YMMV / Shaun of the Dead

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is David really a selfish jerk, or is just desperate to survive just like everyone else in the film?
    • Is Pete just a complete asshole who's friendly with Shaun, or does he only act like an asshole to Ed?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Buy the DVD and see how long you can go without putting it in the drive and skipping right to the "Don't Stop Me Now" scene.
  • Ear Worm: The use of "The Blue Wrath" by I, Monster as the opening theme.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment "I'm not laughing." Neither are we, Shaun. Borders on a Tear Jerker moment itself.
  • Genius Bonus: Pete admits he once had a good time with Ed when they spent the night playing Tekken 2 together. He then crushes the sentiment by saying that was five years ago and he's sick of him now. A viewer familiar with video games would recognize that game was years old at that point and realize the point Pete was about to make.
  • Informed Wrongness: David is sensible if insensitive for most of the film and is treated as a (literal) punching bag by Shaun. Even his argument for staying in the apartment is proven right by the end. As it's a parody of typical zombie movies, it may have been intentional.
    • On the other hand, he doesn't disagree with Shaun because it's the smartest thing to do, he simply hates Shaun and wants to be a difficult, jealous prick.
    • Plus, as his own girlfriend points out, if he was that certain of what to do, he'd have taken charge instead of drifting along with what Shaun was doing and making snide comments from the sidelines; he's just a pompous know-it-all when it comes down to it.
      • A better example might be Shawn's other friend Pete, who is depicted as a bit of an asshole for his obvious contempt for Shaun's best friend Ed, viewing him as a load who holds Shaun back. However, even before the events of the Zombie Apocalypse in which Ed increasingly becomes The Load for real, it's hard not to think that Pete has a point.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • There's a zombie on your lawn!
    • The scene where Shaun and the group end up running into their near-identical dopplegangers in Yvonne's group (who are all played by much more famous actors than the people in the main cast) includes Martin Freeman as Shaun's doppleganger, Declan. Martin Freeman is part of the main cast of The World's End, the final movie in the Thematic Series that Shaun of the Dead started.
      • Especially ironic, considering the whole joke behind that scene was the implication that Yvonne was the protagonist of a different zombie movie with a higher budget, and that the guys behind Shaun of the Dead could only afford a cameo from the more famous actors. By this point, Wright and Pegg's movies have become popular enough that they actually can afford the A-listers in the big roles and make The World's End a big-scale science fiction epic.
    • At the end of the movie, there is a brief shot of some talk show featuring a woman who insists of staying with her husband, who is now a zombie. A couple of years later...
    • Shaun does an impression of Bub from Day of the Dead when everyone takes zombie acting lessons. During his and Edgar Wright's cameo in Land of the Dead, it turns out Simon Pegg bears a quite uncanny resemblance to Howard Sherman as Bub when he's in zombie makeup.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Shaun's mother does a very convincing zombie impression, even if she didn't mean to. Then you find out that she'd been bitten just moments before.
  • Memetic Mutation: Yeah boyyy!
  • Moral Event Horizon: While not really evil, David, having just forced Shaun to shoot his now zombified mother, makes a snide comment, causing Shaun to punch him in the face. What does David do? Grabs the rifle, points it at Shaun, and pulls the trigger. By sheer luck, the gun is empty, but the others (quite rightly) react with utter disgust at David for this.
  • Retroactive Recognition: For the Americans in the audience, Martin Freeman's split-second cameo as Yvonne's boyfriend is this. He was well-known in Britain at the time for his role in The Office (UK), but he wouldn't get major recognition in the States until he was cast as John Watson and Bilbo Baggins several years later.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: No matter what else is going on in your life or how big a rut you're in, making empty promises will sour people's opinions of you and you'll have to work damn hard to regain that trust.
  • Tear Jerker: A surprising number for what's otherwise a comedy. We have, in order, Phillip's death, before which he tells Shaun that he's always loved him like a son, Barbara turning into a zombie and having to be shot by Shaun, and doomed Ed in the cellar. Mood Whiplash doesn't begin to do some of it justice. In the U.S. at least, it was marketed as a straight-up comedy, which made the Tear Jerker moments come as something of a shock.
  • What an Idiot: Ed. Deconstructed during the film, though some moments stand out (like having his cell phone on outdoor mode while surrounded by zombies. Being forgetful would at least be understandable, but answering it and holding a conversation wins him the award for dumbest human being ever. Oh, and he's not even chatting to a friend. He's selling weed.)
    Roger Ebert: (in his review) When Liz complains that Ed is always around, Shaun says "he doesn't have too many friends," which is often an argument for not becoming one.
    • David needs to turn off a jukebox to avoid the zombies outside hearing them. However, he can't find the switches, and everyone else is fighting the zombified bartender, so he quickly rushes to the fuse-box. Instead of flipping the switches so that they're all facing the same direction, he starts flipping them all randomly (in sync with the music), resulting in lights turning on and off inside and outside, naturally gaining a lot of attention.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: There's some level of social observation, and the apparent suggestion that in 21st century Britain many people live life in an unthinking, zombie-like state - the introductory footage of everyday life at the film's beginning, Shaun and Ed's first few zombie encounters - in which they fail to notice anything unusual going on, and the ending, where society becomes completely desensitized to violence, and Ed lives on, undead and tied up in the shed. Creepy.
    • The fact that the first we see of Shaun is that he's shuffling around and yawn/moaning like a zombie sort of stresses the point.