Ah, Shaun of the Dead. It’s arguably the first of its kind in a sub-genre known as the ‘zom-rom-com’ (zombie romantic comedy). KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS gives us 10 fun facts that you might not know about this hilarious tale of love, the battle to be the alpha male, and of course, the living dead.
- There are almost 60 continuity errors in this whimsical tale of rotting flesh, but my favourite is the mystery of the rear view mirror in Phil’s Jaguar. It frequently disappears and reappears. Some say this is a mistake, but perhaps the mirror itself caught a touch of the zombie plague and was just off for a nibble every now and then?
- There are many ‘guest appearance’ zombies in this film, including Coldplay’s Chris Martin, who can be seen shambling around behind Shaun in a scene outside the Winchester.
- Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg considered making a sequel, but then decided against the idea because they felt that too many characters had been killed off to continue the story. This is a crying shame, especially when you know that the sequel was going to be called ‘From Dusk Till Shaun’.
- The Shaun of the Dead DVD features a special, which gives you details on what happens to Dianne after she bolts from the Winchester, brandishing David’s leg as a weapon. She actually manages to battle her way through the horde and climbs a tree, where she passes out and waits for the whole apocalypse to blow over. Oh, and she survives by eating David’s leg.
- When Shaun tells Liz that he’ll take her to ‘the place that does all the fish’ for their anniversary, he’s being quite literal; the restaurant is actually called ‘The Place That Does All The Fish’, as seen in Shaun’s phonebook.
- George A. Romero was such a fan of Shaun of the Dead that he cast Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright in cameo zombie roles in his 2005 instalment of his ‘Of The Dead’ series, Land of the Dead.
- Shaun of the Dead only cost 4 million pounds to make (extremely low for a movie budget), but grossed over 30 million at the box office.
- The movie is rife with what must surely be a record number of references to Wright’s influences. These include: about a million references to his show Spaced (also starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost); John and Bernie, who are real-life landlords of Pegg’s local pub; a newscast mentions a space probe that unexpectedly returned to Earth (Night of the Living Dead reference); Frost’s line “we’re coming to get you, Barbara!” (directly lifted from Night of the Living Dead); Shaun’s place of work is called ‘Foree Electrics (a reference to Ken Foree, who starred in Dawn of the Dead – 1978); there’s a restaurant called ‘Fulci’s (ref. to Italian horror director Lucio Fulci); and Mary, the ‘girl in the garden’ zombie, is seen working in a supermarket in the opening credits, which is called Landis (John Landis). I could go on and on with these, there are so many!
- Shaun’s mum calls him ‘Pickle’, which is what Edgar Wright’s own mother called him as a child, including when she was teaching classes at his school.
- The Vampire Connection: I have an idea that every actor in the world can be connected to a vampire movie/role, so here goes…
- Simon Pegg (Shaun) plays Benji in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which stars Tom Cruise, who plays the vampire Lestat in Interview with the Vampire.
- Nick Frost (Ed) plays Nion in Snow White and the Huntsman, which stars Kristen Stewart, most famous for her title role as Bella Swan in the… ahem… “vampire” franchise, The Twilight Saga.
- Kate Ashfield (Liz) voices the character of Primrose in the 1999 TV series Watership Down. General Woundwort is voiced by John Hurt, who plays Kane in Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic, Alien. This franchise stars Sigourney Weaver, who appears in the sequel, alongside Bill Paxton and Lance Henrikson, who both play horrible, evil vampires in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark.
- Lucy Davis (Dianne) voices Joanna Fin in an episode of Family Guy (called Be Careful What You Fish For). Family Guy stars Seth Green as the voice of Chris, and Green plays Oz in the classic TV vampire show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Dylan Moran (David) plays ‘Rufus the Thief’ in Notting Hill, which stars Julia Roberts, who appears alongside George Clooney in Ocean’s 12. Clooney plays Seth in the super cool vampire/gangster movie From Dusk Till Dawn.
- Peter Serfinowicz (Pete) plays the ‘interviewer at Prime Minister’s questions’ in an episode of Little Britain, which stars Anthony Head as the Prime Minister. Head, of course, plays Giles, Buffy’s ‘watcher’, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV series).
I could have avoided all of those individual connections by mentioning that Shaun’s stepfather, Phil, is played by Billy Nighy, who plays a scary vampire in Underworld, so there’s an immediate vampire connection for everyone right there. But where’s the fun in that?
So there you have it, 10 Fun Facts You Might Not Know About… Shaun of the Dead.