Our “Top 6 favorite movies of all-time” list is the show that we’ve done that i’m most filled with regret over. Because I crafted it to show a broad range of flicks. But mostly because I left “The Great Dictator” off my list.
Ever since then I’ve been trying to build my definitive top 5 list. 4 were easy. But deciding on number five hasn’t been. I’ve had several flicks in that spot over the past year or so. Until I really thought about it. I’ve decided my rock solid #5 is…
Shaun of the dead
I know what you are thinking. ” the zombie movie? Ugh!”
And you’d be partially right. “Shaun of the Dead” is a zombie movie. It has all the zombie movie tropes for sure.
However, if you really look at it as I have you’ll be amazed at just how devastatingly well made it really is!
This is one of those movies that has a little bit of everything, for everyone.
To begin with, it was made fresh off the cult hit “Spaced” with the principal stars, a rocking soundtrack containing hits from Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel & the Furious 5, to Queen, as well as non heavy handed homages to the classic Romero flicks from the title, to Shaun’s mum being named Barbara.
But don’t take the general marketability of the flick to mean it doesn’t have its depths.
On top of the general pleasing nature of the flick. It’s also deserving of serious cinematic analysis.
Beyond the zombie apocalypse, another layer of the supernatural can be observed. In the apocalypse being nature’s mechanism for achieving Liz’s desire for Shaun to grow up and offer a stronger commitment to their relationship. Much the same has been suggested for the classic Hitchcock flick. “The Birds”
This is a theory that I fully support, however in an effort to be honest I want you to know that this is not my theory. Actually it was suggested in an essay entitled “MEANINGLESS CAUSE AND DESIRE IN THE BIRDS, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, AND THE WALKING DEAD” written by my friend Craig Fischer, contained in the invaluable “Triumph of the walking dead“, edited by my friend James Lowder. Don’t take my familiarity with the creators as a shameless plug. I find this book to be required reading for any fan of The Walking Dead, zombies, or horror movies in general!
I feel that Mr. Fischer’s analysis is sound based off of the timing of the events coinciding with Liz’s “spectacular binning of Shaun”
I also see it in the cautionary tale shown in David and Diane’s fate when they were complacent about the reality of their relationship. There is genuine pathos, and tragedy shown when David’s death is directly caused by his jealousy of Shaun. Despite Diane growing up and admitting that David always loved Liz, she still chooses to join David in his fate.
Most interestingly I see it in the story arc of Shaun’s well-meaning and buffoon of a best friend Ed. Ed is obviously a major force in holding Shaun back. Shaun is justifiably protective of Ed. However in a delicious bit of cinematic continuity Ed is bitten and killed and turned by their disapproving roommate’s zombie alter ego. However after the events of the movie we see Shaun and Liz in what appears to be domestic bliss, until it is revealed that Ed’s zombie is kept in the garden shed in what seems to be an effort to compartmentalize Shaun’s life. You know that isn’t going to end well. I see this as a blatant “? ending” as Freddy Kruger’s glove pulling Jason Voorhees’s mask back to hell, and Darth Vader’s revelation that “No, Luke I am your father!”
All of this is great. And at the same time this is a movie that finds its way into my Blu-Ray player monthly at least. And I’ve truly gotten a lot of mileage out of what is seen by many to be just a zombie movie. For these reasons and more “Shaun of the Dead” is easily my #5 favorite flick!