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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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.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.