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“Piranha 3D” Promises Gross Outs and Make Outs in Three Dimensions

“Piranha 3D” Promises Gross Outs and Make Outs in Three Dimensions (photo)

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The much-ballyhooed “Piranha 3D” panel judged too hot for Comic-Con also proved to be a bit of a hot potato for director Alexandre Aja, who confessed that he was in Los Angeles only two hours earlier finishing the mix on the ten minutes’ worth of scenes he would present. (Whether that actually caused the near-hour delay of the late night panel was up for debate.) Jerry O’Connell got a nice photo op outside the Horton Plaza multiplex as he handed out 3D glasses to those in line, while co-stars Adam Scott, Elizabeth Shue, Paul Scheer and Eli Roth, among others, filed into the theater.

Now, l recall that no one really blinked when Lionsgate freely showed footage of the “Saw” sequels in the family-friendly Hall H just three years ago. Still, I’m not shocked Aja wasn’t let on the premises of the San Diego Convention Center this year. After the clip presentation, he explained that he would describe what he had planned for “Piranha 3D” in full detail while he was in town promoting his last film “Mirrors,” and that the 2D version of the film has already received an R rating.

Surely then, the MPAA hasn’t really been able to fully process the mad genius that was on display Thursday night, where, as O’Connell would so eloquently put it, “People’s bodies come apart when you don’t expect them to come apart.” You can, however, expect them to fly at you — heads, boobs and — it was strongly suggested — balls.

07232010_piranha3d3.jpgUnfortunately, one can’t really describe the footage in too much detail, since Aja had no problem with showing kill scenes, which aren’t exclusive to bit players. Needless to say, the body count is high and as producer Mark Canton observed, it may be one of the first films to use 3D to its fullest, since it opens the doors to all kinds of possibilities that only a director with a sick sense of humor like Aja could make use of.

One scene involved a swinging hook that first ripped apart a woman’s bikini top before the realization sets in that it tore her apart as well, another has “Gossip Girl”‘s Jessica Szohr vomiting into the water from a POV shot. (When prodded, Aja also confirmed that a nude underwater love scene between porn star Riley Steele and Kelly Brook “may be my favorite thing I ever shot”; for her part, Steele informed the audience, “It was really, really hard to hold our breath as we were making out.”)

“The whole idea of the movie was to make a genre we don’t have any more,” Aja said of his homage to his guilty pleasures of the 1980s. He stressed that the film wasn’t a remake of Joe Dante’s film of the same name, but that he invited Dante to come shoot a cameo as a boat captain who gave a speech about safety. Dante accepted, though things ultimately didn’t work out. (He was vague on why a similar cameo with James Cameron, director of “Piranha 2,” of course, was scrapped.)

Roth, who only has a bit part in the film as a wet T-shirt contest judge, wound up speaking as much as Aja did, praising the film and admitted that he had retired from acting after “Inglourious Basterds” before Aja lured him back. “I wanted to be mutant raped,” said Roth, “but Alex said he had already done that before.” He also apparently kidded Quentin Tarantino that “You really fucked up ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ You should’ve had a wet T-shirt contest.”

07232010_piranha3d2.jpgAll of the actors genuinely looked like they were having fun both on screen and off, even though Shue noted it was usually 112 degrees in Lake Havasu, where they shot. Adam Scott said he took a role in the film because “I got to ride on a jetski with a shotgun and do a one-handed cock [of the shotgun] — it was like Indiana Jones blowing the shit out of some fish.”

Still, there may be a larger human toll. When Roth arrived on set, he discovered Aja had used 7000 gallons of blood, which he put into perspective by acknowledging he used 150 for “Hostel” and Tarantino used 300 for “Kill Bill.” “Piranha 3D” will be bleeding to a theater near you on August 20th.

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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.


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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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.


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.



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 and the IFC app.

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