Film on the Rocks Shaun of the Dead, Boulder Acoustic Society and Michael Trundle Monday, June 30, 2008 Red Rock Amphitheatre Better Than: Watching Shaun of the Dead without fake zombies sitting behind you
Shaun of the Dead was never a true cult classic: It made money at a decent clip right away, and was pretty well regarded by the critics. Only in its level of fan devotion does it embody the “cult” designation. The first time I saw the movie was in a friend’s bedroom on his computer, and as the hilarious opening scene rolled by, he informed me that Shaun of the Dead was the best movie he had ever seen.
I didn’t believe it back in 2004 when it was released, but looking back it’s a superbly crafted comedy that feels fun and smart, and definitely kills 90 percent of the comedies out there and 95 percent of the zombies. At Red Rocks last night, the crowd was not as raucous as I’d seen it for a movie at the venue (true cult classic The Big Lebowski wins that honor), but it was generally affable and got more so as the night progressed.
Boulder Acoustic Society didn’t inspire too much emotion in the crowd (or in me), however. The outfit seemed a bit out of place. DJ Michael Trundle (aka boyhollow) had more people moving, especially the few participants who showed up for the zombie costume contest and one (highly applauded) security guard. More importantly, his set sounded more like the hip, knowing soundtrack for a zombie movie, while even the addition of a spookier number with a musical saw couldn’t save Society’s roots rock.
Comedian Chuck Roy was fairly entertaining judging the contest, if a bit harsh at times. His calls for more audience support, especially one emphasizing the lack of costume in the audience as a whole (the stands were full and the contest only had 19 fans in it), eventually got them to support one participant he called the Investment Banker zombie due to his torn grey suit.
Overall, it was a beautifully mild, rain-free night of carnage and humor. It’s not the best flick (nor deserving of “cult” status), but Shaun of the Dead was perfect for last night.
-- James Anthofer