Myersvision: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Audre Myers is offering up an unusual-for-her pick in this week’s edition of Myersvision—a comedy horror flick!  Given the time of year, it’s even more unusual, but who says yuletide can’t become ghoultide? [I originally had this review scheduled for the week leading up to Christmas, but pushed it to January due to the various Christmas movie reviews Audre, Ponty, and I wrote in December.  I liked my “ghoultide” pun too much to revise it, and it is technically still the Christmas season through 6 January 2023, Epiphany (and Audre’s birthday!). —TPP]

Ponty picked Shaun of the Dead (2004) as his Number 9 Best Film, so it’s interesting to compare his review to Audre’s.  Ponty (and myself, I should add) loves this film; Audre’s take is altogether different.

I don’t want to spoil too much of her—let’s call it “scathing”—review, but I’m going to chalk up the difference of opinion to the generation and gender gaps.  While I have known plenty of women who enjoyed Shaun of the Dead, it definitely has more of a “guy” vibe to it.  I find Pegg and Wright’s antics hilarious, and am a big fan of their so-called Cornetto Trilogy, of which Shaun is the first installment.

I also think that the title character does show some growth and transformation, going from being little more than a shuffling zombie himself to rising to the occasion to help save his friends.  The duress of a zombie outbreak forces this loser to change his ways to protect himself and his loved ones, even if he makes mistakes and reverts to old habits along the way.

But I digress.  Audre offers up a good counterbalance to the fanboyish enthusiasm of Ponty and myself.

With that, here is Audre’s review of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead:

1. I don’t like comedies. They never make me laugh. 2. My wonderful son-in-law has a photographic memory, is artistically talented, and is the manager of the art department for the company he works for – he’s brilliant. 3. My daughter and my son-in-law are fun people and very ‘culturally’ savvy.

I had to tell you that so that I could tell you this: I just watched the worst movie I’ve ever seen. I watched it because my son-in-law (now referenced as sil for easier typing) recommended it when I complained to him that I was having zombie withdrawal – I’ve just finished another binge of The Walking Dead that included the final episodes and I very recently binged Fear the Walking Dead so I asked and he recommended. When he told me about it, I mistook it for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert ([1994], which I will never watch, thank you very much). But he explained, “Audre – it has two things you love; England and zombies.” Well, I don’t love zombies – I mean, who could? But I like the stories of striving against seemingly insurmountable odds and I do the love the English so I thought this was a good day to watch Shaun of the Dead – suggested by someone I respect.

Humor, however, is subjective and not objective and therein lies the rub. Shaun was written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, who ‘stars’ as the character Shaun. I was shocked to see Penelope Wilton as Shaun’s not very bright mother – she is an outstanding actress (Isobel Crawley in Downton Abbey). The economy must have been rough in 2004 when this (I use the term lightly) film was released – that would have to be the only reason she agreed to a part in this simply horrible horror/(not funny) comedy.

You can read the Wiki page regarding the movie (although I can’t imagine why anyone would – talk about making a mountain out of a mole hill!) at this link:

It’s a loser movie about losers and even the end is about losers. There are no redeeming qualities to this film. Even the zombie makeup is bad and actor/zombies are even worse.

Now I have to come up with something to tell my sil – how do you tell someone you love that you think their sense of taste is in their mouth and not engaged with accurate evaluation of a movie? Sigh. What’s a mother-in-law to do?

13 thoughts on “Myersvision: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

  1. I have a new name for you, Port – “Intro Master”. Go with your strengths; of course, you have many strengths, I’m just saying it’s often more fun to read your intro than my article!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I get back into the computer, I’ll let you know what you’ve missed about this absolute gem of a movie. Suffice to say, in this case, you couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not a matter of taste. It’s good film making and the fact that you’ve missed it points to the notion that you were not intent on looking for it in the first place.

    Priscilla, by the way, is awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As certain as I am of your powers of persuasion and bowing to your superior ability to review movies … you can’t change my mind. Stupidest movie ever and I’m resentful, lol, that I will never get that time back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll be back on tomorrow and we can continue this discussion. All I ask in the interim is that you explain what it was about the film you didn’t like. Did the characters not develop enough to your liking? Did the plot move too slow? Was the direction and writing so terrible? With all due respect, all I’ve understood from this is you don’t like comedies and you don’t like this film.

        I should add that Wilton’s character was the typical British suburban mum who always sees her son as a little boy, no matter how old he is. She didn’t need to be any more than she was.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yesterday, when I read to Tina some of our interactions, she said one simple thing to me that stuck – ‘write your constructive criticisms, argue your point but we love Audre to bits and if you’re rude to her in any way, I’ll brain you!’ Or words to that effect so I’ll try to be good! 🙂

    I’m not here to try and convince you of this movie. You’ve ironed out already that you don’t like comedies and you don’t like this movie so all I wanted to know was what, aside from the zombies, you didn’t like.

    I’d also like to point you in the direction of the zombies in this film. You say, and I quote, ‘Even the zombie makeup is bad and actor/zombies are even worse.’

    This isn’t The Walking Dead where those who have returned from the dead have been wandering around in 30+ degree sun for weeks, months, even years on end. This, as the story points to, is very recent so for the majority of them, many who have died from the respiratory infection they were suffering from at the beginning, would hardly be decaying cadavers. They’d look a little peaked, slightly discoloured. You can see from their eyes they have changed but aside from the odd arm hanging off, which we see from the wedding guest zombie at the start, they’d look exactly as they did. Thus, the makeup was pretty good, all things considered.

    As for zombie actors, they did what zombie actors do – groan, shuffle and eat people. I personally thought the scene where David was ripped apart was damn visceral. What more were they supposed to do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am completely disarmed. I am so blessed in having the friendship of such lovely people. Please give Tina a gentle hug for me.

      Your opening sentences have taken the starch right out of my sails. So let me tell you what Lon and I say to each other when a topic can go no further: “Yes, dear”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s possibly the worst thing you could say! 🙂

        Tina assailed me all last year with ‘yes, dear’ which drove me absolutely potty! If she continues in that vain, the only hugs she’ll be getting this year will be from you! 🙂 🙂

        As for this topic, if you’re in the live and let live mood, I can abide by that. But just know that if we ever meet, I’ll chew your ears off about this! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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