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DID YOU READ

Matthew Lillard laments the lost “SLC Punk!” sequel, and how “Fat Kid Rules the World” is an unofficial homage

Matthew Lillard and Michael Goorjian in SLC Punk!

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UPDATED: October 8, 2012 – See below*

In his new movie “Fat Kid Rules the World,” director Matthew Lillard plays a high school guidance counselor to a chubby, suicidal student, a bullied, prototypical loser trying to find his own lot in life. The boy, Troy (Jacob Wysocki), is unexpectedly recruited to play drums in an upstart punk rock band, allowing the high schooler to break from his shell and advance towards a more popular, music-aided existence.

But this isn’t the first time Lillard has played champion to the voice of the oppressed. Back in 1998, the actor starred in the small-budget indie “SLC Punk!,” playing Stevo, a spikey-haired rocker fighting the system amongst Salt Lake City’s burgeoning underground scene. The role was a seminal one for both the actor and the underrepresented pool who found the film. Towards the end of the picture, it was assumed Stevo would head to law school to advance his cause from within. But will we ever know for sure which way the character went? If Lillard has his way, we’d be returning to Utah to find out.

“You know it’s funny,” Lillard told IFC of a potential sequel. “I pitched it and nobody bit. [Writer/director] James [Merendino] didn’t bite, and I don’t really know where James is right now. The last time anyone saw him he was in Colombia. But I pitched it to producers. Linkletter does that for ‘Before Sunrise,’ like every ten years he goes back and makes that movie again. I just think there’s such a great story to tell there.”

We may never know for sure where Stevo’s road took him, but if we look at “Fat Kid Rules the World,” we at least have an idea.

“The redband trailer [of ‘Fat Kid’] ends on me,” said Lillard. “I’m in the movie, and I put myself in the movie dressed up as Stevo at the end of ‘SLC Punk!’ And my name in the movie is Stevo Going. It was a little homage to ‘SLC Punk.’ In [‘SLC Punk!’] it says I’m going to law school to continue the fight and do more damage from inside the system than outside. So I have him as a high school counselor.”

According to the filmmaker, “Fat Kid,” based on KL Going’s novel, isn’t so much an unofficial sequel to “Punk!” as it is an homage. And, for a variety of reasons, Lillard sees a lot of his earlier role in his new film. At the end of the day, both characters exist to give voice to those who struggle to find their own.

“I think that they are related,” Lillard says of Stevo and Stevo Going. “And I know how much ‘SLC Punk!’ means to those kids who found that movie. I walk down the street and I have the benefit of running into kids all the time saying ‘I love that movie, we found that movie and we watched it a hundred times, it meant the world to me.’ So I know that you make a movie with respect about a demographic that nobody cares about, that they’ll support it and it’s a powerful thing. And hopefully we treat that scene with respect, and those people in that world find it and like that movie. The movie isn’t about a fat kid, it’s about people on the outside looking in.”

“Fat Kid Rules the World” opens in NY today, LA on October 12, with additional cities to follow, and will be available on VOD and iTunes beginning October 25.

*[UPDATE] “SLC Punk!” writer/director James Merendino tells IFC he is in New York City working on a sequel to his 1998 cult favorite. Stay tuned to IFC for more on this story.

Would you like to see an “SLC Punk!” sequel? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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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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