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Shaun of the Dead

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Comedy, Horror




Edgar Wright

Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

United Kingdom France United States

Shaun of the Dead movie poster

Release date
29 March 2004 (2004-03-29) (London premiere) 9 April 2004 (2004-04-09) (United Kingdom) 24 September 2004 (2004-09-24) (United States) 27 July 2005 (2005-07-27) (France)

Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright

Film series
Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy

Horror, Comedy, Action Film, Parody, Horror comedy

Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Kate Ashfield
Lucy Davis
Dylan Moran
Peter Serafinowicz

Similar movies
World War Z
Zombie Isle
Day of the Dead
Rammbock: Berlin Undead
Zombie Holocaust

A romantic comedy. With zombies.

Shaun of the dead trailer

Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 British horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg plays Shaun, a man attempting to get some kind of focus in his life as he deals with his girlfriend, his mother and stepfather. At the same time, he has to cope with an apocalyptic zombie uprising.


Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

The film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for a BAFTA. The film is the first in Wright and Pegg's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, followed by 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End.

Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

Shaun of the dead uk trailer 2004


Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

Shaun is an electronics salesman with no direction in his life. His younger colleagues disrespect him, he is estranged from his stepfather Philip, and his girlfriend Liz is unhappy spending every date at his favourite pub, the Winchester. After a bad day at work, Shaun forgets to book a restaurant for his anniversary with Liz. When he suggests the Winchester, Liz breaks up with him. He drowns his sorrows with his housemate and best friend Ed at the Winchester. At home, their housemate Pete, complaining of a bite wound from a drunk, berates Shaun to get his life together.

Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

By morning, a zombie apocalypse has overwhelmed London, but the hungover Shaun is slow to notice. He and Ed encounter two zombies in their garden and kill them with blows to the head. They form a plan to rescue Shaun's mother, Barbara, and Liz, then wait out the crisis in the Winchester. They escape in Pete's car, and pick up Barbara and Philip, who has been bitten, then Liz and her friends Dianne and David. Philip makes peace with Shaun, dies from his bites, and reanimates as a zombie.

Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

The group abandon the vehicle and continue on foot. The streets surrounding the Winchester are overrun, so the group pretend to be zombies to sneak past them. Ed answers his phone, attracting the zombies' attention; while Shaun leads them away, the rest take refuge inside the Winchester, where Shaun rejoins them.

Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

Shaun discovers the Winchester rifle above the bar is functional and the group attempts to use it to defend themselves. Barbara reveals she has been bitten and dies after giving Liz and Shaun her blessing. Shaun, distraught, is forced to shoot her after she reanimates. David is torn apart by the zombies, while Dianne rushes out to rescue him, disappearing into the advancing horde. Pete, zombified, bites Ed, but Shaun shoots Pete and sets fire to the bar. The fire spreads, setting off the rifle ammunition while Shaun, Liz and Ed flee into the cellar and contemplate suicide. Discovering a barrel hatch elevator that opens to the outside, Shaun and Liz escape as the wounded Ed volunteers to stay behind with the rifle. The British Army arrives and guns down the remaining zombies.

Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

Six months after the outbreak, civilisation has returned to normal, with zombies used as cheap labour and entertainment. Liz has moved in with Shaun, and Shaun keeps the zombified Ed tethered in the garden shed so they can play video games together.


Shaun of the Dead movie scenes

  • Simon Pegg as Shaun
  • Nick Frost as Ed
  • Kate Ashfield as Liz
  • Lucy Davis as Dianne
  • Dylan Moran as David
  • Penelope Wilton as Barbara, Shaun's mother
  • Bill Nighy as Philip, Shaun's stepfather
  • Jessica Stevenson as Yvonne
  • Peter Serafinowicz as Pete
  • Rafe Spall as Noel
  • Martin Freeman as Declan
  • Reece Shearsmith as Mark
  • Tamsin Greig as Maggie
  • Julia Deakin as Yvonne's mum
  • Matt Lucas as Cousin Tom
  • Production

    The film is notable for Wright's kinetic directing style, and its references to other movies, television series and video games. In this way, it is similar to the British sitcom Spaced, which both Pegg and Wright worked on in similar roles.

