I don’t know anything about the video game Half-Life 2. However, I do know that I love this short film (above) about that game’s “zero-point energy field manipulator”! The Gravity Gun (2013) was written and directed by Sam Gorski and Niko Pueringer for their Corridor Digital [Facebook/Youtube]. I previously posted (here) about Corridor Digital’s awesome sci-fi web series SYNC (2012). The Gravity Gun stars Lilan Bowden as Alyx Vance and Max Gonzalez as her father Dr. Eli Vance. They are part of a human resistance fighting against an alien race, called the Combine, who have conquered Earth. Bowden looks very much like her video game counterpart. She reprised the role in Corridor Digital‘s short Super Heroes vs Game Heroes (2014). So, watch Alyx Vance again here …
Check out these cool video extras: Behind the Scenes: Gravity Gun, Before and After: The Gravity Gun, and Behind the Scenes: Super Heroes vs Game Heroes. The “Before and After” video delivers a side-by-side comparison of The Gravity Gun‘s raw footage and its graphically-enhanced final edit.
OK, if you follow or read this blog on the regular, you know that part of the reason I love The Gravity Gun, other than its obvious coolness, is because I think that Lilan Bowden is absolutely adorable! She was new to me so, of course, I had to find out more about her! Here’s some of what I learned …
- Lilan Bowden [Youtube] is an actor/comedian based in Los Angeles.
- Her name is pronounced “LEE-lawn”.
- She performs regularly with her sketch comedy duo Lilan and Wilder [Facebook/Youtube] with her former college roommate and current best friend Wilder Smith.
- Her TV credits include Adult Swim‘s NTSF:SD:SUV:: (2011-13), The CW‘s Hart Of Dixie (2011-15), NBC‘s Parks and Recreation (2009-15), and The Asylum-produced SyFy channel movies such as Zombie Apocalypse (2011), Nazis At The Center of the Earth (2012), and Rise of the Zombies (2012).
Those SyFy channel movies really piqued my interest! I never seen them, so I sought them out …
ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (2011)
Zombie Apocalypse (2011) is an original movie produced by The Asylum to capitalize on, well, zombies. Zombie Apocalypse stars Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Johnny Pacar, Gary Weeks, Lesley Ann Brandt, and Eddie Steeples. Six months after a zombie outbreak caused by the VM2 virus, a ragtag band of survivors travels across California toward the island of Catalina where they believe the Army has established a survivor refuge. Zombie Apocalypse is not the best zombie movie ever made, but it’s not the worst either. There’s plenty of zombie killing action, a handful of badass babes and a pair of (bad CGI-rendered) zombie tigers!
Lilan Bowden plays adorable Myrah, one of a trio of archers who, eventually, join with the other survivors. Myrah, with Sarah (Anya Monzikova), were part of the Quincy archery team. The third archer, Brockton (Robert Blanche), was their coach. Julian (Pacar) is instantly smitten with Myrah. A very charming exchange occurs as Myrah stands guard by a window in a residential house they’ve holed up in for the night. Julian approaches. They discuss the uncertainty of their immediate future. “As they say, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray’,” she says. He smiles, impressed. “It’s actually ‘gang aft agley’ – I mean from the original Burns… Burns poem,” he adds, nervously. She smiles, impressed. “You trying to charm me with poetry… during a zombie apocalypse?” she grins. “Is it working?” he wonders. She chuckles. “That’s not a ‘no’,” her infers. A very sweet scene!
Watch the trailer here …
Myrah survives but, much to her dismay, Julian does not. Poor, poor adorable Myrah!
NAZIS AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (2012)
Nazis at the Center of the Earth (2012) is a “mock”-buster produced by The Asylum to capitalize on the release of the Finnish-Australian-German sci-fi/action film Iron Sky (2012). Nazis at the Center of the Earth stars Dominique Swain, Josh Allen, Christopher K. Johnson, and Jake Busey. A group of researchers in Antarctica are captured by a platoon of Nazi soldiers, led by Dr. Josef Mengele (Johnson), hiding at the center of the Earth. The Nazis, who have survived via replacement parts from hapless victims brought to them by researcher Dr. Reistad (Busey), are planning to create the Fourth Reich by taking over the world with flesh-eating bacteria, a gigantic Nazi UFO and a Nazi robot with Hitler’s head! Nazis at the Center of the Earth is ridiculously dumb fun!
Lilan Bowden plays adorable researcher May Yun. She plots an escape with lead researcher Lucas (Allen), but researcher Silje (Marlene Okner) rats her out to her lover Dr. Reistad to save herself. Later, Reistad extracts stem cells from May’s exposed brain in an attempt to kickstart the Hitler-headed Nazi robot. However, the procedure fails, and angry Dr. Mengele yanks out May’s entire brain and throws it to the ground!
Watch the trailer here …
May, obviously, dies but so, too, did May’s friend Mark (Adam Burch). Poor, poor adorable May!
