2004 was a fine year for zombie films. There was the wildly popular Dawn of the Dead remake that hit theaters, and it made a boat load of money. For the first time in a very long time the living dead were the monster of choice at theaters and it was a wonderful thing to see.
But the Dawn remake was not the only zombie film that experienced wild success in the theater that year. Oh no, 2004 also featured the invention of a new sub genre, the rom-zom-com, and this is also the year the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy came to be, when Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright burst onto the screen with Shaun of the Dead.
Shaun seems to have it all. A steady job, a pretty gal at his side and friends that stick by him through thick and thin. Or so it seems. In reality, he's trapped in a dead end job and is doing his best to keep his relationship together. It seems as though there is only a sliver of hope for his future, that is until the fateful night arrives when the dead suddenly return to life and Shaun becomes a man of action, ready to do whatever it takes to save his family, his friends and his girl.
Simply put, this film blew me away with its complete and utter brilliance. While that may sound like hyperbole at its finest, I'm not joking, I walked out of the theater with my jaw dropped at how absolutely good this film is. So rarely does a film get everything right and Shaun of the Dead is one of them. The first thing that took me by surprise was the incredible job done by the cast. In every sense the actors in this film truly become their characters and that alone pulls us into this world because these characters feel like either people we know or have encountered in our travels and instantly we relate to them.
But it doesn't end there, past those endearing performances we are treated to laugh after laugh after laugh with spot on comedic timing and jokes that completely work. But the centerpiece of this film, is its heart and the clear love from Pegg, Frost and Wright of the living dead. While this is a comedy, the zombies are played off just right, with plenty of gore to satisfy and some excellent creepy moments. In fact the zombies were handled so well in this film that Pegg and Wright managed to earn a cameo in George Romero's Land of the Dead.
Hands down, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. The jokes, the dead, the acting, I cannot emphasize it enough that all of it simply comes together in this motion picture and if you haven't seen it, you really are missing out on that rare two of hours of cinematic perfection.