Saturday, 20 July 2013

Tour of the dead June 2013 - With The Jennings Family!

Tour of the dead June 2013 – The Jennings family visit key filming locations from Shaun of the dead!

Hey guys, welcome back to Jonny’s cult films! Back in June my wife Gaynor & I came up with the idea of taking our Shaun of the dead fanatic daughter on a tour of as many filming locations from the film as we could possibly manage in one day. Thanks to the wonders of the ‘tinternet all we needed was a simple Google search, a sat-nav (essential for this kind of endeavour!) and a full tank of petrol. With post codes in hand and excitement in our hearts we hit the open road. Here is Molly’s account of her special day...

Location 1: Liz’s flat - ‘Cunningham House’ Hill Crest, High Gate.

"Don't worry folks, Fred and Molly have our back covered!"

‘’Upon arriving I could tell straight away which flat was in the film as it hasn’t changed much at all in the ten years since filming began. It is a beautiful, quiet location hidden away on a private road. The complex isn’t supposed to be accessed by the general public and it felt like we had attracted the suspicions of an elderly man watering his plants. Mum decided to wait with the car whilst dad took some pictures of me and my brother Fred. He took a snap of us by the main entrance to the building where Shaun and the others run out and attack zombies before escaping in Phillip’s Jag. It occurred to me that all of the cast would have been in the same exact that I was now stood, including my favourite character Dianne! It was weird seeing the same
place that I have as a screen saver on my lap top. All in all it was a great location!’’ ****
Location 2: Shaun’s house – 83 Weston Park.

"Hello Molly, Fancy Nipping to Nelson's to get us some Cornetto's?"

‘’Next up on the tour was the house where Shaun lives with his flat mates Ed & Pete. In the film the house looked a bit run down and we were led to believe that the area was a little shabby. I was surprised at how nice the suburb actually was. In fact I hardly recognised the house and I was convinced that it was next door at first. Since filming the front garden had been cleared and shrubbery was now growing up the front of the building. Dad explained that the house was owned by a family so we probably shouldn’t bother them by going onto the property. He also pointed out that the interior of the house was filmed entirely on a sound stage in a studio so the inside of the actual house would be very different in real life. I did wonder if the back garden was used in the film. It would have been very cool if Shaun’s shed was still in place! We couldn’t tell as the garden is walled and inaccessible from the street. Dad took some pictures of the house and the road before heading over the road to Nelson’s newspaper shop just over the road. This location was absolutely brilliant! It would have got five stars if the house looked more like it did in the film. I’m glad the owners were out as we were there for ages!’’ ****

Location 3: Nelson’s Newspaper shop - Weston Park grocery store.

"I Can't believe you sent Molly to Nelson's shop for Cornetto's at a time like this!"

‘’One of the coolest things about this location is that it is just across the road from Shaun’s house, just like it is in the film! I thought the shop was fantastic as nothing has changed; even the floor tiles and fridges looked the same. We took some photos and we even got Cornetto’s just like Shaun does!! The Asian shopkeeper seemed oblivious to our unusual behaviour, perhaps we aren’t the first people to take pictures of his shop? We took some more photos of the shop exterior and dad even filmed the journey Shaun makes from his front gate to the shop entrance on mum’s phone. I thought this was one of the best locations of the day. It was certainly recognisable and fun to visit!’’ *****

Location 4: Shaun’s work place – Foree Electric aka Garland Electric.

"I cant belive that Fred has forgot to turn up for his work experience!"

‘’The journey from Weston Park to ‘Foree Electric’ was quite long and definitely not a journey I think Shaun would have been doing regularly if it was real life! The shop is located on a busy high street and we had to park in a car park about five minutes away. The store is still a fully functioning electronics store with the name ‘Garland Electronics’ and from the inside looked somewhat like it did in the movie. It was a bit run down and the carpets were damaged but it was very cool being in Shaun’s work place. Dad really wanted to buy a new 3D Blu ray player and really wanted the accolade of buying one from here. Unfortunately the model he wanted was priced up wrong and ended up being more expensive than he wanted to pay. He mentioned Shaun of the dead to the owner but the man didn’t work here at that time but he did mention ‘Little Britain’ being filmed in a jewellers up the road. Dad declined the Blu ray player, which he was a bit disappointed about but managed to take some pictures of the interior of the shop. By this time we were absolutely starving so we headed back to the car and ate our sarnies in a B&Q (Home Depot) car park! Overall this location was okay; it was recognisable from the film and was nice to see. ***

Location 5: Barbara & Phillip’s house – 37 Abbotts Gardens.

"I Think i spotted Fred at Barbara's house, lets knock and see if he is there"

‘’Whilst eating dinner I suggested visting the house where Shaun’s parents live. Dad didn’t have the address on his list so we used mum’s phone to Google the post code. Luckily it was only a short drive from our current location so we decided to go. Although the area hasn’t changed at all the house looked very different due to the camera angles in the film. We even drove right past it at first! The house owners were in when we pulled up so we decided to take pictures from the car and not look like complete mentals! We noticed the small area of grass where Ed drives Pete’s car into a road sign and made our way over to the final stop of the tour... The Winchester!! I’m glad we saw Barbara’s house. I would have liked a better opportunity to see the house properly but it was cool seeing just how different camera’s can make a location look.’’ ***

Location 6: The Winchester public house – New Cross.

"Tell Fred to forget about work experience, this "W"is for Winchester, we'll see him there!"

The Winchester pub is supposed to be Shaun and Ed’s local watering hole however in actual fact we are at least an hour away from the pub! It is located in New Cross which means driving through the docklands and past the Olympic stadium. Rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon is never fun but considering where we are headed I don’t mind one bit! After a wrong turn down a rather dodgy looking estate we finally find the Holy Grail on our little tour. I had read up about the pub before we went on this tour so I already knew that the pub had been turned into apartments but I was still surprised by what we saw. The side entrance and phone box was completely removed and the angled front had been taken out altogether and re-painted. It was cool that they had left the old pub sign in place. What alarmed us most was how different things looked geographically. The angle of the park entrance where the gang pretend to be zombies looked very different and was a lot closer to the pub than it looked in the movie. That being said it was totally awesome seeing the Winchester in real life! I took loads of snaps from just about every angle possible before returning to the car. This was by far the best location of the day!’’ *****

‘’To be honest this has to be the best day ever! I really enjoyed seeing all the locations for Shaun of the dead. It was an experience I will never forget. It was absolutely brilliant and the Winchester was definitely my favourite setting. Now I would love to meet the cast in person!!!’’

So there you have it folks. I think it’s safe to say we gave Molly a very memorable and unique Birthday experience. I am very pleased she enjoyed the location tour as much as we hoped she would. Thanks to and for their invaluable information on the filming addresses!

Bigmangav July ‘13

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