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Shaun of the Dead


Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis

Director: Edgar Wright

This wildly successful zombie spoof plays fair by the rules of the genre, in that it's a genuine comedy-chiller. Here's the drawback, though: for all its entertainment value - and you won't be bored for a moment - it's only spasmodically funny and hardly scary at all.

Never mind, the premise is genuinely fresh and amusing. Shaun (Pegg) is a couch 'n' pub potato who breaks up with girlfriend Liz (Ashfield) because her slobby friend Ed (Frost) is always with them and (last straw), Shaun forgets to book a dinner for two designed to get them out of their rut.

Even as they part, though, London is being overwhelmed by an invasion of the living dead. TV salesman Shaun pays them little heed at first(!). Later, however, he proves the man of the hour as he organises Ed, Liz, his mum and dad (Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy) and two friends in a march through the zombies to the comparative safety of the local pub.

Director Wright keeps it all highly watchable and does manage one inspired moment when Shaun's Six encounter another half-dozen fugitives who look much like his own.

David Quinlan

UK 2004. UK Distributor: UIP (Universal). Technicolor.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 12 Dec 2006