Isaac Reeder SHAUN OF THE DEADShaun of the Dead is a British zombie comedy which was released on the 9th of April 2004.The film is directed and co-written by Edgar Wright, and co-written and starring Simon Peggand Nick Frost. Simon Pegg plays a character named Shaun, a salesman director who spendsmost of his nights with his best friend, Ed, who lives on his couch and deals marijuana, at theWinchester, their favourite pub .Shaun is a man who is to get some kind of focus in his lifewhile he deals with his girlfriend, his mother and stepfather, as well as dealing with theapocalyptic uprising of zombies that are invading. He faces a constant battle to keep himand his team alive using numerous weapons. This film received worldwide successdeveloping $30,039,392 in box office. It also received a 91% approval rating on the websiteRotten Tomatoes and a score of 76 out of 100 at Metacritic. It also was the first of thetrilogy that Simon Pegg has written, including Hot Fuzz and The World’s End.The narrative structure for Shaun of the dead follows TzvetanTodorov’s narrative structurefor films. The start of the film would be the only question for me as it shows Shaun, who isbeing taunted at work by all of the younger colleagues, and shown no respect whatsoever,and the other main character, Ed, living on the couch playing video games. We then discoverthe beginning of the crisis that zombies are starting to develop around their area, but Shaunis too hung over to notice it. The third stage then starts when they notice a zombie in theirback garden and proceed to try and kill it with anything that was at arm’s reach. When themain part of the film takes place and he assembles a team consisting of family and friends totake down the zombies, they fight off numerous amounts of hordes and zombies,commencing into the 4th stage of Todorov’s theory of narrative structure.At the end of thefilm we discover that all is over and equilibrium is restored again, leaving Shaun and his wifeto live happily, but Shaun’s best friend Ed didn’t make it, and you find out he is living inShaun’s shed as a zombie, breaking the narrative structure to an extent but following thecomedy effect route.Shaun of the dead’s horror title genre would be ‘Zombie Comedy’. There is always a funnyside to the film throughout but maintains a stern zombie plot within. The comedy is kept inwith the naivety of the main characters, which start off oblivious to the fact that a zombieapocalypse has started, and would rather eat cornettos’, drink beer and smoke marijuanainstead. The zombies also have a comedy effect too; the way they are killed during the filmis comical too, using anything that is at arms’ length. It fits in well with the traditionalzombie horror bracket but also is one of the best in a comedy zombie genre.The characters in Shaun of the dead follow a normal comedy pattern, with the main duo inthe whole of the film throughout, and their friends and family fading in and out of the filmas well. Overall the main cast consists of 16 people, all family and friend related. However,the film also follows a traditional horror pattern with the flesh-eating zombies roaming thestreets, and the gore effect of the decapitation that they receive too. There are scary
Isaac Reederreferences throughout the film too such as the bloody handprints in the supermarket at thestart, to give the viewer an idea into what they will see, as long with the occasional zombiecoming up in the background at the start as well. Of course at the end, the expected goodtriumphs over the evil side of the zombies, apart from Ed, who unfortunately is turned into azombie at the end, but kept as a pet. Therefore following a traditional pattern as everyone’slives shift back to the normal.Overall, I believe that Shaun of the Dead is a success with the storyline it follows to fit thegenre. The film follows the perception of a comedy horror throughout. The storyline fits aflow of a usual horror film, including the narrative structure. The cast in the film areportrayed as typical everyday people, living in the slums, but suddenly arise to becomeheroes and save the town from the zombie apocalypse. Its hard work hasn’t gone unnoticedeither, winning many awards, even ranking as the 3rd greatest comedy film of all time in achannel 4 poll, Backing up my opinion on such an incredible comedy horror.