2012 HERO COMPLEX FILM FESTIVAL
It might be a good time to work on your cricket swing — Edgar Wright is bringing “Shaun of the Dead” to the 2012 Hero Complex Film Festival.
The always-witty British filmmaker will be on stage at 10 p.m. on May 18 to look back on the 2004 cult comedy that marked his feature-film directorial debut and opened doors that led to him to “Hot Fuzz,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and Marvel’s planned “Ant-Man” project. “Shaun of the Dead” also introduced many American fans to Simon Pegg, the title star, Wright’s co-writer on the movie and an actor with ramping popcorn prominence these days thanks to the “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek” franchises.
The film grossed $30 million worldwide, and its mix of the daft and the diabolical had a lot of bite with critics such as Nev Pierce of the BBC who wrote: “A side-splitting, head-smashing, gloriously gory horror comedy, ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ is hilarious.”
The film speaks to the friendship of Pegg and Wright, who had bonded over their shared affection for George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) not long after they first met. Their plan with “Shaun” was to import a straight version of Romero-informed carnage and horrific zombie scenarios to Britain and zoom in on the survival chances of a sad-sack salesmen with a hangover (Pegg), a lay-about pot dealer (Nick Frost) and a circle of acquaintances, relatives and ex-lovers that winks at British rom-com ensembles such as “Love, Actually.”
“Shaun of the Dead” also stars Kate Ashfield, Lucy David, Rafe Spall and Bill Nighy. We’ll screen “Shaun of the Dead” immediately after the on-stage Wright interview … and there may be some surprises in the program as well.
Wright and “Shaun” are the second half of our Zombie Summit on the opening night of the film festival. It begins at 7 p.m. with a screening of Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” (2004) and an on-stage conversation with Snyder and “The Walking Dead” creator, Robert Kirkman. That is a separately ticketed event, however. Both films are rated R, and standard restrictions apply.
The third edition of the Hero Complex Film Festival runs May 18 through May 21 at the Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live. Four-day passes are completely sold out, as is the May 20 screening of “Serenity” with Nathan Fillion. Tickets are also going fast for “An Evening with Stan Lee” on May 21. For a full list of screenings and ticket information, visit the festival landing page.
— Geoff Boucher
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