Sci-Fi TV/Films that are so bad they’re good

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  • #39353
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Okay, I’m a bad film/TV afficionado (especially sci-fi, horror, and fantasy). Nothing gets me more excited than a film/show that is so bad it’s GREAT (erm, other than a show/film that is so great it’s great. it’s the ones in between that I have no time for). You know the type of show. It may be that I have a masochistic streak, but some are just so poorly executed, so ludicrous, such a joke, such an utter waste of time that they’re actually fun to watch. 😀

    So, what are some of the shows you love to hate, and hate to love?

    Most polls will probaby choose Plan Nine From Outer Space as the worst (I loved it), but here’s my movie pick: Manos, The Hands of Fate. Scroll down the link to watch the video if you dare!

    For a bad show: Well, I’ll go with Galactica 1980. I really liked Battlestar Galactica, but this sequel series blows so much it’s painfully funny (sometimes just plain painful to watch). Wolfman Jack’s appearance on the show is a classic moment.

    Also, what’s the worst, and therefore funniest name for a movie/show? I’ll pick the English title of this Japanese flick: Matango: Fungus of Terror (aka Attack of the Mushroom People) — in Japan it’s just known as Matango

    Hey, maybe we could do a poll on this later.

    #67499
    Anonymous
    Guest

    My pick for worst sci-fi film of all time? Oh dear, sweet, gentle Jeebus…

    Mesa of Lost Women. It don’t get much worse than this. Jackie “Uncle Fester” Coogan hopes he goes unrecognized as he essays the role of Dr. Aranya, who has some cockamamie scheme to create an army of superwomen with mysterioso spider powers or something, which also happens to create giant spiders (we see a leg at one point being hoisted up from behind a medical screen, but that’s about it). People we don’t know and don’t care about get led to his mesa-based lair by some insane guy while we hear some of the worst guitar music ever created. Every 10 minutes the movie decides it wants to be something else, and never succeeds at being anything at all. It hurt me, and continues to do so.

    Tied with that for badness, but infinitely surpassing it in the gonzo entertainment department, is Frankenstein Island. Okay, let’s get this description on the road…4 travelling balloonists and their dog Melvin crash into the ocean, and float in their inflatable raft to the safety of an uncharted island. Once they land, they decide, while leaning against the still-intact raft, to look for wood to build a raft. The island is populated by the requisite Island Girls, who of course are descended from spacemen, and run by the iron hand of Dr. Sheila Frankenstein Van Helsing, who is in communication with her late father, who is played by the floating head of John Carridine (heretofore known as the FHOJC). The FHOJC pops up periodically to issue vague proclamations, obviously written with no clue as to what they were referring to, like “The golden thread! The power!!! The POWER!!!” The FHOJC also seems to like lookin’ at the Island Girls doing their Voodoo Dance o’ Death, and who wouldn’t? There’s also zombies in knit ski caps. Who stage kung-fu fights. We get cuts to reaction shots from the zombies (yes, reaction shots from things that can’t react). They also seem to worship an 8×10 glossy of the FHOJC, which, when they wave a plastic Hallowe’en devil’s fork in front of it, changes into an 8×10 glossy of the FHOJC with a skull sticker on it. Nothing in the movie has anything to do with anything else in the movie. It’s unbelieveable. And it was made in 1981! And did I mention Cameron Mitchell as a guy who washed ashore from another movie, who does nothing but speak in stilted Edgar Allan Poe references? Watch it and feel your brains leaking out of your ears.

    #67512
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Those are terrible choices, Aleck. And I mean that in a good way, or do I mean a bad way? 😛 Real stinkers indeed, MUST WATCH THEM! 😀 Frankenstein Island looks like a hoot, something to watch out for. Praise be to bad movies!

    #67541
    TrimKlip
    Participant

    It’s not SF but the bad movie I love is “Strangeland”.
    Dee Snider as a tattooed psychotic mad piercer! 😯

    Brett Harrelson (Woody’s brother) as a detective with a short temper. 🙄

    Freddy Krueger (I can’t remember the actor’s name right now) as a drunken bastard.

    I know what you’re thinking *this has all the makings of a great movie* but sadly it’s not.

