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“Resident Evil” Turns 15

“Resident Evil” Turns 15  (photo)

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It’s one of those moments that pings across the collective memory of a generation of gamers. You’re one of a team of federal agents investigating a mysterious zombie outbreak in the sleepy town of Raccoon City. The mansion you’ve holed up in for the night feels off; danger hangs in the air like cheap cologne. Steered to walk down a dark hallway by your commanding officer, you see it before you hear it. A wet, pulpy noise that repeats cyclically, interspersed with, what is that, growling? Turn the corner and there it is: A rotting, wild-eyed zombie. And not only do you see it, it sees you. Quick, fumble through your weapons! Kill it before it gets too close. No, no, it… it’s grabbed you and–ohmyGod–it’s biting you!

That was “Resident Evil” on the first PlayStation and, if you played this game back then, you surely screamed or jumped or dropped your controller. To some extent, the dozens of mobile and console games that have followed all try to replicate that first primal scare and succeed to varying degrees. Nevertheless, the “RE” games keep chugging.

Known by the “Biohazard” name in its native Japan, “Resident Evil” debuted all over the world at various dates in 1996. (The U.S. date was March 30th.) Aside from the gore and zombies, the key feature of the games was how little resources you were given to survive the horror unfolding around you. Every bullet and healing herb was precious and how you played the game could make things infinitely harder, sending you right back to beginning to try and get a better result.

Of course, “Resident Evil” exists as more than just a popular game series. It’s also spawned a successful film franchise that’s gleefully B-movie in its over-the-top casting, set design and execution. Like the games whence they sprang, the Milla Jojovich films don’t need to make sense; they just need to deliver impulses to your brain. Which they do.

So, 15 years after the game that intentionally skimped on resources to keep you alive, even more titles in the franchise are on the horizon. “Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D” brings the characters from popular installment “RE5” to Nintendo’s just-launched 3DS handheld. Meanwhile, the forthcoming “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City” takes players back where it all started, supposedly offering four-person co-operative play to survive in the blighted burg this time.

We’re likely to get even more “Resident Evil” games in the future. Here’s hoping they keep scaring the bejesus out of another generation of gamers.

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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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