Love is a strong word. But I love Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. Back in 2004, a poster showed up online for ‘Shaun of the Dead‘. I had never heard of the movie, and didn’t know who the man in the poster was, but being a zombie enthusiast, the “…of the Dead” part of it caught my attention. The tagline was great (A Romantic Comedy. With Zombies.), and the website address (www.romzom.com) was inspired. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny that I first saw the film in a non-movie theatre non-DVD capacity… possibly through some kind of computer assisted download manner. A friend of mine got a hold of it way before any buzz started to grow about the movie, and also way before the new and improved Mayfair came to be. So there was a pretty good chance that I’d never actually get to see this movie, if not through an under-handed off-the-book type means of viewing. Luckily, Ottawa did end up getting a short run of the film in an actual movie theatre, so I was able to pay to go and see it…on more than one occasion. I also bought it on DVD, making up for not throwing money at the project in my initial watching. I find’ Shaun of the Dead’ nothing short of brilliant. It starts out like every other British romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, then before you know it you’re in a zombie movie. No sissy stuff! Blood, guts, people getting killed…a real full blown, genuine, George A Romero style, slow moving zombie story. The key I think is that it’s not a spoof…it’s not too goofy, it doesn’t wink knowingly at the audience. It’s filled with homage and tips of the hat and love of what came before…but it is unquestionably it’s own little piece of amazing. More amazing, instead of re-visiting Shaun with a sequel (there were jokes of a vampire follow-up titled ‘From Dusk Till Shaun’), the creative team reunited in 2007 for a cop movie titled ‘Hot Fuzz‘. Like ‘Shaun’, the first exposure I had to the project was via a poster on a geek site online: Pegg and Frost striking a Michael Bay-esque cliché of a pose, Pegg armed to the teeth, Frost in one of those goofy UK cop hats. The image brought me pure joy. Like it’s undead predecessor, ‘Hot Fuzz’ is not some ‘Naked Gun’ lampooning of the genre. It’s not just the same two guys playing the same two characters but in police outfits. Pegg’s portrayal of serious super cop Nick Angel is as different from mundane love-struck Shaun as can be. Ditto for Frost’s well meaning wannabe Danny Butterman, who is a very different acting challenge when in comparison to the slacker side-kick Ed. Sometime in the near future (maybe next year…I’m not sure), there will be a third chapter in what has been dubbed the ‘Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy’ (also known as the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’). Each film has someone eating ice cream, and blood. The next film is titled ‘The World’s End’, possibly an apocalyptic tale. I could gush about my love of these guys more…but instead I will leave it at that, and look forward to watching the ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ double bill on October 6th. I like these movies so much I’m passing up watching a Leafs / Senators game on TV! If that’s not love…I don’t know what is.