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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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SO EXCITED!!!

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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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.”

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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. 

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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.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.