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Headscratchers: Shaun of the Dead
  • If the zombies ("Don't say the zed-word!") followed Shaun back to the Winchester after he tried to lose them and therefore knew where he was, why did they wait until he opened the window shade to attack? What the hell were they waiting for?
    • He disappeared into the pub, it was dark, they aren't very bright... presumably they forgot why they were there but just milled around the pub anyway. It was only when it got all bright and noisy when their attention was re-attracted.
    • I don't think they did follow him. We know that the Zombies retain impulses associated from their life (Phillip and the stereo, Ed and the computer games, etc), so chances are they just shambled down to the pub like 90% of the population would in the evening.
      • An extra on the DVD clarifies this - they did follow him. He hid in a trashbin until the zombies walked by, however the final undead did notice him running back the way that they all came.
  • It's all very well that Dianne leapt into a crowd of zombies wielding her boyfriend's severed leg, but why doesn't the movie even try to show us what happens to her after that? The DVD extras tell us, but I can't be the only one who was left scratching his head after seeing the movie the first time.
    • Without the DVD extras, I don't see what there is to scratch your head over. If you walk into a horde of zombies, you get eaten. What I'm curious about is how someone wades into zombies and somehow manages not to be bitten even once.
      • Shaun managed it when he was luring the zombies away from the broken window...
      • Not remotely the same. Shaun was acting as bait; i.e., he was running away from them. Diane walked right into them and was surrounded and within arm's—and teeth's—reach as soon as she walked out the door.
      • A leg's a fairly hefty thing to be swinging at someone, animated corpse or not; she could have clocked enough to clear a path, come to her senses and scarpered like mad.
    • The DVD extra is very tongue-in-cheek, significantly sillier even than the film itself. I think it is pretty clear that she is dead, dead, dead, and there is no need to show what happens to her afterwards because she's... well... dead.
  • Since the title of the movie is a parody of Dawn of the Dead, shouldn't Shaun's name be spelled "Shawn"? Is there something about English names that I'm missing here?
    • The title came after the name, I believe. They sound the same, so there's not really a difference.
    • Most people in Britain spell it 'Sean' anyway, this British troper has never met a 'Shawn', and only rarely a 'Shaun'. So maybe 'Shaun' is meant to be a halfway point: punny enough that the joke is obvious on the DVD cover, but British enough not to confuse people. Just seeing the cover of the film, I'd take a while to realise 'Shawn' was meant to be someone's name.
    • Plus, a certain spelling of a name in Britain as opposed to America might be preferred or more common, but it's hardly a set-in-concrete rule or unbreakable law of the universe or anything; Shaun's parents might simply have preferred that spelling when naming him. For all we know Shaun might be one of those people who constantly have to correct people when they try to spell his name because they're used to the more common versions.
  • It's very touching and all that Shaun keeps Ed shackled in the tool shed at the end of the movie so he can still have his best friend around, but Shaun must seriously be out of his mind. For one thing, all it would take is one bite, and it would be all over for Shaun; Ed may be complacent now, but having battled dozens of zombies already, Shaun knows damn well that they only have one drive, which is to feed. For another, one would think that the government would pretty quickly pass laws against harboring undead. And finally... What the hell is Shaun feeding Ed to keep him alive, anyway?
    • Did you see the TV Montage right before it? Clearly the government hasn't. And watch what happens when Shaun sits down to play: Ed leans over, as if to bite, Shaun scolds him, and Ed backs off immediately and goes back to playing the video game. As for what, or even if, he's feeding him? It's entirely possible, even probable, that the zombies don't only eat human meat, and for all we know it's not even necessary to feed him.
      • This Troper admits his negligence; I forgot about those details.
      • Also, when Shaun is buying the flowers, there was a zombie getting a pigeon to eat. So we know the zombies don't eat only human meat.
      • There's also the "Fun Dead" game show in the TV montage - the zombies are trying to get at a large chunk of meat. That can't be human meat, so they must eat things other than human flesh.
    • But still, did you see how close Ed got to biting Shaun? True, he did back off when scolded, but it was still too close. At the very least, he should be wearing some kind of muzzle or gag. All the zombies should.
