“Left 4 Dead” fan film puts Valve’s frantic foursome in real-world peril


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One of the things that made Valve’s two “Left 4 Dead” games so immediately accessible was how they referred to zombie tropes established through films. So, the ideas of sticking together, safehouses and rescue by the military all seemed familiar even as you played through a series of unfamiliar dangers.

A new fan-made clip brings the reference cycle back to cinema, with a quartet od actors portraying the survivors of a zombie virus outbreak. The casting’s pretty spot-on in the YouTube mini-movie. Co-ed Zoey, nerdy-cool black guy Louis, grizzled oldster Bill and biker tough Francis all look quite like their playable counterparts. The actor for Bill in particular channels the cantankerousness of his “L4D” character effectively and, when Louis utters his signature “stay positive,” it’s hard not to giggle.

Filmmaker Brett Driver pulls off some decent special effects and make-up for what had to be a no-budget scenario, and the locations and props add to the could-be-any-era feel that the “L4D” game establishes. The nods to the game’s indispensible pain pills and various super-zombie types work well, too. If one thing grates on me here, it’s the atonal overacting of Francis. It’s way too agro and stilted. Vince Valenzuela does Francis’ voice in the game and there’s a slight stoner quality to it that makes the tattooed gearhead more likable. The Survivors in “L4D” don’t have much dialogue, but the lines they do have are delivered with an affable mix of humor and anger. They may not like the whole “swarms of mutated undead” deal but you can tell that they’re coping as best they can. If Driver ever gets more footage shot, I hope he manages to get more of that feeling into his “L4D” homage.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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