Shaun of the Dead ★★★★★
How modest in budget and scope this seems now, 12 years on. It was the first cinema outing of the team behind Channel 4’s cult slacker comedy Spaced: director Edgar Wright (whose first feature – A Fistful of Fingers, a remake of a school film – is all too rarely shown), his co-writer and star Simon Pegg, and co-star Nick Frost. None involved could have predicted the success of the resulting “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy, which would accumulate $150 million worldwide. The original remains a super-confident, resourceful landmark fusion of horror and comedy, as scary as it is funny. Satirising the zombie genre with 100 per cent affection and fidelity, it unleashes the undead on north London where Pegg’s electrical-goods sales assistant and Frost’s slob housemate are ill-equipped to deal with the invasion. Joined by various family members and friends (including Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton, Dylan Moran), they turn their local pub into a fortress. It’s still irresistible, but not for the squeamish.
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