Type of site
|Film review, podcasts|
|Created by||Korey Coleman|
|Slogan(s)||"If it's crap, we'll tell you."|
Spill.com was a movie and video game review, discussion and news website. It was the continuation of the 9 year old Austin, Texas based public-access television cable TV show called The Reel Deal. There were four main film critic contributors to the website, collectively known as the Spill Crew, including Korey Coleman, Chris Cox, Martin Thomas, C. Robert Cargill, and Tony Guerrero. Under aliases, with the exception of Coleman, they reviewed movies as animated versions of themselves or in uncut audio reviews, maintaining their personas in weekly podcasts. The website was owned by Hollywood.com, under R&S Investments. Stylistically, the site strived to maintain a "down-to-earth vibe." As of July 2013, Spill.com had over 50,000 registered members. On December 6, 2013, it was announced that the site will be shutting down. As of December 20, 2013, The URL for the website now redirects to the Hollywood.com website. Their final review was for the 2013 Disney film Saving Mr. Banks. Founder Korey Coleman posted on his Facebook page that he cannot share details regarding the shutdown but that he has mostly made peace with "past events" and "everything is fine". He also received funds via a successful Kickstarter to start a new website that will be a spiritual successor to Spill.com titled Double Toasted alongside Martin Thomas. Chris Cox, better known as Cyrus, since, started his own website "oneofus.net".
The Reel Deal was the precursor to Spill.com. The show began in Austin as a live, call-in format cable access television program, from the same local channel where Alex Jones of Infowars and Matt Dillahunty of The Atheist Experience also emerged, developing a strong fan base locally. The show featured a cast of rotating members discussing and reviewing movies, along with other topics. Spliced in between these discussions were skits that parodied popular movies and current topics. The show ended after Korey decided that,"As much fun as it was, I didn't want to spend another 10 years doing an access show."
Coleman tried experimenting with short animated versions of movie reviews, which were uploaded onto YouTube. It was then discovered by Dave McCarthy, an executive at MIVA Inc., a marketing corporation. McCarthy and MIVA offered to finance Korey, aiding him in starting the website in 2007. MIVA owned the website, handling the marketing, design and logistics of the site, leaving Korey and the other members of Spill.com in charge of creating content. While the creative team has grown and expanded over the years, Coleman was involved in the animation process. The site was bought by Hollywood.com, owned by R&S Investments, in 2009. In 2009 and 2012, Spill received the People's Choice Podcast Award for Best Film/Movie Podcast.
There were four main film critics on Spill.com. With the exception of Korey Coleman, they used aliases on the site due to legal issues. Critics included Korey Coleman, founder of the site and main host; Chris Cox as Cyrus, previously part of The Reel Deal; Martin Thomas as Leon, part of The Reel Deal and defunct Behind The Screens; and Film.com and Tony Guerrero as The Co-Host 3000, also part of The Reel Deal. Guerrero (as Co-Host) appeared in animation as a floating spherical robot, rather than a caricature of himself. Reviews usually included two or more of the critics, though some included Korey on his own. Co-Host previously rarely appeared in ensemble reviews, but in 2009 and 2010 began to take a more active role on the site as former reviewer "Carlyle" (Ain't It Cool News writer Christopher Robert Cargill) left the site to pursue his writing career.
List of critics
- Korey Coleman - (voiced by himself) The creator of the site and main host. His character is known for his gregariousness, narcissism, often changing his opinions to better suit his co-host's (either Cyrus or Co-host 3000 on Daily Spill), womanizing, quick temper, and edgy jokes. He strives to maintain humor in reviews and podcasts, and commonly ends reviews with jokes about other ways a film could play out. He hosts/co-hosts all Spill.com podcasts 'A Couple of Cold Ones', 'Let's Do This!', 'The Daily Spill', 'SPOILED!' and the 'Spill Live Call-In Show' (in which he takes live calls from members of the community).
