Click here for the interview with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.
There were three press screenings of SHAUN OF THE DEAD prior to its release here in San Francisco. The first one I had to be talked into. After all, the premise, a romantic comedy about zombies made by people I?d never heard of, didn?t sound promising. Blame marketing. This film isn?t just funny, it?s wickedly clever with equally clever, not to mention deftly intuitive, direction. Plus, despite a budget that wouldn?t cover the craft service of even a mid-range Hollywood flick, it has superb production values. Putting it on my 2004 top ten list was, appropriately, considering the zombie premise, a no-brainer.
The next two screenings had me dragging everyone I could corral to see it and making them fans, too. The only thing that marred the experience of seeing this new comedy classic on the big screen was that I and my fellow audience members were laughing so loud and so long that we missed some of the dialogue. But all that?s over now. SHAUN is finally on DVD and in addition to the rewind and pause button, there are a delightful plethora of extras, such as the requisite deleted scenes sacrificed for timing not for content, that makes the SHAUN experience even more wonderful.
As for the commentary tracks, there are two, and they are jam-packed with silliness and with more information than you would think possible. The track with co-writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, star and director respectively, is full of trivia and inside jokes, some explained, all worth hearing. It also spotlights the astonishing technical precision required for the shoot, the tracking shots and the cornucopia of prescient background action, little if any of which was left to chance. Pegg is also on the track with cast members who comment while sipping wine and clinking glasses. It?s more along the lines of generic commentary tracks as in ?Oh, that was a rough day? and ?I love that line?, but has some bits worth catching. And what?s not to love about the extra that deconstructs the CGI effects or the many moods of zombie mutterings invented by Bill Nighy?
The most interesting thing about watching the DVD release of SHAUN OF THE DEAD is discovering that even when the dialogue track is muted for the commentary, it?s still a wickedly funny film. And that holds true whether it?s the first time it?s seen, or the gazillionth.
Click here for the full review of SHAUN OF THE DEAD.