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DID YOU READ

“Rambo” returning to video game consoles

“Rambo” returning to video game consoles (photo)

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Like his “First Blood” theme song says, it’s been a long road for John Rambo: a novel, four movies, two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars for Valor, four Purple Hearts, the Medal of Honor, even a soundtrack featuring the music of Frank Stallone (that must be what the Purple Hearts were for). But none of that compared to the horror of his appearances on video game consoles, particularly in one unforgettably terrible Nintendo game that sucked tens of dollars and hundreds of hours out of the lives of thousands of kids of my generation. I never had to go to Vietnam, thank God. But I had to play the “Rambo” game, which left its own brutal scars on my psyche.

Rambo’s made scattered gaming appearances here or there in the years since, and just last spring I told you about his hilariously violent arcade light gun game that is truly a sight to behold. But he hasn’t relived those dark days on home consoles in over twenty years.

That all changes in 2012, when publisher Reef Entertainment will bring a new Rambo video game to XBox, PS3, and PC. Here’s CEO Peter Rezon, from an announcement on MCV:

“‘With the success of the most recent ‘Rambo’ film, and an international appetite for action movies with ‘Expendables 2′ scheduled for release next summer, we felt now was a good time to do something special with this licence.’

Craig Lewis, commercial director at Reef added: ‘We have big ambitions for Reef and the Rambo IP is the first step in establishing us as a worldwide player. ‘Rambo’ will be a triple-A title on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC and will capture the gritty atmosphere and full-on action which made the Rambo movies so successful.'”

Gritty atmosphere and full-on action are definite musts. So are Dan Hill’s great theme song and authentic Sylvester Stallone grunts. The recent arcade shooter got the gameplay right since, just like in his movies, “Rambo” never ducks or dodges gunfire and barely moves or reloads. He just shoots and shoots and shoots and kills and kills and kills. Then, occasionally, he pauses for a light afternoon snack of blowing people up with explosive tip arrows. It’s a robust experience.

A little bit more story would be nice. I can see Rambo being the perfect star of a less intelligent, more violent riff on “Uncharted”-style action. There shouldn’t be too much story, though: just lots of jungle combat and vehicle chases, with some climbing and hand to hand combat. And, of course, borderline immoral amounts of gun violence.

Look for this new “Rambo” in 2012. As for a tagline, I suggest one inspired by this legendarily demented monologue at the end of “First Blood:” “You just don’t turn it off.”

Psyched for the new “Rambo” game? 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.