Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"Shaun of the Dead" is definitely a severed thumbs up!

"Shaun of the Dead" is one of those little British films you never thought you'd see at the neighborhood cinema. Small budget, nobody in the cast you've ever heard of (except for Bill Nighy), no car crashes or explosions. Just a very cleverly written script with perfect casting, probably the funniest you'll see this year.

Shaun and his roommate Ed live in a pigsty, and nothing is happening in their lives. Shaun's girlfriend, Liz, is becoming more and more aware that she can't change Shaun, and that maybe Shaun loves his mate Ed a bit more than he loves her. After all, he and Ed make each other laugh, enjoy the same video games, and like to drink a bit. There's a staunch loyalty there, but it's rather obvious that Ed, who is a bit sloppier, more crass and more unemployed than Shaun, is dragging his mate down.

Enter the zombies. Only Shaun and Ed don't notice them. They're so involved in their tiny little lives that the news reports and the bloodshed around them don't affect them. And, blimey, there's more than a little resemblance there -- Shaun and Ed have their own zombie thing going for them, as their lives are adding to a big zero as well. And they do move and think a-w-f-u-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y in total un-clue-osity. "You are a fucking idiot!" yells the upstairs neighbor at Shaun. "What do you mean by that?" Shaun asks. (I tell ya, just typing that made me laugh!)

But the zombie population has grown so large that it becomes impossible for even the living living-dead to ignore them. In fact, they're wandering, like stray cats, into everybody's lawn, making it impossible to enjoy the simpler things in life, like a cold brewski and that soccer match that's been cancelled because of these attacks. The sight of Shaun, still in his work shirt and tie and his nameplate, carrying a cricket bat to whack the zombies' heads off is one of many hilarious scenes.

Add in some superb casting like Bill Nighy (truly memorable in "Love Actually" and the best thing in "Underworld"), who resembles a zombie to us anyway, and the two male leads, and you have the most original and, yes, poignant film in the last few years.


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