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“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” gets four totally crazy posters

“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” gets four totally crazy posters (photo)

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Ghost Rider is a stuntman who made a deal with the devil, rides a hellfire powered motorcycle, has a flaming skull for a head, and according to trailers for the new flick, “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” can actually piss fire. As a concept, Ghost Rider is delightfully psychotic, and the four new posters for the upcoming film are absolutely in keeping with that.

“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance,” directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, is looking to be far more over-the-top, insane and absolutely balls-to-the-wall, as befitting the duo who brought you the “Crank” franchise. Being that I used to edit the “Ghost Rider” comic, I’m clearly a little biased, but I firmly believe “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” will be a fun, exciting, totally different addition to the growing slate of superhero films.

The new posters for the movie, unveiled by JoBlo and Superhero Hype, take a different approach at promoting the movie, eschewing photos of star Nicolas Cage, actor names or even a logo, and instead focusing on what everyone wants to see from a “Ghost Rider” flick: Skulls that are alternately flaming, exploding, screaming and/or spitting out bullets.

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What do you think of the new Ghost Rider posters? Are you excited for “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”? 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.

“Captain America” writers talk “Avengers” trailer and taking cues from Joss Whedon for “Cap” sequel

“Captain America” writers talk “Avengers” trailer and taking cues from Joss Whedon for “Cap” sequel (photo)

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With the recent debut of the “Avengers” trailer, the timing couldn’t be better for “Captain America: The First Avenger” to arrive on shelves next week. Marvel’s upcoming team-up film directed by Joss Whedon will feature soldier-turned-superhero Steve Rogers in a prominent role – possibly as the team’s leader – alongside fellow heroes Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and the rest of Marvel’s movie-verse stars.

IFC spoke with “Captain America” writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about the October 25 release of the film on DVD and Blu-ray, and got an update on their script for the sequel, as well as their thoughts on seeing Steve Rogers back on the screen in the first “Avengers” footage.

“It’s exciting, because at least from the scene where he says something about Tony Stark underneath his armor, you can tell he’s still 1940s Steve Rogers,” said Markus of Cap’s return in the “Avengers” trailer. “He hasn’t become gum-chewing, wise-cracking, internet guy – so I’m glad we started him off in a sufficiently character-driven way that now we can pop him into the present and it will serve him as a character. He doesn’t just vanish into the woodwork.”

Still, with “Avengers” slated to be the next appearance of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Marvel targeting a 2014 release for the “Captain America” sequel, the writers said the dynamic between themselves and Whedon (who co-wrote the “Avengers” script) has been turned on its head.

Where Whedon and the “Avengers” creative team once consulted the duo’s “Captain America” script in order to shape the character’s role in the big team-up event, now Markus and McFeely find themselves drawing from the events of “Avengers” for their next adventure featuring the iconic supersoldier.

“Yeah, it’s going the other way around now,” explained McFeely. “We needed to read Joss’ ‘Avengers’ before we could go on and do ‘Captain America 2.’ We needed to see if he did anything different, character-wise – and he hadn’t, he’s an excellent writer – but we also needed to see what he had done in terms of Steve poking around the modern day and dealing with it.”

According to McFeely, the pair recently turned in a completed outline of the “Captain America” sequel to Marvel, and is now waiting to hear back from the studio. And as one might expect, getting them to reveal any juicy details about the plot of the film is a tough sell.

“Marvel has made it very clear that we can’t say anything or they will murder us,” laughed McFeely.

“But maybe they’re bluffing,” joked Markus, only to have McFeely reiterate that any details related to the sequel – even the time period when it’s set – are as secret as the formula for the super-soldier serum that gave Captain America his powers.

Still, when asked whether the look at Steve Rogers in “Avengers” and the final, modern-day scene of “Captain America” had them itching to do more with the character in a present-day setting, the pair offered up some interesting thoughts about the pros and cons and bad of doing another period piece with Cap.

“So much of Captain America’s adventures occur in the present day, so there are a lot of things I’d like to touch on,” said Markus. “That said, we did leave the center section of ‘Captain America’ baggy enough to let him have adventures you didn’t see [in the first film]. So, we kind of have enough room to play with [for the sequel].”

“Still, if he had another adventure entirely set in World War II, the stakes are kind of lessened,” added McFeely, “because you know he survives and you know what happens to Bucky and you know the Howling Commandos survive long enough to have a toast in a bar.”

“You know Cap wins and you know that whoever he was fighting didn’t destroy the world, because you’ve already seen things that happen after it,” agreed Markus. “So the stakes are, well… But then again, did that bother anyone with the second ‘Indiana Jones’ movie?”

