I just realized that my 2007 Top Ten is going to be choked with comedies. And the first great comedy I saw this year has to be Hot Fuzz, the astounding follow-up to Shaun of the Dead which has stood up to a record six viewings by yours truly. This is a movie that just fucking works.
Three of those viewings have been the new DVD, out in stores today (Buy the regular edition by clicking here and the HD-DVD version by clicking here!). The Fuzz DVD contains all the goodies you’d expect – killer commentary, deadly deleted scenes and hilarious outtakes that go beyond straightforward cracking up. Plus there’s a documentary exclusive to the US release. Last week I traveled to Beverly Hills to sit down with director Edgar Wright and star Nick Frost (Simon Pegg was off shooting a movie) to chat about the DVD. Before I got my recorder on, Edgar asked me about Jumbo’s Clown Room, a local burlesque bar I had been trying to get him to visit me. (You’re not off the hook yet, Wright.) Anyway, I had to explain the place to Nick.
Jumbo’s Clown Room is the strip club where Courtney Love got her start. It’s three blocks from my house, and it is awesome. The girls can’t strip for real, so they wear bikinis, and you feel a little less sleazy than a regular strip club. What’s great is that the girls pick their own songs on the juke box and I saw a girl dancing to a Instant Karma by John Lennon.
Edgar: [laughs] In some of the… not that I’ve been to The Body Shop 20 times…
Nick: His stamp card is almost full. ‘One free Butty Rub.’
Edgar: But isn’t it weird those clubs where you can’t drink?
Nick: There’s always a liquor store next door.
Those are juice bars. They have bottomless dancing. You can’t serve booze in a club with bottomless dancers. If you can see the vajayay, you can’t have booze. You can’t be trusted.
Nick: Once you’ve had a few beers you just have to stick a finger in something.
Edgar: I have to say your Guilty Pleasures list on CHUD, not only am I thoroughly enjoying it, but I after reading the Ford Fairlane one I went out and bought it because I had never seen it. I watched it in the last couple of days and I found it absolutely mesmerizing. Nick came round yesterday and I said, ‘You have to watch this.’ He didn’t watch the whole thing, but he saw my new favorite one liner of all time, which is Andre Dice Clay going, ‘Clint Eastwood? I fucked him! Ohhhhh!’ Which makes NO SENSE. What I love about it is that for somebody so macho and so full of testerone, it always gets to the point of methinks the lady doth protest too much. And when it gets to making jokes about fucking Clint Eastwood –
Nick: And not even Dirty Harry or a character. The actual man Clint Eastwood. He’s like the character the fell out of the third telepod between Kenickie and Jim Belushi.
Edgar: It’s such a strange movie. And it cost so much. It looks like it was so expensive.
Nick: And you kind of get the impression that everyone was paid in coke. No money changed hands.
They made it in those three months when Dice was huge.
Nick: He got paid in coke and leather. All the leather he could possibly make jeans and jackets out of.
He’s still out there, too.
Edgar: Yeah, he has some reality show, doesn’t he?
Nick: We were having this conversation yesterday – do you think he spunked all his money on the wall? Or do you think he saved?
I’m sure he blew it all.
Nick: He must have had a fortune.
Edgar: He bought a lot of those lighter holsters. But I’d like to thank CHUD on the record for making me spend my 9.99. I don’t regret it.
Nick: You used your residuals from Hot Fuzz.
Edgar: I spent all the residuals, all the profits from Hot Fuzz. Actually, that nine dollars 99 more than we’ve seen! [laughs] But yeah, I bought Ford Fairlane and I enjoyed it and I’m not ashamed of it.
Coming soon: The Manitou.
Edgar: Me and… I was going to say his name, but I don’t watch to name drop…. Quentin watched it the other day. It was amazing.
Had he seen it before?
Edgar: He’d seen the second half of it back in 1978 when it came out. He saw something else at the cinema and then went in to the next screening and saw the second half of The Manitou. The Manitou is about – we had better talk about the [Hot Fuzz] DVD at some point before they chuck you out! Not that I mind. But it’s about this Indian medicine man who is growing on the back of this woman’s head. And here’s the funny thing, his name, the medicine man that comes out of his neck, this midget Cousin It, his name is Misquimakis. All I could think when watching the film was, ‘Is his name Mister Marcus?’ Is the porn star named after The Manitou?
Nick: That adds hidden depth to Mister Marcus. He’s a big fan of The Manitou. His knob is as big as Cousin It. My greatest guilty pleasure is Andre.
Edgar: The seal film?
Nick: The seal film with Tina Majorino. In the deleted scenes you see them fucking.
Edgar: I was going to do a Guilty Pleasure. I talked to you and Jeremy about it, but I thought that if I contributed to CHUD it would blur the line between filmmakers and websites even moreso. I really wanted to do Death Wish 3 and The Black Hole.
The offer still stands! So I was listening to your Hot Fuzz commentary, and it sounded weird. A little slowed down.
