Shaun of the Dead

Monkey is sleeping over a friend's house tonight, so Loki and I decided to do something we don't get to do with kids around - see an R rated movie. Loki was actually pushing for the new John Waters film, but a sexed up Tracy Ullman is not high on my list of things I want to see.

So we saw Shaun of the Dead. I hadn't heard much about it, but when I saw a promo, I thought it looked very funny, and since I like a good pun, I appreciated the title.

We went to a fairly early showing since Loki had plans for the night. The theater was not packed, maybe only 1/3rd full. Plus we live in New England, where people need someone to start off the clapping or the laughing, preferably someone from one of those places where people are comfortable expressing themselves. Even so, the movie got a huge response from the audience, lots of laughs and even applause at several points.

(Side note: My sister and my BIL both cannot understand any British accent other than the upper-crusty, American faking an English accent kind of accent. Loki usually does pretty well, but he said it took him about 15 minutes to get into the language and so he missed all the jokes in the first 15 minutes.)


At the start of the film, we meet Shaun and his girlfriend, Liz. They are at the pub, and they are having one of those State of the Relationship conversations (where Liz is delivering a speech to a Shaun whose mind is elsewhere). In a series of rather clever cuts, we also meet Shaun's flatmate Ed, who no one but Shaun seems to really like, and Liz's flatmates Dianne and David.

The movie plays like a classic buddy comedy until the zombies are introduced (although Shaun doesn't like the "zed word" - Loki leaned over and said "they prefer to be called living impaired" at that point) .

Loki's favorite scene in the movie was when Shaun visualizes his plans to rescue his mother and his girlfriend - everyone ending with a winking Shaun hoisting either a cup of tea or beer, surrounded by his laughing and grateful friends and family as they await the cavalry.

My favorite scene was Shaun's second walk to the convenience shop around the corner, when he is completely oblivious to the presence of zombies. Oh, and we both loved the scene where Shaun was sacrificing some of his records to kill some zombies - even in a matter of life and death, it's important to keep your original pressing of Blue Monday, apparently.

At one point in the movie, Shaun is leading his group (Liz, Dianne, David, his mother, and Ed) to the pub where they can wait out the zombie attack, and he meets up with his friend Yvonne, who is with a Seinfeldian Bizarro World group - same essential people, only more together than anyone hanging out with Shaun. They meet, wish each other luck and head off in separate directions.

At the end, when the cavalry finally arrives - along with Yvonne - Loki said that Yvonne's group had the story that a movie would usually tell - a ragtag group of people, in an almost impossible situation, who manage to figure out how to stop the scourge and bring in the big guns. I'm pretty happy that I got to see Shaun's story instead. I'm sure it was funnier.

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