For those who’ve watched endless campy zombie and thriller horror flicks, the question is inevitably raised: Can creatures with the intelligence and speed of a slug really be as intimidating as they’re made out to be?
As Shaun of the Dead makes evident, the answer is no. Apparently, zombies are extremely easy and fun to kill too. Set in modern-day England (where it’s become a sleeper hit), the parody film sets up a smart comparison between the mindless zombies of film and your everyday working bloke.
The story goes like this, “Boy loves girl, boy loses girl, boy fights through hordes of zombies to get girl back and has lots of fun doing it.”
Let the homage to chaos and homicidal comedy begin. In addition to keeping the love story in check and supplying the violent gore that every good undead flick desperately needs, director Edgar Wright remembers the roots of the films he parodies. Whether it’s subtle references to the original Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, Evil Dead, or Lucio Fulci, with little tributes to Star Wars and A Clockwork Orange thrown in for good measure, this movie goes out of its way to keep horror buffs happy.
The only way you could not like this soon-to-be cult classic is if you’re as dead and joyless as the zombies in the film. For everyone who likes good acting and great writing, it’s a bloody fun time and a wonderful display of how parody should be done.
Chad Nelson writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.