Edgar: Really? I listened to back to my one… because in an evening I like to masturbate to my commentary. When I have girls over I find a good way to get girls into bed is to play whole my commentary on Hot Fuzz, and by chapter 7 I’ve got them in bed. But there was nothing weird on mine.
How do you do commentaries? Once through and out?
Edgar: Yeah. Sometimes, on Spaced, where there are some holes in the commentary is where some rows broke out. It’s toward the end of the second season and we were getting more drunk with each episode. With the Hot Fuzz one we did it straight through. I did go back and drop something in because I said the wrong name of an author and I was so embarrassed that I felt my geek credentials would be in dispute. So I went back and replaced Jim Thompson with Dashiell Hammett. I didn’t want it to be on the record forever with the wrong author.
Now it is again.
Edgar: I know! I’m fucking candid enough to admit it. There’s one thing they left off, which is on the HD one and the ‘Wal-Mart Exclusive’ 2 disc edition –
Nick: Michael Moore would be spinning in his grave.
Edgar: On Timothy Dalton and Edward Woodward’s commentary there’s one bit they left off, where they finished the commentary and left the mic on. There’s a hilarious bit at the end where they’re walking out of the booth talking about how they’re going to get home. It’s sweet! ‘Oh, that was easy.’ ‘What do we do now?’ ‘When’s your car coming?’ ‘I have to pick up Lorraine…’ I would listen to that, them talking about them getting home!
Timothy Dalton has some good swearing in the outtakes.
Edgar: Oh yeah.
Nick: He does.
Edgar: ‘Motherfuck it!’ And then he uses a phrase I’ve never heard anybody else use: ‘Fuck me dead!’ I never heard that expression before! ‘Fuck me dead.’
What is the best feature on the US edition?
Edgar: The Fuzzball Rally, the American tour documentary, is exclusive to the American one. That does make me laugh a lot. Our friend Joe does that. Actually the day you interviewed us in the police station [in New York] was one of my low ebbs. It was a low ebb for all of us. You don’t see our interview, but you see bits around when I was collapsed on the floor and stuff. The bits on DVD when we’re doing phone interviews in Atlanta and Seattle and we’re losing it – I would never complain about doing press, since we’re so lucky to be able to promote our film, and there are so many films where they won’t even pay people to go on the road to promote it, and we’ve gone around the world twice- but it is like Chinese Water Torture in the sense that you’re sick of the sound of your own voice, and when there’s three of you together there’s this unspoken thing where you’re aware that you’re not faking it but when you’ve answered the same question twice, you go into a pattern. You have a routine. Then it becomes like a thing to break out of, to surprise the other person, to say something they wouldn’t expect. Listen, these are high level problems to have – doing lots of interviews for a DVD isn’t like working in a coal mine – but it is a bit weird. And that’s what we tried to reflect on the documentary.
Seeing you guys on the press tour you were obviously exhausted. How many more of those can you do?
Nick: I think it’s a thing like having children. After a while you forget how painful it was. You’re like, ‘Fuck all, I’m back on the road with Edgar and Simon!’ I know this sounds a bit gay, but I look back at those press tours and they were some of the best times of my life.
Edgar: Like the third cake flushing, when we were stoned.
Is that on the DVD?
Edgar: The first two are on The Fuzzball Rally, but the third is only on YouTube. I feel so bad about stuff like this, but if ever a double dip were to happen I pledge to put something really cool on the double dip thing, maybe like the two hour version of the press tour documentary. It’s like Hearts of Darkness.
Nick: It’s grueling.
Edgar: You’ll feel like you’ve done a whole press tour by the end of it. What’s weird, unlike Shaun, this time we really finished the film in January, two weeks before it came out, I had been ill at the end of shooting, the film came out in the UK and we did all the press and then we did the DVD extras. All of the DVD content was produced while we were doing the press tour. Plus I did Don’t during that as well. So it was pretty full on. Then before the US documentary starts, we had done Australia and New Zealand, come back to London for four days, gone to Amsterdam and then New York, so we were really fucked. That was the start of it. After the tour documentary ends, because Joe didn’t come to Toronto or back to LA, but Toronto was my lowest ebb, where I fell asleep IN an interview.
Nick: Two or three times.
Edgar: I kept nodding off and they had to wake me up. Luckily it wasn’t a TV one. It was horrible.
That’s how you get the rumors of a drug addiction.
Nick: Right! It was like an airless bar in Toronto. We’re in this tiny room and people come in and out all day. You have a bit of lunch and then you start to switch off.
Edgar: There’s this thing where PR people say, ‘Hey they’re British! They want to spend a whole day in a bar!’
Nick: ‘The British drink, right?’
Edgar: ‘They’ll love being in a bar from 9 in the morning until 5.’
Nick: Because there’s no Falkland Islands War Museum in the US, we go to a bar.
Publicist: And you guys love fish and chips, right?
Edgar: I love it. I love nothing more than to go to an Irish theme pub every day of our tour.