    #67542
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Frankenstein Island looks like a hoot, something to watch out for. Praise be to bad movies!

    Frankenstein Island is must-viewing for anyone who thinks they’ve seen the worst movies out there. In writing the plot summary, I somehow neglected to mention the appearance of the Frankenstein Monster, who is perhaps the most ineffectual portrayal of the monster in the world (all he does is wave his arms about wildly and accidentally knock over things). Good lord, it’s about twice as bad as you can imagine. And then there’s the bizarre thing that happens whenever someone mentions a specific location — their right arm hurts. I can’t explain it.

    Then[/i] there’s Blood Freak. In this cinematic train wreck, Herschell (our hero), who looks like Conway Twitty circa 1968, picks up a chick while on the road. He follows her to her pad, where her sister is holding a “pot party.” The chick he has picked up (who looks like Loretta Lynn) is a bible freak. Her sister (who, comparitively, looks like Salma Hayek — this is the kind of casting we’re talking about) is essentially a slut. After this bit of character development is introduced, Herschell is invited to take a job and a place to live at the sisters’ dad’s turkey ranch. The loose sister gets Herschell hooked on a potently addictive mutant form of marijuana, and he is asked to eat an entire turkey which has been subjected to strange chemicals. As a result, he turns into the BLOOD FREAK!!!! A turkey-headed monstrosity (the head is apparantly made out of papier mache, and he looks like the distaff cousin of the San Diego Chicken), Herschell now lusts after the blood of drug addicts!!! He cuts off the prosthetic leg of his old dealer!!! He has a tender love scene with his junkie girlfriend! He has the worst dream sequence outside of Glen or Glenda?!!! And, all the while, the film is narrated by some guy (actually co-director Brad Grinter) who chain-smokes throughout the movie and suffers a coughing fit at its climax! I love this movie, and would marry it if it were legal in this country.

    #67544
    alexandra
    Participant

    On the Sci Fi channel I like Knight Rider and The Incredible Hulk!

    #67758
    nursewhen
    Participant

    Well I think the ultimate has got to be that low budget B movie Dark Star which was supposed to be bad but (in my opinion) turned out to be one of the best sci films ever (And the captain in the cryochamber is SO Lexx) 😀 .

    #67775
    lizard
    Participant

    Well, I now pay for digital cable so I get to watch really high quality films such as:

    Invasion of the Bee Girls.

    Has anyone seen this?? It’s about a bunch of really attractive large breasted women researchers who become sexually isatiable “bee” women. There is a lot of excessive mammary display, and they become “bee” women after standing in front of a really large, cone shaped thing aimed at their crotch ( a giant vibrator?? ). They kill men by getting them overexicted.

    #67777
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    TrimKlip: Strangeland, sounds good, in a bad way. Normally a movie featuring a Harrelson without the Woody (Brett Harrelson) wouldn’t excite me, but I’ve actually heard that this one’s definitely worth watching.

    On the Sci Fi channel I like Knight Rider and The Incredible Hulk!

    Alexandra: Well the Sci-Fi channel, from what I’ve heard, would definitely rank high on any bad sci-fi list! 😉 I thought Knight Rider and The Incredible Hulk were pretty good (Bill Bixby’s character was great). If you want bad, forget Knight Rider, try listening to one of David Hasselhoff’s songs. The horror! 😀 😉

    Thanks Aleck, excellently written reviews btw. Blood Freak sounds like another disastrous must-see!

    NurseWhen: Dark Star is top of my list for must see films.

    Lizard: I enjoyed Invasion of the Bee Girls, one of those Bee movies from hell that are lots of fun to watch.

    #68683
    ShadowedVenus
    Participant

    Many episodes of Blakes 7 and the old Star Trek series are definitely to be appreciated for their so-bad-that-it’s-good factor as well as their truly so-good-that-it’s-great! moments. what about that Blake’s 7 epsiode Gambit where Avon and Villa shrink Orac so they can win a fortune at chess in a world where everyone seems to be wearing the costumes from Blackadder the Third with some silver plastic and face paint hurriedly stuck on them? or the one with the giant brain and the face painted guys who wanted to watch Dayna and Tarrant have sex? or the epsiode of Star Trek with the giant space amoeba? Or Khan?!
    Return of the Bee Women sounds AMAZING! Truly crap TV!