    The film was inspired by the Spaced episode "Art", written by Pegg (along with his writing partner and co-star Jessica Stevenson) and directed by Wright, in which the character of Tim (Pegg), under the influence of amphetamine and the video game Resident Evil 2, hallucinates that he is fighting off a zombie invasion. Having discovered a mutual appreciation for Romero's Dead trilogy, they decided to write their own zombie movie. Spaced was to be a big influence on the making of Shaun, as it was directed by Wright in a similar style, and featured many of the same cast and crew in minor and major roles. Nick Frost who played Mike in Spaced has a starring role in Shaun as Ed. Peter Serafinowicz and Julia Deakin – who played Duane Benzie and Marsha in Spaced – appear in Shaun as Pete and Yvonne's mum, and Pegg's Spaced co-star Jessica Stevenson plays Yvonne.

    The film's cast features a number of British comedians, comic actors, and sitcom stars, most prominently from Spaced, Black Books and The Office. Shaun also co-stars Dylan Moran, who played Bernard Black in Black Books, Martin Freeman (Tim Canterbury in The Office), Tamsin Greig (Fran in Black Books, Caroline in Green Wing), Julia Deakin (Marsha in Spaced), Reece Shearsmith (Dexter in Spaced and a member of The League of Gentlemen) and Matt Lucas (writer/co-star of Little Britain). In addition, the voices of Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen) and Julia Davis (Nighty Night) can be heard as radio news presenters, as can David Walliams (Little Britain) who provides the voice of an unseen TV reporter. Trisha Goddard also makes a cameo appearance, hosting two fictionalised episodes of her real-life talk show Trisha. Many other comics and comic actors appear in cameos as zombies, including Rob Brydon, Paul Putner, Russell Howard, Pamela Kempthorne (Morticia de'Ath in The Vampires of Bloody Island), Joe Cornish, Antonia Campbell-Hughes (from the Jack Dee sitcom Lead Balloon), Mark Donovan (Black Books) and Michael Smiley (Tyres in Spaced). Coldplay members Chris Martin (who contributed to the soundtrack by guest singing the cover of Buzzcocks' "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" with Ash) and Jonny Buckland also have cameo roles in the film.

    The film was shot over nine weeks between May and July 2003.


    The production was filmed entirely in London, on location and at Ealing Studios, and involved production companies Working Title Films and StudioCanal. Many exterior shots were filmed in and around the North London areas of Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Finsbury Park and East Finchley. Zombie extras were mainly local residents or fans of Spaced who responded to a casting call organised through a fan website.

    Shaun's place of work is an actual electrical appliances shop located at Tally Ho, North Finchley.

    The scenes filmed in and around the "Winchester Tavern" pub were shot at the "Duke of Albany" pub, 39 Monson Road, New Cross, South London – a three-story Victorian pub. It was turned into flats in 2008.

    Box office

    In the United Kingdom, Shaun took £1.6 million at 366 cinemas on its opening weekend and netted £6.4 million by mid-May. In its opening weekend in the United States, Shaun earned US$3.3 million, taking seventh place at the box office despite a limited release to only 607 theatres. The film has earned US$30,039,392 worldwide in box office receipts since its release.

    Critical response

    Shaun of the Dead received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 92%, based on 201 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Nev Pierce, reviewing the film for the BBC, called it a "side-splitting, head-smashing, gloriously gory horror comedy" that will "amuse casual viewers and delight genre fans." Peter Bradshaw gave it four stars out of five, saying it "boasts a script crammed with real gags" and is "pacily directed [and] nicely acted." The film was placed sixth in Empire's top one hundred British films list.

    Awards and recognition

    In 2004, Total Film magazine named Shaun of the Dead the 49th greatest British film of all time. In 2005, it was rated as the third greatest comedy film of all time in a Channel 4 poll. Horror novelist Stephen King described the movie as "...a '10' on the fun meter and destined to be a cult classic." In 2007, Stylus Magazine named it the ninth-greatest zombie film ever made. In 2007, Time named it one of the 25 best horror films, calling the film "spooky, silly and smart-smart-smart" and complimenting its director: "Wright, who'd be a director to watch in any genre, plays world-class games with the camera and the viewer's expectations of what's supposed to happen in a scare film." Bloody Disgusting ranked the film second in their list of the 'Top 20 Horror Films of the Decade', with the article saying "Shaun of the Dead isn't just the best horror-comedy of the decade – it's quite possibly the best horror-comedy ever made." In December 2009, Now deemed Shaun of the Dead the best film of the decade.

