SHAUN OF THE DEAD (DVD)

5 Stars
Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
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“Shaun of the Dead” is a must own DVD. To call this movie an “instant classic” is an understatement. The ability of Edgar Wright (Writer, Director) and Simon Pegg (Writer, Actor) to combine two potentially unmergeable genres is brilliant. Yes, we’ve all seen our share of horror-comedies, but this time out, the filmmakers combine real romantic comedy with extreme horror and gore. They both mesh seamlessly to create a movie that never fails to entertain.

As for the DVD, it is literally the epitome of a well crafted disc on so many fronts. First off, it has an impressive amount of extra features that are actually interesting and fun to watch. So many DVDs these days get bogged down with endless features that are so run of the mill or just plain boring. Aside from a slightly bewildering featurette entitled “Edgar & Simon’s Flip Chart” (It’s painfully long at 13min. and I reached for the remote almost immediately) all the other featurettes were peppy and fun.

A few that stand-out are “Plot Holes” which provides explanations for events in the story that took place off screen. You get how Shaun lead the horde of Dead away from the Winchester; what happened to Diane (Lucy Davis) after she raced into the zombies after David (Dylan Moran); and how the undead Ed (Nick Frost) eventually made it back to Shaun’s shed. These are all told via an animated comic strip with voice-over by the actor.

Speaking of comics, the DVD also includes an issue of the “Shaun of the Dead” comic. Navigation allows you to zoom in close to the panels, but to be honest, I still had a hard time reading the dialogue on my 55-inch widescreen TV.

Other extras worth mentioning are the full TV segments that are only briefly shown in the final post zombie invasion montage at the end of the film. You get Coldplay’s entire interview, the complete “Trisha” talk show segments and the Japanese game show inspired “Fun Dead”. All in all there is a wide variety of interesting things to watch. None of them overstay their welcome and most elicit a number of genuine belly laughs.

As far as the Commentary, I particularly enjoyed the Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg track. (Even though I was shocked that Pegg’s actual voice is an octave lower than his Shaun Character) They offer some very fascinating observations and you realize how much they love and revere the material. An additional option called Zomb-O-Meter displays subtitle text with additional information about the making of the movie and tidbits on the actors (including the “second” record album each of them bought as a youngster). Unfortunately, more than half of the information is already provided in the Wright/Pegg commentary and other than a handful of nifty tidbits, it’s fairly redundant and unnecessary.

All in all, “Shaun of the Dead” is a DVD worth owning. It’s nice to see them get it right with the movie and then again with the DVD.



Posted on December 21, 2004 in Reviews by
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