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“Attack the Block” Plots Out A Pre-Release U.S. Invasion On June 15th

“Attack the Block” Plots Out A Pre-Release U.S. Invasion On June 15th (photo)

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It was only last fall when I wrote about “the wonderful afterlife” of Edgar Wright‘s “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World,” which wasted no time in mobilizing its rabid fan base after a disappointing theatrical release with a series of midnight screenings featuring special guests to quickly cement its legacy not as a box office misfire, but as the cult classic it likely was always intended to be. However, it seems that experience has very much informed the rollout of “Attack the Block,” the directorial debut of Wright’s frequent writing partner Joe Cornish (“The Adventures of Tintin”), since if you haven’t heard from this site or others is an equally special film that has been building word-of-mouth ever since it made its triumphant debut at SXSW in March.

Now, the film has a release date of July 29th, which nearly guarantees it to be the summer’s most original action film — in his review of the film, Matt Singer called it “a film that combines visceral excitement with cerebral smarts — that’s the film geek holy grail” as it centers on a group of young British street toughs forced to take up arms against an invasion of aliens. But many audiences have already had the chance to see it or will have before it’s released into multiplexes across the country.

AttacktheBlock2_06112011.jpgWhile tickets were just made available for its most public screening after its SXSW play, a gala screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 22nd, “Attack the Block” has been in heavy rotation in Hollywood for months, winning over plenty of celebrity admirers and picking up plenty of self-appointed “Blockheads” on Twitter who have taken to using one of the film’s catchphrases “Trust” as a hashtag. The response not only influenced Screen Gems to pick up the film, but led to one mass free screening of the film in 25 cities on May 25th that has since begat another this Tuesday, June 15th in 14 North American cities (some of which are not sold out yet, as you can see here).

Add to this the open advocacy of Aint It Cool News‘ Harry Knowles and Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci on Twitter (with the hashtag #attackthealamo) to get an early screening at Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse, which they did — it will be part of the June 15th screenings, leading to similar campaigns in Boston and New York to show at the Brattle and Sunshine, respectively, and it appears that “Attack the Block” will have many more fans before the film’s trailer even shows up in U.S. theaters.

However, the question remains whether or not the film will have exhausted its target audience without ever collecting from them at the box office, a fear that no doubt lingers with the film’s distributor as much as the early one that the characters’ heavy British accents might need subtitles to appease American audiences. Both may prove to be unfounded, but there’s something slightly funny about the fact that many of these early screenings have been called “fan appreciation screenings” when the audience has yet to see the film to know whether they’re fans or not. Still, it’s the kind of reverse engineering that may be required to make “Attack the Block” a hit and if it does, it’ll be thanks to a pre-release marketing campaign strategy that’s all too rare these days — actually showing the film instead of endlessly teasing it.

Will you want to see “Attack the Block” in theaters when it’s released on July 29th? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.

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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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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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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.