“Shaun of the Dead” is the horror comedy directed by Edgar Wright that started “The Cornetto Trilogy” off with a bang. Or at least started it off with gurgling discontented moans of the living dead. The trilogy features Simon Pegg and Nick Frost against hordes of angry fill-in-the-blanks with spectacular results (like getting drunk during a bar crawl and facing off against alien body-snatchers).
These movies are wacky, and wacky comedies always have stories going on behind the scenes – odd tidbits and unexpected moments that bring the shoot together. Here are 10 facts about the first film in the saga, “Shaun of the Dead.” If you haven’t seen the film, live stream it right here!
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1. The Winchester used to be an actual pub
The famous Winchester Pub from the film was an actual place until recently. It was closed down and repurposed into flats a few years back. The names “John and Bernie” who ran the Winchester are actual names of the landlord and landlady who ran Pegg’s favorite bar in Highgate.
2. Tyres is a z-word!
During the zombie mob scene later in the film there’s a prominent zombie wearing a bright yellow hat. If you’re familiar with “Spaced,” a sitcom from Wright, Pegg, and Frost, you’ll recognize Tyres, the bike messenger/raver from the show.
3. Spaced inspired more than just a Tyres cameo
There’s an episode of Spaced where Pegg’s character stays up all night playing Resident Evil and starts hallucinating he’s in the game. Looking at the opening scenes of “Shaun of the Dead,” you can see the inspiration!
4. Why are your zombies so slow?
After the movie was released, an interviewer asked Simon Pegg why the zombies in “Shaun of the Dead” moved so slowly. Pegg responded, “Because death is not an energy drink.”
5. A legendary weapon
Wright and Pegg wanted multiple homages to horror films of yore, and one that they got to include was the Winchester rifle used in the pub scenes. The prop was the same rifle used in “Night of the Living Dead.”
6. The news anchors in the film are real
While the actual news reports are clearly fiction, Wright hired actual newscasters for the televised warnings that play early in the film. The added touch of authenticity made the sequence even funnier.
7. They really love this game
A true gaming enthusiast, as soon as Ed enters the Winchester he starts playing this random arcade game. Turns out that same machine made it into some pub in every film in the Cornetto Trilogy.
8. Foree Electric is a real place
Every film in the Cornetto Trilogy is at its heart the story of a man struggling to grow up and take on his role as an adult. In “Shaun of the Dead,” the titular character works a retail job at a small appliances shop (when he deigns to show up on time). The shop is an actual place in Tally Ho, North Finchley, called Garland Electronics. They called the place “Foree Electric” as a nod to Ken Foree, who starred in “Dawn of the Dead.”
9. The one scene that made Pegg cry
While most of the deaths in “Shaun of the Dead” are played for laughs, there was one scene that actually did hit Pegg in the feels. Shaun has to shoot his mother Barbara once she’s infected, and according to Wright, the actor played the scene like it was his own mom. As soon as the scene was shot, both Pegg and Frost burst into tears.
10. Cornetto is the best hangover food?
The decision to have Nick Frost eat a cornetto first thing in the morning didn’t come out of nowhere. Edgar Wright once did the same after a bad hangover. “It’s the weirdest thing you would want to eat at that time in the morning,” said the Director. “When I was in college, I got very, very drunk once, and I had a Cornetto in the morning and I felt a lot better. So, it became my hangover cure, and it still is.”
Hope these facts will make your next viewing even better, and let us know in the comments below which film in the trilogy is your favorite!