In a world full of all shapes and sizes of monsters, from King Kong and T Rex to Arnold Schwarzennegar and The Great Khali, two monsters have managed to live on at the movies… literally.
For years, there’s been an epic battle between vampires and zombies to vie for the Awesomest Movie Monster tag, and while there’ve been enough cult movies to represent both sides, let’s face it, after the Twilight movies, we can’t ever take vampires seriously again – the only things worse than teenage vampires is gay teenage vampires. In fact, things are so bad that it turns out vampires are not immortal anymore – they’re all committing suicide one by one after watching those movies.
The great thing about zombies is that they are responsible for some of the coolest horror films ever made. After George A Romero’s cult Night of the Dead, countless films have taken on the genre, but 2004’s British zom-com, Shaun of the Dead, is probably the coolest non-Romero zombie film ever.
This was officially confirmed by Romero, who not only came out of zombie movie retirement to make three back-to-back zombie films after this, he also offered Wright and lead actor and co-writer Simon Pegg a role in his zombie film, Land of the Dead.
A comic take on Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead, the movie was a gory horror film-meets-underdog story-meets-romantic comedy-meets-buddy flick-meets thriller-meets-awesome. At its heart, it’s a story about a loser, Shaun (Pegg), who just can’t seem to figure out how to deal with relationships, except that with his best friend, Ed (Nick Frost) – and mostly, because of him. And when the world literally seems to be coming to an end thanks to the rise of the zombies, Shaun rises to the situation too, and tries to save his relationships by saving their lives.
The first movie in what came to be known as the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy by Pegg and Wright, the film is a must-watch for all the reasons above, and to see what happens when some of the best contemporary British comic talent (Pegg, Frost, Bill Nighy, Dylan Moran, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis) comes together in one epic fight to the finish.
It also marks the rise of one of the smartest creative trios of our generation – Wright, Pegg and Frost. Watch out for them, in case you already aren’t!
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran
Written By: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, October 2011 issue
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