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9 Best Songs In The Cornetto Trilogy | ScreenRant

In the Cornetto Trilogy series of films, music is used to foreshadow events, punctuate jokes, or aptly convey or enhance certain atmospheres. All three films—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End—have underrated soundtracks featuring British greats such as Queen and Primal Scream, to some more left-of-center choices like I Monster's "The Blue Wrath," which plays over Shaun of the Dead's opening credits.

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Edgar Wright, director of the three movies, is known for using music in creative ways, such as tightly syncing the action on screen with the rhythm of the song. Whether these nine songs from the Cornetto Trilogy are cut to the action or not, they are undoubtedly the best and most memorable tracks from the films.

9 "Ghost Town" - The Specials (Shaun Of The Dead)

The first thing the audience hears of the spot-on zombie spoof Shaun of the Dead, even before any visuals appear on screen, is the eerie opening notes of "Ghost Town" by The Specials. Right from the get-go, the film's diegetic sound is synced to the song, with the clang of the "last orders'" bell landing on the first beat of the verse as the camera lands on Shaun glugging a beer.

This is quintessential British ska and an aptly portentous song choice for a movie that's about to show North London turned into a ghost town. From the wavering Hammond organ chords to the minor key brass melody, there isn't a better choice of song to set the spooky yet fun tone of the film.

8 "Caught By The Fuzz" - Supergrass (Hot Fuzz)

Closing credits music is just as important as the music that introduces viewers to a film. It doubles down on the resolution of act three and leaves audiences feeling satisfied. Or it does in Hot Fuzz, at least, as Supergrass' hot-headed barrage of fuzz serves as a valedictory fist-in-the-air after the bad guys are, of course, caught by the fuzz—"fuzz" is, of course, a slang word for the police.

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In contrast to the delicate acoustic twangs of "The Village Green Preservation Society" when Nicholas first arrives in Sandford, his work has now been done—he's exposed the corruption and arrested half of the village, and it leaves viewers feeling energized, making this a perfect curtain call song choice.

7 "Panic" - The Smiths (Shaun Of The Dead)

In one of the cleverest scenes from Shaun of the Dead, Shaun mindlessly flips through the TV channels, ostensibly avoiding hearing about the imminent zombie apocalypse, yet the hodgepodge of clips still tells the story, from a nature documentary that says "eaten alive" to a live clip of The Smiths performing "Panic," the lyrics of which are, "Panic on the streets of London." This is a classic example of Wright's ingenious directing and, with Johnny Marr's shimmering guitar and Morrisey's ghostly vocal delivery, a very appropriate song choice considering the events that are soon to befall Shaun and his friends.

6 "Loaded" - Primal Scream (The World's End)

The inciting incident of The World's End, one of the best end-of-the-world-themed comedies, is one of Gary's AA peers asking if he's disappointed that he never made it to the eponymous final pub on the 12-pub crawl. As Gary's face morphs into a cheeky smile and the camera zooms in, the opening sample from Primal Scream's "Loaded" begins: "We wanna be free to do what we want to do, and we wanna get loaded, and we wanna have a good time."

As the hip-hoppy beat, stumbling piano riff, and cheeky brass stabs enter, the audience is shown expositional clips of Gary's friends living their adult lives, blissfully unaware of what is to come. In addition to establishing, with a few bars, the feel-good flavor of the film, the opening sample is surely Gary's mantra and therefore the perfect choice of introductory music.

5 "The Village Green Preservation Society" - The Kinks (Hot Fuzz)

This jolly song, written by Ray Davies and performed by The Kinks, perfectly encapsulates the beguiling front that the village of Sandford postulates. Sandford's quaint Tudor cottages, country pub, everyone-knows-everyone vibe, and, of course, its village green are integral to the plot of Hot Fuzz. And if there was one song to conjure up this setting, it would be The Kinks' homage to the English hamlet lifestyle.

It's almost as though Sandford's NWA—Neighborhood Watch Alliance—has taken this song, about preserving the English village lifestyle, too seriously, as they terminate any threat to their idyllic hamlet, whether it be a human statue or a group of teenage loiterers. The song somehow manages to be light and peppy while also striking a tone that something isn't quite right with Sgt. Angel's new home. That's why it's such a perfect choice to establish Sandford to the audience and to Sgt. Angel.

4 "Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen (Shaun Of The Dead)

Shaun of the Dead is packed with callbacks, and one of the best happens in this scene. After making it to The Winchester, the jukebox fires up by itself, echoing the sounds of Queen's legendary "Don't Stop Me Now" while hoards of zombies clamor about outside. "Who the hell put this on?" asks Shaun, to which Ed replies, "It's on random!"

Ed, Shaun, and Liz quickly gear up with some pool cues and give the zombified landlord synchronized smacks in time to the jaunty '80s song. This climactic scene before the pub gets overrun by zombies is so memorable for the juxtaposition of the upbeat, jolly song—with the lyrics "I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball"—amidst the gory, high-stakes situation the group is in. It's one of the best uses of Queen songs in movies.

3 "I'm Free" - The Soup Dragons (The World's End)

The Soup Dragons are something of a one-hit-wonder, making the inclusion of their song in a film about a protagonist who peaked early and never again captured the highs of his youth very fitting. "I'm Free," a Rolling Stones cover, is the song that Gary plays on his car's tape player after picking up his posse from High Wycombe station, while they bemoan the dilapidated car that he's had since he was a teenager.

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The song is buoyant and sounds like a world of possibility awaits, not only in the music but the lyrics, too: "I'm free/ to do what I want/ any old time." It's also perhaps ironic because the group is about to be trapped in a town in the midst of an alien invasion.

2 "Romeo And Juliet" - Dire Straits (Hot Fuzz)

Most of the music from the Cornetto Trilogy is by British artists. After all, the films are firmly rooted in British culture, from the plethora of great scenes set in pubs to the slang and accents to the theatre, as in the case of this song by London-based '70s blues-rock group Dire Straits.

What makes this one of the best songs from the films is its ingenious usage. While at the scene of the grisly traffic collision—not "accident"—involving the play's two lead actors, Simon Skinner pulls up in his car while the song emits from his car stereo. Sgt. Angel already has his suspicions about Skinner and is prompted to investigate further after clocking the unusual coincidence.

1 "20 Seconds To Comply" - Silver Bullet (The World's End)

The Cornetto Trilogy isn't short on fight scenes, from Liz, Shaun, and Ed vs. The Winchester's landlord in SOTD to the final shootout between Danny/Nicholas and the NWA in Hot Fuzz. In The World's End, the group is up against robots who have taken over the town, and one of the most memorable fight scenes is when Andy headbutts a robotic Pierce Brosnan and instigates an all-out bar brawl, accompanied by Silver Bullet's high-energy '90s hip-hop track.

The music works so well here because it's the first time Andy has drops his sensible shtick and lets the wrath of his anger do the talking; "20 Seconds..." sounds exactly like that. The choppy fast-paced drums and chaotic record scratches marry so well with the action on screen, enhancing the overall franticness of the action.

NEXT: 10 Things You Didn't Know About The Making Of The Cornetto Trilogy

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