Shaun of the dead gives George Romero’s film Dawn of the dead, a brilliant, comedic twist. An instant classic, the film is basically a social commentary on how we are all like brainless zombies, moving mechanically through our everyday routine.
Thirty-something slacker Shaun wakes up every morning takes a walk to the corner shop to buy his morning soda and ice cream only to find it is not going to be just an ordinary day. His girlfriend will dump him; his girlfriend’s friends will hate him and most of the population of England will turn into the zed word: zombies, overnight. It is not determined how the population, become zombies. It is assumed to be a chemical virus.
Shaun is so wrapped up with his own problems he doesn’t notice the changes around him, at first, such as people running for their lives, and military vehicles beginning to fill the streets. He does notice a strange decaying man in the park chasing pigeons across the street.
Shaun turns his head to the strange scene retreating back into his own troubled thoughts. Another is when he notices ambulance drivers loading corpses onto a truck as he’s walking home from work. It keeps his attention for a while until a friend calls after him to say hello.
The next morning Shaun once again goes through his daily routine unaware of the horde of zombies staggering in the background. He walks right passed what used to be the neighborhood bum unaware he is now a zombie. It is these scenes, which make us scream and laugh out loud because we see ourselves in Shaun as he is too wrapped up in his own personal problems, unaware of what’s going on around him.
The apocalypse has come and it is up to Shaun to save the world thereby he begins by telling his best friend, Ed of his plans to save his girlfriend Liz, her friends, his mother, his stepfather, find shelter to wait out the zombies.
There is a hilarious scene when Shaun tries to explain to his mother that his stepfather is a zombie and needs to kill him, whether it is true or not.
Shaun has never accepted his stepfather as his father ignoring the fact that his stepfather has loved him and is always good to him. In the end Shaun and his friends eventually find themselves trapped in their favorite pub with the zombies breaking down the door.
The film is directed by Edgar Wright and is taken from an episode of Spaced, a British sitcom shown on the cable channel Trio where Simon Pegg (Shaun) star as well as the rest of the cast. The humor is very dry and very British. It is a mixture of laugh-out-loud humor, graphic violence and language.