Know Your Monsters: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

All the talk of zombies last week got me wondering how my survival strategy would change based on different breeds of zombie. So I did a refresher on my personal favorite zombie flick, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. When I first saw it a while back, I was drawn in by director Edgar Wright’s ability to inspire pure delight from such a morbid topic. The makeup and creature design support the comedic vision by offering a flavor of zombie that is simultaneously creepy, goofy, and humanlike enough to hit the right satirical notes. 

Let’s see what we got:


The Zombies



People size 

Physical description:

Glassy eyes, rotting grayish skin, heinous wounds, bedhead 


Fingernails, teeth, mid-2000s European fashion


Biting, ripping, clawing, moaning, hive mind, decent dancing to pop music, satire, video games 


Ultra slow walk, fragile bones, stupidity, head trauma, mid-2000s European fashion 


Follow noise – any noise at all – and hope it leads to food. Stare blankly into the abyss until food stupidly presents itself. Once food is caught, rip open gut-first and share with friends 

My strategy:

Lightly jog to a secluded part of town and get to the roof of a building. Have you seen these things try to walk? Most of them can really only move one leg – even if they figure out where I am, they’ll eventually just move in a big circle back to where they started. If by some miracle they do make it to my hideout, I have serious doubts about their stair-climbing abilities. 

Expected outcome:

I’m 100% surviving this. I get to the top of my building and take a long, peaceful nap. By the time I wake up, the army has already figured things out. 

Alternate ending:

After seeing all the zombies’ athletic deficiencies, I get cocky. Wanting to boost my ever fragile ego, I try to take out as many as I can. My allies get annoyed at this and sell me out, giving away my location and attracting the horde to devour me.


Bonus Monster Analysis: Pete, the Grumpy Roommate

Physical description:

Way tall, classic bully face 


Nagging, complaining, overstepping his bounds 


Reason, true friendship

My strategy:

Flip his strategy on its head. While he’s at work, move all his stuff out to the curb and keep hanging out with my boy Ed 

Expected outcome:

Pete beats up both me and Ed and keeps the apartment for himself (see: classic bully face)


Bonus Bonus Monster Analysis: David, Lizzie’s Friend’s Boyfriend

Not much analysis here, just wanted to say that before I even realized this was a zombie movie, I was hoping this guy would get eaten by something.