It's a funny joke, but American audiences might not realize quite how dire the evisceration of the English pub scene has gotten. While gentrification is an issue facing lots of growing cities, London's pub culture has been hit exceptionally hard. 1,220 pubs have closed across London since 2001, making for a staggering 25 percent drop. Again, this isn't a trend exclusive to London, but it stings even more there because of the high cost of living and usually smaller living spaces, leaving people more reliant on pubs for public gathering. It's like someone came in to remodel and jack up the prices of your own living room.
Heineken, for example, recently struck a deal to acquire 1,900 additional pubs in the UK to go along with the 1,000 they already own, setting the stage for the country's three largest pub groups to control 20 percent of all pubs. So basically, that one punchline in The World's End is in fact a crushing, not-even-exaggerated elegy for the rapid death of culture at the hands of swelling corporate juggernauts. Fun times!
The Pale Man From Pan's Labyrinth Represents The Pro-Fascist Spanish Priesthood
A decade before Guillermo del Toro won Best Picture for his exploration of a human / fish god sex marathon ignited by a mutual love of eggs, he took on a lighter subject in Pan's Labyrinth: that time the church stole a bunch of kids while kissing a dictator's ass.
You see, Pan's Labyrinth takes place during the Spanish Civil War. And no, that's not the part that American audiences missed, although if you did miss that, well, buckle up to REALLY have your mind blown. Within this historical framework, the film's characters and magical elements act as allegories for aspects of the conflict. Captain Vidal, the militaristic, appeal-to-duty antagonist, represents Francisco Franco's eventually triumphant Nationalist regime, while Ofelia -- the youthful, overmatched protagonist who ends up martyring herself for the cause -- stands in for the leftist Republican side that fell to Franco's forces. Meanwhile, that eyeless, child-eating monster merely stands for ... an eyeless, child-eating monster, right? Nope, it's somehow creepier than that.