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Zombies, Strippers, Senseless Violence Headline This Week’s B-Movie Fest

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By Michael P. Scasserra
IFC News

Looking for something cheap, entertaining and a little sleazy to do this week? (Who isn’t?) Then consider heading to Syracuse, New York, for the 2005 B-Movie Theater Festival, opening April 8 and running through April 14. This celebration of B-movies from around the globe promises a full week of zombies, aliens, gender confusion, strippers, drug addiction, senseless violence, teen angst, and rock and roll.

Among the titles screening at the fest: “Land of College Prophets,” a thriller about a possessed wishing well, described as “‘Batman’ meets ‘Pi’ meets ‘Wonder Boys'”; “Ghoul,” a horror flick about a dead teen brought back to life by his grieving father, purportedly shot in eleven hours with a budget of $72; and “Inbred Rednecks,” a cock-fighting comedy that screens in tandem with a “Dress as Your Favorite Inbred Redneck” contest. Other titles include “Teenage Bikini Vampires,” “Saloonatics,” and “Mari-Cookie vs. the Killer Tarantula,” as well as retrospective screenings of “Reefer Madness” and the 1952 “Red Scare” oddity “Invasion USA,” in which folks gather at a local bar to watch in terror as America is attacked by archival military footage.

Our personal favorite: “Graveyard Alive: A Zombie Nurse in Love,” a delicious, post-feminist feature about a wallflower nurse who gets injected by a backwoods zombie, then transforms into a sexy but decomposing siren with a taste for human flesh. Shot in luscious 35mm black-and-white, sans sync sound, for about $50,000, writer-director Elza Kephart originally intended this to be a silent movie — then changed her mind. With the entire soundtrack done in post, the result is something like a long-lost horror flick from 1963 — and one of those rare occasions when B-movie aesthetics have been honed to perfection. When it played at Slamdance, “Graveyard” took home the cinematography award and earned more than a few rave reviews, including one in Variety that compared Kephart to George Romero, Sam Raimi, and her very arty fellow Canadian, Guy Maddin.

“I don’t see ‘B-movie’ as a derogatory term,” says Kephart, who found inspiration in Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead” and in the sublimely creepy “Carnival of Souls.” “B-movies aren’t necessarily bad — they’re just cheaply made and often have weird, quirky elements. To me, it just means that you don’t have a lot of money and you don’t have any stars. That’s the actual origin of the term. Since we didn’t have much money, I figured that if we modeled something after a B-movie, we couldn’t fail.”

So now that she’s conquered the cult crowd, does Kephart plan to stay in a B-movie state of mind? “Yes,” says the filmmaker, currently at work on three more horror scripts. “Not because I plan to do kitsch — but because I still don’t have much money.”

For more on the 2005 B-Movie Theater Festival:

For more on Graveyard Alive:

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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