I was a little bit apprehensive about watching Shaun of the Dead. I'm a huge fan of Spaced, and think that Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson and Nick Frost are the funniest thing since... funny sliced bread, so that wasn't the problem. No, I was a bit concerned that the 'zom' aspect of the 'romzomcom' might be a little too scary for me. Pathetic, isn't it? What can I say — I'm a total wuss when it comes to horror. In the end, I didn't have too much to worry about. There was one very graphic scene, but I successfully dived behind a cushion and thus avoided any mental scarring.
The film is a total blast. It has all the great touches, in-joke references and subtlety of Spaced, and even some quite sad bits. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments — the scene where Shaun and Ed are rifling through Shaun's vinyl collection for anti-zombie ammunition ('Not that! It's a first pressing! Dire Straits? Chuck it.') is brilliant — but what impressed me most was all the subtle little jokes. I'm not sure how well some of these would cross the Atlantic, as they all played on rather peculiar Britishisms.
There was the line where Shaun's mum tells him on the phone that the zombies who broke in to their house got 'a little bit bitey', and the way that she spat on on hankie to wipe zombie blood off Shaun's face ('You've got red on you'). There was Shaun's inspired but ineffectual use of a Swingball (ball still attached) as a weapon, and his heroic and touchingly dignified climb up the steps of a toddler's slide as a look-out. Best of all was Ed's reply to Shaun when asked — first thing in the morning — if there's anything he wants from the shop. Without missing a beat or taking his eyes off the TV, he replies, "Cornetto".
I felt that there was also a slightly serious message to be taken from the film; if zombies really did start roaming our cities, how long would it be before we even noticed?