RISE OF THE ZOMBIES (2012)
Rise of the Zombies (2011) is another original movie produced by The Asylum to capitalize, again, on zombies. Rise of the Zombies stars Muriel Hemingway, Ethan Suplee, Heather Hemmens, Chad Lindberg, LeVar Burton, French Stewart, and Danny Trejo. A small group of survivors escapes from Alcatraz to seek out a scientist who may have discovered a cure for the zombie virus. Rise of the Zombies is, easily, one of the worst movies The Asylum has ever produced! It’s really bad but not in a good way!
Lilan Bowden plays adorable survivor Jun. I think she appeared in Rise of the Zombies as a favor to director Nick Lyon who also directed the much better Zombie Apocalypse but realized she made a bad decision and begged to be killed off early on. She dies twenty minutes in. Poor, poor adorable Jun. Lucky, lucky Lilan Bowden!
Watch the trailer here …
Next, I decided to watch (or re-watch) some of Lilan Bowden‘s other TV credits …
NTSF:SD:SUV:: (2011-13), created by comedian Paul Scheer, is a hysterical parody of police procedural shows (such as CSI: Miami, Law & Order: SVU, NCIS, etc.) in 15-minute installments. Trent (Sheer), Piper (June Diane Raphael) and Alphonse (Brandon Johnson) are agents of the National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle (NTSF:SD:SUV). In “Time Angels” (S2:E5), the agents are joined by the Time Angels, a trio of sexy time-traveling anti-terrorism agents (Kali Hawk, Stacy Keibler, Nicky Whelan) from the future who travel to the past to stop crimes that haven’t happened yet in the future. The Time Angels and NTSF go back in time to stop a zookeeper who will detonate a nuclear bomb in present day San Diego. However, they stop the wrong zookeeper and the bomb detonates. So, they go back further in time to kill the zookeeper’s father but they kill his stepfather and the bomb detonates. So, they go back again to kill his mother but before they can, time-jumping master villain Leonardo Da Vinci kidnaps her. Eventually, they succeed in killing her and stop the bomb from detonating. Cool show, awesome episode! “Coming next fall to [adult swim],” the voice-over teased at the end. “When the crime is time, it’s time for Time Angels.” Watch the [as] promo for “Time Angels” (here). Lilan Bowden, by the way, was not in this episode, nor did a spin-off series ever appear as promised (yet), however …
The Time Angels returned in “The Great Train Stoppery” (S3:E6), and the episode featured Lilan Bowden in a small role! The all-new Time Angels (Eliza Dushku, Jayma Mays, Santigold), as told by Trent to Sam (Martin Starr) in a bar, are sent to the Old West to find a missing golden railroad spike to prevent a train from derailing and save the transcontinental railroad. Cool show, good episode! “Last week… on Time Angels,” the voice-over says at the end, and the Angels appear in 1774, inadvertently shocking Benjamin Franklin! Lilan Bowden appears, briefly, as adorable Penny in the Time Angels episode intro. The Angels are sitting in the backseat of a car. “If you don’t bang the [bleep] out of your boyfriend tonight, the universe as we know it will cease to exist,” Dash (Dushku) warns Penny, who is sitting in the front with her boyfriend. “Okay. Let’s do it!” she says …
Nick Cannon conceived on May 2, 1978
The Time Angels spin-off needs to happen!
HART OF DIXIE (2011-15)
Hart Of Dixie (2011-15) was a comedy/drama series that aired on The CW and starred Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New York doctor who inherits half of a medical practice in the small town of Bluebell, Alabama. The locals include Dr. Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson), the town doctor who owns the other half of the practice; Lemon Breeland (Jaime King), Brick’s daughter and Zoe’s rival; Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), the Mayor of Bluebell and a former NFL player; Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel), a local bartender; George Tucker (Scott Porter), a local lawyer; and Annabeth Nass (Kaitlyn Black), Lemons’s best friend. In “How Do You Like Me Now?” (S3:E5), Zoe tries to get Bluebell to warm up to her new boyfriend Joel (Josh Cooke), a New York writer; while Lynly (Antoinette Robertson), Lavon’s cousin, sets her sights on George and Lavon asks Lemon to help him get into the Gazebos of Alabama calendar. Lilan Bowden plays Collette, the adorable photographer for the Gazebos of Alabama calendar.
I’ve never really watched this series, but my daughter’s mother loves it. However, after watching the episode for this post, I have since added this wonderfully charming series to my list of TV series that I need to binge watch some day. ABC‘s Once Upon a Time (2011- ) is also on that list.
PARKS AND RECREATION (2009-15)
NBC‘s Parks and Recreation (2009-15) was, simply, one of the best American sitcoms of the past decade. SNL-alum Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope, the perky deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana. The ensemble cast includes Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, the Parks and Recreation director; Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Leslie’s sarcastic co-worker; Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, a cynical intern; Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, April’s dim-witted boyfriend; Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, a government official who becomes Leslie’s love interest; Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, a health-conscious government official; Rahsida Jones, a nurse who becomes Chris’s love interest; and more!
