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13 March 2020
Apocalypse Later, please! Shaun of the dead
Apocalypse Later, please! Shaun of the dead

Apocalypse Later, please! is a new section of this website that intends, in these peculiar and dramatic times, to offer a recommendation on films to watch when safely at home: today it’s “Shaun of the dead”.

Introduction.

In these hard, complex and unprecedented times that prescribe (still without an end period) isolation and time indoors in our own houses, we thought that we could’ve suggested ways to use this time at home to turn upside down this “apocalyptic” feeling that at the moment wraps our lives:
we will try to transform it in a way for us all to think, even laugh, “exorcising” our fears.
Everyday (or so) – hoping we stay healthy [oh, this is exactly the feeling that we want to try to exorcise] – we will write about a film that for a reason or another sounds interesting and that deals (even if just metaphorically) with the concept of Apocalypse (and/or the measures taken to contrast it) exploring the ways some films have dealt with it.
We really hope this could bring a smile on your face and help you in using this unexpected (unwanted?) time – hopefully, spoilers-free.

Today’s film: Shaun of the dead.
The same but not the same?

-Yvonne: Shaun!! How you doing?
-Shaun: Surviving!

“Shaun of the dead”

Imagine your life at a crisis point: your job is boring, repetitive and without excitement; your social life consists in the same old thing that you may even find of some pleasure, but that not everyone understands; your girlfriend – or boyfriend – is complaining about the lack of movement and accuse you to exacerbate (!) things; around, everyone seems detached from reality and with their minds in an “alternative” world.
Most likely, you’ve set up a daily routine for your lives: breakfast, a quick catch-up with your friends, the bus/tube/underground/car, the job, getting back home, some TV and then off to sleep – getting ready for the exact same thing the next day. All seems immutable.

Now then, imagine yourself having reached the upper limit of tolerance for this life of yours and suddenly, one of the same old “mornings” in which you have that little breakfast of yours and you basically do everything just the same way you did the day before, you get caught in the feeling that something doesn’t look right. Outside, people look strange, there’s not a lot of people (if the streets are not empty at all), you turn the TV on (or scroll through your internet feeds) and the news is alarming to say the least. There’s a “spectre” wandering around the world. And you’re told to stay home if you want to keep yourself alive.

Does this sound familiar at all?

This feeling in which, all of sudden, from one day to another, we have fell into, is exactly the beginning of Shaun of the dead – a 2004 “apocalyptic” film [Zombie genre] by Edgar Wright – our choice for the day of the film to watch during these times.

Let’s get ready

This film teases and “makes fun of” – not in a demential way like the Scary Movies – the apocalyptic films with the Zombie theme (….never say the word with the Z to Shaun!) and it’s shot brilliantly – who already knows Edgar Wright knows that his skills as director are well higher than the norm.

What’s the point of the film? Find a way for us and our loved ones to survive an apocalypse – together. The adventures, the ups and downs and the choices the characters make, create a sort of a ride, a kind of cinema of attractions in which every scene and sequence contains a shot of clever humour that never falls into the trap of banality. For instance (avoiding any spoilers for the ones who still haven’t seen it) the acting sequence; the hypothetical sequences on how to save the loved ones; or the battle at Queen rhythm; and the choice of weapons to use and the number of micro-situations that give this film a very funny touch.

So, if you don’t know what to watch tonight and you’re running out of choices, we strongly advice you to watch (or re-watch with a new eye) this film.

Here’s the trailer:

Film notes and brief spoilers-free comments.

Directed by Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and written by the director with Simon Pegg (Shaun in the film), it sets the start of the “Cornetto” trilogy that will later include Hot Fuzz (2007) – aimed at action films – and will conclude with The World’s End (2013) – aimed at the sci-fi films. The trio that includes Nick Frost (Ed in the film) is also behind the series Spaced.

It’s a very interesting film in which the formal precision, the editing and the writing all move together in the same direction and make the film perfectly enjoyable by any palate. And if you’re amongst those who like a touch of splatter, you won’t be disappointed as this film doesn’t evade from any of the classic genre characteristics.

So to conclude this brief glimpse at our first suggestion, what Shaun of the dead teach us is that if we can’t avoid the apocalypse, we can still laugh at it and push it a bit further away [at least for a while]. Oh and, please, don’t call them Z….


UPDATE: 20/03/20

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have just updated the plan with the current situation! Follow their advice:


P.s.= if you are looking for a similar film in theme and tone, although definitely more American, you could also watch Zombieland.

You don’t know what film to watch tonight? Please have a look at our Film Alphabet page.

Tired of the news, comments and you are interested in reading film analysis and reviews? Go and check out our Analysis section.

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