At the time I set out to see The World’s End with Simon Pegg (currently the Star Trek series engine-room man “Scotty”), I didn’t know the film was the third in the Cornetto Three Flavours trilogy, a series of dark, genre comedies – zombie, buddy cop, and space alien sci-fi.
The trilogy started in 2004 with the film Shaun of the Dead, continued in 2007 with Hot Fuzz and culminates with The Worlds End. The trilogy’s name refers to Cornetto brand ice cream flavors – strawberry for Shaun, blueberry for Fuzz, and mint chocolate chip for World’s End.
After spending Saturday, Sunday and Monday viewing them in order, I can tell you that it doesn’t make any difference what day of the week or in what order you see them. They represent works that have thematic connections, ensemble style casts and ongoing gags but the stories are unrelated per se.
The actors do not play continuing characters in the three films. They have very little to do with ice cream although there is a lot of blood flowing. As for Cornetto ice cream, the connections are in sight, but subtle and unimportant to anyone just out for a fun movie.
Let’s run through the trio. They all star the above-mentioned Pegg. Nick Frost is the co-star and other familiar actors show up in all the films in one way or another. They are all co-written by Pegg and director Edgar Wright. They are all British films, and two of the three feature former James Bond portrayers.
In Shaun of the Dead, Pegg plays a simple electronics store salesman, at odds with his girlfriend and unable to help his Mum as much as he would like. He is a good person out to change these conditions. He has a lazy friend, played by Frost, who has been living off him for several years, does not work, plays endless video games and likes to drink beer and eat.
To cause extra problems, the zombie apocalypse hits England and interferes with Pegg’s plans. The movie is an entertaining and witty look at the zombie films, especially George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead. While fun to watch, there is a lot of zombie blood and gore. Be warned.
In Hot Fuzz, Pegg plays a citation-winning London Bobby sent down to a small village so he won’t spoil the career of everyone else in the Police Department. In the village he runs into Frost again who is a local Constable and the son of the Police Chief. Soon an axe murderer, dressed as the Grim Reaper, starts the bloodletting. There is more going on here than meets the eye. Besides spoofing serial killer films, it is also a great imitation of the buddy-cop films, culminating in slow motion lead (incredible and unbelievable amounts) flying around during the big shoot out.
The World’s End is about a group of five pals from a small village who, 20 years ago, attempted to go through all 12 of the village’s pubs, drinking a pint in each one. The opening, and very funny montage, highlights this epic quest.
The story then moves 20 years in the future (today) and brings the five middle aged guys back to the village to try, once again, to complete the quest and make it to the final pub known as The Worlds End. Like the other two films, more than a big bender is in store. This time it’s space aliens in the form of blue-blooded robots, which now reside in the city. It’s a lot like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (either 1956 or 1978) with better effects and more fun. You can take the film title seriously.
Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are available in Blu-ray in a two-disc set for under $10. The World’s End is now in theaters.
Rated SOTD 3.0 out of 4.0, HF 3.3 out of 4.0 and TWE 3.6 out of 4.0. BEWARE the bloody violence in all three films. Pick up a package of Cornetto Ice Cream cones if you can find them. Get the red, blue and green ones, as they are relevant to the films. Cornetto Cones rated 3.5 yummies.