Hello, my friends. With the blood-curling fear and the ravenous hunger growing ever-so slightly towards a fever pitch, I once again welcome you all back to this ghoul-tastic series called…
We’re officially halfway thorough the four-part adaptation, so here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been through thus far. Shaun is a slacker who works at an electronic store and he hasn’t had much self-motivating drive in his life, especially since it ended up ruining his relationship with Liz. When a zombie outbreak begins to overwhelm their London neighborhood, he teams up with his friend Ed in order to reach his loved ones. They managed to get his mother Barbara and his recently-bitten stepdad Philip, but his lingering heartfelt feelings for his ex-girlfriend are too much. As such, he manages to reach her as she’s presently at her apartment with her friends David and Dianne. From there, he convinces them that they need to hide out in a much-more secure spot which he believes to be his common hangout: the Winchester Tavern.
Published in September 2005, our featured issue went on to sell 7,396 copies upon its initial release. Now that our featured gang is all here, let’s join them in their hectic travel towards sturdy safety.
Issue 3 begins with Shaun leading Liz, David and Dianne out of the apartment building as he uses his cricket bat to smack the zombies upon their heads. Shortly afterwards, Ed pulls up in the Jaguar as they climb in and speed off. Along the way, he feels the need to ram into various ghouls.
When asked why they’re going to hide out at the Winchester, Shaun explains that the pub is a secure place for them to hold up as Ed adds onto the fact that there’s a functioning rifle there as well. Afterwards, the weary Philip tells his stepson that it hasn’t been easy being a father to him, especially since Shaun was 12 when they first met. Philip then says that he always loved him and that he wanted to be someone whom Shaun could look up to in order to be instilled with a strong sense of motivation. Unfortunately, the fatal neck wound finally takes its toll as Philip passes on. A tearful Shaun tells Ed to stop the car, but his friend is too busy enjoying the thrill of slamming into zombies. As such, he yells out for his comrade to pull over, to which Ed does so by spinning the car around on the road before coming to a complete stop.
From there, Shaun tells his mother that her husband has just died. However, Barbara tells him that he’s still moving. To everyone’s shock unfortunately, Philip has come back as a zombie. As such, Ed, Liz and Barbara get out of the car, but Shaun, David and Dianne are initially trapped inside due to the child locks. Fortunately, they’re let out as they manage to trap the zombified Philip within the vehicle. Barbara is initially hesitant of leaving her newly-ghoulish husband behind, but Shaun tells her that the man that she used to know isn’t in that body anymore. Now that they’re without a vehicle and their weapons (not that the comic bothers to mention that detail, since they accidentally leave them in the car due to the emergence of zombie Philip), Shaun tells the group that they must walk to their destination.
The present party proceeds to zig-zag through several backyards in order to reach the Winchester in one piece. Liz then expresses her concern for Barbara before telling Shaun that her parents are currently in Antigua as she hopes that the zombie outbreak isn’t also happening there. He then tries to bring up their last conversation as a couple, but she shoots that down as she tells him that she meant everything she said and that this present situation isn’t going to fix their broken relationship. As such, they decide to drop it.
Just then, they come across Yvonne as she’s out traveling around with her own fully-armed group. After she learns that Shaun & Liz are no longer a budding couple and that they’re taking their group to the Winchester, both parties proceed to take their leave as Yvonne points him in the proper direction towards the pub. From there, our main group come across a series of fences that stands between them and their ultimate destination. Shaun begins to leap over the first one, but it breaks as he comically falls over.
As they continue on their trek, they come across one particular backyard as Barbara believes that two particular people with whom she knows live nearby, when she’s sudden approached by a zombie. Meanwhile, Shaun and the rest of the group reach the last backyard as he prepares to scout the Winchester’s surrounding area. Just then, he notices that they’re missing a member. Suddenly, he hears his mother screaming nearby as he hurriedly hops back over. He finds Barbara lying down before coming across the zombie that she saw as it proceeds to attack him.
