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10 ’90s Flops That Were Actually Awesome

Cable Guy

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Humanity as a whole is getting smarter, so it’s not surprising that we can see where the ’90s got things wrong. Some of the decade’s best movies were commercial flops on release. Let’s revisit 10 duds that turned out to be pretty great.

10. Nothing But Trouble

This bizarre Demi Moore/Dan Aykroyd/Chevy Chase vehicle features some super disgusting makeup and a performance by Digital Underground with a pre-fame Tupac. And the weirdest part? Aykroyd served as cowriter and director.

9. Boxing Helena

Jennifer Lynch piggybacked on pop David’s fame to make her debut feature, a twisted psychodrama featuring sexual amputation and a creepy performance from Julian “The Warlock” Sands. Fun fact: Lynch regular Sherilyn Fenn replaced Kim Basinger, who was famously sued for backing out of the film.

8. Man on the Moon

Even though Jim Carrey scored a Golden Globe nod for his take on Andy Kaufman, Milos Forman’s acclaimed biopic lost more than $34 million on release.

7. Very Bad Things

Peter Berg’s dark comedy about a bunch of bachelor party buds who accidentally murder a prostitute in Las Vegas was savaged by critics at the time of its release. But viewed today, it’s like a (much) darker version of The Hangover with Jeremy Piven, Christian Slater, Cameron Diaz, and Daniel Stern in one of his least wholesome roles.

6. Nightbreed

Clive Barker never got the box office mojo that Stephen King commanded, but 1990’s Nightbreed (sadly butchered by the studio) is a solid action-horror flick. Check out the recently released director’s cut for proof. 

5. Rush

In hindsight, this dark 1991 drug drama lays the groundwork for shows like The Wire, and it’s got great performances from Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

4. Dark City

Alex Proyas’ sci-fi noir came out just a year ahead of The Matrix but was sadly overshadowed by that film’s blockbuster success. But the film’s gorgeous deco design, cutting edge special effects, and twisty plot are still influential today.

3. Ravenous

Despite being sharply-written and well-acted, Antonia Bird’s 1999 cannibal flick was virtually impossible to market and only made a fraction of its budget back.

2. The Cable Guy

Jim Carrey makes a second appearance on this list with this remarkably dark and mean-spirited comedy directed by Ben Stiller and produced by Judd Apatow.

1. Showgirls

Paul Verhoeven’s grotesque take on the tassels-and-tiaras biz was just too damn mean to succeed in the ’90s, but in hindsight it’s a one-of-a-kind achievement. (Particularly when intoxicated.)


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.