31 Days of Horror Day 13: Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead - Poster

That’s two depressing movies in a row.  Let’s lighten things up a bit while still keeping it within the zombie family, yeah?  To do while, we’ll go with Edgar Wright’s zombie comedy, Shaun of the Dead.

Shaun of the Dead - Shaun and Ed

This movie is perfect.  It’s not a parody of the genre, but a loving homage to it.  The difference is that they reference the genre as a whole without skewering specific scenes.  It’s a movie that fully acknowledges its predecessors, while still making something that is wholly original.  While you’ll enjoy this more if you’re familiar with the zombie genre, it’s a movie that can be enjoyed on its own, as well.

Shaun of the Dead - Gang as zombies

The cast is amazing and has real chemistry.  The dialogue is simultaneously hilarious and heartfelt.

He'll be alright. He ran it under a cold tap.
He’ll be alright. He ran it under a cold tap.

I love everything Edgar Wright has done.  He’s an exciting filmmaker who obviously love what he does, and his cast really loves working with him.

Shaun of the Dead - Edgar Wright

If you’re looking for a zombie comedy double feature, throw on Deadheads after Shaun of the Dead.  You won’t regret it.

Deadheads - Mike & Ellie

What Comes Next: Deadheads

In this series, I take a look at what happens to characters after the credits roll.
Beware of spoilers.  There will be spoilers.

You can read about the origin of this series here, and my original review of this movie here.

When we left Mike & Ellie, all seemed well with the world.  Ellie’s dad was talked out of killing Mike (for those keeping score, he is 50% on killing Mike for his career), and the couple was back together and happy, without the threat of immediate death hanging over their heads.

But, at the end of the day, Mike is still a zombie (if a very articulate one), and Ellie is not.  They seem to really love each other, so that’ll help.  But I doubt it will be enough.  After all, love or not, Mike is still a zombie, and there is no cure for that.  I suppose it could be argued that a cure could be forthcoming, given that this is set in a world in which scientists had devised a way to make zombies think and talk.  But getting a zombie to think and talk is entirely different from bringing them back to life.  Also, the man behind the articulate zombies is Ellie’s father, who hates Mike with a passion.  I doubt he’s champing at the bit to cure his daughter’s undead boyfriend.

Mike will stay a zombie, but Ellie doesn’t seem to care.

But she will.  Sooner rather than later, I would say.
It’s one thing to be excited that the love of your life is not quite as dead as was originally thought.  It’s another thing to live with a zombie for the rest of your life.  The smell alone would be enough to drive Ellie out of the house, especially on a hot summer day.  Since Mike is technically dead, he will not heal from his wounds, which is a pretty significant problem when your arm has been torn off.  Before long, flesh will begin to fall off fairly regularly, and the loss of body parts won’t be restricted to his arm.  Ellie will wake up in the morning to find Mike’s ear on the pillow beside her.  He will not age gracefully.

The fact that Mike is an articulate zombie doesn’t change the fact that he is still a zombie.  It’s not made entirely clear all of the ways the virus can be transmitted, but we know a bite will do it for sure.  All it takes is one small, accidental bite for Ellie to be turned and the zombie outbreak to start all over again.  Time to wear a mouthguard in bed, Mike.

Their ideal situation may be for Ellie to become a zombie like Mike (in a dream sequence, we saw that she would make a very lovely zombie bride).  But this virus doesn’t work that way.  If Ellie gets turned, she will just be a normal zombie.  Unless she can convince her father to kill her and treat her (a highly unlikely scenario), it’ll just be Ellie the normal person and Mike the zombie.

I don’t doubt their love.  As Mike states at the beginning of the movie, “True love never dies.”  That may be true, but perhaps true love really needs a break from the scent of decomposing flesh from time to time.

It’s unclear how many years a zombie can survive.  Stumbling around in the wild, I would say a couple years, max.  In the comfort of a house, with people who are willing to take care of you?  A bit longer than that, but I can’t believe it would be longer than 5 years, especially in the shape Mike is in by the end of the movie.  So they’re working with a short period of time.  Maybe Ellie can deal with the downside of living with a zombie for 5 years.  But I doubt it.  I give this relationship a year before it all goes south.  Sorry kids.  You really seemed to have something special.  Damn this zombie virus and the disapproving father with an itchy trigger finger.

However, Emily and Thomas get together and live happily ever after and have a beautiful life together.  Because they’re adorable.