      • Well, there does seem to be some pretty heavy duty collar and manacles on him. A muzzle would be a good idea, though.
      • Rule of Funny.
      • More like Rule of Heartwarming really, stops the film from having a Bittersweet Ending.
    • And anyway, Ed explains in the plot hole fillers on the DVD bonus features that he no longer gets the urge to eat Shaun, although he "wouldn't mind giving Liz a nibble".
      • You can kind of tell this in the ending anyway; when Zombie Ed leans over to 'bite' Shaun it seems kind of... half-hearted. Like it's something that on some level Zombie Ed feels is expected but which he doesn't really want to do.
  • Fridge Logic Why did the zombie early in the film walk away when the owner of the Winchester shouted "Sorry, we're closed!" to it? Later in the movie, the characters point out that loud noises would attract a zombie.
    • Perhaps for the same reason Shaun's zombie stepdad would switch off a car stereo — force of habit.
    • The zombies only seem to get really active when they're in groups. Recall that Ed has to throw a stone at Mary before him and Shaun get her attention and the zombified Pete just stands in the shower whilst clueless Shaun has a one-way conversation with him. Also, it's never entirely ruled out that the thing at the door wasn't an actual drunk.
    • They're sort of like regular people, except slower, deader, stupider and hungrier.
  • I know this is a very very small detail, but who was the guy who called Ed when they were outside the pub. Was that guy not aware of the Zombie Apocalypse, was he trying to get help, or was he just Too Dumb to Live like Ed.
    • It's implied that it's Noel, the obnoxious assistant from Shaun's work, trying to score some weed. He speaks on the phone to a friend of his during work hours, mentioning that "I spoke to him; he ain't got nuffin'", (the conversation which prompts Shaun to upbraid him for personal conversations in work hours, only to receive a call from Liz). We know Ed "deals a bit of weed", and in that conversation outside the pub he repeats that he has "nuffin'". This troper is pretty sure that you can hear Noel's voice if you listen closely enough. He turns up in the final TV montage as the zombie pushing trolleys in the supermarket car park.
    • As for not noticing, considering that Shaun was hours earlier able to walk to the corner shop, buy a Cornetto and a can of Coke and walk back again completely oblivious to the fact that the street was completely trashed and almost everyone around him was an animated corpse, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that there were plenty of people who were completely oblivious to what was going on (especially if, as was probably likely in the case of someone who was calling a dealer to get more supply, they'd been smoking weed). The zombies also didn't really seem to cause much of a fuss unless there was a crowd of them and they knew there was food inside the place they were surrounding; assuming you had a quiet Sunday in, didn't get seen by a zombie and didn't turn the TV on, you could probably go about your day blissfully unaware about what was going on.
  • When Shaun is buying flowers for his mum, outside the window we see Shaun spot a zombie grab a pigeon to eat. A bendy bus drives between the zombie and Shaun and a split second later, the zombie's gone. Stylistically, this is suitable enough for an Edgar Wright film, but it does beg the question: where (or more importantly, how) the hell did he go so quickly if he's a zombie?
    • Maybe it caught the bus?
    • Rule of Scary?
    • Maybe it quickly staggered off after some of the other pigeons. Or maybe the first wave of zombies were capable of being runners if they suddenly had need to be, and it's just the second wave of infections that were more traditional shamblers.
    • The film had lot's of visual and sound effects to establish the zombie mood leading up to the outbreak that may or may not have been actual evidence of anything yet. Mentioned above the zombie that knocked on the pub door may well have just been a drunk, the pidgeon eater may have just been a crazy homeless lady. This troper will attest that would hardly have been the weirdest thing they'd seen in London in Real Life
  • When Ed and Shaun leave the house for Shaun's mum, a zombified boy throws a football at them. Where did a zombie get the muscle strength to even pick up a ball, let alone throw it?
    • It still has muscles that function. If Shaun's step dad can reach over and turn off a car radio, then I assume a kid can toss a football.
    • If it has the muscle strength to lift its own arms it has the muscle strength to lift an air-filled ball and throw it.
      • Never mind that, the zombies are able to break the window and drag David out of the pub. If a few of them can haul a struggling, fully functional adult human out of a window, one zombie can pick up a ball.
