SHAUN OF THE DEAD is a well executed one-joke movie. But, even it's a good
joke, it's only one joke. Once the zombies arrive, which is early on in this
zombie spoof, you can watch any ten minutes of the movie and get the full
comedic effect. Spending more time with these wimpy undead, who move at about
60 i.p.m. (inches per minute), doesn't add to your viewing pleasure, it just
repeats the same funny moments, like listening to an old record that gets stuck
in a groove.
Shaun (Simon Pegg), Ed (Nick Frost) and Pete (Peter Serafinowicz) are three
doofus buddies who share a slovenly kept house. Playing video games like they
did when they were teens a decade or two ago, they are oblivious to what is
happening until the zombies show up and refuse to leave. Scrambling to come up
with a plan, Shaun hits on the idea of hiding out someplace safe and someplace
where Ed can smoke -- their favorite pub. Pete doesn't get to go along since
he has already been bitten. As Shaun and Ed whack one slow moving undead after
another with their garden shovel and cricket mallet, the body count rises. As
the television news reporter explains, all you need to do to stop these
monsters is to smash their heads.
I laughed for a while, but I quickly found myself hoping for some cataclysmic
disaster that would wipe out everyone -- the living and the undead. Lots of a
slightly funny thing is not funnier. It's just tiresome. But, if stumbling
zombies are all it takes to float your boat, SHAUN OF THE DEAD could be just
the monster movie for you.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD runs a long 1:39. It is rated R for "zombie violence/gore
and language" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes