Shaun of the Dead

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield Directed by: Edgar Wright

Shaun (Simon Pegg) is having a really bad week.  His girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) dumps him. His stepfather badgers him for forgetting to bring his mum some flowers on mother's day. Everyone is tired of his oafish best friend Ed (Nick Frost) hanging around. When 29-year-old Shaun has to run the electronics store he works at because the manager is ill, he gets no respect from his teenage co-workers.  He's been called a loser that needs to get his life sorted out, and is beginning to believe it.

Plus, there are two zombies in the garden.

Actually, the whole city is overrun with the walking dead.

Armed with a cricket bat and a shovel, Shaun and Ed follow the instruction on the news and take out the backyard zombies.  Then they devise a plan to save Shaun's mum and Liz from the zombies and squire them off to safety until the crisis blows over. Though they do manage to fetch up Shaun's mum, his stepdad, Liz and her two roommates, it's easier said than done to get them to the secure location where Ed knows all the exits and can smoke (i.e. the Winchester Pub, where they all hang out pretty much every night).

Once in the pub, the peace doesn't last long as a mob of zombies have it totally surrounded.  It's Shaun's chance to rise to the challenge and refute the notion that he's merely another slacker.

Despite a very humorous fight scene to the tune of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," the pub scene does drag a bit.  As the movie cover promises itself "A smash hit romantic comedy. With zombies," there are some perfunctory emotional dialogues with the characters airing the grievances that have been simmering among them for years.  And then all hell breaks loose.

This is definitely a good movie to watch in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and pretty funny to boot.  Though Shaun of the Dead isn't as directly instructive as Zombieland, it's still pretty clear that you need to know how to do the following before Z-day in case you need to step up and lead:

  • Have a plan for who you are going to save, where you can take them to safety, and where a secondary exit is (so if the front door is locked you can still get in without breaking a window).
  • Wield a blunt object (bat, golf club, shovel, umbrella, etc) in a way that could deliver enough force to destroy a zombie's head.
  • Shoot a gun with good aim in case you have more zombies than bullets.
  • Impersonate a zombie in case you need to walk through a crowd of them without drawing attention to the fact that you are still alive.

Written by Jennifer Venson