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Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse

Machinima Masters Rooster Teeth Cook Up A Real-World Zombie Apocalypse (photo)

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When it comes to Internet success stories, the gaming comedy collective known as Rooster Teeth helped carve out the mold of what it looks like when a bunch of normal guys effing around manage to grow an actual phenomenon. They helped popularize machinima, the practice of using already extant game engines to make all-new content. In the early 90s, machinima got used to make everything from music videos to one-offs that became viral memes. But Rooster Teeth were amongst the first to actually create an ongoing machinima series in the form of “Red Vs. Blue.”

“RvB” chronicled the wayward fates of two opposing squads of Spartan cyberwarriors on the terrain of one of the first “Halo” game’s early multiplayer maps. The bumbling soldiers on Rooster Teeth’s inaugural production captured the hearts of players just as Microsoft’s sci-fi FPS was growing into the phenomenon it’d later become. Most impressively, the dudes at the Austin-based production house were able to break away from the gravitational pull of “Halo,” grow their own community of RT fans and produce other series.

The most recent of these is “Immersion,” which pits commonplace video game tropes up against real-world testing with two hapless gamers as the guinea pigs. The latest episode of “Immersion” takes on two recurring features from the games of today. First is the proliferation of zombies throughout blockbuster video game releases. It’s one thing for franchises like “Resident Evil,” “Left 4 Dead” and “Dead Rising” to throw tons of the undead at you, because they’re all built around that mythos. But, when otherwise realistic series like Activision’s “Call of Duty” games start mining the zombie trend, one can only surmise that they’re trying to broaden their appeal and make some cash in the bargain.

The other trope that episode 8 of “Immersion” examines is the multiplayer feature known as Horde Mode. In 2009, “Gears of War 2″ introduced a new multiplayer option called Horde Mode. It tasks a team of players to survive against randomly spawned waves of enemies that get tougher as you go along. Since then, lots of games have included variants to this formula but the basics generally persist. Hunkered down around an ammo stash, everyone playing needs to spot and kill as many antagonists as possible. You’ll generally be able to revive a fallen comrade if he falls down on the field of battle, but put yourself at risk in doing so.

I really like how the arc of our two hapless heroes in this “Immersion” ep moves from foolhardy overconfidence to frustration to panic. It happens all too often in co-op video game play and would probably happen in true-life zombie scenarios, too. Filming for this “Immersion” installment took place at RTX 2011, the production company’s convention. The zombies horde is made up from attendees of the Rooster Teeth fanfest and, all things considered, I think they acquitted themselves well. You can view more episodes of “Immersion” here.

Do you think you and your friends would do better than Geoff and Gus in facing down a zombie horde? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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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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