This weekend sees the U.S. opening of Edgar Wright's "The World's End," the concluding part of his "Cornetto Trilogy" of collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Aside from so brilliantly and lovingly referencing and sending up the genres they love (zombies in "Shaun of the Dead," buddy cop movies in "Hot Fuzz" and now apocalyptic sci-fi in "The World's End") one of the greatest pleasures these films afford is the very central place that alcohol, but pubs especially, play in all of their plots. In "The World's End" (you can read our interview with Wright here, including a play by play of the soundtrack) that booziness is brought to its natural conclusion as the film is set around a 12-establishment pub crawl that is mildly interrupted by the threatened Armageddon.
We're fond of a tipple ourselves from time to time, and the film inspired us to combine our two great loves (boozing and the movies) into one time-traveling, geography-defying pub crawl of 12 movie bars. So strap on your drinking boots and join us on our epic alcoholic crusade. It's going to get messy.
The Mother Black Cap — "Withnail & I" (1987)
Clientele: Perfumed ponces, alcoholic struggling actors with heart conditions, aggressive Irishmen who may or may not, as the graffiti suggests, "fuck arses."
Rationale: Any pub patronised by a career alcoholic like Withnail has some sort of kudos. And, since it's really more of our meeting up point prior to our day of debauchery, it's important that it's one of the earliest opening pubs in the neighbourhood. Also crucial that it's in no way too welcoming or cozy, or we'll never leave.
Music: Either the joyless silence of early afternoon dedicated drinkers or some brilliant cuts from the soundtrack like "All Along the Watchtower" or "Whiter Shade of Pale."
What's your poison? It's early so just the "Two large gins. Two pints of cider. Ice in the cider."
If it's full we'll go to: The Golden Horn from "Barfly" (1987), the preferred watering hole of Bukowski alter ego Henry Chinaski, played by Mickey Rourke. The Bukowski/Rourke association alone gives it unimpeachable dipsomaniac credentials.
Mozarella's Funeral Parlor/Speakeasy — "Some Like It Hot" (1959)
Clientele: Down-at-heel musicians, spats-wearing gangsters and hoodlums, dancing girls, winking waiters, and prohibition-flouting customers all disguised as "mourners."
Rationale: Aside from the genius notion of using a funeral home as a front for a speakeasy, the joint itself is pretty swinging, and we want to go somewhere with a bit of life after the dour Camden pub we started in. The trick is to get out just before the cops raid the place.
Music: Respectful funereal dirges out in the storefront, but at the push of a button ... swinging uptempo jazz blaring out from the live band.
What's your poison? Coffee—Scotch coffee, Canadian coffee, sour mash coffee.
If it's full we'll go to: The speakeasy from the Marx Bros' "Horse Feathers"—it's not nearly as dripping with flapper-era excess, but worth it for Harpo's sight gags.
Korova Milk Bar — "A Clockwork Orange" (1971)
Clientele: Alex and his droogs, among other malchicks and devotchkas.
Rationale: After all the excitement of evading the police in Mozarella's, we need a serene place to catch our breath. And since we're still really only ramping up for the night, why not drop by the local design milk bar with its awesomely futuro-misogyno-retro-porno decor and spiked drinks? Horrorshow.
Music: Henry Purcell's "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary" and later, Beethoven. No doubt Kubrick would have preferred Pink's "Get the Party Started" but it unfortunately hadn't been written yet.
What's your poison? Milk-plus, preferably milk plus drencrom, which will sharpen us up and make us ready for a bit of the old ultraviolence later. (Milk plus vellocet or synthemesc also available.)
If it's full we'll go to: This one's kind of irreplaceable, but we could try the bar in "Tron: Legacy," which is also clinically white (like no one has ever spilled anything ever), a little less overtly disturbing in its interior design, and in fairness, will have Daft Punk playing live.