The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy are three films directed by Edgar Wright, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The third and final film in the series has been announced, so I thought I’d take a look back at the other two films in my excitement and anticipation for the third.
The first in the cornetto trilogy is Shaun of the Dead. Released in 2004 Shaun of the Dead was the start of a stream of zom-com horror films and marked something of a milestone in contemporary horror. Since Shaun of the Dead there have been streams of horror comedies, particularly concerning zombies, both in the UK and the US for example Zombieland, Dog House and more recently Cockneys Vs Zombies.
Shaun of the Dead has gone down in history as one of the first in this horror comedy/zom com trend, previously horror comedies had been dabbled with but Shaun of the Dead reached a different kind of success.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have a brilliant chemistry and they’re both hysterically funny. Mix any horror film with the British sense of humour and you have a fantastic movie; just look at Dog Soldiers! Unlike a lot of American attempts at horror comedy, Shaun of the Dead touched on humour that’s subtle, witty and dry. It has that bleak atmosphere and a strange kind of cinematic beauty that makes it feel real. The American version Zombieland, which came out in 2009, is your typical brash, bright and hilarious film that relies more on over the top humour. Don’t get me wrong, Zombieland is one of my favourite films! But there is a clear difference in the type of humour, and Shaun of the Dead is vastly more memorable and successful worldwide than Zombieland.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost made their mark with this film and gained a solid audience. The cornetto trilogy had been a plan in the making and they kicked it off with strawberry. Anyone unfamiliar with this theme throughout the three films; each film contains a scene where the characters eat a cornetto, and each cornetto is colour coordinated to the film; the strawberry representing the blood and gore in Shaun of the Dead.
Arguably one of the best horror comedies so far full stop, Shaun of the Dead is no doubt going to be one of those films that sticks around for ever, and never gets boring.
Hot Fuzz is brilliant black comedy about a London police officer that finds himself transferred to a small town in the country. The small town representation is predominantly what makes the film funny, that and the ridiculous twist at the end! Simon Pegg’s talent with dry humour, and Nick Frost’s bumbling nature combine once again to make this film darkly funny, delivering everything good about the British sense of humour.
Hot Fuzz didn’t make as much of a mark as Shaun of the Dead and is slightly less memorable. Of course, Shaun of the Dead was hard to follow, but by the time Hot Fuzz was released (in 2007) black comedy was more prevalent, and Hot Fuzz struggled to be something we hadn’t seen before.
That being said even Hot Fuzz is one of a kind. There has yet to be a film, British or otherwise, that quite matches the level of humour, clever performances and hysterically ridiculous gore. Nothing, that I can think of, comes close to either of these films and they’re in a league of their own in terms of black comedy. This is largely down to the performances and casting, but the aesthetics of both the films and just everything about the way they’re constructed gives them a uniqueness that’s yet to be matched. The only film that comes to mind is Dog Soldiers, but with its dark horror elements and very subtle humour it’s almost a genre unto itself, and doesn’t particularly compare.
The third and final film in the trilogy has been announced, due for its US release in August 2013. The World’s End is a science fiction comedy in which a group of friends reunite to try and top their epic pub crawl from 20 years ago, only to become humankind’s only hope for survival. Little has been released about the film but we do have a trailer, posters and a date! I am so looking forward to this!