Written and directed by Drew Cullingham and produced by Nicholas David Lean & James Fisher, “Shed of the Dead” is a 2019 British zombie comedy horror film. The film stars actors from small screen TV series, as well as big screen names who are iconic in the world of horror.
Spencer Brown plays Trevor, who is unemployed and unhappily married to Bobbi, played by Lauren Socha. Trevor enjoys playing fantasy games with his friend Graham, played by Ewen MacIntosh, while Bobbi is the breadwinner of the family and works at a salon alongside Harriet (Emily Booth), who uses the cover of the salon to give clients sexual encounters. The foursome all knows each other, while Trevor and Bobbi are a couple, Graham fantasises about Harriet, and Harriet knows the lads through Bobbi. Due to the unhappy relationship, Trevor spends a lot of time at an allotment, cooked up in a shed where he paints figurines and makes vodka. The allotment is overseen by Mr Parsons (Kane Hodder). One day a zombie outbreak occurs which catches Trevor off guard, and he must fight to stay alive. Along his adventure he takes some advice from one of the other plot owners on the allotment – Doc (played by Bill Mosely), who is actually a trained killer and hunter of supernatural so has no problem with zombies. Trevor and Graham manage to make it to Trevor’s home where they find out that Bobbi has had a sexual encounter with Harriet because they considered it was the end of the world. A plan is formulated, but before it can be sprung Harriett is attacked by one of her old clients who is now a zombie – Derek, played by Michael Berryman. Graham gets bitten too, so Trevor and Bobbi are convinced to leave them both behind to have zombie sex. They escape to the safe haven of Trevor’s shed, although it really isn’t that safe at all. Bobbi gets bit and decides to go out in a blaze of glory, leaving Trevor to escape. The whole film is wrapped up by narration by Brian Blessed and some comic book style imagery.
While I love zombie films this one will not make my top 10 or even my top 25 favourites. It feels a little out of time as if it were made for the “lads mag” generation with all its vulgar sexuality and gross out gags. The cast do a decent job at times but are let down by throw away narrative and a script lacking depth. It was great to see some genuinely big names attached to this, but the roles they were put in made them instantly forgettable. The pace of the film was slow, it took about half an hour for anything interesting to happen, and then it was not really handled that well, more just a funny situation that the characters find themselves in. I do not know if this was down to bad editing or experience behind the camera, but it did affect the feel of the film. I get that this was more tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously, but the film tried hard to engage its audience and fell flat at times doing so. It is hard not to take it seriously when it tries so hard to be taken seriously itself.
All in all, this felt like a lazy and unoriginal attempt to emulate the success of another British zombie comedy film which attained more cult status in “Shaun of the Dead”. While the film did have the right ingredients to be a low budget success, it somehow failed to produce anything special.