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“NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!”: Seven Hilarious Exploitation Taglines

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01142009_mybloodyvalentine3d.jpgThe tagline for the new film “My Bloody Valentine 3-D” is “NOTHING SAYS ‘DATE MOVIE’ LIKE A 3-D RIDE TO HELL!” and while I’m fairly certain that’s not actually true, I admire the gumption it takes to put something that intentionally silly on a poster. “MBV3-D”‘s marketing — which includes a movie trailer that explains how 3-D works, in much the way an airplane safety video shows how to operate a seatbelt — recalls the great bombastic advertisements of exploitation cinema’s yesteryear, when outlandish hucksterisms like “NOTHING LIKE THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE!” (from 1953’s “It Came From Outer Space) or “3-D THRILL! Fuel For the Human Bonfire!” (From 1954’s “The Mad Magician”) were the accepted mode of junk movie pitch.

We’ve gotten away from that grand, goofy tradition, but “MBV3-D” has me all nostalgic for the crazy taglines from exploitation films past. Here are the seven funniest I could find conclusive evidence for (if you have a photograph of an “Orgy of the Dead” ad with the tagline “Are you heterosexual…?”, please let us know). And if this whets your appetite for more, I recommend browsing the remarkably comprehensive tagline database at FilmScape for further hilarity.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images.

01142009_houseofwax.jpg“HOUSE OF WAX” (2005)
“On May 6th, see Paris die!”

Most movies are sold on the audience’s desire to see their stars, not on the audience’s desire to see their stars brutally murdered, but that was the case with Warner Brothers’ 2005 remake of “House of the Dead” co-starring one Paris Hilton. This impressively blunt slogan was featured on totally hot promo t-shirts and posters for the film. Ms. Hilton’s reaction was understandably mixed. “At first I was a bit weirded out,” she told People, “but I do have the best death scene in the movie.”

01142009_excessiveforce.jpg“EXCESSIVE FORCE” (1993)
“In the 70’s, Chuck Norris. In the 80’s, Steven Seagal. In the ’90’s, action has a whole new name… Thomas Ian Griffith.”

Deep down, the copywriter knew, right? I mean he had to; if you were really trying to sell Thomas Ian Griffith (a.k.a. the evil millionaire karate master who gets outfoxed by Ralph Macchio in “The Karate Kid Part III”) as the next action hero, you’d compare him to guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme or Bruce Lee. He must have seen the lack of charisma and bad hair and just decided for once in his deceitful life to be honest with potential viewers.

01142009_ape.jpg“A*P*E” (1976)
“Not to be confused with KING KONG.”

Actually, this cheapie American/Korean co-production was designed to be confused with the “King Kong” remake released that same year. As the teaser poster attests, the original title was, in fact, “The New King Kong.” Well, the guys who were making the real new “King Kong” didn’t appreciate that, and they sued. As a result, the producers of the renamed “A*P*E” were contractually obligated to put the phrase “Not to be confused with KING KONG” on all of their advertising. I think the producers of “M*A*S*H” should have sued them next.


Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.


Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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GIFs via Giphy

Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:


The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.


They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!


Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.


Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.



Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”


IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?

Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!

Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.

Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 


IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.