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Published on June 20th, 2008 | by simeon

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Shaun of the Dead

With the recent influx of the walking dead at your local multiplex, it would be easy to dismiss the British film “Shaun of the Dead” as just another cheap zombie film. While few will mistake “Shaun” as a landmark in cinematic history, but despite its flaws, there are a few funny moments on the film.
The film attempts to mix horror and comedy and largely but works best if viewed as a comedic satire of the genre. Shaun, (Simon Pegg), (who also helped write the film), is a working class stiff who toils away his time in an London district selling electronics by day and squiring the love of his life Liz (Kate Ashfield), to the local pub much to her dismay as the monotony of the situation and Shaun’s obscene slacker friend Ed (Nick Frost), have worn on her last nerve.
Despite getting an ultimatum from Liz to take her to someplace other than the pub, Shaun becomes distracted and fails to secure a table elsewhere, causing Liz to storm out and send Shaun into a spiral as he begins to question his place in life and suspect that there is much more that he should be doing.
As if this was not enough of a burden for Shaun to endure, the local population seems to be acting oddly as reports of mayhem and carnage are starting to arise and the streets start to fill with Zombies. At first Shaun and Ed are oblivious to the changes around them as they continue their daily routines without noticing the blood stains, bodies and walking dead in the neighborhood, that is until one decided to attack.
Shaun and Ed soon get a nasty dose of reality and Shaun eventually decides that he must get his mother and Liz to safety, so armed with his Cricket bat, he takes on the grisly horde of undead against overwhelming odds.
While the film does have some good comedic moments, it drags horribly for the last 20 minutes as only a funny but albeit brief segment involving a zombie attack to a Queen classic is the only respite in the monotone that the film crawls to. The biggest problem is that the film seems to run out of material about 40 minutes in and the makers of the film try to stretch the film using standards from past zombie films. We have the desperate stand in a surrounded building, the improvised weapons, the infighting between survivors, and the classic bearing of the soul when it seems darkest.
I do admire the creative element that the creators of the film came up with especially with the obvious budget restrictions they were under. That being said, the film is not worthy of the praise that is being heaped upon it. Yes, it shows promise for the cast, and yes it is a nice twist on the tired zombie genre, but any momentum that was gained in the early portion of the film is quickly destroyed by the sputtering plot that crawls its way to the finish with a ho-hum climax that will disappoint any in the audience who still care.

3 stars out of 5


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