Thursday night I attended a marathon screening of the Cornetto Trilogy; ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘The World’s End’. Having booked my tickets weeeeeks in advance in fear that they’d sell out, I essentially forgot that I had pre-booked them and so when the date rolled around it felt like a bit of a surprise gift to myself. Love it when that happens.
So at 7.30pm on Thursday I found myself right in the middle of the back row, with all the essentials; popcorn, large coke and an ice blast… obviously. ‘Shaun’ was released when I was 13 and so you could say it had a profound impact on my teenage years and my interest in films. My favourite thing about ‘Shaun’ and the rest of the trilogy (as well as references to ‘Spaced’) is their love of in-jokes and cool little Easter Eggs that make you just fall in love with the film every time you see it because each viewing leads to a new little nugget of fun referencing you didn’t quite see the other 14 times. My latest realisation is that during the Winchester scene after Liz has broken up with Shaun, Ed explains the whole plot of the film when trying to cheer Shaun up. “First thing tomorrow, we’ll have a Bloody Mary, grab a bite at the King’s Head, have a couple at the Little Princess, stagger back, then come back to the bar for shots.”
I’ve seen ‘Hot Fuzz’ much less than the hundreds of times I’ve seen ‘Shaun’ and so seeing that on the big screen was extremely fun, I enjoyed it more than I ever have. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Hot Fuzz’, but ‘Shaun’ just always has a piece of my heart. I love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s bromance in their films, ‘Hot Fuzz’, although a different set-up as far as their friendship is concerned, is no different to their ‘Shaun’ relationship.
‘The Worlds End’ on the other hand, is a different story. It was so… odd that Pegg and Frost’s characters were rather frosty towards each other (sorry, couldn’t resist). I missed their bromance in this film, and although there were amazing laughs and in-jokes a-plenty, I still felt there was some ‘thanks, babe’ missing. I’ve heard a lot of people say that this was their favourite of the whole trilogy. However, like I said, it was good and it was funny, and I loved that they tackled a bit of sci-fi a la ‘Paul’, but all that was sort of clouded by the fact that Simon Pegg’s character, Gary, made me feel slightly uneasy. It was fairly obvious as soon as the film began that Gary had a few problems, and that was built upon throughout the film and so even though I was laughing throughout most of it, I was still a little consciously aware that he was unhappy. And when he’s en route to desperately down his final pint, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for and pity Gary and that made me quite sad that they were ending the trilogy on a bittersweet note. I think I’m just used to a ‘happy-go-lucky’ Pegg character!
The premise however, the five old friends, pub crawl, blue blooded aliens; perfect! So much fun and somehow, although I’m only 22, quite nostalgic. Me and my friends have a local pub we used to frequent in our teens, and I couldn’t help but sit in the cinema thinking ‘omg it’d be so amazing if aliens attacked when we went to our old local’.
Ultimately, I’m clearly still in love with ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and I think I need to give ‘The World’s End’ another viewing to truly appreciate it. The marathon trilogy itself was an amazing atmosphere, having a room full of fans all passionate about the trilogy is a really good feeling. Each film began with a little message from Pegg, Frost and the director Edgar Wright, with the first message being my favourite; “everytime anyone says the word ‘fuck’ you have to applaud”. And we did. Every time.