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DID YOU READ

The 10 coolest vehicles from comic book movies

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Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” roars into theaters this weekend, leaving a trail of fire and burnt rubber in its wake.

Sporting a new set of directors and a reinvented take on the motorcycle-riding anti-hero, “Spirit of Vengeance” also features a new look at the way Ghost Rider interacts with his fire-spitting ride and anything else he gets behind the wheel of. Whether it’s on two wheels or a set of treads, every vehicle becomes an instrument of fiery retribution for Johnny Blaze’s demonic alter ego.

Still, Ghost Rider isn’t the first comic book character to bring a memorable ride along when making the jump from page to screen. In no particular order, here are our 10 favorite vehicles from the modern era of comic book movies.


The Owl Ship (“Watchmen“)

No matter what you think of Zack Snyder’s live-action adaptation of Watchmen, it’s difficult not to be impressed by the film’s version of the Owlship, Nite Owl’s high-tech flying headquarters. Not only is it intimidating, but it gets bonus points for staying true to the comic and actually looking like an owl’s head. Sadly, it loses some of those bonus points for playing host to one of the worst sex scenes ever filmed, but I digress…


The Blackbird (“X-Men” 1-3, “X-Men: First Class“)

While there’s nothing too fancy about the sleek jet used by the X-Men to get around the world, there’s something to be said for the fact that almost everyone associates the silhouette of the Blackbird with Marvel’s mutants even though it was based on a real-world plane developed way back in 1964. Heck, there are more than a few people who might not believe you when you tell them the SR-71 Blackbird was a real plane — it’s become associated with the X-Men that closely.


The Batmobile (“Batman” & “Batman Returns“)

Fans of Christopher Nolan’s big-screen Bat-verse might scoff at the choice of this version of the Batmobile (from Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns”) as my favorite of the bunch, but in my mind, this version of Batman’s ride offered the best balance of form and function for The Dark Knight. Designed by Anton Furst, who won an Oscar for conceiving of both the Batmobile and the noir-influenced take on Gotham City seen in the film, this Batmobile exists equidistant from Nolan’s military-style “Tumbler” and the glowing, missile-like Batmobile from Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin.”


Ghost Rider’s motorcycle (“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance“)

I mentioned this one earlier, but once you see “Spirit of Vengeance” you’ll understand why it’s on the list. The bike Johnny Blaze rides is already pretty sweet in its normal form (read: not engulfed in flames), but once he becomes Ghost Rider things move to a whole new level of bad-assery. Like a good horse, Ghost Rider’s bike comes when he calls it, and always makes a great first (and second, and third) impression with flames that seem to pour from every crevice and a roar that sounds more bestial than mechanical. It’s truly a ride fit for a demon.


A Horse with Gatling Guns (“Jonah Hex“)

One of the funniest images from 2010’s live-action “Jonah Hex” movie wasn’t intended to be humorous — but it quickly became a popular symbol of everything that was wrong with the studio’s attempt to bring DC’s famous bounty hunter to the big screen. While the memorable image of Jon Hex unveiling his completely implausible combination of horse and heavy weaponry is burned into fans’ brains, it’s worth noting that the original version was even more ridiculous. According to “Jonah Hex” star Josh Brolin, an early design for the horse-mounted gun had the barrel placed underneath the horse’s belly on a rotating mount — which seems fine until you consider what would happen when the barrel swings from side and shoots off the horse’s legs. Owch.

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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.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.