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Robert Zemeckis on board for “Ghostbusters”-esque “Charles Fort” comic book adaptation

Robert Zemeckis on board for “Ghostbusters”-esque “Charles Fort” comic book adaptation (photo)

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While plebes like us continue to wring our hands over rumors, mumblings and rumblings of a third “Ghostbusters” movie, producer Robert Zemeckis is actually doing something about it, setting up his own “period ‘Ghostbusters’,” based on a Dark Horse comic about real-life writer-about-the-paranormal Charles Fort.

In 2002, Dark Horse released the series “Fort: Prophet of the Unexplained,” written by Peter Lenkov, who also scripted the source material for “R.I.P.D.,” and drawn by comic book superstar Frazer Irving, who has since had notable runs drawing Batman, Iron Man and more. The story focused on a fictionalized version of Fort, which transformed him from a writer to, in the words of The Hollywood Reporter, “an adventurous investigator tangling with aliens and murderers in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century New York City.”

Currently, Robert Zemeckis is signed on to produce the film along with Mike Richardson, the publisher and founder of Dark Horse Comics. Writing the script will be Evan Spiliotopoulos, who penned next year’s “Snow White and the Huntsman” (for those keeping track, that’s the Snow White flick with Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Ian McShane, not the Tarsem Singh one.).

We’re excited about a “period ‘Ghostbusters’,” as it would likely feature about 200% more moustaches, but what do you think? Would you go see a movie about Charles Fort? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

“Back to the Future” co-creator Bob Gale reveals how Marty became friends with Doc

“Back to the Future” co-creator Bob Gale reveals how Marty became friends with Doc (photo)

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For over two decades, there’s been one thing that “Back to the Future” fans have wracked their brains over time and time again. No, no, not “Why does Marty look nothing like his dad, but exactly like his son?” and not even “Is it weird that the scene with Marty and his mom is so hot?” What we’ve really been dying to know is why Marty hangs out with crazy old Doc Brown in the first place.

We mean, sure, if Marty knew that Doc could bend the very laws of space-time to his zany will, that’s reason to put up with even the nuttiest of professors, but he couldn’t have known that from jump street, could he? Fortunately, someone over at mental_floss was wondering the same thing, and even more fortunately, “Back to the Future’s” co-creator and co-writer Bob Gale chimed in with this answer:

Okay, from the horse’s mouth (yes, I’m the horse — er, co-writer, co-creator):

We never explained it in the movie. But the history of the characters that Bob Zemeckis and I created is this…

For years, Marty was told that Doc Brown was dangerous, a crackpot, a lunatic. So, being a red-blooded American teenage boy, age 13 or 14, he decided to find out just why this guy was so dangerous. Marty snuck into Doc’s lab, and was fascinated by all the cool stuff that was there. When Doc found him there, he was delighted to find that Marty thought he was cool and accepted him for what he was. Both of them were the black sheep in their respective environments. Doc gave Marty a part-time job to help with experiments, tend to the lab, tend to the dog, etc.

And that’s the origin of their relationship.
— Bob Gale

There you have it, folks. Marty snuck into Doc’s lab as a curious young boy, only to strike up an unlikely friendship with a fellow eccentric. Kind of like “The Man Without a Face” but without all the disfigurement or possible molestation (we hope). So, back to wondering about what your feelings about Marty’s mom says about you as a person and hilariously remarking, “Only four more years until hoverboards!”

What do you think about Gale’s explanation? Give us your fan-fiction versions of Marty and Doc’s first meeting in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse” unveils its first clip

Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse” unveils its first clip (photo)

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Todd Solondz doesn’t make happy movies, but he does occasionally make pretty hilarious ones. In flicks like “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” “Happiness” and “Life During Wartime,” the writer/director has wallowed in the desperation and depression of numerous outsider character with darkly humourous results. For his upcoming film “Dark Horse,” Solondz appears to be sticking to that formula, if the first clip from the movie is any indication.

The movie stars Selma Blair as a failed academic who moves back in with her parents and is courted by Jordan Gelber, best known for originating the role of Brian in “Avenue Q,” and playing Simon on the first three episodes of “Boardwalk Empire.” “Dark Horse” also stars Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow and Justin Bartha, in roles that will most likely see them do terrible things as well as have terrible things done to them.

Watch the clip below, featuring Blair and Gelber for a short, but humorous gag, but make sure to crank the volume on your computer, as the sound in the video is extremely low.

What do you think about the first clip for Solondz’s “Dark Horse?” Will you be checking the movie out in theaters? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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