- Cyrus - (voiced by Chris Cox) Seemingly the most nerdy and overly cynical of the group and often very eager to express his insecurities on air, his character is fond of pop culture, puns and internet ephemera, such as LOL Cats and memes. Although the most professional and reliable member of the Spill crew, he is an opinionated critic with an unbridled love for Joss Whedon, known to drink, and parodies an atheist critical of organized religion (though he has stated that his real-life counterpart is agnostic). Since the termination of the podcast 'The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen,' co-hosts the podcast 'The Daily Spill.'
- Leon - (voiced by Martin Thomas) The eldest and most level-headed critic of the group, his involvement has been very limited since the restructuring of Spill.com. His character shares Cyrus' love of comic books and pop culture. The wisest of the bunch, his reviews and/or contributions tend to be the most balanced and objective of the Spill crew. A short stint of spoiling movies resulted in the supervillain moniker "The Spoiler." His character often serves as Korey's whipping boy. His age is often the subject of their recurring jokes. He hosts/co-hosts the podcast 'A Couple of Cold Ones.'
- The Co-Host 3000 - (voiced by Tony Guerrero) Korey's 'robotic' companion, who loves B-movies, everything DC and Hans Zimmer. He is the most passionate of the crew and often fairly criticized for not being able to objectively review the newest iterations of his favorite movie franchises (i.e. The Dark Knight, Alien, Green Lantern...). He is known for his rambunctious and crass sense of humor. He is considered Latino as his components were manufactured in Mexico (although his builder is Japanese). His presence on the site has increased since 2008, and he is now as involved as the other three critics. He hosts/co-hosts the podcasts 'Let's Do This!' and 'SPOILED!'.
- Carlyle - (voiced by C. Robert Cargill) The most successful of the Spill crew since departing. Formerly appearing on film reviews and podcasts, he was known for his often passionate opinions and the tendency to "name-drop" celebrity friends, such as Ain't It Cool webmaster Harry Knowles (earning him the superhero moniker 'The Name Dropper'). His involvement in the site, specifically the film reviews, began to decrease dramatically in late 2009 and throughout 2010 as he began to focus more on his writing career, specifically the 2012 horror film Sinister which he co-wrote with Scott Derrickson. During this time, his sole involvement with the site was appearing weekly on the podcast A Couple of Cold Ones. He retired from that podcast and Spill.com in 2011 in order to continue his career as a professional novelist and screenwriter. Carlyle's last review appearance to date was in the review for the film Just Go With It. He still appears occasionally on the site as a special guest. He recently reprised his role in the video review for his film Sinister.
- Edie - The only female member of the crew. She only appeared in a select few film reviews, usually with just Korey or Korey and another member of the "Spill Crew". Korey and other members would often jokingly make passes at her. She left the site officially in June 2008.
- Brian Salisbury - (voiced by himself) The Film School Rejects critic, who had previously co-hosted the Remote Viewing podcast, started to gain prominence in 2012 by appearing in several audio reviews as a brief replacement for Cyrus. Salisbury did fill-in reviews from time to time and was known on the site for sharing Cyrus' love of witty puns. On May 23, 2013, Salisbury was laid off of Spill.com after a massive restructuring by Hollywood.com.
Each Spill crew member gives their own rating, so it is not uncommon for there to be more than one rating stated for a film. At the end of each review, the critics give their ratings. A cumulative score is then posted on the site itself. The rating system is based on means of seeing the movie, from most to least expensive and engrossing, except the highest and lowest ratings. Each film is judged on its own merits, taking into account a multitude of factors including but not limited to its perceived audience, the time of year it is released, its marketing campaign, etc. Ratings are conveyed (in the videos reviews only) by showing a picture of the reviewer and their rating written underneath and a sound similar to a cash register (with a few exceptions, detailed below). To date, Co-Host does not have a rating card due to the current redesign the site and characters are undergoing. However, in recent reviews his rating is listed, but the newer reviews do not have pictures of the critic above the rating. Commonly assumed to be a standard 5-star system, the Spill.com rating system is actually loosely based on a sliding 0-10 star system, with a variety of names and incremental levels, such as "Matinée" or "High Matinée". They are as follows:
Better Than Sex!:
The Spill Crew usually withholds this rating, only awarding it to a movie that they find flawless or exceptionally outstanding. It is the least given rating, in essence scoring the film an 11/10 or a "better than perfect." When a Spill reviewer gives this rating, a sound clip of a cheering audience plays.
