Shaun (Simon Pegg) doesn’t have much going for him. He has a going-nowhere job at an electronics store. His girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield) dumped him. He lives in his friend, Pete’s (Peter Serafinowicz) house. Another friend, Ed (Nick Frost), crashes at Pete’s house, too. Ed and Shaun two spend all of their time at the pub. Or talking about going to the pub. Or thinking about the pub.
Shaun is desperate to get Liz back and turn his life around. As luck would have it, about the time he decides this, the zombie apocalypse has just started.
At first, Shaun and Ed aren’t really aware of what is going on. They don’t even really notice until things start getting really serious. Going into survival mode, Shaun and Ed start dispatching the zombies.
Shaun’s focus turns to his mother, Barbara (Penelope Wilton), his stepfather, Phillip (Bill Nighy), and, of course, Liz. His mother and stepfather are obvious choices, as he wants to save his mum, and her husband, even if the two don’t really get along. He sees this as his opportunity to win Liz back.
Of course, things get messy and don’t go exactly according to plan. This small band of non-zombies must fight to save their lives.
Shaun of the Dead is the first installment of the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg written “Cornetto Trilogy.” It is also probably my favorite of the series. (I use the term “series” loosely. While the 3 films – including Hot Fuzz and The World’s End – are part of the trilogy, they are not sequential and not related at all, in terms of story or even characters.)
After having seenThe World’s End, I let it slip that I had not yet seen the other two films in the trilogy. I was told that this needs to be rectified, and quickly. I am glad I followed this suggestion. I had enjoyed The World’s End, even without knowing what all the fuss was about. However, I do have to say, that after seeing the other two, that is probably my least favorite of the franchise.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have a unique chemistry. If they aren’t best mates off-screen, they play it very well on-screen. Their style of comedy isn’t for everyone. They are an English duo, after all. On top of that, the movie has a sophisticated sense of humor. Sure, a lot of the sight gags and jokes can come across as sophomoric. It’s the way they deliver the lines and the subtleties that make the film.
What connects the Cornetto Trilogy, aside from the presence of a flavor of Cornetto in each of the 3 films (strawberry for this installment, due to bloody nature of the film), there are many stylistic elements and recurring themes running through all the films. This is what makes the 3 films work together. Each film alone, while it would be fine on its own, is brought to a higher level as a part of the collection.
I have to say, I think the quality of the films dies off a bit as the series goes on. As I stated, this is the best of the series. Perhaps, they set the bar too high to be able to live up to. Regardless, if you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead, put it on your list of movies you need to watch.