DID YOU READ

The 25 best animal attacks in movie history (with video)

A scene from "Jaws"

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Nature doesn’t always win, but it can sure put up a pretty good fight. Check out some of the best (or at least somewhat memorable) cinematic examples of beasts getting the better of man, from classic creature features like “Them!” to summer blockbusters like “Jaws” to uproarious B-movies like “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.”


“Alligator” (1980)

Perhaps the most harrowing (and ridiculous) scene in this crafty little horror comedy features a bunch of youngsters dressed up like pirates for Halloween forcing one of their pals to “walk the plank” of their swimming pool, wherein lurks the giant creature that has since burst forth from the Chicago sewers. The size of the monster constantly changes throughout this amusing creature feature, depending on the needs of the scene at hand; in this case, he’s small enough to not be noticed as he lurks about in the deep end, waiting for a kid-sized snack to drop in. “Jaws” kept people out of the ocean; “Alligator” had people thinking twice before they went for a night swim in their own backyard.


“Arachnophobia” (1990)

A movie that will make you sit n’ squirm even if you like spiders (and if you do, did your mom drop you on your head when you were a baby or something?), “Arachnophobia” chronicles the invasion of a newly discovered breed of Venezuelan spider with venom that causes near-instantaneous death to its victims, leaving an entomologist (Jeff Daniels) and an eccentric exterminator (John Goodman, channeling Bill Murray’s groundhog-hunting groundskeeper in Caddyshack) as small-town America’s last hope. Relatively low-key as these kinds of creature features go, but it still has its share of creepy-crawly moments that will have you gritting your teeth and maybe even covering your eyes — like this particularly infamous bathroom scene. Horrible!


“The Beyond” (1981)

Lucio Fulci’s mad-dog crazy (well, no more so than usual) horror opus is basically a collection of gore-filled murder sequences — sorry, totally awesome gore-filled murder sequences. It’s hard to pick what might be the “best” of the lot in The Beyond (the second film in Fulci’s unofficial “Gates of Hell” trilogy, between “City of the Living Dead” and “The House by the Cemetery”), though the most outrageous is definitely the one featuring some poor bastard getting eaten alive by. . . tarantulas. For, like, a really, really long time. As with pretty much any scene in pretty much any Fulci movie, it’s best if you just kind of throw your hands up in the air and yell, “Wheeeeee!!”


“Birdemic: Shock and Terror” (2008)

Writer-director James Nguyen’s pro-entrepreneurial romantic eco-thriller chronicles the blossoming love affair between software engineer Rod (Alan Bagh) and fashion model Nathalie (Whitney Moore) as they flip the bird to the recession with their youth and success. Uh oh… did someone mention “bird?” Wouldn’t you know it, the morning after Rod and Nathalie finally get physical (her in Victoria’s Secret underwear, him completely clothed, and the clock at 47 freakin’ minutes in), a bunch of CGI birds (courtesy of an illegally downloaded and outdated version of After Effects, probably) suddenly descend upon the city, terrorizing the two lovers and the members of the “Supporting Casts” (as the opening credits call them) as they dive-bomb everything below like kamikaze pilots and explode on impact (yes, explode). Watch this right now.


“The Birds” (1963)

Alfred Hitchcock is such “The Master” that he was able to direct a flock of birds to flap around and peck at Tippi Hedren and company in what at least one critic has referred to as the director’s “last flawless film.” The quiet ‘burg of Bodega Bay, California has become the target of a series of sudden and unexplained (’cause it’s cooler not to know the why of it) attacks by some of our former fine feathered friends, though it could be argued that Hedren’s goddess-like gorgeousness made them all go batshit (or is that birdshit?) insane; Hitchcock himself went on to become obsessed with the blonde beauty who reportedly never let him indulge his sexual desires. Brilliant in its sound design (which, every now and then, involves complete and total maddening silence), “The Birds” will have you anxiously looking to the skies (and playgrounds).

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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.
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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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