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“The Road”: The Video Game.

“The Road”: The Video Game. (photo)

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Since movie producers have no qualms about turning inappropriate games into films, it should come as no surprise that crummy cross-promotion is a two-way street.

Take for example, “Survive the Road,” a browser game that’s part of the official web site for “The Road” that lets you inhabit the emaciated body of Viggo Mortensen’s nameless drifter as he travels the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of food and shelter while fending off those annoying cannibals.

It’s kinda like “Oregon Trail,” though I don’t recall in that game ever having to choose whether or not you’ll explain to your son why you had to mercy-kill a woman you saw bleeding by the side of the road.

Needless to say, this probably isn’t what Cormac McCarthy had in mind when he signed off the rights to his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel for a film adaptation. But maybe he’d be charmed by the fact that the rudimentary gameplay lends itself to being prose-heavy. Instructions range from plundering goods from others (“You run over to the man, remove your knife and cut his throat. You take a ragged knit cap (-10 energy loss)” — after all, your survival depends on keeping your energy level up) to describing one’s approach of a stranger (“The man is startled. He gets up and runs away as fast as he can. Unfortunately, he was cooking human remains, so you don’t get a hot meal.).

Even without the potential of flesh-eating, “The Road” doesn’t seem like the type of film that calls for a game tie-in, despite the fact that the practice is de rigueur in Hollywood these days. The website for “Old Dogs,” for instance, sports the game “Golf Cart Chaos,” where Robin Williams’ business client’s happiness level depends upon how you maneuver a cart around a course fraught with trash cans, sand traps and gophers. (Which is disappointing, since Disney could’ve gotten right to the point and produced a game where you hit golf balls at Seth Green’s nuts like in the trailer.)

11252009_runningscared.jpgAnd “Survive the Road” seems positively tame in comparison to what New Line cooked up for the Paul Walker thriller “Running Scared” in 2006, the type of frenetic B-movie that was already practically a video game. Some lucky developer worked their magic on “Welcome to Grimley,” a “Grand Theft Auto”-esque jaunt that allowed those who passed through an age restriction screen to “Find the G spot” on Vera Farmiga’s character between shooting up foes and driving recklessly on different levels. (New Line removed the oral sex level of the game after family groups complained, and now the site that hosted it is but a distant memory.)

Still, it should be noted that “Survive the Road” has a following. Over at Zombie Squad, readers talk of how much time they spent on the road, and appropriately enough, the consensus was that it goes nowhere.

[Photo: Screencap of “Survive the Road,” Weinstein Company, 2009; “Welcome to Grimley,” New Line, 2006]

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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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