    #68684
    nursewhen
    Participant

    Many episodes of Blakes 7 and the old Star Trek series are definitely to be appreciated for their so-bad-that-it’s-good factor as well as their truly so-good-that-it’s-great! moments. what about that Blake’s 7 epsiode Gambit where Avon and Villa shrink Orac so they can win a fortune at chess in a world where everyone seems to be wearing the costumes from Blackadder the Third with some silver plastic and face paint hurriedly stuck on them

    Oy! Gambit happens to be one of my favourite B7 episodes 😯
    I’ll hear nothing against it! Compared with the rest of B7, that episode was positively sumptuous (though I was a bit unsure about all the silver streamers in the parking lot on the space station 😕 )
    If you want a really bad episode, how about Animals? Oh hang on a minute, that one’s so bad, it’s bad 😆

    #68706
    FrostGeezer
    Participant

    I love this place! Folks who appreciate the value of the truly bad are near and dear to my heart… but lousy help if you need to move a couch or something. 😀 Kudos to you all and please keep manning (and womanning) those couches.

    My guilty film pleasure is “Legend.” It’s the most beautiful train wreck. Every time it’s on TV, I have to stop and watch it–for Tim Curry’s costume, if nothing else. I’ve never been much of a Tom Cruise fan, and it’s deliciously surreal to see him as a scampering man-child with glitter on his face. The whole film is like a fever dream: the unicorns right out of a cheesy poster, the goofy henchmen, Billy Barty, that “Village of the Damned” elf kid, the Yes song. I’m still amazed it was ever made, and I celebrate it every chance I get.

    My TV treat is a little obscure (for all but the saddest of geezers). I have fond memories of the 70s series “The Tomorrow People.” Back when the Nickelodeon network was very young (in the early 80s), they padded out their air time with TTP, and its quirkiness hooked me. The dubious acting, the goofy plots and the held-together-by-tape feel made it the saddest (and definitely the maddest) show on my must-watch list. My dad would frequently ask, “Are you watching that show with the cheap special effects again?” In time, he simply referred to the show as “Cheapo Effects.” I think he truly worried about me. But I loved “The Tomorrow People!” Let me count the ways:

    The shapeshifting alien who pretended to be a well-preserved Hitler to get the kids thinking SS uniforms are the height of fashion (and fascism)!

    The actor who voiced Tim the Talking Table appeared as Timus (the designer of Tim) and Tikno (Timus’ clone brother)–now that’s economical use of an actor!

    The evil bongo drum that will enslave pop music program viewers!

    The man-eating alien spanking scene!

    It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen TTP, and every delightful episode has stayed with me, inspiring fond smiles. To be fair, for every bit I chuckled at there was something I found “cool.” For instance, I loved the way they replaced the “teleport” cliche with a “jaunt.” Tempting though it is to see those episodes again, I think I’m better off with my memories. What a sad, sad show (the best)!

    FrostGeezer

    #68712
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I love this place! Folks who appreciate the value of the truly bad are near and dear to my heart… but lousy help if you need to move a couch or something. 😀 Kudos to you all and please keep manning (and womanning) those couches.

    LOL — yep, we couch potato types may not make great movers, but we make for fabulous french fries. 🙂

    Excellently bad choices FrostGeezer! 😉 Know exactly what you mean about Legend and the Tomorrow People. Btw, I’m no Cruise fan either, but Tim Curry’s always a pleasure, sometimes a guilty pleasure, to watch.

    As for The Tomorrow People, wow it’s been a very long time since I saw that. Definitely a very good, or do I mean bad?, choice!

    Who could ever forget the Bubble Aliens that digested their prey? And how the kid didn’t want to wear his bubble suit to fight them ’cause he thought it made him look stupid, or something, I forget. I have to watch that again. 🙂

    #68723
    FrostGeezer
    Participant

    Thanks, Logan! 😀

    I’m glad someone else out there appreciates those flawed gems. I always thought I was weird. Viva “Tomorrow People!”

