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The new “Spy Kids” sequel will literally stink

The new “Spy Kids” sequel will literally stink (photo)

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See I always thought the fourth dimension was this theoretical concept of space and time that existed outside our own. Apparently, it’s just smelliness.

Indie auteur Robert Rodriguez has a new “Spy Kids” coming out this summer, the fourth in the franchise, and it’s being released in what he’s calling “4D with Aromascope.” But just what is 4D with Aromascope? I will let the press release explain that part.

“This innovative and celebrated franchise will now be the first to introduce audiences to the new adventure of 4D where they will have 8 special opportunities throughout the movie to access the action interactively through smell. The introduction of scent in the movie going experience adds to the outrageous fun by enhancing the action, adventure and comedy to take you where no film has gone before.

With each individual admission ticket, kids and parents will also receive an Aromascope card that is free of charge with easy to read numbers outlined. As the numbers flash on the movie screen the audience will rub the corresponding number on their card. When each of the 8 aromas are unleashed you will get to experience a special moment in the film and be transported into scenes in the family adventure film. This fun added attraction takes the audience beyond sight and sound and into a symphony of scents as the movie is coming to life.”

In other words, 4D is razzle dazzle talk for scratch and sniff. The “take you where no film has gone before” part might be a little hyperbolic too. Though rare, smelly movies — as opposed to movies that just stink — have existed for decades. The infamous “Scent of Mystery” was released in “Smell-O-Vision” all the way back in 1960. That was way more complicated too. In Smell-O-Vision there were no cards; special theaters were outfitted with air filtration systems designed to blow 30 different scents at customers at specific points in the film. Unfortunately, according to this Wikipedia excerpt, Smell-O-Vision didn’t quite pass the smell test:

“The mechanism did not work properly. According to Variety, aromas were released with a distracting hissing noise and audience members in the balcony complained that the scents reached them several seconds after the action was shown on the screen. In other parts of the theater, the odors were too faint, causing audience members to sniff loudly in an attempt to catch the scent.”

John Waters famously released his 1981 film “Polyester” in the glory of “Odorama” — i.e., scratch and sniff cards. Of course, befitting Waters’ demented sense of humor, several of the smells on the Odorama card (ten in all compared with “Spy Kids”‘ eight) were awful, including one that reeked like shit. Waters even recreated the Odorama gimmick for the “Polyester” DVD, which includes a scratch and sniff card too. It’s a fabulously crazy movie; if you’ve never seen it, check it out.

But back to “Spy Kids.” The film marks the return of Robert Rodriguez’s most famous franchise after an eight year hiatus. The last “Spy Kids,” 2003’s “Game Over,” was one of the first entries in the latest wave of 3D movies. And Rodriguez has consistently proven himself an early adopter of new filmmaking technology. He was one of the first guys in the pool on 3D, HD cameras, and entirely green screened sets. His ability to predict cinematic trends is one of his greatest skills as a director. I am curious to see whether he’s ahead of a curve here, or whether he’s simply a curve unto himself designed to separate his film from a market glutted with 3D movies that audiences are starting to tire of.

We’ll see. I like Rodriguez and his work. I hope “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” is a breath of fresh air in movie theaters on August 19.

Are you a fan of Odoroma, Aromascope, and the rest of their Smell-O-Vision ilk? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

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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.