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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lets instill a little Black Comedy to this particular forum. In the past year or so, there has been an uprising in the category of Horror that deals particularly with Zombies; they are a favorite of mine as well as the members of this and other boards about the 'Net. There's a whole slew of films dedicated to them coming up this year, including a continuation of Romeros original terror plus a part four and five of one of our contenders for this bout. It is with great pleasure that I give you:

Return of the Living Dead

vs.

Shaun of the Dead

Both are spectacular films and have taken interesting turns with this sub-genre, not to mention both are pretty damn funny. It's Domestic vs. Imported, which do you prefer? Let's set 'em up and knock down. Time to feel black rotted teeth tearing into warm, living flesh with a dancing naked punk chick and a bloke with no direction. Cheers, Mates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Usually, I let someone else pick up the ball and roll with it before I put my two cents in, but this time, I guess everyone is busy, so I'll begin.

Return of the Living Dead: I still remember seeing this in the theater. Last year a lot of people were downing Zack Snyder for having the sprinting zombies in his excellent rendition of Dawn of the Dead, but this is the flick that started it all. Not only could the undead jet like an Olympic track star in this particular flick, but they had powers of articulation, reasoning ("Send more Paramedics.") and were practically invincible. No bullets in the head were going to slow these walking piles of corrupted flesh and they had the strength somehow to dig through coffin lids, cement slabs and six feet of earth to munch on some brains. The only thing that was going to take out these things was a well aimed nuclear missle.

There was just so much going against this movie in terms of logic and haphazard storytelling, but therein lies its charm. Most people pan a Horror movie for various reasons without stopping to think: "Geez, NONE of this **** can happen in reality; so why get your panties in a bunch nit-picking every little thing?" Sometimes I lose touch with that way of thinking, but most of the time if I give a "Thumbs Down" to a movie, it richly deserves it (This includes movies by but not limited to: The collective films of Nicholas Cage and Vin Diesel and practically anything the Italian Schlockmeisters put out.) Occasionally, I have to back up and look at something a second time before I have nothing to do with it again. Admittedly, I did not care for this too much the first time I saw it, but it grew on me when I stepped back and took it for what it was. This is just a mish mash of comedy, punk music, zombies and over-the-top acting and storytelling, and that's about it. If you expect more out of it than that, then you are in for a big disappointment.

My favorite scenes have to do with Bert, Ernie, Frank and Freddy and their shenanigans, not to mention Linnea Quigley's legendary naked dance atop the tombstones, just before she joined the legions of the walking dead. It's a wild ride and I recommend it to any person who likes their comedy black.

Shaun of the Dead: If there is any one film that is a worthy successsor to the zombie-comedy-horror film, it is this one. Romero liked it so much that he asked Simon Peg and Edgar Wright to perform cameo's as zombies in Land of the Dead. I love this film and it is in regular rotation in my DVD player. Easily one of the best films of 2005, Horror or otherwise.

I was struck by the subtle message this film tried to convey about how apathetic we are to our everyday surroundings. There is a scene where Shaun is going through his usual morning routine of going to the store to pick up some snack items and doesn't notice that the world has fallen apart around him. He nearly slips in a puddle of blood, BUT STILL DOESN'T REGISTER THAT SOMETHING IS OUT OF PLACE. Funny stuff in this flick, but there is the Romero homages galore when the zombies raid the pub and the living start becoming fodder for the dead. Next to Romero's Unholy Trilogy (Soon to be Quadrilogy) and Zack Snyders modern Horror classic, this is probably one of the best Zombie films ever made. Unlike in ROTLD, you really care about what happens to most of the characters, whereas in the former, it was for the most part abunch of unruly, obnoxious teenager's and some really crotchety old men all with no real sense of individuality. In "Shaun" such is not the case. Even with such a slovenly character as Ed, you're with him all the way.

I love both movies and I even like the sequels that ROTLD produced, but the aimless Shaun and his eccentric group of friends, rule the day and so Shaun of the Dead gets my vote.

Shaun of the Dead: 1

Return of the Living Dead: 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awww, c'mon guys! Lets get the polls to rolling; maybe this pix of "Shaun" himself, Simon Pegg as a Zombie extra in Romero's Land of the Dead will spark your interest. So far I have had the only vote and Shaun of the Dead is ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tomorrow, we get to see "Shaun" as a Zombie extra. I'm leaving this thread open for a few more days. Hopefully, we'll see some posting when everyone checks out Land of the Dead this weekend. :D
 

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My $.02

While I enjoy both movies for various reasons and consider both classics in their own right, there's no contest to which one I'll pick here...

Return of the Living Dead
This movie, which is an indirect sequel to Night of the Living Dead, is a movie I enjoy thoroughly. It's a horror comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously in too many places, which is good because if it did it'd be a terrible movie.

The cast for this movie is what makes it work so well. The team of Thom Matthews and James Karen as the bumbling idiots is perfect and brings lots of laughs to the table, some intentional and others not so intentional.

The story is pretty stock... main characters do something dumb, unleash zombie mayhem, in comes the army, "boom!", the end.

The only two gripes I have with this movie is that it lacked any real vision which makes it a pretty thin movie and that the ending seems rushed and anti-climactic, which the director admits it was. They just sorta ran out of money.

Shaun of the Dead
Now, on the other hand, Shaun of the dead delivers in all the areas Return of the Living Dead did and even in the two areas I fault RotLD for not delivering.

This was a very inspired movie with an absolutely brilliant cast, script, direction... etc. I can go on and on.

Shaun is one of those movies I've seen at least a dozen times now and just never get sick of it. I always notice some small detail I'd missed the previous times I viewed it and can appreciate a movie that has that many subtle layers that it can seem fresh just about every time you view it.

Overall, I cosider both classics, however I think RotLD has a definite niche audience, while Shaun plays to both the Zombie-lovers and to the masses which is a difficult task to pull off without alienating the hardcore Zombie fans.

My vote goes with Shaun

Shaun of the Dead: 2
Return of the Living Dead: 0
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not exactly what I would call a landslide (Or a grave filling in this particular case) the Brits and their take on the Undead mythos shamble to the next round. Shaun of the Dead wins by two votes. Come on guys, there's got to be more of you out there with an opinion other than Zombie-F and myself. Lets hope the next pairing will bring in more to the forum.
 
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