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The “Inglorious Basterds” of Video Games?

The “Inglorious Basterds” of Video Games? (photo)

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The year’s not over yet. That means that there’s still time for one more nominee in the 2010 Controversial Game Awards and Kotaku finds a game that fills that slot. Developed of the engine of 1992 classic “Wolfenstein 3D,” “Sonderkommando Revolt” fictionalizes the actual Auschwitz insurrection of October 1944 into interactive form. Players can shoot the game’s Nazis in levels based on the real-world geography of Auschwitz. Kotaku’s Michael McWhertor broke the story and, in a follow-up, quotes the lead developer as saying the dev team’s only goal was “blast the Nazis fun.”

In another post on the game, Stephen Totilo writes:

Freed from the laws of reality, revenge fantasy like that of Sonderkommando Revolt can be hard to distinguish from exploitation. The revenge fantasy portrays glee amid suffering. It encourages the nodding of heads “yes” during its recreation of the ugliest events in human history — a nod that, yes, revenge is happening; a nod that, yes, vicious, vile good is being done to bad, bad people. This video game’s creator, though he says he has no political message intended for this game has decided that it takes an image of a Jewish prisoner hanging bloody from a hook to properly decorate a scene where many Nazis will now be killed. He and his team must have concluded there was a necessary sequence of experience: we will be shown the most garish signs of Jewish death before we will create scenes of Nazi death.

Revenge fantasy does not encourage the headshake of the visitor to the Holocaust museum or the viewer of the Trail of Tears documentary who wishes this portion of the past did not exist. It assumes a more aggressive posture as we prepare to perform a punishment that did not happen in real life.

There’s a cliché in superhero comics when the battles between hero and villain reach the point of life and death. Whether it’s Batman, Spider-Man or some other persona standing over the form of their beaten arch-nemesis, they’ll usually utter some line about letting them live because killing them would drag them down to the level of villainy. Totilo’s remarks about “Sonderkommando Revolt” remind me of that. And, as wary as I am of declaring any subject matter as a no-fly zone for games (or any other medium), this “Wolfenstein 3D” mod will likely miss the mark of ‘fun.’

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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