Did anyone anticipate just how damn good “Shaun of the Dead” was going to be?
When the 2004 British comic-thriller, about a couple of goofy guys stumbling their way through life and, suddenly, the zombie apocalypse, debuted, I don’t think many of us appreciated how much comedic gold was to be mined from the end of the world.
Director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – two under-achieving blokes who only very gradually realize the population around them is turning into flesh-eating zombies – turned the zombie story on end.
There’s plenty of creep factor, as zombies zero in on victims, and there’s some derring-do. But what made “Shaun of the Dead” so great was its humor, as Pegg and Frost sort through vinyl records to see which are suitable to toss at zombies or plot out schemes to save Shaun’s mum and girlfriend.
I love that Martin Freeman has a cameo in the movie. And I love that the actor, better known now as “The Hobbit” and John Watson from “Sherlock,” is featured in Wright’s upcoming apocalyptic picture “The World’s End.”
I love that there’s a mirror-image group as counterpart to that led by Pegg. There’s an amusing scene when Pegg’s group encounters the other and nobody really seems to notice that they’re like an alternate universe version of our heroes.
“We’re coming to get you, Barbara!” Frost shouts into the phone to Pegg’s mum. It’s a play on “They’re coming to get you, Barbara,” From George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead,” of course.
Has there been a better ending to a zombie apocalypse movie? Plainly, no.