Friday, 13 January 2017

Film Review | Comedy and Slapstick | Shaun of the Dead

Fig 1. Shaun of the Dead Movie Poster

Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead is a British comedy classic featuring Simon Pegg as Shaun and Nick Frost as Ed. Shaun and Ed live in a house together with their not-so-great friend Pete (). Shaun works in a electronics shop and dates a girl called Liz (). They all live pretty mundane lives and only really dwell in the Winchester, the local pub beloved by Shaun and Ed...and definitely not Liz. Also roughly a third into the film there's zombies, lots of them, but much like the dumb zombies we are very used to filling our screens through movies and gaming.

Throughout the whole film the comic relief is evidentially Ed, he as a standalone character could make the audience laugh. Whereas some of the truly golden moments come from Simon and Nick's on-screen chemistry. The icing on the cake is that the humour in Shaun of the Dead is hugely British, using sarcasm and mocking everything too. The comedy doesn't just come from Simon and Nick, with a wide array of British comedy stars sometimes the jokes are flying in from everywhere.

One of the most memorable comedic scenes in Shaun of the Dead is where Shaun and Ed find a girl in their garden, this girl is a zombie. They attempt to throw random furniture at the girl which in itself is funny as it's clear none of the furniture used would actually hurt, let alone kill someone. After trying furniture they attempt to use vinyls as frisbees but instead argue over which album cannot be thrown, this ultimately leads to Shaun and Ed running out of time to kill with the vinyls but must instead do the thing they should have done in the first place. Get in the shed. Get weapons.

Fig 2. Ed and Shaun arguing over what vinyls to throw.

This to me seems like typical British humour, as I am British it is potential that that is why it's my favourite comedy type. Throughout Shaun of the Dead British humour and wit have been used a lot, the record scene is definitely a good example of how an argument over music can still be more important than a ravenous zombie trying to eat your brains. Another bit that sticks out is whenever anything goes wrong, needs to be fixed, they're hungry, thirsty or defense from a bloodthirsty zombie horde they go to the Winchester. It's this failsafe method that I love, it is very British. So much so that you can easily imagine a Brit going to the pub to fix every problem. Also "The point is not to make you feel good, but to prompt laughs of horrified recognition that we really are like that." (Newman, 2004) 

Overall I feel like Shaun of the Dead is by far the best comedy I have seen for a while. I enjoy the subtle humour that is constantly slipped in, the casting but most of all the ending. It's true that Shaun pretty much lost everything but he did learn valuable lessons at the same time also.

Image Sources 

Fig 1. Shaun of the Dead [Film Poster] At: Accessed 12/01/2017

Fig 2. Ed and Shaun arguing over what vinyls to throw [Film Screenshot]  At: Accessed 12/01/2017

Quote Sources

Newman, K (2004) The Shaun of the Dead Review At Accessed 12/01/2017

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