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Spoiled Rotten

10 Rotten Movie Twists

Catch the "Too Rotten to Miss" movie Orphan tonight at 8P on IFC.

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Image Courtesy of Everett Collection

A plot twist is like a complicated haircut; impressive when done right, a disaster when incorrectly executed. In honor of Orphan‘s twist ending this Rotten Friday, we’ve compiled our favorite Rotten movies (scoring 59% or less), all served up with a twist.  Spoilers ahead.

Lucky Number Slevin (2006) 51%

Josh Hartnett’s Slevin gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity with two crime bosses: the Rabbi (Sir Ben Kingsley) and the Boss (Morgan Freeman). Bruce Willis is an assassin named Mr. Goodkat.

The Twist: Psych! In a “Kansas City Shuffle,” or a confusing double bluff, Slevin has been on a revenge mission the whole time. And guess what? Goodkat spared Slevin’s life as a child and then raised him as his own son. What you taking ’bout, Willis?


Now You See Me (2013) 49%

“The Four Horsemen” are illusionists who pull off a bank heist and shower the audience with the stolen cash. But how did they do it? FBI Investigator Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) is on the case.

The Twist: Turns out there was a Fifth Horseman. And his name was Dylan Rhodes. Now that’s…magic?


Saw (2004) 48%

Two men wake up in a room next to a dead body. They soon realize they are victims of the Jigsaw Killer. Lessons are learned, a limb is removed.

The Twist: The dead body was really alive the whole time and is John, the Jigsaw Killer! Who Saw that coming?


Secret Window (2004) 46%

Johnny Depp plays Mort Rainey, an author who is stalked by John Shooter (John Turturro) who claims Rainey has stolen his novel. Shooter burns down Rainey’s house, kills his dog, and eventually his ex-wife.

The Twist: There is no John Shooter. Rainey has dissociative identity disorder. Shooter was just his desire to shoot his ex-wife, to SHOOT HER. Boo.


What Lies Beneath (2000) 46%

Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) discovers that her husband, Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) had an affair with a young woman, Madison (Amber Valletta). As Claire starts to put the pieces back together, she becomes suspicious that there is more to the story.

The Twist: Norman killed Madison and tries to kill Claire too. Claire is saved by the ghost of Madison.


The Village (2004) 43%

It’s the story of a 19th century secluded community with a big problem. There’s a creature lurking in the woods, threatening the safety of the villagers. But the elders are hiding a secret: they take turns wearing costumes to scare people into compliance. A blind villager, Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) is permitted to leave to get medicine.

The Twist: The village is actually set in modern times. The elders have been lying to everyone to preserve old timey traditions. So, definitely no texting.


Vanilla Sky (2001) 42%

There’s a reason science fiction romantic thrillers aren’t a thing. Tom Cruise plays David Aames, a narcissistic publisher who is badly disfigured in a car accident. Things get weird and really complicated (we’ll spare you), and he eventually jumps off a building.

The Twist: David opens his eyes, revealing that after the accident, he has been in a cryogenic sleep, living a fantasy life.


Basic (2003) 21%

John Travolta is a DEA agent who investigates the death of a feared sergeant (Samuel L. Jackson) and his Special Forces unit.

The Twist: Travolta’s character is leading a con to make everyone think his unit went rogue; nobody’s actually dead. They pretended to kill Samuel L. Jackson.


The Happening (2008) 18%

A true low point for twist-o-phile M. Night Shyamalan. Mark Wahlberg and the ever low-energy Zooey Deschanel play a couple facing a mysterious force that causes people to commit suicide.

The Twist: It’s the trees.


The Number 23 (2007) 8%

Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) receives a book called The Number 23. He starts obsessing over the murderous story. The book ends at chapter 22, where could 23 be?

The Twist: It’s on a hotel wall and it’s a confession of how Sparrow murdered a girl in college. He is the author of the book! Talk about a real page turner.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” movie Orphan this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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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….

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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.

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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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