As for the rumors that we’ll see more of the Howling Commandos in either the “Captain America” sequel or their own movie, the pair were similarly noncommittal – and even a little cryptic – about our chances of seeing Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, Montgomery Falsworth, and the rest of the movie-version of the WWII squad again.

“They’re certainly cool, and in a different movie, we would’ve certainly had a little more ‘Kelly Heroes’ or ‘Magnificent Seven’ thing going on,” said McFeely of why the squad didn’t receive more screen time in “Captain America.”

“It would’ve been like ‘Inglourious Commandos,'” joked Markus.

“Personally, I’m a big fan of that type of movie – the ne’er-do-wells banding together to fight a common cause,” continued McFeely, adding, “so I’m open to it, but… well… I’ll just say I’m open to it.”

“Captain America: The First Avenger” arrives on DVD and Blu-Ray Tuesday, October 25. Come back to IFC.com next week for more from Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely on the comic book characters that didn’t make the final cut of the film, and the story behind one of the coolest comics call-outs in the film.

“The Avengers” get covered, as director Joss Whedon reflects on his burgeoning superhero family

“The Avengers” get covered, as director Joss Whedon reflects on his burgeoning superhero family (photo)

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It’s not a stretch to say that “The Avengers” is one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of 2012. In a year jam-packed with blockbuster comic book flicks — such as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” — Marvel’s attempt to bring together their film franchise in one ensemble collaboration is a gamble that could change the way Hollywood makes movie series.

That last statement might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves, but seriously, people are excited for this movie. That’s why Entertainment Weekly dedicated their Sept. 30 issue to “The Avengers,” replete with a heavily photoshopped cover featuring the film’s six main stars. The magazine released a tease of the cover story and set visit report today featuring interviews with Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner and director Joss Whedon.

Apparently Downey took his notorious habit of “pushing for heat-of-the-moment script punch-ups” with him from the set of “Iron Man” to “The Avengers.” That’s why, for much of the time EW was on set, Whedon could be seen off in a corner obsessively rewriting and adding new pages of dialogue.

“There is a weird element of: they handed me one of the biggest movies of all time, and I’m making it up as I go,” he said.

It turns out that Whedon was a bit caught off by the fact that his ensemble cast filled with big name stars — Downey, Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth — got along so well. In fact, he was counting on a bit of friction. “I was like, well, if they hate each other, I guess we can use that,” he said with a shrug. “But they don’t.”

But just because they get together on set doesn’t mean their characters are going to get along as amicably in the film. “Just because they’re super heroes doesn’t mean they’re super friends,” Renner said.

Fans got a tease of that tension in the “Avengers” teaser at the end of “Captain America: The First Avenger.” In an interview with Samuel L. Jackson in August, he said he got a kick out of seeing all the Marvel actors together in one room.

“We’re all really good friends,” he said, “It’s kind of funny to stand around in a room and see everybody. Thor is standing there in his costume. Captain America. Sometime’s he’s dressed and sometimes he’s not. Scarlett [Johansson] is there as Black Widow. Robert Downey is there. He very seldom has his Iron Man costume on when he’s just hanging around with his buds.”

“It’s just amazing to look around the room and see all of those guys there and go, ‘Okay. This is cool,'” he added.

“The Avengers” hits theaters May 4, 2012.

How psyched are you to finally see “The Avengers”? What are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know below or on Facebook or Twitter.

“Captain America” sequel may target 2014

“Captain America” sequel may target 2014 (photo)

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The best superhero movie to come out this past summer was “Captain America: The First Avenger,” as it offered a new take on the superhero genre while also perfectly teeing up next year’s sure-to-be-colossal “The Avengers.” Unfortunately, it’s looking like it might be another few years before we see Chris Evans suit up for the sequel.

In a conversation with Playlist the “Captain America” star mentioned that Marvel “may wait until 2014 until they release the next Cap. Marvel has a lot of balls in the air, they aren’t going to cannibalize their films.” He further explained that he’s currently on contract for three “Captain America” movies and three “Avengers” movies, but that any other appearance in one of the Marvel movie-verse flicks would count toward that total, making cameos in “Iron Man 3″ or “Thor 2″ pretty unlikely.

That doesn’t mean you’ll be waiting until 2014 to see Evans slinging the shield around though, as he’s still scheduled to play a major role in Joss Whedon’s summer 2012 superhero team-up flick, “The Avengers,” alongside Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and more. The following summer is currently slated to include both “Thor 2″ and “Iron Man 3,” leaving little room for another “Captain America” flick, lending credence to Playlist’s theory that a “Cap” sequel could be slotted into either May 16, 2014 or June 27, 2014, both of which are currently earmarked by Marvel for to-be-announced projects.

Are you disappointed that you might go a year without seeing Captain America on screen? What other Marvel flick would you like to see released in 2014? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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