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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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