  • When we see Shaun and Liz at the end, they're living in Shaun's house. Fair enough, except with Shaun's mum and stepdad dead, wouldn't he inherit their house? Why wouldn't they live there? It's much nicer than the rented house Shaun was living in.
    • Nice or not, many people sell their parents' houses after they die partly because they've made their own lives and homes outside of the parental one and partly because they simply can't face living / being there with so many constant reminders and memories of their deceased love one(s). Given how close he was to his mum, it's fairly safe to assume that Shaun would be one of the latter especially, and he and Liz simply stayed on in the rented house until they found a new place. Alternatively, they could have ended up buying the rented place — there's a reasonable chance that Shaun's landlord could have been a victim of the Zombie Apocalypse and it was going cheap in the post-apocalypse confusion. And they seemed to have done the place up fairly nice by the end, probably no doubt partly due to having a 'woman's touch' now that Liz is living there instead of three guys living together like previously.
      • I was under the assumption that the house wasn't a rental, but that Pete owned it, or perhaps Pete and Shaun had gone in on it together. It would explain why Pete didn't just kick Ed out on his ass; if Shaun owned half the house, he could let anyone he wanted stay over as long as they wanted to.
      • No, it's definitely a rental. When Shaun bumps into Yvonne the first time, before everything gets going, he seems surprised that she's bought a house in the local area, whilst she seems surprised he's still renting a place. Presumably Pete just doesn't evict Ed himself because he expects Shaun to man up and do it himself.
      • Either way, was probably either dead (haha) easy to buy in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse that would have significantly thinned out the population and thus left the real estate market in somewhat of a glut. Hell, that's assuming they even bothered to buy it, if whoever did own it got eaten and there were no immediate heirs to take over, Shaun may just keep living there without bothering to establish ownership. In the new world, possession of a home that no one else is contesting ownership of is probably 9/10ths of the law.
    • In that vein, what happened to his step father's Jaguar?
      • Any number of things, really — it got crashed into and wrecked in the chaos, it was nicked by some opportunistic car thieves who didn't mind tangling with the zombie in the back, or something similar to the explanation about the house above; post-apocalypse it was recovered by whatever authorities were in charge of that kind of thing (since someone would have to remove all the abandoned cars from the streets in order to clear them) and it would be easy to check who the owner was through the license plate), Zombie!Philip somehow removed from it and, since as heir Shaun is legally the rightful owner, returned to him to sell or keep however he pleased. For all we know it's sitting outside Shaun and Liz' house as they speak at the end.
  • I'm just throwing this out there but could Shaun and Liz's Sunday plans conversation in the epilogue, about going 'to the Phoenix for a roast', actually be a sly clue that the (renamed) Winchester has risen from the ashes and is still, despite everything, Shaun's favourite haunt?
    • I think that's almost definitely the implication.
  • How did Barbara know the flowers were for her? She only found them in a bin, and the card only said, "To a wonderful Mum"... which could be anyone's mum.
    • I had the same thought, but presumably they also had "From Shaun" on them. Which is still a bit of a stretch, but she's a bit doddery, so hey.
    • Maybe it said "To a wonderful Mum" in Shaun's handwriting.
      • It didn't. The cashier at the flower shop asks him if he wants a card saying, "To a wonderful Mum" or "Pow! Super Mum!", meaning the card was printed before Shaun got it.
      • Yeah, but presumably Shaun still wrote 'From Shaun' under that.
  • How did they do the girl with a gaping hole (the one that is perforated with a pipe)? It's not just a wound - it's a hole - you can clearly see Shaun and Ed through it, could they even do that with CGI? It's a single shot, and her movement seem too fluid for a puppet, and the hole is right through her abdonement, so it doesn't look like a prop or make-up either. So, how did they do it?
    • It might have been CGI; having the actress with a green spot on her back in front of a green backdrop, then shooting that independent from the actual scene with Nick and Simon, which is then shot on its own with their reactions. Or she might have been (surprisingly good) CGI altogether.
      • Quite definitely CGI - it's actually shown in one of the SFX extras on the DVD. The actress is flesh-and-blood, the hole is an effect added (with some other effects, like blood and entrails and such) in post-production.

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