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Phillip

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Phillip
Phillip
Phillip
Appeared in: Shaun of the Dead
Portrayed by: Bill Nighy


"He's not my dad, he's my step-dad."
―Shaun referring to Phillip

Phillip is a character in Shaun of the Dead and is the step-father to Shaun.

Background Edit

Phillip is the stepfather of the main protagonist, Shaun. From the very beginning, it is obvious that they have a strained relationship. It is only later in the film that the two have something akin to a reconciliation.

Shaun’s real father died when he was young and Philip married his mother, Barbara, when Shaun was 12 years old. As the movie begins, Philip and Barbara have been happily married for 17 years.By his clothes and demeanor, it would appear that Philip lives an upper-middle-class existence. His appearance is very neat, and his prized Jaguar indicates a successful life.

We are first introduced to Philip when he pays Shaun a visit at Foree Electric. He is there to remind Shaun that it’s time for his bi-monthly visit. Shaun, of course, seems to resent the reminder. Philip also suggests that he bring flowers this time, since he forgot to do so on Mother’s Day. Philip then weakly smiles and tells Shaun that they look forward to seeing him. After pointing out to Shaun that "You’ve got red on you," Philip leaves.

Z-Day Edit

"I'm perfectly alright, Barbara. I ran it under a cold tap."
―Phillip, to Barbara

As the events of Z-Day unfold, we next hear about Philip when Shaun talks to his mother on the phone. She tells Shaun that some men tried to break into the house (zombies, of course), and one of them bit Philip. This doesn’t seem to bother Shaun in the least, and he and Ed begin to casually plot the best way to kill Philip before he can turn into a zombie.

Shaun and Ed eventually arrive at Philip’s house. As Ed admires Philip’s Jaguar, Shaun relates a story about Philip once chasing him around the garden with a bit of wood after a much younger Shaun tampered with the car. Shaun then goes inside to dispose of his stepfather.

Shaun greets his mother and inquires about Philip. She tells Shaun that he’s in the den and then starts preparing some tea and sandwiches. Shaun takes his cricket bat and heads to the den. Philip is there, sitting quietly with his eyes closed. His face is pale, and he looks to have been sweating. Shaun believes him to already be dead, so he raises the bat over his head and prepares to strike. At this point, Philip speaks.

A moment later, Shaun’s mother enters the room. Shaun urges her to leave the house, but she says that she will not leave without Philip. She mentions that she has called the doctor, and Philip seems to object. He believes all the reports on television are nonsense, and the hysteria has been caused by a bunch of rampant drug addicts.

Philip zombie

At the mention of his bite wound, Philip assures Barbara that he ran it under some cold water. He also mentions that they received their immunization shots when they visited the Isle of Wight.

Shaun continues to try to convince his mother to leave Philip, even going so far as to accuse him of child molestation (which he quickly admits is a lie). Philip enters the room. Shaun once again contemplates killing him, but can’t bring himself to do it.

The trio head outside and prepare to leave in the Jaguar (Ed wrecked their other car so that he could ride in the Jag). Several zombies ambush them, and Philip is bitten again. He is reluctant to give Shaun the car keys, but finally relents and tells Shaun to protect Barbara.

As they drive towards the apartment of Liz, Shaun’s girlfriend, Philip complains about the loud music which is being played on the radio. Ed and Shaun ignore him. When Barbara mentions the loud music, Ed politely turns it down.

After stopping to rescue Liz and her roommates, everyone piles back into the car. Philip is looking worse, sweating and bleeding profusely. He weakly nudges Shaun’s arm and apologizes to him. Shaun dismisses him at first, but Philip is persistent.

Philip tells Shaun that he was hard on him because he didn’t want Shaun to give up after the death of his father. He always knew Shaun had potential, but he just lacked motivation. He thought Shaun needed someone to look up to and always hoped that it might be him. He tells a tearful Shaun that he loves him and then passes away.

Moments later, Philip rises from the dead and attacks. The group flees from the Jaguar and locks Philip inside. As Shaun tries to convince his mother that nothing is left of the man she married, a zombified Philip reaches into the front seat and turns off the stereo (which was once again blaring). The group then flees on foot towards the Winchester, leaving Philip locked inside the Jaguar.

This is the last time we see Philip. While he may have been killed later by military sweep teams, his fate is unknown.

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