Make it to The World’s End if it kills you!

I’m gonna cut right to the chase. The team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have done it again. The World’s End is nothing short of an excellent film and a great conclusion to The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (aka The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy aka The Fence Jump Trilogy), a not really, but sorta-kinda connected trilogy starting with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The final film has been on my mind since I finished Hot Fuzz for the first time. I wondered where they would go next. Being a fan of theirs since 2003 when I got my hands on a bootleg of Shaun of the Dead (I of course purchased it the day it was available here in the States) I felt that these guys could do no wrong…and they haven’t.

I’ll be totally honest. Even with being a mega Wright/Pegg/Frost fanboy for the last ten years I really wasn’t sure what to make of World’s End when I saw the first trailer. It looked like a plot involving an insane pub crawl, there was humor, sci-fi and some horror elements, but I couldn’t tell if it was going to be as great as the last two films. Well I was wrong in ever doubting their combined strengths.

The basic plot is this: Five friends who attempted said pub crawl and failed in 1990 have all gone their separate ways in life, except for their former leader, Gary King, played by Simon Pegg. He’s pushing 40, has never gotten a real job and is, sadly, still attempting to live out his glory days while his best friends have all moved on without him and are all living successful lives. One day he gets the idea to gather up the gang, go back to their hometown and attempt the pub crawl one more time. Twelve pubs, each guy must have at least one pint at each pub, finishing off the night at the famous The World’s End pub. He visits each friend individually and talks them all into  a weekend of heavy drinking. Once back in their hometown, they begin their journey and as the night goes on the gang starts to realize that something is amiss in their old stomping grounds.

This movie covers it all. Comedy, horror, sci-fi, teen angst, adulthood issues, everything. In true Cornetto Trilogy fashion, it isn’t hard to immediately fall in love with and care for these characters. Even with everything that’s going on around them, these five friends are grounded in reality and it’s this detail that makes this film and the ones before it so great. We see the hardships that all the characters have gone through in their lives. All of them are someone that we could know in our own lives. The characters and the film are superbly written. Like before, the humor is flawless and of course there is so much heart to this movie it’s almost impossible to not feel your heart burst with love for the movie.

The cast is rounded out by Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan – all well-known faces from British film and t.v., you’ll also notice many familiar faces from the other Cornetto films and other British productions strewn throughout.

While this has some similar vibes to and running gags from Shaun and Fuzz, it has a different tone to it overall, just as those films are not exactly alike. This was a great film and I can’t wait to sit down at home one day and have myself a Cornetto trilogy marathon.

A

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Don’t Go To The Reunion

Since hearing about Slasher Studios’ Don’t Go to the Reunion, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release. As many of you know I am not a only a huge movie buff, but probably one of the biggest horror geeks ever. So when I learned about this movie through Twitter and Facebook, I knew it was something I had to get my hands on. Don’t Go to the Reunion is a true labor of love in every sense. It’s clear from the opening moments that everyone involved loves horror films, specifically the “slasher” sub-genre.

The plot is standard 80’s style slasher fare: It’s 2004 and Scott, a horror movie fanatic and resident geek at his high school, is constantly picked on by the popular kids. A mean prank leading him to believe he’ll be getting a date with his long-time crush (of course) goes terribly wrong and his life seems ruined. Jump ahead ten years and the gang is gearing up for their class reunion. This leads them to a gathering at an old house in their hometown, but something seems off right from the start. Could Scott be planning his revenge?

This was a fun little movie that referenced so many classic and nearly-unknown slasher flicks that they did the almost impossible: they out-geeked me. Certain references or homages I picked up on instantly but then a few, that may have felt familiar, were then spelled out for the audience and I had more than one “Oh yeahhhh” moment. I had a lot of fun watching this. It did exactly what it was meant to. It had a good balance of scares and humor. I was hoping for a more of a Prom Night, Slaughter High (one of the many films referenced) or even a Cutting Class vibe, but it didn’t really go in that direction. So even though that’s what I sat down expecting, I’ll praise them for not playing it safe. At a run time of 75 minutes the pacing moves quickly without much chance of boring anyone and getting right to the good stuff. So if you’re tired of sequels, prequels and remakes check this out and let it take you back to the heyday of slashers. Horror buffs will love this movie and I will definitely be recommending it to the ones I personally know and to whoever stumbles upon this review.

For a movie made for approximately $18,000 the writing, direction, acting, cinematography and gore effects could have been much weaker, but all were at least decent, especially for being director Steve Goltz and Slasher Studios’ first full feature.  If they keep growing and are able to get a bigger budget for their following projects, I think we’ll start to see some really great horror flicks from them in the future and I will be waiting anxiously.

I gotta give this movie it’s deserving and genre-appropriate rating: B

Don’t Go to the Reunion is now available for pre-order at www.slasherstudios.com and releases Tuesday, August 20th. The dvd comes with some neat goodies, including an awesome 80’s style mini-poster by cover contest runner-up Jeff Quick.

Special thanks to screenwriter Kevin Sommerfield for allowing me to see and review the movie before its release. I had a great time with it.