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DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hot Fuzz

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Even if you’re a huge fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s work with director Edgar Wright, you may not know these fun nuggets about their amazing buddy-cop comedy.

1. Ice cream inspired the film.

Hot Fuzz is the second chapter in the so-called “Cornetto Trilogy,” directed by Wright and named after the popular ice cream cone snack. The trilogy also features the director’s films Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End. Whereas Shaun represents the red strawberry flavored Cornetto and The World’s End is the green mint flavor, Hot Fuzz is the blue original flavor.


2. Simon Pegg’s character borrowed his name from a crew member.

Pegg’s character, Nicholas Angel, was named after the film’s music supervisor Nick Angel, who also worked on Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End.


3. Keep your eyes open for uncredited cameos.

There are plenty to spot. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson appears as the deranged Santa Claus who stabs Nicholas Angel in the opening montage. Cate Blanchett plays Angel’s jilted ex-girlfriend Janine. Attack the Block director Joe Cornish plays her new boyfriend, Bob. Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, and Bill Nighy (who also appeared in Shaun of the Dead) play the police inspectors who transfer Angel out of London, and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy director Garth Jennings plays a crack addict Angel busts in the opening montage.


4. Director Edgar Wright went home to shoot Hot Fuzz.

The film was shot in his hometown of Wells in Somerset.


5. But something is missing from the film’s version of Wells.

The Wells Cathedral—a 500-year-old medieval church at the center of the city—had to be digitally erased from shots because Wright wanted Sandford to technically be a village (an English settlement without a cathedral) and not a city (an English settlement based around a cathedral).


6. Wright was very familiar with the film’s supermarket.

As a teenager, Wright worked at the actual Somerfield that appears in the movie, and Wright’s real-life boss at the supermarket inspired the character of Simon Skinner.


7. Wright and Pegg put their moms to work.

Wright’s and Pegg’s mothers and Wright’s high school drama teacher play the befuddled judges for the village-of-the-year contest at the end of the film.


8. A great prop from Shaun of the Dead makes a cameo of its own.

The cricket bat from Shaun of the Dead is hidden in the background of the scene where Edward Woodward’s character is introduced to Nicholas Angel while doing surveillance of Sandford on a series of CCTV monitors.

9. There’s one other subtle Shaun cameo.

When Danny tosses a DVD copy of Supercop into a bin in the supermarket, a DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead can be seen next to it, but the cover uses the film’s Spanish and Portuguese title: Zombies Party.


10. The DVD collection in the film had a back story.

Danny Butterman’s massive DVD collection—including his prized copies of Point Break and Bad Boys II—is actually the DVD collections of Edgar Wright, his brother Oscar Wright, and fellow director Joe Cornish combined.


11. Those DVD clips took some work.

Every clip of Point Break and Bad Boys II used in Hot Fuzz had to be cleared by stars Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Martin Lawrence, and Will Smith … as well as their stunt doubles.


12. You can really visit the Crown Pub.

The scenes were shot in the Royal Standard in Beaconsfield.


13. There’s a trick for telling the twins apart.

The way to distinguish between the twin characters played by actor Bill Bailey involves looking at the books they read. One brother reads books by writer Iain Banks, while the other reads books by Banks’ very similar sci-fi nom de plume, Iain M. Banks.


14. Danny’s bloody flipbook illustrations have a pedigree.

They were drawn by Edgar Wright’s brother Oscar, a comic book artist.


15. Wright found a spot for his favorite band.

The music that plays over all of the paperwork processing scenes—which Wright humorously had edited together to seem like action scenes—is a song called “Here Come the Fuzz” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Wright’s favorite band.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.