Directed by Edgar Wright, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Lucy Davis, Dylan Moran, Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy.

It seems like just another day as a working stiff for TV salesman Shaun (Pegg). His long-suffering girlfriend Liz (Ashfield) needs more attention; his mother Barbara (Wilton) wants a visit and childhood pal turned couch-bound housemate Ed (Davis) needs a kick up somewhere to do something with his life. As does Shaun - nearly 30, stuck in a dull job, every night revolving around the local and the empty promise about tomorrow being another day. But even a slacker can become a hero and when humdrum turns to horror and the dead rise as zombies and start eating the living, it's up to Shaun to rescue his loved ones and bring them to safety. Or failing that, the pub.

As George A Romero's 'Dawn...' and 'Day of the Dead' and Dan O'Bannon's 'Return of the Living Dead' have shown, zombies can 'do' comedy. Their moaning, groaning, staggering and routine-seeking antics make them ripe (sorry) for a thousand send-ups - all they need is a decent script. And they don't get it from Wright and Pegg. Fleshed out (sorry again) from a sketch on TV comedy series 'Spaced', 'Shaun of the Dead' is the type of film your friend comes up with before last orders on a Friday night. It's cheap, throwaway and, apart from a 10-minute good spell, seriously unfunny. Horror fans don't have problems with shoestring budgets, but wasting a good comic cast and storyline is impossible to excuse - as are failing to include enough references to other splatter classics and ending a film as if the piggy bank suddenly went empty.

Desperate, dull and enough to have Romero's zombies spinning in their graves. Well, more than usual, anyway.

Harry Guerin