Examples: The Dark Knight, Cloverfield, Up, Toy Story 3, District 9, The Artist, The Cabin in the Woods, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Rush (2013 film).
The film is very enjoyable, above average quality. Films which receive this rating are recommended and definitely worth paying the full price at a theater to see (night time, popcorn & drink). The crew finds these films excellent, but not necessarily flawless.
Examples: How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, Avatar (2009 film), Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Hot Fuzz, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, The Avengers and Let Me In (film).
The film is still entertaining enough to warrant a theater viewing, but flawed enough that one should pay the lower matinée price for it. It is a "mid-level" rating, and the Spill reviewers often modify the review depending on the specific flaws or strengths of the film — e.g. "High Matinée" or "Low Matinée."
Examples: Watchmen, Iron Man 2, Predators, The Muppets, Scream 4, Sinister, The Thing (2011 film), Evil Dead (2013 film), Man of Steel and Snow White and the Huntsman.
The film is worth seeing on some level, but not worth the cost of admission at a theater or seeing during the initial theatrical run. Like the "Matinée!" rating, "Rental" can be modified by the individual reviewer - e.g. "High Rental" or "Low Rental."
Examples: Punisher: War Zone, Taken 2, Friday the 13th, Clash of the Titans, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Valentine's Day, Twilight: Eclipse and Django Unchained.
Some Ole Bullshit!:
The film has little redeeming value, regardless of its audience. Unlike all ratings above it, "Some Ole Bullshit" recommends against watching the film at any price. Until Spill.com introduced the "Fuck You" rating, "Some Ole Bullshit!" was their lowest rating.
Examples: Knowing, Twilight: New Moon, Saw V, Paranormal Activity 4, Robin Hood, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, The Sitter, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and A Good Day to Die Hard.
The "Fuck You!" rating is given to movies that the Spill crew find offensive, either due to low quality or distasteful material. Unlike "Some Ole Bullshit," it is actively enthusiastic against the film. "Fuck You!" was not part of the original rating system - it was invented for 2008's Disaster Movie when Korey felt the movie required an extra low rating and invented the "Fuck You!" rating on the spot. The "Fuck You!" rating has a distinct graphic from the other reviews in which Korey gives the middle finger (regardless of which reviewer gave the rating). A sound clip similar to the theme from Psycho then plays. The rating is also known as "Fuck This Movie!!" Movies must make the Spill Crew genuinely angry to obtain this rating. Notably, Spill's review of Vampires Suck consists entirely of Korey saying, "Fuck you" and displaying the accompanying rating. As of December 21, 2010, Little Fockers became the first film to receive a collective rating of "Fuck you!" from the Spill Crew, however the reviews were aggregated as "Some Ole Bullshit!"
Examples: Disaster Movie, Max Payne, The Last Airbender, Gulliver's Travels, Paranoia, Little Fockers, Zookeeper, A Thousand Words, Here Comes the Boom, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Movie 43 (received a Double Fuck You), Scary Movie 5, and Identity Thief. Inappropriate Comedy was deemed to be even worse than a Fuck You!, receiving no rating from Korey, a "Quintuple Fuck You" from Cyrus, and "For Assholes Only" from Leon. Films such as Daddy Day Camp, Southland Tales, Meet the Spartans and The Love Guru were only given a "Some Ole Bullshit!" because it was the lowest rating at the time.
In addition to unedited movie review and discussion segments, the website also releases five weekly podcasts and one unscheduled podcast. All podcasts are conducted fairly casually, and the hosts occasionally get drunk over the course of the show.
