Ground zero for the “rom-zom-com”, Shaun of the Dead has shambled onto 4K Ultra HD. So, how does it shape up on the format? Is it a slice of fried gold, or just dried and old?
The story: Directionless Shaun and even more directionless bestie Ed lumber on with their lives directionlessly, until it eventually dawns that zombies are taking over London. Shaun becomes a man of action, planning to rescue his newly ex-girlfriend Liz and, of course, his mum and hole up where he always holes up, a pub called the Winchester. There will be many casualties on the way – including a first pressing of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’…
Melding together genuine comedy and a bona fide zombie horror story with that element of romance, Shaun of the Dead is just as thrilling – and funny – an experience today as when it released 15 years ago. We’d even argue that it’s improved with age, especially when you’ve imbibed in the other ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ movies Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, and spot all the recurring themes and in-jokes.
“You’ve got red on you.”
The 4K disc: Yeah, ace movie and all, but how does it look here? The answer? Pretty good. Comparing it with the Blu-ray there doesn’t seem to have been a new print struck, as the same occasional blemishes pop up, as well as increased grain in some (usually darker) sequences. This recycling means that we get an upscaled 2K presentation, however there is a marked increase in detail in many scenes of this fairly low-budget flick. The HDR treatment afforded is, for the most part, great. Its application brings life to whites without them going hospital grade on the retinas, and the many lurid reds throughout have an increased, erm, redness. The odd darker scene can get a little murky, as the movie looks slightly darker overall, but ultimately this is a vast improvement over the aged Blu-ray release.
Sound-wise, this one doesn’t hold back. A new DTS:X mix is the order of the day, and it fires at us from all directions gleefully. Sound effects splatter all over, music pumps out and the bass channel has a momentous thump to it when called upon. Throughout even the most full-on action sequences, dialogue always remains clear in this wonderfully punchy mix, of which the Don’t Stop Me Now pool “party” is a definite highlight.
The 4K disc includes a whopperous four audio commentary tracks, while the enclosed standard Blu-ray delivers a feast of extras that includes outtakes, deleted and extended scenes, galleries and a lot of other bits and bobs.
Release date: September 25, 2019
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.