Alien Resurrection

Fourth Time's the Charm

10 Fourquels That Were Surprisingly Fantastic

Catch Alien: Resurrection this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

As the saying in Hollywood goes, three films doth a trilogy make…but it takes four to make a franchise. Before you catch Alien Resurrection this month on IFC, check out some of the best “four-quels” that proved some of your favorite big screen blockbusters still had gas in the tank.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max
Warner Bros

For a while, we feared poor Max had gotten buried under Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism and Tina Turner’s hair. Then along comes George Miller’s audaciously reimagined hotrod Hell that managed to take home six Oscars and make us all want to forego makeup and smear oil on our foreheads like Charlize Theron’s badass character Furiosa.


2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mission Impossible
Paramount Pictures

Say what you will about Tom Cruise — he knows how to keep a franchise going. Part of what has kept the M:I engine running is Cruise’s knack for working with interesting filmmakers. After handpicking auteurs for the initial three M:I movies (De Palma, John Woo, J.J. Abrams), he pairs up with animation director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) and ends up with a fourth installment that for once wasn’t on cruise control.


3. Fast & Furious

Fast and Furious
Universal Pictures

Leaving the skid marks of Tokyo Drift behind, Fast & Furious is at once a return to form and a reunion. Fan favorites Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are all back for more heists, car chases and drag races. The film was a hit, though we’re kind of surprised this one wasn’t titled 4 Fast 4 Furious.


4. Live Free or Die Hard

Live Free or Die Hard
Twentieth Century Fox

Action pics can benefit from an older leading man who hasn’t lost his rugged charm. Consider Sean Connery, Harrison Ford and, of course, Bruce Willis. As his on-screen alter ego John McClane so aptly puts it here, “Chicks dig scars.” True to that statement, this formulaic fourquel shows its age without shame. None needed — John McClane is ageless. (Catch Die Hard and Die Hard 2 this month on during IFC.)


5. Saw IV

Saw
Twisted Pictures

No horror franchise delivers on its promise as consistently as Saw. That explains why it has out-grossed the Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare movies despite fewer entries. This installment is the origin story of Hollywood’s most sadistic moralizer, and it proved to be a huge box office hit.


6. Bride of Chucky

Bride of Chucky
Universal Pictures

Past a certain age, we’re all creeped out by dolls. But after three fright flicks focused on our fears, the fourth installment in the Child’s Play series injected welcome humor, courtesy of a baby-voiced Jennifer Tilly in the title role. Did Tilly (Bound, Bullets over Broadway) give the performance of her lifetime here? Weirder things have happened. Like killer dolls.


7. Alien: Resurrection

Alien
Twentieth Century Fox/Everett Collection

How do you bring Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) back from the dead? Clone her, of course. How do you justify Winona Ryder’s wooden acting? Make her a “synthetic.” Herein lies the genius of Joss Whedon, who wrote the screenplay. After this came the Alien Vs. Predator movies and the less said about those the better.


8. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The Voyage Home
Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

Not all Star Trek movies are strictly for Trekkies. This fun, ’80s-tastic outing also works for the Green Party with its Save the Whales subplot. Ironically, while the ecological message argues on behalf of animals facing extinction, most of the whales on-screen are played by life-sized robots and motorized mini-mammals. But the punk with the jukebox who annoys Kirk and Spock? He’s totally real.


9. Rocky IV

Rocky

Arguably as iconic as the original Rocky, this Cold War classic pits American guts against Russian genetics in the boxing ring. 40-plus years later, we might still be routing for Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion but we’re also secretly conceding that the scientific training favored by Dolph Lundgren’s Drago is the wiser strategy.


10. Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact
Warner Bros

This Dirty Harry movie — featuring a vigilante rape survivor — is the first time Inspector Callahan spit out the iconic line “Go ahead, make my day” and the last time we saw Sondra Locke, Clint Eastwood’s onetime real life love interest, in a Clint Eastwood movie. For those two things alone, it deserves its place in the canon of fantastic fourquels.

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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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GIFs via Giphy

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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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.