Well, The World’s End just came out, so what better time to talk about the trilogy that it completes: the Three Flavours Cornetto. Now, any critic worth a damn will tell you that this trilogy is one of the best ever, consisting of three, count them, THREE of the funniest movies ever made: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. But what is the Three Flavours? What does the name mean? In what sense is it a trilogy?
Well, first off, they all star Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman, among others. Second of all, they’re all directed by Edgar Wright, best known for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the upcoming Ant-Man, which might also star Simon Pegg. Third, they are all broad parodies of (respectively) the zombie, cop, and alien subgenres. Fourth and foremost, they all feature a character enjoying a Cornetto ice cream, usually in a flavor that ties in with the film’s theme. In Shaun, it’s red, representing blood. In Fuzz, it’s original, which has a blue wrapper, representing police. In End, it’s green, representing aliens. But the questions still remains, what’s the story behind this trilogy? That’s what I’ll be discussing today.
It all started with Spaced, A British sitcom directed by Wright and starring Pegg and Frost, which lasted for two years on the UK’s Channel 4. A sort of live-action Regular Show, the series revolved mainly around the surrealistic and colorful adventures of Tim and Daisy, two London twenty-somethings who decide to live together despite barely knowing each other, and eventually develop a romance of sorts. However, the show was cancelled before the romance could be fully explored. While there have been rumors about another season since 2007, but Pegg and Wright have fervently denied it in recent years. It was said during a brief epilogue that Tim and Daisy got married and had a daughter.
One particular episode of Spaced, “Art,” revolved around Tim (Pegg) hallucinating a zombie infestation after playing Resident Evil 2 while high. This episode inspired Wright to make a movie. What was this movie? Shaun of the Dead. Influenced heavily in style, writing, and even casting, by Spaced, the movie is what Wright calls a “ZomRomCom.” The movie also draws influence from the Romero zombie movies. In fact, Romero was so pleased with the tribute that he requested Pegg and Frost to play zombies in Land of the Dead. Despite being made over nine weeks with a six-million-dollar budget, the movie was a huge success, earning $30 million worldwide and a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie was even named the 49th best British movie of all time by Total Film magazine. It was also named the 3rd-funniest movie of all time by a Channel 4 poll, as well as one of the twenty greatest horror movies of all time by Stylus, Time, and Bloody Disgusting magazines. Now Magazine named it the best movie of the ’00s and a BBC poll named it the second-best movie of all time. Quentin Tarantino called it one of his twenty favorite movies.
This of course brings us to Hot Fuzz, one of my all-time favorite movies. Wright wrote the movie because, according to him, there aren’t really any good cop movies in the UK. Pegg and Wright wrote the script together over the course of a year and a half. The title is a parody of meaningless two-word action movie titles, like Point Break and Lethal Weapon. Pegg joked that such titles were joked by pulling adjectives and nouns out of hats. The movie revolves around Nicholas Angel (Pegg), an extremely dedicated London cop who is transferred to a small “crime-free” village called Sandford. While there, he uncovers the mass conspiracy behind the murders of several townspeople. At the end, Angel’s superiors beg him to return to London, but he declines and becomes the sheriff of Sandford. Hot Fuzz had twice the budget of Shaun of the Dead, and also managed to rake in nearly thrice as much money, with $81 million worldwide. The movie also has a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, just like its predecessor, and the Nostalgia Critic, a popular internet personality, calls it the funniest movie he’s ever seen.
I know what you’re thinking. Why am I telling you about the history of the movies instead of the origins of the trilogy? Well, believe it or not, these movies didn’t become a trilogy until after Hot Fuzz. You see, while writing The World’s End, an interviewer noted the appearance of Cornetto ice cream in Shaun and Fuzz, and asked Pegg if there was a connection. Pegg jokingly stated that it was a trilogy, like the Three Colors. “It’s the Three Flavours Cornetto,” remarked Pegg. The name stuck.
Now let’s talk about The World’s End, which opened last Friday. The movie was based on a screenplay Wright wrote when he was 21, titled Crawl, which revolved around teenagers on a pub crawl. He later decided to retool it to be about adults, in order to capture the feeling of returning to your home town and feeling out of place. He remarked that said feeling was like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and that was the inspiration for the film. Wright and Pegg used real pub names as foreshadowing for parts of the film, like the World’s End and the Famous Cock (don’t ask). A member of Jackie Chan’s team choreographed the stunts for the movie. I won’t be spoiling the plot, since the movie just came out, but trust me, it’s good. The movie’s already made over $11 million and has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
So, that’s the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. Late this week, I’ll be ranking the Batman movies, and next week, you’ll be seeing two articles on Futurama, followed by a review of the finale on Sunday. Until then…