Shaun of the Dead
A Comprehensive Look at Shaun of the Dead!
Shaun of the Dead opens with the movie’s main characters gathered at the Winchester Tavern for a few drinks. As a man and woman (who we will soon come to know as Shaun and Liz) discuss the state of their relationship, we are introduced to the film‘s primary players:
Shaun (Simon Pegg) - Twenty-something slacker and the movie‘s central character. Has lots of potential but seems to lack motivation.
Ed (Nick Frost) - Shaun’s best friend. Has been crashing at Shaun’s house for the past 5 years. Content to stay on the couch and play video games.
Liz (Kate Ashfield) - Shaun’s girlfriend. She’s becoming increasingly concerned about Shaun’s lack of initiative.
David (Dylan Moran) - Liz’s flatmate. Doesn’t approve of Shaun and is not-so-secretly in love with Liz.
Dianne (Lucy Davis) - Liz’s flatmate and the girlfriend of David. Struggling actress.
Shaun promises to take Liz out to a fancy restaurant the following night. This pleases Liz, as she’s tired of always going to the Winchester with Shaun and Ed, and wants some time alone with her boyfriend.
The following day, we see Shaun involved in the usual tedium of waking up and going to a job that he hates. Along the way, we meet Philip (Bill Nighy as Shaun’s disapproving stepfather) and Pete (Peter Serafinowicz as Shaun’s disapproving flatmate). We also catch snippets of reports about a strange sickness in the London area, and Shaun keeps noticing people passing out or acting strangely.
Of course, he forgets to make the dinner reservations, and a disgusted Liz breaks up with him. That night, he drowns his sorrows at the Winchester, and Ed tries to cheer him up. On the way home, they encounter a couple of zombies but fail to realize what they truly are.
The next day, Shaun walks to the corner store to get a soda, once again failing to notice numerous zombies shambling down the street or any number of other tell-tale signs. Back home, he and Ed find a young woman in their backyard. They mistakenly think she’s drunk, but soon realize that something is horribly wrong. After being attacked by another zombie, they turn on the television and are confronted with the horrible truth about the dead rising up to kill the living.
From that point on, Shaun is completely focused on saving Liz from the zombies and winning her back in the process. He must also save his mother, Barbara, who calls to tell him that some men (aka zombies) tried to break into their home and bit Philip in the process. Is Philip going to become a zombie? Shaun and Ed sure think so, because they immediately begin to plan ways to dispose of him.
For the rest of the movie, the group zigs and zags through the backstreets and backyards of London with the intention of reaching the safety of the Winchester Tavern and waiting out the zombie nightmare. Their plan culminates in an epic showdown of comedic proportions, and the greater London area will never be the same. Some will live, some will die, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out more (or just read my other synopsis, which includes spoilers).