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DID YOU READ

The horror, the horror list.

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"Il était une fois..."You want to know true fear? The blackest depths of terror and despair? Try having to move to your fifth apartment in less than two years. No cinematic experience can top it, we promise you.

But anyway, happy Halloween and all that. We had this wicked variation on a "Clockwork Orange" costume that somehow involved cool stockings planned, but we’re ankling that in favor of a hot night of once again unpacking all of our worldly goods.

Never. Again.

Anyway, some Halloween lists:

• RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson picks his 10 most shocking movie moments for MSN — quite a bit of crossover with Premiere magazine’s "25 Most Shocking Moments in Movie History," though we suppose quite a few of those picks are just obvious and inarguable. Nice call with Altman’s "The Long Goodbye," though — we’d forgotten about the Coke-bottle incident, but it was definitely incredibly jarring.

• Entertainment Weekly, gradually working their way up to being all lists, all the time, offers Marc Vera summing up all of the "of the Dead" movies for you, the magazine staff picking the "20 Scariest Movies of All Time" and Gillian Flynn running down the six frightening, forgotten horror flicks (half behind a subscription wall, but you can see the picks in the right-hand column).

• Paige Newman at MSNBC‘s got six edgy vampire films, and Not Coming to a Theater Near You‘s been working through a way robust in-depth daily look at 31 horror classics.

Elsewhere, we never thought of "The Night of the Hunter" as a horror film, per se, but it makes a damn great film for the season. It’s playing at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, and Roger Ebert pulls up his "Great Movie" essay for the occasion.

Charles Purcell at the Sydney Morning Herald takes in the various critical and audience reactions to Greg McLean‘s "Wolf Creek," which just opened in Australia and the UK but which won’t get here until early next year. "Wolf Creek," another goresploitation type, generated enough buzz going into Sundance to get picked up by the Weinsteins, if we’re remembering correctly, before the festival even started. Based on a true story, the film has proudly prompted walkouts:

Unlike many Hollywood films, which use sound and special effects to sweeten it, there’s something shockingly real about the carnage in "Wolf Creek." Unlike films where the killers are Martians or robots, it realistically evokes the terror of being hunted by a fellow human, the shivering fear of the victims, the brutal practicality of the hunter.

The horror sourced from real events – such as being turned into "a head on a stick" – is just as sinister.

On the topic of extreme gore done on the cheap, the LA TimesPatrick Goldstein devotes this week’s "Big Picture" to how Lions Gate, coming out of a gangbusters weekend with "Saw II," is currently the coolest kid on the block (Lions Gate, oddly enough, is also distributing "Three…Extremes," which had a quieter opening on 19 screens). The New York TimesDave Kehr liked Park Chan-wook‘s "Cut" sequence from "Three…Extremes" enough to use it as a focus for the socio-political aspects of the "Asian extreme" cinema (we do wish someone would come up with a catchier name for the movement that doesn’t belong to Tartan Films, but we’ve got nothin’). Dave White at MSNBC laments the current state of horror, particularly the recent rash of dire remakes like "The Fog," and Noel Murray at the Onion AV Club interviews John Carpenter, who obviously isn’t feeling so fussy about who remakes his films, but who has some good things to say about the genre:

AVC: It’s odd that the basic visual grammar of horror still works. After a hundred years of cinema, people still get frightened when something jumps out of from the side of the frame, and audiences know to be tense when they see a tight shot of a human head with a little space over the shoulder where something might appear.

JC: I don’t know what it is, but you know, horror stories have always worked on film. It’s where they work. That’s where vampires and ghosts and UFOs are real. They’re not particularly real in life, but they’re real on the screen. It’s the communal aspect of movie-watching. Sitting in the dark. It goes back to sitting around a campfire when we had just come out of the trees.

+ Nothing’s Shocking? (MSN)
+ The 25 Most Shocking Moments in Movie History (Premiere)
+ Beating a ‘Dead’ Horse (Entertainment Weekly)
+ The 20 Scariest Movies of All Time (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Scary Movies (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Six vampire movies with bite (MSNBC)
+ 31 Days of Horror (Not Coming to a Theater Near You)
+ The Night of the Hunter (Not rated) (RogerEbert.com)
+ Up the creek (Sydney Morning Herald)
+ Lions Gate très shriek (LA Times)
+ De-finger the Piano Player (NY Times)
+ I spit on your horror movie remakes, sequels (MSNBC)
+ John Carpenter (Onion AV Club)

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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