    #68749
    si_vincent
    Participant

    I can’t believe no-one has mentioned Zardoz…. Sean Connery in a nappy! And the immortal line “the penis is bad, the gun is good”. Sheer irresistable drivel. And a giant floating head. 🙄

    #68751
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I can’t believe no-one has mentioned Zardoz…. Sean Connery in a nappy! And the immortal line “the penis is bad, the gun is good”. Sheer irresistable drivel. And a giant floating head. 🙄

    ARG!!!!! Zardoz was an extreemly painfull film but not as bad as “The Man Who Fell To Earth” staring David Bowie.

    Anyway a movie that is so bad its good is “Escape from LA” No doubt this is goofy B movie fun. The premis is faiirly unlikey and most of the movie lacks any common sense. However its jut loads of fun.

    As for TV series I would say “Land of the lost” and the less said about that the better:D

    #68756
    FrostGeezer
    Participant

    I thought about “Zardoz,” but out of kindness to Sean I left that scab alone. Besides, “Highlander 2: Electric Boogaloo” is shame enough. There’s no need parade old ghosts out. At least “Zardoz” had they excuse of being made in the early 70s AND the fact that everyone involved must have been doing some serious drugs. Still, I love the scene where Sean shotputs that woman (well, a floppy mannequin at least).

    Also, “Zardoz” has a cult-like cadre of devoted fans–folks who appreciate the film for its “vision” and “message.” Cuckoo! Cuckoo! The last thing I want to do is upset a bunch of nutters who… doh!

    Ahem, I LOVE “Zardoz.” It was even better than “Cats.” I want to see it again and again. (Now kindly put away your guns).

    #68769
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones!

    I can’t believe no-one has mentioned Zardoz…. Sean Connery in a nappy! And the immortal line “the penis is bad, the gun is good”. Sheer irresistable drivel. And a giant floating head. 🙄

    Yeah, those who know me at the boards must be pretty amazed that I didn’t mention Zardoz since I’m totally obsessed with it (it required major self-control I can tell you). 🙂

    Who knew Sean Connery could look so good in a wedding dress?

    But I did know he’d look this good in a diaper!

    BTW, here’s a little review of it I wrote recently in Sad’s Sci Fi Choice (I know it’s a badly written review, but that’s kinda fitting ;)):

    A really big, toothy, and freaky stone head magnificently soars through the azure sky. A group of men in red diapers (Exterminators) rush to meet it. Wearing masks with the same visage as the stone head, they gather worshipfully before the Stone head which gracefully lands. With a booming voice it addresses the Exterminators: “The gun is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life, and poisons the earth with a plague of men, as o­nce it was. But the gun shoots death, and purifies the earth. Now go forth and kill.” The stone head, which is Zardoz and the Exterminator’s god, spews forth guns which they greedily lap up.

    The Exterminator Zed (Sean Connery like you’ve never seen him before) secretly enters the head which is the o­nly path into the Vortex – a land of immortals (the Eternals) with big mental powers and scanty clothing.

    He has worked in the service of Zardoz, cleansing the Earth of Brutals (the masses outside the Vortex) but has learned that it was all based o­n a lie and seeks revenge! But while Zed resents the underhanded manipulation by the immortal denizens of the Vortex, who was manipulating the Eternals? And to what ends?

    “We’ve all been used!”
    “And re-used.”
    “And abused!”
    “And amused.”

    It seems that Zardoz, by director John Boorman who went o­n to make Excalibur, is a love it or hate it film – truly weird, truly different, and I think, truly wonderful. The final scenes are incredibly moving and powerful.

    It’s a very surreal, satirical, sometimes disturbing, sometimes just plain bad, but ultimately poignant film, and a personal favourite. If fear of seeing Sean Connery in a bright red diaper AND a wedding dress doesn’t deter you, be warned, there are lots of topless females frolicking about, and a depraved orgy scene with seniors involved.

    Scene to look out for: Super-human Zed punching through some saran wrap while those near him staring in disbelief say, “It can’t be done, it’s impossible.” There are too many quotable quotes to even begin quoting.

