun of the Dead lays mostly in the comedy genre, or at least, it lies in the Pegg/Frost comedy genre. I’ll leave it to you to determine if killing a zombie to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” is actually comedy or not.
Shaun of the Dead is good for a few easy laughs, mainly in the zombie slaughtering department. As usual, you can get a few giggles from Pegg and Frost’s on screen chemistry. You want them to survive, which is something. The two work wonderfully well together, even if they play the same role in every movie combo to date. I’m not a huge fan of the pair – Hot Fuzz was funnier then Shaun of the Dead, and what I’ve seen of Paul is ok – so I wasn’t as impressed with Shaun of the Dead as I could have been. A zombie comedy works well in Zombieland, but I don’t think Pegg/Frost have the necessary sophistication to pull off something similar. Two and a Half Stars.