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“The Road”: The Video Game.

“The Road”: The Video Game. (photo)

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Since movie producers have no qualms about turning inappropriate games into films, it should come as no surprise that crummy cross-promotion is a two-way street.

Take for example, “Survive the Road,” a browser game that’s part of the official web site for “The Road” that lets you inhabit the emaciated body of Viggo Mortensen’s nameless drifter as he travels the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of food and shelter while fending off those annoying cannibals.

It’s kinda like “Oregon Trail,” though I don’t recall in that game ever having to choose whether or not you’ll explain to your son why you had to mercy-kill a woman you saw bleeding by the side of the road.

Needless to say, this probably isn’t what Cormac McCarthy had in mind when he signed off the rights to his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel for a film adaptation. But maybe he’d be charmed by the fact that the rudimentary gameplay lends itself to being prose-heavy. Instructions range from plundering goods from others (“You run over to the man, remove your knife and cut his throat. You take a ragged knit cap (-10 energy loss)” — after all, your survival depends on keeping your energy level up) to describing one’s approach of a stranger (“The man is startled. He gets up and runs away as fast as he can. Unfortunately, he was cooking human remains, so you don’t get a hot meal.).

Even without the potential of flesh-eating, “The Road” doesn’t seem like the type of film that calls for a game tie-in, despite the fact that the practice is de rigueur in Hollywood these days. The website for “Old Dogs,” for instance, sports the game “Golf Cart Chaos,” where Robin Williams’ business client’s happiness level depends upon how you maneuver a cart around a course fraught with trash cans, sand traps and gophers. (Which is disappointing, since Disney could’ve gotten right to the point and produced a game where you hit golf balls at Seth Green’s nuts like in the trailer.)

11252009_runningscared.jpgAnd “Survive the Road” seems positively tame in comparison to what New Line cooked up for the Paul Walker thriller “Running Scared” in 2006, the type of frenetic B-movie that was already practically a video game. Some lucky developer worked their magic on “Welcome to Grimley,” a “Grand Theft Auto”-esque jaunt that allowed those who passed through an age restriction screen to “Find the G spot” on Vera Farmiga’s character between shooting up foes and driving recklessly on different levels. (New Line removed the oral sex level of the game after family groups complained, and now the site that hosted it is but a distant memory.)

Still, it should be noted that “Survive the Road” has a following. Over at Zombie Squad, readers talk of how much time they spent on the road, and appropriately enough, the consensus was that it goes nowhere.

[Photo: Screencap of “Survive the Road,” Weinstein Company, 2009; “Welcome to Grimley,” New Line, 2006]

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

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.


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…


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.


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).


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.


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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