A Couple of Cold Ones: Abbreviated as 'ACOCO', was formerly hosted by Korey and Leon with rare guest appearances. It is Spill's oldest podcast, debuting in January 2008, and it focuses mainly on film. Originally, it was hosted by Korey and Carlyle, though Leon was added as a third host in November 2010. In June 2011, Carlyle left the show, essentially the last remaining part of his involvement in the site as a whole, to pursue opportunities as a novelist and screenwriter, leaving Korey and Leon as the sole hosts. Korey originally had planned for Leon to replace him, but later changed his mind. This proved fortuitous, as mere months later Carlyle decided to retire from the show. Segments include discussion on weekly box office rankings, "The Top Five," followed by free form discussion and a segment on e-mails and tweets submitted by members of the site. "The Top Five" is done in a countdown format, with Leon announcing each number before Korey reveals the film in that slot, followed by brief discussion of the film. It is usually recorded on Sunday nights and released on Mondays. In August 2011, the crew began using Prince Paul's "Flattery" as the shows theme song.
Let’s Do This!!!: Abbreviated as 'LDT', features Korey and Co-Host, with occasional guest appearances. In late 2011 the cast expanded to include Billy "Uncle Popcorn" Brooks, whose controversial inclusion eventually changed the dynamic of the show. Brooks was a regular for all of 2012 until his leave in March 2013, partly due to Co-host 3000 inability and reluctance to adapt to the new format with Brooks. The podcast is a spinoff of A Couple of Cold Ones. The show does not have a fixed topic, although it often deals with film, internet videos, current political events, celebrity gossip, black issues, personal anecdotes and humor. The purpose of the show is to "talk bullshit," and it is defined by a stream of consciousness style. The podcast has numerous running gags and recurring elements including the show's mascot, Goatsey. An imaginary bipedal goat, Goatsey helps lead to the intro, in which the crew shouts the show name and plays "Get to the Choppa" by Austrian Death Machine. The latter part of the show includes "Fuck Yo Thoughts," the show's e-mail section, a reference to a quotation by Don "Reverend X" Vincent, one of the show's running gags. Traditionally, this is the longest of the Spill podcasts, with no set length. It sometimes runs approximately three or even four hours. Because of these long running times, "Let's Do This" is often split into two segments, with Part 1 released on Wednesdays and Part 2 on Thursdays.
The Spill Call-in Show: A recurring live podcast in which Korey takes calls from members of the community and answers their questions. The show is always posted with a chatroom where listeners themselves can interact and comment on the live show as well. The recording of the audio portion of the show is sometimes posted later in the week as its own podcast so even those who missed the live show can listen to it. The show has no set release dates, and it typically runs an hour to an hour and a half, but its length varies significantly. The January 28th episode went on for 2 1/2 hours, a full hour past when the show was supposed to end; this resulted in a (quite humorous) abrupt ending, in which the hosting website, Blog Talk Radio, cut off the show at the 2 1/2 hour mark. Previous shows included a live-animated video feed that accompanied the audio, but the current show is audio only. The show is broadcast live on the website, typically on Saturday afternoons.
SPOILED!: A podcast in which Korey and Co-Host talk about recent movies and highly rated TV shows. However, unlike their normal reviews, they go more in detail about the movie's or TV show's plot. The show would normally only take place during the airings of a television show such as Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.
The Daily Spill: Hosted by Korey and run by Cyrus with occasional guest appearances of the Co-host 3000, this podcast serves to discuss the entertainment news stories of the day. These stories are typically collected by Cyrus and pulled from the areas of movies, television and video games. The Daily Spill runs Monday through Thursday. On specific days there are various deviations to the podcast's formula. At the end of the Tuesday podcast Cyrus gives an overview of the week's home releases. On Wednesday the duo dedicates a segment to answering user questions. The Thursday edition of the podcast sees the addition of the "Trending Trailers" feature, in which recently released movie trailers are briefly discussed.