Liz slams a child-size chair upon the ghoul as she helps Shaun up before he’s given a teatherball pole from Dianne. He tries to hit the zombie with the ball, but it’s comically ineffective. The young ladies then motion for him to stab the zombie with the pole, which he proceeds to do so as the undead being gets pinned to a nearby tree. Afterwards, Shaun berates Ed and David for not helping out before he climbs up a child’s slide in order to see if the coast is clear. However, he informs the group that it isn’t as a massive swarm of zombies has the Winchester surrounded.
As David criticizes Shaun’s plan for ultimately running into this major snag, Dianne comes up with an idea. Using the recently-defeated zombie as an example, she puts her acting skills to use and teaches the group on the proper movement & facial expression that they can use in order to move through the zombified masses. One-by-one, each of them manage to nail down their own look before they spring their plan into action.
They proceed to make their way through the ghoulish gathering before reaching the Winchester. However, the front door is locked as Shaun tries to communicate with anyone inside to let them in. With no response, David wants to smash their way in. Shaun argues against that idea by explaining that they would be exposed as a result. Just as Liz asks if there’s another way to get in, Ed’s cell phone starts ringing as he casually takes a call concerning a drug buy. Shaun then slaps the device out of his hand and proceeds to berate his friend for this display of idiocy. He then chastises Ed for constantly screwing things up for him, especially since he’s been defending his friend for so long. However, this display of anger gets the zombies’ attention. In an act of desperation, David grabs a nearby wastebasket and slams it into the window before telling the group to get inside. However, Shaun says that the ghouls will just follow them in. As such, Issue 3 ends with him distracting the zombies before luring them away so that the rest of the gang can safely make their way into the pub.
As far as to how this particular issue handles its translation of our main group’s topsy-turvy journey towards their familiar sanctuary, it’s mainly spot-on with how the movie presents this slice of the narrative. There are a few changes in terms of trimming lines here and there, but the only major alteration presented here was the addition of Yvonne pointing Shaun in the proper direction towards the Winchester. This issue mainly handles our main character as he carries out a major part of his evacuation strategy and the struggles that both he and his group faces along the way. One problem that this overall comic has with the movie is that I would have wanted Philip to have a chance of proving himself as a good father to Shaun. After all, he only gets one healthy appearance before he’s bitten in the arm by one ghoul before a different zombie comes along and takes a fatal bite into his neck. Because Pegg and Wright were allowed to give some creative input onto this adaptation, it would have been nice to see Shaun’s stepdad get fleshed out a bit more. Other than that, Bill Nighy’s supporting character is commendably serviceable within the overall narrative. Getting back to the present issue at hand, it captures the struggles that Shaun goes through when he takes it upon himself to be the main leader of his own survivalist group. Because of his slacker past, he gets unsure and nervous at certain times due to him being out of practice with him taking charge in his life. For now, he’s doing all that he can with handling a sizable group during a chaotic time in order to make sure that things don’t get completely out of his control. As of this moment, only Ed and his mother Barbara are his biggest supporters. Liz is willing to go through with this despite the recent break-up, Dianne is eager to follow through on this venture especially since she gets her biggest moment to shine here while David is the most critical of our main character due to his cautious nature and his self-disapproval of Shaun as a romantic disappointment to Liz. With all of that upon him, he’s determined to keep his loved ones safe and was even willing to draw the zombie hoard away when David puts an unexpected monkey wrench into his plan, just so the group can finally reach safety. With that in mind, we have one last part for this adaptation to get to. Come back next time when even within the secure and familiar surroundings of the local pub, the group’s gravest encounter with the undead awaits them. Even if you have a growing mix of worried feelings “with a hint of sadness, like a drunk who’s lost a bet” for what’s to come for the upcoming final chapter, it’s something that you won’t want to miss.
Shaun Of The Dead (created by Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg) is owned by Universal Pictures.