DID YOU READ

Julia Roberts, Gary Coleman and a Monkey: Inside an Epic Collection of Forgotten Movie Posters

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By Michael Colton

Michael Colton writes for film (Penguins of Madagascar) and television (Childrens Hospital). He is also the owner and curator of the only $5 Movie Poster Collection in the known universe, which decorates his office in Los Angeles. (Click images to expand.)

On The Right Track, The Hazing

Orca, Broad Street

Walk into any producer’s office in L.A., and you’re likely to see a framed French lithograph of Casablanca, or the original one-sheet for The Godfather. Yawn.

Come to my office and you’re greeted with a beat-up poster for Robby Benson’s Die Laughing.

Die Laughing

I have not seen this film, nor have I ever met anyone who’s seen this film. Or even anyone who’s heard of this film. Or anyone who can explain why there’s a monkey. But that’s what you get for five dollars.

The Prize Fighter

I started collecting posters years ago when I lived in Washington, D.C., and a local movie theater went out of business. They gave away a bunch of posters from their storeroom, and I was drawn to the ones from the ’70s and ’80s, for movies with big stars and directors which are completely forgotten now.

Lucky Lady

I found more posters at flea markets, then discovered the troves on eBay and other sites. To stave off bankruptcy, I set myself an arbitrary cap of five dollars. Fortunately, that suits the kind of ignored movies that I like (i.e., posters that no one else wants). Like 1977’s The Chicken Chronicles, which carries the historic text, “introducing Steven Guttenberg.”

The Chicken Chronicles

Some of these I have a soft spot for because I actually saw them in the theater.

Blue City, Gotcha

Quicksilver, Vice VErsa

The only thing I remember about Earthbound is that my parents fucking hated it.

Earthbound

Satisfaction

This one I like because a young, pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts is in the photo, but she’s not named in the credits block. (For Liam Neeson it’s the other way around.) Also, Justine Bateman is gruesomely airbrushed.

Satisfaction closeup

This one, Playing For Keeps, is perhaps my favorite poster.

Playing for Keeps

Why? Oh, I don’t know…

Playing for Keeps closeup

Sometimes I organize the posters by genre. For instance, “Unlikely Creatures Playing Sports.”

MVP, Gus, Blue Skies Again

And a “Science Fiction” section: Krull (alien invaders), Spacehunter (hostile planet), Moment by Moment (Lily Tomlin and John Travolta are attracted to each other).

Krull, Spacehunter, Moment By Moment

CLICK HERE TO SEE PAGE 1.

This one appears to be a Cannonball Run knockoff starring Stockard Channing’s breasts.

Safari 3000

And according to the poster, it was made in 1932.

Safari 3000 closeup

Can I interest you in a western with Diane Lane and Amanda Plummer?

Cattle Annie and Little Britches

A scathing satire of our health-care industry starring the Fat Boys and Ralph Bellamy?

Disorderlies

A wacky Boy Scout comedy starring Louie Anderson, John Goodman and Richards Lewis and Belzer?

The Wrong Guys

Dyan Cannon’s sexy legs wrapped around a future murderer?

Coast to Coast

It’s too bad they never made the sequel, “ROTH.”

Rollover

Phoebe Cates. Panties. Cross-dressing. A perfect poster.

Private School

I fell asleep halfway through reading this one.

Four Friends

Two different titles. One inspirational journey.

Forever Young Forever Free, Lollipop

My introduction to Andy Kaufman.

Heartbeeps

Of all my posters, Albert Brooks’ breakthrough film is the only one that’s a genuinely great movie. Don’t know how I got this one so cheap.

Real Life

I keep buying these posters because there’s something comforting about them. Knowing that so many movies are utterly forgotten keeps me from getting too precious about my own writing. After all, nobody’s perfect.

Nobody's Perfekt

All photos courtesy of Michael Colton.

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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.