The Loading Bar: was weekly video game podcast hosted by the site's video game editor and animator, Professor Jeff, and co-hosted by a group of gamers including Korey, Kevin J. Baird of Video Game News Radio, international friend of the site Nick Hodges, and Jason Murphy, formerly of the LEOG podcast. The hosts struggled for the first few weeks to solidify a format and title, eventually landing on "Let's Play This". However, due to Co-host 3000 and fans complaints that it was too similar to "Let's Do This", a call was put out to the fans to come up with a new name. After a lengthy suggestion period, the name "The Loading Bar" was chosen, both for its reference to the aggravating loading times most gamers are familiar with, and for its alcoholic connotations "loaded" and "bar". The show often features community members as "fan experts" on video game titles, and it is the only other podcast on the site that has accompanying video reviews as well. Unlike the film reviews, which are created in a cartoon style, the video game reviews are created in a pixel art style, similar to a 16-bit console game. In addition to audio reviews of the latest games, The Loading Bar also released a twice a month "Email and BS Show" in which they would answer questions from the fans. Also, most weekdays The Loading Bar posted "Happy Hour" videos, which are video playthroughs of the first hour of a current or classic video game. On May 23, 2013, facing increasing pressure due to Spill and Hollywood.com's worsening financial situation, Korey made the decision to cancel the Loading Bar. Jason and Jeff went on to found the video game review website Rage Select, the spiritual successor to the Loading Bar, frequently inviting former members onto their podcast.
The Untitled Billy & Korey Show: was a spin-off of Let's Do This. After Billy's departure from Lets Do This in March 2013, due to fan backlash and other conflicts, Billy and Korey began their own show. Alongside the two is former frequent Lets Do This guest Alan C. Hall. Alan appears in the background providing more calm and subtle talk, in opposition to Korey and Billy's more rambunctious and joking nature. The show's style is similar to that of LDT, but runs on more fan driven discussion. The show's topics come from the Spill.com fan base and are chosen the day before. While originally the two had left the name of the podcast up to the fans, they soon got frustrated with the ethnocentric and race-driven title suggestions, after specifically asking the fans to refrain from racial or stereotypical titles. The show's theme song is "I'm Black Y'all" from the film CB4. The show is uploaded every Thursday. On May 23, 2013 the podcast was canceled by Korey.
Remote Viewing: A weekly podcast that reviews the latest in video home releases. Expanding upon Cyrus' written reviews and taking the place of the defunct Blu Tuesday podcast, "Remote Viewing" features site critic Cyrus, writer Brian Salisbury and "tech guru" Luke Mullen as they review and comment on recent DVD and Blu-ray releases, both from a critical and technical standpoint. The show began in a monthly format, but due to fan enthusiasm and the numerous films covered in any given episode it was later expanded to be weekly. The show also features an ongoing contest in which the hosts will announce keywords during the podcast. When those keywords appear somewhere on the site (typically in one of the comment sections), fans can write in and win a copy of a recently reviewed film. It is typically released on Tuesdays. On May 23, Remote Viewing was announced to be canceled on the official Facebook page. Salisbury and Cox later went on to make a spiritual successor podcast on their own site OneOfUs.net called Digital Noise.
The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen abbreviated as 'LEOG', was a podcast started by Cyrus and Leon. It had an ensemble cast, led by Cyrus and Leon, featuring a rotating cast of "LEOG Members": Beau, Grant, Kayla, Randy, Harris, Cat, John Rubio, Nakato, Johnny Neil, Joe Parsons and fellow Spill employees: animator Peter ("Fungusmonkey") Sorensen, and writer Brian Salisbury. LEOG Members Emeritus include: Jason, Greg, Jason F ("Fish"), Allison, and Kristen. It was the only podcast to regularly feature guest stars. The guests were numerous and included people in various creative industries as well as other people from the website. A wide range of topics on geek culture were discussed, such as comic books, science fiction & fantasy, movies, and TV shows. The podcast's name is derived from Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The show was split into volumes and subdivided among them into stand-alone issues. The show, like Let's Do This!, had a tendency towards recurring 'jokes' and self-referential 'humor' which usually lasted a few months at a time. It was also the only podcast that seems to be subject to any level of editing. Each episode was concluded by a now ironic collective cry of "Long live the League!" It generally ran a little under three hours, but usually varied in length. It was typically released on Fridays. On April 5, 2013, Cyrus and Leon announced that LEOG would be coming to an end due to dwindling popularity and that discontinuing the podcast was not an executive decision by Hollywood.com or Korey. LEOG members Cox, Thomas and Beau would go on to create a spiritual successor podcast on Cox's site [http://oneofus.net/ OneOfUs.net] known as The Original Gentlemen.
