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Move over, zombies: Simon Pegg recasts ‘Shaun of the Dead’ as a coronavirus PSA

Simon Pegg next to packs of toilet paper in his coronavirus PSA.
In the 2004 zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead,” Simon Pegg didn’t have to deal with a run on toilet paper.
(YouTube)

Coronavirus confinement is a great time to have a zombie movie on your resume. Just ask actor-comedians Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who’ve revised a scene from their 2004 horror comedy “Shaun of the Dead” to suit current coronavirus protocols.

As far as PSAs go, it’s cute.

In the original, Pegg and Frost’s characters, Shaun and Ed, urgently make a plan together to rescue Shaun’s mom, whack his stepdad, rescue his ex-girlfriend and make it to a safe place where they can sit down and wait it out over a nice cup of tea — or perhaps a pint.

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“If I’m going to hole up somewhere, I want to be somewhere familiar, I want to know where the exits are, and I want to be able to smoke,” Ed says in the original scene, prompting the plan’s shift to end with a pint at the Winchester pub.

The new scene takes place entirely on the phone, of course, because social distancing.

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Instead of killing stepdad Philip if he’s been infected, Pegg now urges Frost to “follow the NHS guidelines to the letter,” referring to suggestions from Britain’s National Health Service that people stay apart. “Sure, I want to kill him,” Pegg says. “I just can’t right now.”

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Then there’s the rewrite of a questionable joke in the original film in order to change the word “gay” to “gray.” Pegg is confused only for a moment.

“I see what you’re doing,” he says rapid-fire, without emotion. “I know it’s 2020, but the original joke wasn’t intended as homophobic. It was more a comment on the absurdity of straight-male appropriation of homophobic signifiers in order to denote their aversion to emotional candidness.”

Blah blah blah, Frost mimes.

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The new version tellingly never makes it to the pub. Instead, Pegg advises Frost to simply stay home, have a cup of tea, reach out to friends and wait it out. Frost’s only problem with that? He’s running out of toilet paper.

Pegg, of course, has absolutely none. Zero. Zip. Nada. Honest. And it’s a really good thing he and Frost aren’t talking by video chat, because a picture is worth a thousand sheets.

Here’s the full, original “Shaun of the Dead” scene for comparison.

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