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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

running jokes in ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’

I saw Hot Fuzz for the third time this weekend — one of the vaunted Geeks’ Night Outs I’ve mentioned once or twice, and if you’re in the NYC area and might like to join me and some cool geeks for a movie, geeky conversation, food, and booze once in a while, lemme know. We’ll do Spider-Man 3 in two weeks, and there’s a shitload of geeky movies demanding to be GNO’ed this summer… Pirates of the Caribbean, The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Transformers, etc.

Anyway, I mentioned to one of the geeks afterward that I kinda kept hoping to hear, I dunno, Simon Pegg’s Nicholas or Nick Frost’s Danny say to someone in the supermarket shootout scene near the end, “You’ve got red on you.” (Amazing how many foodstuffs in the supermarket look astonishingly like blood under the right circumstances.) But then we agreed that no, that would have been too cheesy even for the Hot Fuzz guys, to make so explicit a reference to their own work. So imagine my surprise that night when I got home waaay too late but was so keyed up that I couldn’t sleep so I watched Shaun of the Dead again… only to discover that there’re two jokes repeated in both films, which I didn’t realize till I watched Shaun again. First, there’s the “Do you want anything from the shop?” bit — the proper response to which is, according to both films, “Cornetto,” which appears to be to ice cream what Velvetta is to cheese. And second, there’s the “What, you’ve never taken a shortcut through the gardens?” bit, which is really one joke over two films, as Pegg’s Shaun crashes through the fence in Shaun yet leaps gracefully over them in Fuzz.

Maybe there’s more. What repeated gags in both films did I miss?

Oh, and if you haven’t watched the extras on the Shaun disc, do it now. I was already madly in love with Simon Pegg, but now, after seeing him deliver lines of Shaun dialogue in the outtakes as both Michael Caine and John Lennon, I’m totally smitten.

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  • Mark

    Aside from the “Cornetto” and “Shortcut” gags, and a few more (detailed variously on the IMDB and Wikipedia pages for the movie — poker machine in the pub, etc.), there’s the fact that both movies end with Nick Frost ostensibly dead, and then finish with a “one year later” segment where he isn’t (or not quite).

  • Preston

    Also, in SotD when they have the rifle in the pub, Shaun says that Ed shot his sister in the leg with an air rifle. In Hot Fuzz Danny shoots a guy in the leg with an air rifle.

  • MaryAnn

    Yes, yes, the air rifle joke! I knew there was something I was forgetting!

  • JT

    I remember a scene in ‘Shaun of the Dead’ where Ed says “Yeah boy-eee!” and there’s one in ‘Hot Fuzz’ where Nick Frost says “Yeah Roy-eee”. Not exactly a repeated gag, but a definite reference to the earlier film.

  • MaryAnn

    That one’s a bit of stretch, maybe. :->

  • Mark

    Wasn’t there also a “he’s not my boyfriend” bit in Hot Fuzz?

  • MaryAnn

    Nope, I don’t remember that. Anyone?

  • I was too busy being entertained to look for any in-jokes. I did see a lot of homages to other works though–including a homage to the gun shop scene in the original “Dawn of the Dead.” (Yes, I’m such a geek.) And I suppose we can consider the whole last half of the movie as a homage to the “Murderville” episode of the original “Avengers.” (Yes, I am most definitely a geek.)

  • oh. my. gawd. “Murderville”… yes, there’s a lot of that in there (as well as “Village of the Damned,” and those bizarre three-parter “horror” movies the brits put out in the 70s.

  • MaryAnn

    Basically, we just have to admit that Pegg and Wright are genius geeks, and that we should all be groveling at their feet muttering, “We are not worthy… we are not worthy…”

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