The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy (aka Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, or just The Cornetto Trilogy) is a series of films directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg and Wright also serve as the writers for all three films; the movies are all distributed by Universal (or former sub-label Rogue Pictures), and produced through their British subsidiary Working Title (previously a part of Polygram Filmed Entertainment).
The films do not share a universe, instead functioning as a Thematic Series; this ranges from a recurring Production Posse, numerous Mythology Gags, and the smashing of two film genres together to the appearance of Cornetto frozen ice creams that give the series its name.
The individual films are:
- Shaun of the Dead (2004), a Rom Com set during the Zombie Apocalypse. A RomZomCom, if you will.
- Hot Fuzz (2007), a Buddy Cop Action/Horror Mystery Comedy set in dull, rural England.
- The World's End (2013), a Sci-Fi Comedy about recreating a pub crawl, only to stumble upon an Alien Invasion.
See also: Spaced, the earlier series on which the team formed, though it differed in its own creative team by being co-created/written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes, with Wright having less input overall and Frost a supporting actor rather than in a starring role. Should not be confused with Paul, another film distributed by Universal, written by and starring Pegg & Frost, who play a pair of Brits that pick up an alien during a Road Trip; the movie is in no way related to the series, and has no involvement with Edgar Wright.
The series as a whole contains examples of:
- Affectionate Parody
- Ascended Extra: Some of the Production Posse get more prominent roles in the following film.
- Martin Freeman was a nearly voiceless cameo in Shaun of the Dead, a minor character in Hot Fuzz, and one of the leads in The World's End.
- Rafe Spall was a minor character in Shaun of the Dead & one of the supporting cast in Hot Fuzz. He went back to a minor character in The World's End
- Paddy Considine was a supporting character in Hot Fuzz & one of the leads in The World's End.
- Demoted to Extra: Bill Nighy plays a major role in Shaun of the Dead, gets a brief appearance at the beginning of Hot Fuzz, and appears as a voice-only role at the climax of The World's End.
- Author Appeal: Man Children. See below for examples.
- Black Comedy
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: In each film, the Protagonist played by Simon Pegg has a different colored hair:
- Shaun of the Dead: The zombie-fighter with the stained office-shirt has a somewhat red-hair to keep the movie's color motif.
- Hot Fuzz : The by-the-book Super-Cop sent from London to clean the town has a properly-trimmed angelic-yellow hair.
- The World's End: The hopeless man-child, The Sisters of Mercy Fanboy, has dyed black hair.
- Bloody Hilarious: The trilogy is called Blood and Ice Cream, and each movie serves it up deliciously.
- Britain is Only London: Averted in all three films.
- Shaun of the Dead takes place in London, but it's stated that the Zombie Apocalypse is a nationwide crisis - the characters just happen to be in London.
- Hot Fuzz & The World's End both start in London, but soon relocate to rural towns of Sandford & Newton Haven respectively. Furthermore, both involve underlying conspiracies, neither of which concern London; Hot Fuzz is focused entirely on Sandford, whereas The World's End is global.
- Call-Back/Foreshadowing: Everything from the start of each film will be referenced or inverted later in the film. The films are The Law of Conservation of Detail Up to Eleven.
- The Cameo: Loads and loads of famous British actors across all three films. The cameos increase in number in each film, so chances are you'll recognize at least one person.
- Chekhov's Gag: Throughout the trilogy, jokes said early in the movie often come back in either a more dramatic or an even funnier form.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The colour of the Cornetto appearing in each film represents the genre of that film: respectively, strawberry red for blood, original blue for police, and mint green for aliens (though the aliens in the film aren't actually green).
- Darker and Edgier: Despite being the "Blood and Ice Cream" name, the movies get less Bloodier and Gorier (and arguably less ice cream-ey) consecutively. However, despite the lesser bloodshed and body counts as the series goes on, do not assume this means the movies become Lighter and Softer.
- Distant Finale: Each film has a final vignette showing how the (surviving) characters are doing some time on. The World's End includes a straight-out "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
- Foreshadowing: Every line in the first halves of these movies are pretty much hints to future events. Shaun of the Dead and The World's End especially since an entire line of dialogue in each summarizes the whole plot before they even start kicking.
- Freudian Trio: In all three films, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's characters both alternate and play-off between these three states.
- For Pegg:
- Shaun: Ego
- Nicholas Angel: Superego
- Gary King: ID
- For Frost:
- Ed: ID
- Danny Butterman: Ego
- Andy Knightly: Superego
- For Pegg:
- Heterosexual Life-Partners:
- Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, really. All three of their characters in trilogy serves as this to one another in some capacity.
- Shaun of the Dead: Shaun & Ed
- Hot Fuzz: Detectives Andy Cartright & Andy Wainwright; Nicholas Angel & Danny Butterman become this as the film goes on (although some may beg to differ on the "heterosexual" part).
- The World's End: The dynamic between Gary and Andy as grown-ups is of two people who were once this for each other, only for things to turn very sour.
- Manchild: The main theme connecting the three films, besides the gore and the ice cream. All of them deal with the idea of a Man Child; the consequences, the benefits, and the potentially unhealthy reasons for acting like one.
- Mythology Gag:
- Simon Pegg's character takes a shortcut over garden fences in each movie: Shaun of the Dead has it collapsing underneath Shaun, Hot Fuzz has Angel clear it easily (but Danny smashes through it), and in The World's End it topples under Gary's weight.
- Each movie has a scene involving Nick Frost and a Cornetto ice-cream: Strawberry in the first movie, which symbolises the gore; Blue Classico in the second, which matches the police's blue uniforms; and a mint one in the third for Little Green Men.
- Each movie involves at least one pub featuring the same fruit machine with an identical jingle: in the first, all they do is go to the pub, and the characters end up setting up fort in one; in the second, Danny and Nick always hang out at the pub and even have a shoot-out there; and the third centres around performing a pub crawl.
- Identical duos appear in all three films: the zombie twins in Shaun of the Dead, the two Andys and the Sgt Turners in Hot Fuzz, and the twins in The World's End.
- Each movie has a scene where either Simon Pegg or Nick Frost's character drives, with Nick Frost driving twice and Simon Pegg driving once.
- Several examples hark back to Spaced. For example, in Shaun Of The Dead, the trolley from outside 23 Meteor Street appears outside Shaun and Ed's flat and Tyres later turns up as a zombie.
- Some form of Insistent Terminology crops up in all three movies. In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun does not like the Z-Word. In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas insists on using politically correct terms that's accept by the police force handbook. In The World's End, there's an insistence in not calling the antagonists "robots".
- Sequel Escalation: Zig-zagged. Each film is more ambitious than the last, but the on-screen body count actually gets lower in each subsequent film.note
- Spiritual Successor: To Spaced. In fact, Shaun Of The Dead is based on the Spaced episode where Tim plays too much Resident Evil 2 and starts seeing zombies everywhere.
- Thematic Series: The three films aren't set in the same universe but are connected thematically.