Shaun of the Dead
So today I wandered out to catch a noon time showing of this show. I've actually had the full movie on my computer for a while. I found it out on the net a while ago and took it down but I tried watching it a few times I can't get past five minutes. I find watching movies on my computer as hard as ebooks. I just can't get into them. I like paper and I like big screens for new movies. I think movies are safe from me (for a while) in terms of piracy. On top of it, even if I could download the full dvd rips, my dvd player is like 10 years old and really technostupido. In any case I was glad to see this on the big screen. I went in stocked up with bagel, arizona iced tea with ginseng, a few hunks of human flesh and a three musketeers. The place was pretty empty and I put my feet up and waded through the previews. Nothing memorable in them. I think something is wrong with movies right now. What's coming down the pike all looks pretty sucky. Like all 'filler' movies.
Anyway, as a long time fan of zombie movies (I even saw the little known sleeper disaster 'Zombie High' back in the day) I was really psyched to see this movie. It looked funny in the previews and it seemed to be getting all buzzed up for being great. And for a solid 40 minutes this movie is way strong. It doesn't rush into things. It's friggin funny. It does a really good job of introducing us to the brits around town and patiently dropping hints of how the damned are about to break. A random person panicked running down the street. A TV set starting a news report clicked off. Walking straight past a zombie without noticing. It made me excited for the arrival of Les Zombierables. Also it was all British but it wasn't tainted extra British all loaded up with kooky mad cow or dumbfalooteness or whatever. It was just the right seasoning of Britiocity.
So the zombies came and they dragged their goofiness with them. They were likeable zombs to the point where I secretly hoped one day there would be real zombies so I can mess with them and push them down and stuff. Spray silly string on them or whatever. At first, Shaun and his friend had a good time with the zombies. Not taking them seriously. Throwing things at them and bouncing stuff off their heads and stuff. I like that. A laundry basket bounced of zombie head is funny because the zombs are so unphased (but deep inside you know they're secretly humiliated by their inability to react at all). Gotta dig the fun zombie action.
Which is why it was disappointing to see the movie stray away from spoof and wander moaning into a semi-straight zombie flick. I guess it's the trap of making a zombie movie. Eventually you gotta thin the pack and back the hero into a corner type deal. I guess it's easier said than done but I'd rather see a movie just take a total left turn into a new place. A new world. A new direction. Kill off the heroes altogether and let's see what the zombie do if they're left to their own devices. Would they establish a zombie world and get organized eventually? Maybe the devil could rise from the depths of hell and survey his work? Maybe zombie dogs and zombie cats? Zombie alien landing? At the end of Shaun they showed us a glimpse of a zombie future that I would have loved to see more of. A zombie world that I would have happily wandered around in for the final 20 minutes of the movie. I would have loved anything that would be a risk and a massive bite into something new. I would have chewed it up with a big bloody smile. A satisfying mouthful of fresh meat- that would have crossed this movie over from noble and good... to bloody great.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I laughed out loud a bunch of times and stayed entertaining
- The acting was good across the board. I liked the guy who played Shaun's lazy friend alot.
- It had a respectably high level of disgustification.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- No real good jolts and some substantial logic stretches.
- At the 3/4 mark I definitely felt disappointment seeping in.
- Not enough zombies with personality.
Anyway, I think this movie is worth seeing for any zombie fan. It wasn't exactly what I hoped it would it be- but it was an admirable effort with a good chunk of funny flesh to munch on. But now what I really want is the big quadruple threat. The scary mysterious beginning of a 28 Days Later, the threat to civilization in Dawn of the Dead, the goofiness of Shaun and a giant splash of true horror. Will you make that one for me please, movie people? Cool. Thanks. And if you move ahead, just let me have a little taste of the gross.