If someone asked you to name just one British horror comedy – just one among a filmography filled with buckets of blood and Yorkshire tea in equal measure – I’m almost positive your mind would cast itself to one iconic picture…
I talk, of course, about zom-rom-com Shaun of the Dead. A film as iconic as all of the classic zombie films it references throughout its runtime. A film that has become a staple of the TV schedule through any holiday. Halloween? Shaun of the Dead is on. Christmas? Shaun of the Dead is on after The Snowman. Easter? Enjoy a tale of resurrection in Shaun of the Dead.
It’s a film I must admit I had put on a shelf in the deep, dark depths of my mind and vowed to never rewatch. I studied this film during my time at college many, many, many moons ago and could almost recite the entire script from memory. The famous speech about heading to the Winchester for a nice cold pint and waiting for all ‘this’ to blow over? In 2012 I was babbling it during my sleep.
But the allure of its dark quips, clever references and it’s subversion of classic horror tropes drew me in once more.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a duo that are just meant to be – like fish and chips, salt and pepper, or zombies and brains – and their infectious chemistry and combined encyclopedic knowledge of the horror genre gripped me as if I was watching Shaun of the Dead for the first time all over again.
Few horror comedies have left me gasping for breath both from shock and fits of laughter, but this instalment of the famed Cornetto trilogy never fails to do just that. It is the perfect blend of quintessential British humour, drama, and a natural fear of the world coming to an end.
It smashes together so many genres it could easily be mistaken for Frankenstein’s monster, and yet it is it’s sheer surreality that truly makes it stand out among its contemporaries almost 20 years since its release.
Shaun of the Dead is easily one of my favourite British horror comedies to this day. It has action, laughter, drama, love, and more of the shambling undead than you see wandering the streets of your local town centre after a particularly heavy Saturday night.