Slacker Bites Back: <i>Shaun of the Dead</i> Finds New Life for Deadbeats

Lynn Pifer

in Better Off Dead

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234462
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241255 | DOI:
Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats

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This chapter looks at one of the landmark films that constitutes the emergent category of the New Millennium zombie, but, as is illustrated here, it draws on the ancient model of the hero's quest in order to capture the spirit of a new generation. The 2004 comedy Shaun of the Dead is part spoof, part serious zombie film, part romantic comedy, but it is mainly the story of an unlikely hero who represents the millennial generation's resistance to conform to notions of responsible maturity. As society crumbles all around the protagonists in working class London, Shaun, a man pushing 30 but still unwilling to “grow up,” must reconsider the way he has positioned himself in late capitalist society. The chapter draws upon theories of the monster and the hero in order to illustrate what this film says about contemporary understandings of each; and investigate the ways that Shaun, as Slacker hero, repositions the genre of the zombie film.

Keywords: Hero's Quest; Slackers; Generation X; monsters; capitalism; zombie

Chapter.  5229 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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