On this day in horror history, Edgar Wright’s zombie horror-comedy masterpiece Shaun of the Dead with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost was released in 2004.
The first installment in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (followed by Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) the film draws inspiration from Pegg and Wright’s hit British series Spaced, particularly an episode where Pegg’s character hallucinates a zombie invasion. The title and plot refer to the Dead films by George A. Romero.
Written by Wright and Pegg, the film follows the adventures of Shaun (Simon Pegg), a 30-something loser with a dull, easy existence. When he’s not working at the electronics store, he lives with his slovenly best friend, Ed (Nick Frost), in a small flat on the outskirts of London. The only unpredictable element in his life is his girlfriend, Liz (Kate Ashfield), who wishes desperately for Shaun to grow up and be a man. When the town is inexplicably overrun with zombies, Shaun must rise to the occasion and protect both Liz and his mother (Penelope Wilton).
Rated R for Language, Gore, and Zombie Violence, the film co-stars Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Bill Nighy, and Penelope Wilton. It sports a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes with this Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit.