the holidays and we’re feeling it even here in the Sewer. This year
we’re taking stock of the many gifts we’ve gotten from the movies over
the years and celebrating them in the form of a Christmas carol. In our
own special way.

While the traditional 12 Days of Christmas
counts up from one, we think it’s more fun to count down between now
and the big day (and yeah, we built in some slack for ourselves). So
sit back and get ready for some great moments from some great CHUD
favorites, and some possible holiday gift ideas while we’re at it.

On the fifth day til Christmas my true CHUD sent to me…

Five bickering survivors

There’s a lot that’s brilliant about Shaun of the Dead, but the thing that really blew me away the first few times I saw it was how the tone shifts so very subtly at the end in the Winchester. As Shaun’s mom lays zombifying the five remaining survivors – Shaun, Ed, Liz, Dianne and David – argue and get violent over what to do next. The comedy steps aside for a moment and things get legitimately tense and heartfelt. What’s even better is that the fight isn’t a bullshit one: you can see everybody’s side of the equation (even if Shaun and David are both coming from less than logical places as they fight). And then things get really gory.

Over the last four years we’ve seen Shaun of the Dead evolve from a CHUD favorite to a legitimate modern classic, and this segment is a big part of why. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright aren’t making a zombie comedy, they’re making a zombie movie that’s funny; there’s very little in Shaun that, if played straight, wouldn’t work perfectly in a Romero film. A Romero film that would be a lot better than Diary of the Dead, at that.

And this switch wouldn’t work if the characters weren’t so great. That’s the final key to this amazing movie – while the laughs came quickly and often throughout, Shaun and Ed were real people who you could really like and with whom you could identify. You can tell how well it works by simply watching Ed’s final ‘Gaaaaaaaay;’ it’s funny and touching all at the same time.

It’s hard to believe that you read this site and DON’T own a copy of Shaun of the Dead so I’ll link you to a great Shaun and Ed figure set, one which adorns my desk right now as I type this. Click here to buy the Shaun and Ed Winchester set.

If you’re a big fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, you owe it to yourself to make sure you have a copy of Spaced on DVD. Spaced is the astonishingly good, geekcentric TV show that first brought Pegg, Wright and Frost together. The seed for Shaun of the Dead was actually planted in an episode of the show where Pegg’s character ODs on Resident Evil. Click here to buy the complete series DVD set of Spaced.