    But enough of words, pictures speak louder than, here’s the trailer (seriously wack):

    http://moviefilmfest.com/html/Zardoz_MGM_DVD.htm

    SPOILER AHEAD:

    One other thing… I really don’t want to give away too much, but… There’s an interesting parallel between the Brunnen-G of Lexx and The Eternals of Zardoz. The Eternals, like the Brunnen-G, have discovered the secret of immortality and life has grown very dull, dull, dull. When death approaches, most of them welcome it. Many of the Vortex’s denizens have grown apathetic, and when a member rebels, he is aged as punishment.

    Speaking of the LEXX connection, here’s a little Zev-Zed composite I came up with ages ago (under my lexx.com nick):

    Anyway, I love Zardoz, 😳 I’m a Zardoz freak :oops:, and am not ashamed to say so… 😳

    “An old man calls to me. The voice of the turtle is heard in the land” (Zed).

    Zardoz Nutters of the World Unite! 😛

    BTW, The Man Who Fell to Earth is another favourite of mine. Should I be embarassed? I thought it was great! Honestly! Come on, that was a good movie.

    #68773
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I TiVo’d a weird Brian de Palma musical recently. Phantom of the Paradise, a rock opera smash-up of Phantom of the Opera and Faust.

    A nerdy music composer (Winslow Leach) has his music, and then his life, stolen from him by an evil record producer (Swan, played by Paul Williams, who also does the music).

    High points: Any time Winslow runs about in his fetish-gear or any scene with the glam/goth rocker Beef

    Low points: Swan sitting in a bathtub making a deal with the Devil to stay eternally young and beautiful. This is Paul Williams, folks.

    #68784
    si_vincent
    Participant

    Wow, opened up a can of worms with Zardoz huh?
    I think The Man Who Fell To Earth is pretty cool, for rather baser reason. It’s got loadsa 70’s hippy chicks getting nekkid. Plus it rates as one of the few films ever to make me wince – when David Bowie gets his nipple cut off.
    However, a film that all my friends resolutely maintained was crap but which (many years ago at the tender age of thirteen) I thought was ineffably cool was Robot Jox. Giant fighting robots – wow. Course, this was before things like the Power Rangers had come to the uk, so it was like wow, here are theses huge Transformer type ‘bots, but they’re real and stuff! Course on the down (up?) side there was a scene where a woman GenJox suddenly sprouted a massive moustache mid-way through a roundhouse kick but hey….

    I haven’t seen it for many years, so I may have a somewhat rose-tinted remembrance.

    #68786
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I TiVo’d a weird Brian de Palma musical recently. Phantom of the Paradise, a rock opera smash-up of Phantom of the Opera and Faust.

    A nerdy music composer (Winslow Leach) has his music, and then his life, stolen from him by an evil record producer (Swan, played by Paul Williams, who also does the music).

    High points: Any time Winslow runs about in his fetish-gear or any scene with the glam/goth rocker Beef

    Low points: Swan sitting in a bathtub making a deal with the Devil to stay eternally young and beautiful. This is Paul Williams, folks.

    You left out The Portrait of Dorian Gray, in that Swan ages on film, but stays the same in life. Phantom of the Paradise is not only one of my favorite Brian DePalma films, but one of my favorite films, period. I love very damn song in the movie (and the representation of various rock music trends — the Sha-Na-Na-inspired ’50s revival of the ’70s in the song/performance of “Goodbye, Eddie, Goodbye”, the Endless Summer-inspired Beach Boys revival of the ’70s in the song/performance of “Upholstery”, the New York Dolls-ish appearance of the band when Beef is announced at the airport, the KISS/Alice Cooper appearance of the band during “Somebody Super Like You (Beef Construction Song)/Life At Last”), I love Love LOVE Paul Williams as Swan, I love Jessica Harper (who is an extremely nice person in real life), I love Bill Finley as Winslow/The Phantom…I especially love the fact that DePalma COMPLETELY rips off (or, rather, pays homage, since it’s an obvious lift that he’s not trying to pass off as anything else) the opening of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil during the “Upholstery” scene — and then ups the ante by doing the sequence in split-screen (my favorite over-the-top cinematic technique), using two cameras running simultaneously with no edits. I don’t think there’s a damned thing in this movie that I *don’t* love. Okay, here’s my only criticism — when the movie was in production, a big deal was made over the fact that Swan’s record label was called “Swan Song” and that Beef dies by being electrocuted on stage. One of the bands on Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song label had a band member who died in a similar fashion (I think), and Peter Grant — Zep’s manager and all-’round tough guy — threatened to sue the pants off everyone involved if they didn’t change the label name. So they replaced (most often optically) all appearances of the Swan Song logo with a “Death Records” logo. There are a few places in which they miss it. There’s a Swan Song logo hanging over the door to the record pressing plant where Winslow suffers a horrible accident, and there are Swan Song logos on banners at the Paradise. There may be more, but I forget. Anyway, sloppy job there (and the optical replacements look sloppy as well).

