Talking about going to local pubs with my brother also reminded me of the fantastic horror comedy “Shaun of The Dead”. It’s North London life, but with zombies. It’s the first of the Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright collaborations that became known as The Cornetto Trilogy (“Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End” being the others). The title cheekily riffs off George A. Romero’s classic movie “Dawn of the Dead”
I live near both The Winchester (which has now been made into homes) and The Boogaloo (which was originally called The Shepherds). The Boogaloo is still open, still has a fantastic jukebox, and is popular with musicians and actors as there is a performing arts centre across the road. The pub in the film is called The Winchester but it’s based on The Shepherds. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost used to go there a lot. They used the Winchester name because it gave them an excuse to introduce a gun into the film. Guns are, of course, rare in the UK.
The film is a very British take on zombie movies and was made around my local area of North London, in places like Crouch End, Finsbury Park and Highgate – so that’s fun for me. It’s a zombie movie that brilliantly satirises modern life. It suggests we’re all a bit zombie in our daily lives, with our boring, repetitive routines. And it’s about how British people, to use the cliché, keep calm and carry on, despite an apocalypse happening around us.
It was BAFTA nominated, is ranked as one the greatest comedies of all time and one of the best British films of all time. Tarantino says it’s one of his favourite films and Stephen King rates it a “10”. More importantly, George A. Romero said he loved it and even asked Pegg and Frost to do cameos in his film “Land of the Dead”.