    George A. Romero was so impressed with Pegg and Wright's work that he asked them to appear in cameo roles in the 2005 film Land of the Dead. Pegg and Wright insisted on being zombies rather than the slightly more noticeable roles that were originally offered. Pegg and Frost reprised their roles (animated style) in the Phineas and Ferb Halloween special "Night of the Living Pharmacists" in October 2014.

    Quentin Tarantino dubbed the film as one of his top twenty films made since 1992.

    In March 2011, the film was voted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra listeners as their second favourite film of all time. Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption came in first place.

    Home media

    The film was released on DVD shortly after its theatrical run in the US, with a DVD release around December 2004 in the US. Features included several audio commentaries, EPK featurettes about the film's production, pre-production video diaries and concept videos, photo galleries, bloopers, and more. The film also saw release on the HD DVD format in July 2007, with a Blu-ray Disc release following in September 2009.


    In 2006, the National Entertainment Collectibles Association announced that it would be producing action figures based on the film as part of its "Cult Classics" line that features fan favourite characters from various genre films. The releases so far are:

  • 12" Shaun with sound
  • 7" Shaun, which was released in Cult Classics series 4. The sculpt was based on the 12" figure.
  • "Winchester" two-pack, featuring 7" versions of Ed and a bloodied-up Shaun with the Winchester rifle.
  • Zombie Ed, which is a re-deco of the "Winchester" Ed, to be released in Cult Classics: Hall of Fame.
  • Upper Deck Entertainment released a card for the popular World of Warcraft TCG in 2007, an ally named "Shawn of the Dead", with the power of bringing back allies from the enemy graveyard.

    Films influenced by Shaun of the Dead

    The 2010 Cuban film Juan of the Dead and the 2013 Singaporean film Hsien of the Dead were inspired by Shaun of the Dead.


    The film's score by Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford is a pastiche of Italian zombie film soundtracks by artists like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi. It also uses many musical cues from the original Dawn of the Dead that were originally culled by George A. Romero from the De Wolfe production music library.

    On the soundtrack album, dialogue from the film is embedded within the music tracks.

    1. "Figment" – S. Park
    2. "The Blue Wrath" – I Monster
    3. "Mister Mental" – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
    4. "Meltdown" – Ash
    5. "Don't Stop Me Now" – Queen
    6. "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" – Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Melle Mel
    7. "Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don't Stop)" – Man Parrish
    8. "Zombie Creeping Flesh" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    9. "Kernkraft 400" – Zombie Nation
    10. "Fizzy Legs" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    11. "Soft" – Lemon Jelly
    12. "Death Bivouac" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    13. "The Gonk (Kid Koala Remix)" – The Noveltones
    14. "Envy the Dead" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    15. "Ghost Town" – The Specials
    16. "Blood in Three Flavours" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    17. "Panic" – The Smiths
    18. "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" (originally by Buzzcocks) – Ash featuring Chris Martin
    19. "You're My Best Friend" – Queen
    20. "You've Got Red on You / Shaun of the Dead Suite" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    21. "Normality" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    22. "Fundead" – Pete Woodhead and Daniel Mudford
    23. "Orpheus" – Ash

    Comic strip

    Pegg and Wright also scripted a one-off tie-in comic strip for the British comic magazine 2000AD titled "There's Something About Mary".

    Set the day before the zombie outbreak, the strip follows and expands on the character of Mary, who appears briefly in the introductory credits, and is the first zombie whom Shaun and Ed are aware of, and details how she became a zombie. It features expanded appearances from many of the minor or background characters who appear in the film. The strip was made available on the DVD release of Shaun, along with two other strips that wrapped up "Plot Holes" in the film, like how Dianne escaped and survived the Winchester incident, and Ed's fate after taking refuge in the basement of the bar.

    Shaun of the dead she s so drunk simon pegg nick frost edgar wright


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