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DID YOU READ

Shrunk History: The 5 Greatest Shrinking Movies of All Time

shrunk-history

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Like a bug on a windshield, the full-length trailer for Ant-Man smacked itself on the web this week. Paul Rudd, in his first comic book leading role, plays small-time thief Steve Lang who gets mixed up with a substance that allows him to shrink in size but increase in strength. (Check out IFC’s version of what a ’90s Ant-Man would have looked like!)

Although it’s the first time a live-action Ant-Man appeared on the big screen, the Marvel hero goes all the way back to a 1962 issue of Tales to Astonish. And in that time, there’s been some pretty incredible shrinking people committed to celluloid, leaving behind some really once-big shoes to fill for the ol’ Ant-Man.

So in tribute to his forebears, here are Ant-Man’s 5 best miniaturized ancestors in film.

5. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

5. Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Walt Disney Pictures

An unabashedly fun Rick Moranis plays patriarch Wayne Szalinski who, indeed, shrinks his kids (as well as the neighbors) in a family movie that’s mercifully light on the saccharine. The practical effects are a treat to watch, with a gigantic yard filled with gargantuan wildlife that separates the quarter-inch chitlins from the front door. You’ll be surprised how emotionally attached you can get to an ant.


4. TIE: Phantom Planet & Attack of the Puppet People

4. Phantom Puppet
American International Pictures

A B-movie plot device like a shrink ray can’t go without acknowledging a few B-movies, and these two are delightfully ridiculous. Featured in a Season Nine episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the 1961 movie Phantom Planet considers, as Crow puts it, that “people are just balloons” when an astronaut crash-lands on a diminutive planet that shrinks him down to a fraction of his size. Following in that goofy vein, Attack of the Puppet People — which was also riffed by the MST3K crew in RiffTrax form — a lapsed puppeteer shrinks unsuspecting folk down to a small, befriendable size. While both movies are enjoyable on their own, we’d recommend the MST3K-ified versions first.


3. Fantastic Voyage

3. Fantastic Voyage
20th Century Fox

A theme park ride disguised as a movie, the 1966 sci-fi flick Fantastic Voyage takes a surprisingly grim backdrop (an attempted Cold War assassination) and turns it into a rollicking adventure when a diverse crew are ensmallened and injected to fight a brain clot in the scientist who created the technology. With only a limited amount of time to stay shrunk, the film becomes Speed in a Corpuscle and a classic in the genre.


2. The Incredible Shrinking Man

2. Incredible Shrinking Man
Universal-International

Adapted for the screen by the late Twilight Zone dignitary Richard Matheson, The Incredible Shrinking Man goes existential when grimacing lead Grant Williams is exposed to a war analogy-heavy cloud and begins to slowly, steadily shrink. The smaller he gets, the more amusing the obstacles: kissing his wife, sitting in chairs, battling arachnids. The film ends on a emotionally ambiguous note, with the lead contemplating his everlasting significance in the universe while knowing he’ll never stop shrinking.


1. Innerspace

1. Innerspace
Warner Bros.

An ’80s popcorn flick if there ever was one, Innerspace depicts a “miniaturization Space Race” between two labs that are competing for the technology. During a hijacked experiment, Dennis Quaid and his inner-spacepod are condensed and injected into hapless bystander Martin Short. Featuring pixie dream girl Meg Ryan, the always-perfect Kevin McCarthy and Robert Picardo, and jaw-dropping effects that were pulled off without any CGI assistance, this Joe Dante masterpiece is endlessly rewatchable and clearly a cinephile’s celebration of all the “miniature mayhem movies” that came before it.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

E.coli-class-

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

ecoli-computer

IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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via GIPHY

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.

via GIPHY

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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