    Cool story from another board — when the movie premiered in NYC (I believe after it had received a pre-release screening), someone went to the trouble of coming up with a Phantom costume to wear at the after-party. It was a hit, so he thought it would be funny to attend a Paul Williams concert dressed in the outfit. So, next time PW came through town, he showed up in the Phantom suit. He milled about the crowd for a while, until Security grabbed him and took him to a hallway somewhere backstage. He figured that he was either about to get kicked out, or get the crap kicked out of him, but from out of nowhere, Paul Williams approaches, comes up to him, and says “Winslow! I’ve been looking for you simply *everywhere.*” Then security let him go back to watch the show.

    #68789
    Anonymous
    Guest

    the KISS/Alice Cooper appearance of the band during “Somebody Super Like You (Beef Construction Song)/Life At Last”)

    IMO, this is hands-down the best scene in the film, up until the campy electrocution. The other songs don’t register as much with me. I think the frequent dubbing of Paul William’s voice did that. The songs from RHPS aren’t much better, but having the actors mostly singing (even if it was *bad* singing) the songs themselves (I believe Rocky was dubbed over) lent a lot to that.

    Anyway, sloppy job there (and the optical replacements look sloppy as well).

    I wonder if they tweaked it for the DVD release (which I think the FMC broadcast was using)? The overlays weren’t so obvious to my eye, but I can go back and check.

    #68791
    Anonymous
    Guest

    the KISS/Alice Cooper appearance of the band during “Somebody Super Like You (Beef Construction Song)/Life At Last”)

    IMO, this is hands-down the best scene in the film, up until the campy electrocution. The other songs don’t register as much with me. I think the frequent dubbing of Paul William’s voice did that. The songs from RHPS aren’t much better, but having the actors mostly singing (even if it was *bad* singing) the songs themselves (I believe Rocky was dubbed over) lent a lot to that. [/quote]

    Ditto. I used to keep my old VHS of this cued up to this scene. And, again, I have to restress my love for the diminutive Mr. Williams. Next to Ronnie James Dio, he’s the greatest midget in music. Anyone who can do this flick and write all the music for The Muppet Movie is okay in my book. But then, I have questionable taste. And really, PW only sings 3 songs and one fragment in the whole movie — there’s “Beauty and the Best (Phantom’s Theme),” a reprise of “Faust” and the closing credits song “The Hell of It” (which is my favorite track in the movie). He also sings something like 4 lines of some untitled track when Winslow approaches the Swannage (“Never thought I’d get to meet the Devil/Never thought I’d see him face-to-face…”). Bill Finley, Jessica Harper and the three members of the Juicy Fruits (in their different incarnations as the Beach Bums and the Undead as well) all sing their own songs (except for when Swan “restores” Winslow’s voice — and proclaims “perfect!” — which ends up sounding exactly like Swan’s own, which I thought was a really witty touch). Beef’s overdubbed by some other guy (which is a good thing, since Gerritt Graham can’t carry a tune in a dump truck). I know, I’m being picky but I am a picky, picky schmuck.

    Anyway, sloppy job there (and the optical replacements look sloppy as well).

    I wonder if they tweaked it for the DVD release (which I think the FMC broadcast was using)? The overlays weren’t so obvious to my eye, but I can go back and check.[/quote]

    As far as I can tell, they kept things as they were for the DVD release. One place where it really stands out is — I think, as I don’t have it handy — on the marquee for the Paradise. If my memory serves me, I think there’s a Death Records logo superimposed on there while the hanging banners still have a neon-colored Swan Song logo.

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