Choose one of the two options to address in your blog post:
1) Give a thorough examination of both the screwball comedy and zombie genre conventions in the film Shaun of the Dead, and how the two work together put any new spins on those conventions. Please use specific examples from the film with your analysis. You may compare those elements to either of the films we screened in class or any other films from the two genres that you are familiar with, but this is not required. If you quote any of our reading please be sure to cite accordingly.
2) In the essay “Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats” Lynn Pifer argues that the film is a commentary on society’s “willing workers” who have been “deadended by their jobs” in a capitalist society, and “provide[s] disenfranchised slackers like Shaun and Ed with a situation where they can not only survive, but also succeed in winning others’ respect (167).” Pifer goes on to try and prove that the movie celebrates the slacker lifestyle and allows for all that are in Shaun’s way to be zombified so they are no longer a bother in his slacker lifestyle, and that though he learns how to manage a life with a best friend and girlfriend he is still a loser and a slacker to the end.
Do you agree with Pifer’s thesis and understanding of the story, or do you have your own theories about Shaun's journey? Though I find a lot of the points and examples to be dead-on, I don’t completely agree, and in fact see Shaun’s journey as one that changes him quite a lot, and that the loss of the people in his life is what wakes him up to appreciate the things in his life that he once took for granted. Throughout the film, once Shaun finally realizes what is going on, we see him quick on his feet, calling for teamwork, and sticking his neck out for everyone else. We see others acting selfishly, being uncooperative, and putting everyone at risk. In fact, most of why Shaun’s plans go awry for them is from the mistakes of the others in the group. Sure, Shaun's plan is not as good a Yvonne's, but it's a plan. As Liz says when she forgives him: “You tried. You did something, that’s what counts.” So I would say the film is about how the zombie apocalypse is what it takes to make this slacker appreciate what is important in life, which, yes, sometimes includes simply playing a video game with your best friend.
What do you think? And no, you do not have to agree with me. Perhaps you have your own thesis to prove about the film.
Be sure to support your thoughts, whether you agree with Pifer or not, with plenty of examples. You can also cite from the essay as you would like, but make sure you do so properly.
As always 400 words MINIMUM for either choice, but remember to fully explain your points or the minimum still won’t cut it. Original posts are due Friday, April 5th. Response to at least 2 blog posts due by Tues, April 9th.