Fanspot
The Winchester Tavern

Saga Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy
Movie Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright (2004)
Once upon a time there was a parody. Largely inspired by the works of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, Zombie and Day of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead has managed to move beyond its status as a reverential comedy. A film now considered one of the best feature films with the undead.
The Winchester Tavern
The Winchester Tavern - Credit: Ewan Munro on flickr

“Grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all this to blow over.”

Shaun (Simon Pegg)

It is on the series Spaced that the first-time director Edgar Wright and the actor Simon Pegg develop the plot that will give birth to Shaun of the Dead. One episode in particular, focused on the video game Resident Evil II, co-written by Jessica Stevenson, another actress of the show, plants the first seed. Thereafter, with the complicity of Nick Frost, a friend of Simon Pegg, the latter and Edgar Wright exploit their common admiration for zombie films and more particularly for George A. Romero. They write the story of a man trying to get his girlfriend back in a London city plagued by a terrifying zombie epidemic. When the shooting starts, while the script has been largely refined, the team still leaves room for some improvisation. In London, the director set up his cameras at Ealing Studios but also insisted on shooting on natural sets. The Winchester Tavern, the headquarters of Shaun and Ed, the two friends at the center of the story, takes a prominent place. The Duke of Albany, south of the Thames, was chosen for the production. Given carte blanche to remodel the establishment to their liking, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright drew much of their inspiration from The Boogaloo, a Highgate bar whose tables they used extensively in their youth. Even the musical choices, with a preponderance of Queen songs, are inspired by the songs then available in the pub’s jukebox.

A perfect mix of pure horror and comedy, managing to impose touches of drama and romance, burlesque and gore, Shaun of the Dead revives a dying genre. When he saw the film, the master George A. When he saw the film, the master George A. Romero was so enthusiastic that he contacted Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright in order to offer them a cameo in his new feature film, Land of the Dead, the fourth part of his saga started in 1968. Then the two of them play zombies in a sequence that looks like a thank you from a veteran to two particularly talented representatives of the new guard. And this time, no question for them to taste an ice cream cone.

First part of the Cornetto Trilogy, preceding Hot Fuzz and The Last Pub Before the End of the World, Shaun of the Dead was first released in Great Britain on March 29, 2004. Benefiting from excellent word-of-mouth, especially in the United States, where it was distributed on a small scale, the film was a success in theaters but really gained its cult status on video.

200

The production recruited 200 extras to play the zombies: 150 adults and 50 children.

Scene at The Winchester Tavern in Shaun of the Dead
Scene at The Winchester Tavern in Shaun of the Dead – Credit: Studiocanal, Working Title Films, WT2 Productions, Big Talk Productions, Inside Track 2, FilmFour and De Wolfe Music
Scene at The Winchester Tavern in Shaun of the Dead
Scene at The Winchester Tavern in Shaun of the Dead – Credit: Studiocanal, Working Title Films, WT2 Productions, Big Talk Productions, Inside Track 2, FilmFour and De Wolfe Music

The Winchester (Shaun of the Dead)

This typical London pub has since closed and turned into an apartment complex.

When Shaun of the Dead‘s Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg took over the Duke of Albany to shoot some of the most important scenes in Shaun of the Dead, the pub was a hit on this side of the Thames. Renamed The Winchester Tavern for the purposes of the script, the pub did not enjoy its newfound popularity for long and closed its doors for good after filming. It has since been remodeled into an apartment complex. Nevertheless, the entire upper part of the building remains identical to the one seen in the film. As for the zombies, they are no longer part of the picture.

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London's guide to the 1000 cult locations for films, series, music, comics and novels

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By Gilles Rolland

Friday, January 21, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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