DID YOU READ

The top 10 most evil children in movies

Children of the Corn

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Evil is somehow even more evil when it’s personified and/or inflicted by a minor. Here are some of cinema history’s creepiest little shits, from the raving Rhoda in “The Bad Seed” to the scalpel-wielding Gage Creed in “Pet Sematary” to the she-demon orphan of “Case 39.”


“The Bad Seed” (1956)

Pray you never get on the bad side of Rhoda, a pigtailed terror in a Sunday dress who’s not afraid to use her tap shoes as murder weapons in order to get what she wants. The hapless janitor in this scene should’ve ceased with his taunts a good minute earlier (much like the janitor in John Carpenter’s “Village of the Damned,” but we’ll get to that later), otherwise Rhoda might not have SET HIM ON FIRE (you don’t get to see that part in the video; you’ll just have to catch the whole movie on Netflix Streaming) ’cause he knows too damn much about her evil Rhoda doings. Believe it or not, this preposterous After School Special gone stark raving bonkers was nominated for four Oscars (including a Best Supporting Actress nod for Paddy McCormack’s performance as the insufferable brat); the Academy must’ve seen it as some sort of bizarro cautionary tale, complete with a post-credits comeuppance for the film’s mini-villainess as she receives a hearty spanking at the hand of Nancy Kelly (who was also Oscar-nominated for her performance as Rhoda’s mother). Weird.


“The Exorcist” (1973)

“Your mother sucks cocks in hell, Karras!” William Friedkin’s gonzo free-for-all adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s weirdo novel (read it if you haven’t; it’s bonkers) ended up being what many consider to be the best horror movie ever made — and a project that doomed a young actress named Linda Blair to a life of typecasting and appearances at horror conventions. Whatever, though — better to have one great role in one great movie than a life of digging ditches, and “The Exorcist” is just dripping (or perhaps oozing — check out the video and you’ll see what we mean) with greatness. The adult actors are terrific and all (particularly Jason Miller as Father Karras, whose beautifully underplayed performance often gets overlooked in favor of the more histrionic work of Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow), but it’s Blair who owns the show and steals it from herself as the little girl possessed by an impossibly vulgar, mercilessly manipulative demon (voiced by Mercedes McCambridge).


“The Omen” (1976)

Director Richard Donner’s tale of a well-to-do couple who start to suspect that their young son might be the spawn of Satan or something is cheesy ’70s horror played completely stone-faced seriously (well, for the most part), resulting in a truly unsettling thriller that stands proudly behind the shoulder of “The Exorcist” as one of the few religious horror movies that actually works. “The Omen” is filled with elaborate set pieces designed to shock and amaze, from the (ex-) nanny ruining a perfectly good birthday party by hanging herself to a priest getting impaled by the spear-like crucifix atop his own church that becomes unhinged during a rather nasty storm (conjured by the Prince of Darkness himself!) to David Warner getting decapitated by a runaway sheet of glass. Great stuff, with little Harvey Stephens delivering a particularly creepy performance as young Damien; you’ll believe he’s the Devil’s kid without any real stretch of the imagination, whether there’s a nasty Rottweiler lurking around or not.


“Children of the Corn” (1984)

This movie is ridiculous, and so is the Stephen King short story it’s based on, but damn if it isn’t an entertaining bit of hayseed horror with an exquisitely stupid premise involving overalls-wearing teenage bumpkins who knock off their moms and dads (and everyone else over the age of 18, at that) as they worship something called He Who Walks Among the Rows. Pete Horton and Linda Hamilton play the young couple who run afoul of these little creeps, but the key conflict is the rivalry between Isaac (John Franklin) and his power-hungry right-hand, uh, man, Malachai (Courteney Gains); the former being sacrificed to He Who Walks Among the Rows is one of the film’s freakiest scenes, made all the more so by Franklin’s disturbingly high-pitched voice (there’s no post production tinkering there; he actually sounds like that, courtesy of the Growth Hormone Deficiency that also accounts for his short stature and underage looks). Franklin reprised his role 15 years later in “Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return,” and it ruled.


“Pet Sematary” (1989)

It was the scariest movie in the world when you were, like, 15, but when you got a little older you probably realized that this B-movie adaptation of Stephen King’s C-level bestseller was actually kind of . . . dumb. However, what’s made at least some of “Pet Sematary” stand the test of time is its sheer tastelessness; there’s something truly brazen about how tacky this movie is, whether it be its reduction of poor Zelda to a moaning, convulsing guilt-demon (yes, Mr. King, we know you think disease = evil) or director Mary Lambert’s manipulative trickery in getting too-young-to-know-better Miko Hughes to be a snarling, grimacing, scalpel-wielding toddler from hell. “No fair!” cries little Gage when his father (Dale Midkiff) sticks him in the neck with a syringe for what seems like five minutes; we agree whole-heartedly, kid.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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