Raymond Fiore
October 08, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Q Most young filmmakers would be thrilled with a blurb-able review from a critic. How in bloody hell did virtually unknown British director Edgar Wright’s zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead get ringing endorsements from Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi, Stephen King, George Romero, and Quentin Tarantino for its print and TV ads?

A Good ol’ word of mouth. Released in the U.K. in April, Shaun had months to generate transatlantic buzz, prompting Tarantino and other heavyweights to catch advance screenings. When raves poured in via notes and calls, the marketing strategy became a no-brainer. ”It’s almost embarrassing,” says Wright. ”I actually need to send [King] a thank-you note today.”

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