On This Day in 2004… Shaun of the Dead

Wow, ten years ago today, on of my favourite movies of all time, Shaun of the Dead, directed by Edgar Wright starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, was released in UK cinemas.

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Probably the first zombie movie I had watched (it is now one of my favourite horror genres in both movie & books), Shaun has a bad day and decides to turn his life around, but the damn zombies are getting in the way! Together, with his best mate Ed, he tries to rescue his mum, kill Phil and get his girlfriend Liz back, let it all blow over and have a nice cold pint in the Winchester.

  • Ed: Any zombies out there?
  • Shaun: Don’t say that!
  • Ed: What?
  • Shaun: That!
  • Ed: What?
  • Shaun: The z-word. Don’t say it!
  • Ed: Why not?
  • Shaun: Because it’s ridiculous!
  • Ed: All right… are there any out there, though?
  • Shaun: We take Pete’s car, we drive over to Mum’s, we go in, take care of Philip – “I’m so sorry, Philip” – then we grab Mum, we go over to Liz’s place, hole up, have a cup of tea and wait for this whole thing to blow over.
  • Ed: If we hole up, I wanna be somewhere familiar, I wanna know where the exits are, and I wanna be allowed to smoke.
  • Shaun: We take Pete’s car, go round Mum’s, go in, deal with Philip – “Sorry, Philip!” – grab Mum, go to Liz’s, pick her up, bring her back here, have a cup of tea and wait for this whole thing to blow over.
  • Shaun: No, no, no, no, no, wait, we can’t bring her back here
  • Ed: Why not?
  • Shaun: Well it’s not really safe, is it?
  • Ed: Yeah, look at the state of it
  • Shaun: Where’s safe? Where’s familiar?
  • Ed: Where can I smoke?
  • Shaun: Take car. Go to Mum’s. Kill Phil – “Sorry.” – grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for all of this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

Did you know…

  • Quentin Tarantino dubbed Shaun of the Dead (2004) one of the top 20 films made since 1992.
  • John and Bernie run the Winchester. These are the real names of the landlord and landlady who used to run Simon Pegg’s local pub, the Shepherds in Highgate. John used to make toasted sandwiches for regulars, hence the reference to “the Breville out back.” Pegg and Nick Frost were regular attendees of the Shepherd’s Thursday night quiz, hence the line “we do the quiz” when Shaun is knocking on the Winchester’s door.
  • The word “fuck” is used 77 times in this movie.
  • The day of the zombie invasion, when Shaun walks to the corner shop and doesn’t notice zombies in the streets and corpses all over, the scene is shot in one long, unbroken take.
  • Shaun and Ed’s friendship is based on Simon Pegg’s and Nick Frost’s when they shared a flat together.
  • Many of the Zombie extras are fans of the TV series Spaced (1999), which also starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and was also directed by Edgar Wright. They were recruited through the Spaced Out fan web site to be in the film.
  • David Walliams auditioned for the role of David.
  • Chris Martin of Coldplay, who appears as himself on a news report near the end of the film promoting ZombAid, also plays a zombie. After Shaun and Liz escape from the basement of the Winchester, he can be seen playing the zombie walking past the phone booth from right to left.

Troublepink’s Concert Memories favourite bits:



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