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Dead Set: Zombies vs. Reality Stars

Dead Set: Zombies vs. Reality Stars (photo)

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We’ve saved the best for last during our annual Indie Screams festival. At midnight tonight we will start unveiling British import Dead Set one episode at a time. Tune in each night at midnight to watch the dead cause mayhem and murder in the streets of England. Then as a special trick or treat on Halloween, you can spend your day locked inside with a home made flamethrower and an unlucky housemate (a.k.a. zombie fodder) and watch the entire mini-series beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

In Dead Set, we finally get an answer to the age old question of what would happen if the zombie invasion happened during the taping of reality television show. The show begins as cast members from Big Brother start to realize that their housemate elimination ceremony is not the biggest drama out there. Seems the television-viewing audience is too busy fending off zombies to tune in.

But when facing down the undead or reality television stars, who is scarier? A face-eating zombie or Frenchy from Rock of Love? We make an analysis:

At least zombies don’t spit on you, unlike these contestants from VH1’s I Love Money who are participating in the Spit Olympics. Um, zombies aren’t animals, okay?

Kody from TLC’s Sister Wives has skeeved out a nation with his lifestyle AND hairstyle. He seems to do nothing but impregnate his many wives, say creepy things and mousse his hair. Zombies would never bother with mousse.:

Zombies don’t make out on national television, unlike the housemates of Big Brother. You’re mother is watching, young lady!:

Zombies just eat your brains, they don’t throw a table at you like Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey:

At least zombies won’t give you stripping lessons (or the herpes) like the girls from VH1’s Rock of Love:

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As Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross explains, “For anyone who has yearned to see Big Brother contestants devoured by a pack of flesh-eating zombies–and honestly, who hasn’t?–I give you Dead Set.” And with behavior like this, we definitely Team Zombie.

The first episode of Dead Set airs tonight at midnight eastern time.

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

What to Watch on IFC: October 25-October 31

What to Watch on IFC: October 25-October 31 (photo)

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Halloween is on Sunday, which makes this the spookiest week of the year. We’re making sure the kiddies don’t hog all the fun for once by airing one episode a night of awesome British import Dead Set all week at midnight as part of Indie Screams. Then as a treat that goes well with a bag of snack-size Snickers we will be airing the entire mini-series all Halloween long. So, don’t T.P. the television set, okay?

Monday

Guillermo Del Toro’s exquisitely beautiful and stark Pan’s Labyrinth airs at 12:45 p.m. ET. Soothe your tears and your fears with a mini-marathon of The IT Crowd from 2:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday

At 9:30 p.m. ET, Birmingham rock outfit Editors stop by 360 Sessions. After a tour of old Brummy, they perform their hit single “Smokers Outside the Hospital Door”. Don’t know the song? Here it is:

Wednesday

From 2:45 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET we’re showing some of our favorite episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. . Then at 8:15 p.m. check out Brian de Palma’s Blow Out, a political thriller starring a young John Travolta:

Thursday

If you don’t know the surprise twist in The Crying Game, we’re sorry that you have been living under a rock since 1992. Catch up with all the 90s spoiler alerts and watch it at 8 p.m. ET.

Friday

Between a new episode of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret at 10 p.m. ET and one of the final episodes of Freaks & Geeks at 11 p.m. ET, there’s no reason to leave your couch all night. You know, if you needed an excuse.

Saturday

Roll out of bed at 10 a.m. and you can laugh yourself silly with back-to-back episodes of The Three Stooges, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and Todd Margaret Then starting at 8 p.m. ET, scare yourself senseless with Alien (one of the scariest movies of all time), Saw, and Broken Lizard’s Club Dread.

Sunday

Happy Halloween. First we’re showing the Kids in the Hall’s mini-series Death Comes to Town. Then, if you like zombies–and who doesn’t–you’ll want to stay home all day with the doors locked and a big baseball bat. We’re playing Dead Set all day long from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Get Set for ‘Dead Set’ With Our Top Ten Zombie Films

Get Set for ‘Dead Set’ With Our Top Ten Zombie Films (photo)

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The zombies are coming. This is a fact. We don’t mean, you know, that the zombie apocalypse is coming and the dead will rise from their graves to eat our braaaaaaiiinnnnns or anything. It just means we are showing Dead Set from October 25-29 every night at midnight. Then we will be showing the entire series all day on Halloween.

To celebrate the coming of the re-animated dead, we are listing our ten favorite zombie movies. Some are funny, some are scary, all of them have zombies. Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments.

Woody Harrelson’s mom always said he would be good at something. It’s killing zombies. Zombieland:

In Shaun of the Dead they take a pragmatic approach to the zombie apocalypse by heading to the local pub:

The best zombie Nazi film you may ever see is Dead Snow:

Robert Rodriguez’s over-the-top Planet Terror is an entertaining ride with impressive use of a machine gun leg:

While not technically zombies, the virus-addled walking dead in 28 Days Later are close enough for us:

George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is zombie enough for anyone:

Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive makes you want to mow the lawn:

No zombie movie list would be complete without George Romero’s sequel Dawn of the Dead:

Although some may prefer Rombero’s ex-partner Dan O’Bannon’s vision in Return of the Living Dead:

And, of course, Dead Set:

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