Blu Tuesday was a podcast in which Korey and Carlyle discussed the new Blu-ray and DVDs being released in the coming week. The show began with a parody of Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas, sung a cappella by Korey. The name is a pun on Blu-ray Discs and was selected after a fan contest to choose the title. It was recorded over Skype directly after ACOCO, and released a day later, on Tuesdays. Its running time was usually 30 to 45 minutes long. After weeks of falling ratings, fan complaints about content and length, and a conflict of interest with their weekly written Blu-ray and DVD reviews, Korey and Carlyle announced that Blu Tuesday had been cancelled.
Shootin' The Shit was a podcast in which all of the Spill crew talked about some random news. It has not been done in years, but was never officially cancelled.
Spill Dot Con
Spill Dot Con is the annual spill convention that began in 2008, a weekend long event that takes place over many venues with activities that range from live music acts (in 2010 rapper Del the Funky Homosapien performed), to live art shows. The convention also features panels, both featuring guests and the Spill crew. While Spill Dot Con offers large number of events and panels, the convention is a lot more laid-back and "down to earth" than most conventions of this size. The convention noticeably grows larger every year, with 2012 being the largest gathering in the convention's history.
The laid-back nature means that Spill Dot Con is mainly a get-together and fan appreciation party for Spill.com community members that takes place in Austin, Texas where the site is based. The members get a chance to hang out with the Spill Crew during special shows and parties and mingle with their fellow fans. Spill community members also submit crude fan films (which feature in-jokes known to fans) to "the first annual Spill.com Film Festival" (a running gag in which every year is the "first annual" year), and compete in a competition. The films are screened for the audience, typically at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin. The winning 'films' from the 2010 and 2011 festivals were both submitted by Spill member Stephan, with his entries "Goatsey Come Home" and "Spill Noir," while the 2012 and 2013 festivals were won by The Projectionist, with his entries "The Book of Korey" and "28 Reviews Later."
After a few months of sporadic venting sessions on podcasts on the state of Spill and attempts at site revamp, which was an ongoing struggle for all of the site's existence, Coleman announced in December 2013 that the site would shut down, but he said it would go down in the beginning of January. However, in the late afternoon of December 20, 2013, hollywood.com silently and suddenly shut Spill's site and redirected to the Hollywood.com home page. About an hour after the site was taken down, Coleman sent out a tweet saying that he was going to find out what was going on. At about 9:00 ET, Coleman confirmed the site shutdown on his Twitter and Facebook page. Unfortunately, due to the sudden shutdown, no final reunion podcast (with Korey, Cyrus, Leon, Co-Host, and Carlyle) was recorded. The final podcast to be released on the site (an episode of "Let's Do This!!!!!") can still be found in download form on Korey Coleman's Facebook page.
After The Shutdown
At the end of December Korey and Leon, now using his real name Martin Thomas, began uploading podcasts on SoundCloud while developing their new website. With the revenue from the New Beginnings Kickstarter started by Coleman, Korey and Martin were able to create a new website, DoubleToasted.com with close friend Tommy McGrew. The website launched in July 2014 and contains six shows: The Sunday Service, The Casual Call In Show, The Weekly Roast and Toast, The Daily Double Talk, The Movie Review Extravaganza and The High Score. Unlike Spill, Double Toasted features both audio and video recorded forms of every show. As of June 2016, the site's corresponding YouTube channel has over 50,000 subscribers.
Jeff and Jason from the Loading Bar created a site called Rage Select. Jeff is joined by various people from the Austin area to play games current and old. The site used to do reviews, but has since stopped due to not having time to finish so many games it a short period of time. Jason stepped back from it to focus on other endeavors, but he still returns every once in awhile.
Brian Salisbury and Cyrus, now using his real name of Chris Cox, launched an Austin-based movie reviewing website called OneOfUs.net. The site focuses primarily on films and geek culture. The site has a little over 1,000 YouTube subscribers, 1,600 Facebook likes, and 2,000 Twitter followers.
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