Nick Frost's Danger! 50,000 Volts

Though we've seen little of him since last year's breakthrough zomedy Shaun of the Dead (or before it, actually), Nick Frost (who played Shaun's heavy-set best friend, Ed) is not using his celebrity from the film as a way to get his own television program. Danger! 50,000 Volts is in fact a series he shot in 2002 when he was an unknown over here. Now released largely due to his minor celebrity (note the emphasis of "zombies!" on the cover), Frost's survival show is a dependably funny version of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. With a warning that "this program may contain Americans," you immediately get a notion of what to expect from Frost's sense of humour. His drier-than-a-desert wit provides a number of timely punch lines during his dangerous tests, just not always when you'd like them. He covers some dire, sticky situations that bring up good questions of survival: minefields, komodo dragons, frostbite, kidnapping, venomous snakebites, the list goes on. While some facts raise the occasional eyebrow, Frost's info isn't exactly news (i.e., see a shark, gouge it in the eyes or gills), meaning if this were Ben Stein presenting the show it would be like paint drying; it's basically Frost's comic timing that is worth the price of admission. Nicely done as well are the "Too Dangerous To Film" illustrative guides, where Frost gives examples of dangerous situations that are impossible to shoot, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, quicksand and avalanches (fact: spit to see whether you're facing up or down in the snow). What will most likely attract fans though is the bonus feature "Danger! 50,000 Zombies," a survival guide to, well, zombies. Frost's idea is great, but executed poorly. Even with the help of cohort Simon Pegg (writer/star of Shaun) as the shiny-toothed zombie expert, Frost's 26-minute special is flaccid. The "Danger! Facts!" feature is a nice addition though, giving random dangerous facts, but if you're serious about picking this up, make sure it's not for the zombie factor because you're sure to be disappointed. (Rykodisc, www.rykodisc.com)