In “Moving Up” (S6:E21/22), the star-studded 6th season finale, Leslie, Ben and Andy visit San Francisco for a National Parks conference and for Leslie to decide if she wants to take a new job, while Tom struggles to open his Italian restaurant and the Parks Department gears up for the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert. In “Part One” (S6:E21), Ben and Andy meet with a tech company called Gryzzl – “It’s the cloud for your cloud” – to pitch Pawnee as a candidate for free wi-fi the company’s giving away to a few cities across America. Lilan Bowden plays Sam Nut, the adorable co-founder (with Blake Anderson, of Comedy Central‘s Workaholics, as CEO Mike Bean) of Gryzzl. They initially deny Ben’s proposal until they learn that Ben invented their favorite game, the Cones of Dunshire.
In “Part Two” (S6:E22), the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert rocks out with special guest stars The Decemberists, Ginuine, Kay Hanley (reuniting with her band Letters To Cleo because of a t-shirt Ben wore in a previous episode), Yo La Tengo as Bobby Knight Ranger (a fictional Night Ranger cover band whose members are all dressed up as basketball coach Bobby Knight), and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) as the lead singer of the reunited fictional band Land Ho! In “Part One”, by the way, Michelle Obama was a special guest star and she was really good!
I watched this episode when it originally aired and, again, for a post (here) I did on Kay Hanley. Both times, I noticed that Sam Nut was adorable; but, both times, I looked past that fact for some reason. I didn’t even know who Lilan Bowden was. Then, when I saw that role listed in her credits on IMDb (here), I smiled and thought, “That was Lilan Bowden?” So, this (3rd) time, I focused my attention on Lilan Bowden.
And, now, we’re off to the web …
SILICON ASSASSIN (2012-13)
Silicon Assassin (2012-13) is a sci-fi/action web series written, created and executive produced by Brad Linaweaver [Mondo Cult] and starring Richard Hatch [Battlestar Galactica] as the Silicon Assassin and scream queen Brinke Stevens as President Medusa. The prologue explains it all …
In the future, after the failure of the War on Terror, there is a real war. Much of the world is destroyed. Much of America is devastated. A dictator comes to power. President Medusa controls what remains of North America by creating a government that is a twisted parody of the former United States. Renegade scientists create the Silicon Assassin and his female companions. They are artificial, self-aware Cyber Beings dedicated to fighting the dictatorship. The center of anti-government resistance is in Los Angeles. After the war, part of L.A. is a nightmarish wasteland; and part of it remains an upscale community. Just like today.
Watch the full series (here), or the individual episodes in order here: Episode 0 – Prologue (2:56), Episode 1 – Problem Child (8:23), Episode 1A – Medusa Speaks (0:09), Episode 2 – The Wall (12:34) [with Lilan Bowden], Episode 3 – Dead Reckoning (13:32) [with Marlene Mc’Cohen and special guest star Tim Thomerson], Episode 4 – The Medusa Meeting (13:24), and Episode 5 – Window of Opportunity (18:14). The first episode is idiotic but the rest of the series is sexy and cool, especially Episode 3.
In Episode 2, Lilan Bowden plays Karina, the adorable but distraught wife of a man (Gerald Webb) who believes that the mythical Silicon Assassin will appear through his computer screen and save them from oppression. Their daughter believed, too. She joined the underground, but was killed. Karina takes a bullet to the belly when soldiers come knocking at their door. Her husband escapes to Free Mexico – with help from the Silicon Assassin. Bowden‘s skills as an actress shine here as she injects pathos into series that’s really just about girls and guns.
GEEK CRED (2014)
Geek Cred [Youtube] is “a new comedy for the fan in all of us!!” The web series, created by Daniel Beals [Facebook], is a “workplace sitcom in the same vein as The Office, Parks and Recreation… only… set in a comic book store.” It’s actually more like Kevin Smith‘s Clerks (1994) set in a comic book store. Geek Cred stars Daniel Beals as Spencer, the manager of The Comic Bug. Michele Boyd [Facebook] and Wes Robertson [Facebook] play Callie and Ben, Spencer’s co-workers; while Damion Poitier [Facebook] plays Jerome, a regular customer. Producer Miley Yamamoto [Facebook] joins the cast in Episode 4 as new employee Megan. Geek Cred is an awesomely fun web series! Watch the first season episodes here: Episode 1 – “New Comics Day Crisis” (5:43), Episode 2 – “Detective Comics Store” (7:11) [with special guest star Jim O’Heir of Parks and Recreation], Episode 3 – “To Hoth or Hoth Not” (7:27), Episode 4 – “The New Status (Quid Pro) Quo” (7:45), and Episode 5 – “Nerdrage Against the Machine” (5:55) [with special guest star Brandon Johnson of NTSF:SD:SUV::, and Lilan Bowden].
In Episode 5, the season finale, Ben is banned from the store because writer/creator Clay Williamson (Johnson) is signing the latest issue of his comic Walkabout Assassin, which Ben hates. Bowden plays an adorable Walkabout Assassin super fan. She is so good in this small role – it’s one of my favorites!
The first season of Geek Cred premiered on June 18, 2014. I hope season two is coming soon!
Finally, watch as Conan O’Brien makes history on February 6, 2014 by showing TV’s first lesbian zombie kiss on his late-night TBS talk show Conan (here). Guess who that dark-haired zombie on the left is!
Now, I think I’ll go check out some of Lilan Bowden‘s sketch comedy!