Friday, May 3, 2013

Shaun Of The Dead

In the film Shaun Of The Dead a young man with a seemingly normal life must turn into a zombie killing machine in order to save not only his relationship with his girlfriend but also their very own lives. Directed by Edgar Wright in 2004 Shaun Of The Dead is considered a film that mixes the genres, screwball comedy and zombie to form one ultimate Zomedy.
       In Shaun Of The Dead zombies are presented similarly to how they are in other zombie films. They are a threat, something other worldly, and seemingly unintelligent. In this film, like in most zombie films, the zombies are flesh eating monsters that have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere and they are killing innocent people, turning them into zombies too. The protagonist, Shaun is the leader of the group and much like in Night Of The Living Dead his leadership is challenged and he must step up to the plate and become the type of man who is able to keep him and his loved ones safe during the zombie apocalypse. Also in this film the zombies can only be killed by being hit or shot in the head which is what the case is in most zombie movies. The choices that the characters make in Shaun Of The Dead and Night Of The Living Dead are also similar. The situation that is proposed to two different sets of people in the films is handled by each of them in different ways. In Night Of The Living Dead a child is turned into a zombie and her mother has to make the decision to either kill her daughter and save herself or be killed by her. Shaun also has to make this same decision. His mother is bitten and turned into a zombie and he struggles with what to do. In the end Shaun makes the right decision in shooting his mother but it changes his leadership tactics and eventually helps his survival.
      The comedy aspects of this film is what makes the film what it is. In many screwball comedies there is the presence of the on and off relationships or "mariage and remarriage". In Shaun Of The Dead Shauns relationship with Liz, his girlfriend is one that ping pongs back and forth frequently and lines up with the notion of that screwball convention. In the end they are back together again and we are left with the feeling that this time three will be no "on and offs" about it. Also in many screwball comedies the female character plays a supporting role but ultimately is the one who pushes the story forward. In Shaun Of The Dead it is because Shauns need to protect Liz that he even leaves the house in the first place. This role is also shared with Shauns mother, who he is also worried about and must protect until he must shoot her in the end.
    Shaun Of The Dead is a interesting zomedy and it changed my view on the genre forever.

1 comment:

  1. CLARIFY: Your thesis is very clear, as are your main points to prove your thesis.

    How did the film change your view on the genre?
    Do most other screwball comedies include a mother figure? I was confused why you brought up the mother in comparison to that genre (I understand she's a female figure but still seems kind of tangential).

    VALUE: Very clearly written overall and you do give us some specific examples from the film to help prove your points. Your post is written in a way that even those who had never seen the film would be able to follow your analysis.

    CONCERNS: I think you are a little unbalanced with more points about the zombie genre than the screwball comedy (think fast-paced witty dialogue, for example). It might also help, too, if you gave an example of a female character from a screwball comedy (as you give specific comparisons from Night of the Living Dead for your zombie points). You are also pretty minimal in your analysis - what you have is good but there is plenty more to say about the film.