It’s the holidays once again, and this year has been a hectic one for the self respecting movie geek. As is the case we’re introducing a handful of movies and TV shows that will make wonderful gifts for you or the movie lover in your life.
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Happy Christma-hannu-kwaanzaa-ka to you, and a Festivus for the rest of us.
After sixteen whole years Eli Roth finally got around to taking his fake trailer from 2007’s “Grindhouse” and transforming it in to an actual feature length slasher film. We’re not bereft of holiday themed horror movies, but we’re about due for a slasher revival, and if you’re in the mood for “Thanksgiving” be sure to visit (or re-visit) these five horror titles that influenced “Thanksgivng.”
Ten movies later, and “A Cinderella Story” continues to push forward as a franchise that is mainly just a vehicle for young up and coming female Disney stars. After Hilary Duff came and went, portraying a contemporary take on the fairytale, the series stomped on and now introduces a Christmas themed romance. It’s tough to review “Christmas Wish” as it’s mainly aimed toward teens that love this kind of sickly sweet Christmas muck. It’s basically like a greeting card with a pre-written message on it. It’s predictable, formula, and kind of hard to criticize.
When it originally premiered at Fantasia I was very anxious to check out Johnny Kevorkian’s science fiction horror film, and I’m glad I was finally able to view it. “Await Further Instructions” is one of those horror tales in the vein of “They Live” or “V” where it’s a tale about humanity, civilization, and way we can be led like sheep in the face of chaos. While “Await Further Instructions” is a very sharply written and vicious look at a dysfunctional family stuck together in a house, it packs in so many more relevant overtones that ring true in a day where everything on the internet is taken as gospel.
Michael Dougherty is brilliant at completely rethinking and reformatting our image of popular holidays and the lore the masses have subscribed to for centuries. After doing an amazing job with Halloween, Dougherty tackles Christmas with what is easily one of the most demented holiday horror films ever made. “Krampus” is an intelligent horror comedy based around the lunacy of the holiday and how the hollow rituals and traditions practiced can build a sense of cynicism and pure hatred for what is supposed to be a fine time of year.
I was seven when “Home Alone” first arrived in theaters, and oddly enough I don’t remember the first time watching it. I did go to the movies to see it, as we always did, but I do fondly remember one night when my brother and I dragged my dad to see it for a third time. Beside “Who Framed Roger Rabbit!” we’d seen “Home Alone” at least three times in theaters, and we loved it. My dad had worked late, and he picked my brother and me up during one snowy night and we debated on what to see in the theaters. He was anxious to watch “King Ralph,” but we begged him to let us watch “Home Alone” once again. He obliged and allowed us to watch it yet again, despite entering the theater mid-way through the movie for the final half.
Believe the hype. “Saving Christmas” is one of the most bafflingly awful movies ever made. And while I can kind of see the distorted logic behind making this kind of movie, nothing about it makes any kind of sense. Every time you think the movie almost understands where it’s heading, it just completely flies off the rails and injects some truly remarkable moments of lunacy. Star and producer Kirk Cameron is so sure that his movie will finally convince people that Christmas is Christian and only Christian that he begins the movie with a monologue about his agenda for the movie. There are only about five characters in the movie, including one really creepy Santa, and they’re all portrayed by a truly horrific cast of performers.
“Saving Christmas” is much too certain about itself to be considered satire, and often much too campy to be taken seriously. Kirk looks dead certain he knows more than anyone about religion and Christmas, and doesn’t mind flaunting it throughout the film, but then he literally ends the movie on our cast break dancing during a Christmas party. In a slow motion montage. Again, I’m almost certain it’s meant to be taken with a tongue in cheek, but I’d wager Cameron intended the climax to be taken seriously, much like the message behind “Saving Christmas.” The movie is much too baffling and surreal to trash it completely, so I just couldn’t help but itemize five observations about this oddity.
There are no weapons, there’s no fighting, no Shredder, no April, no Casey, and no foot clan. And those aren’t the worst crimes this monstrosity commits. This is the definition of a quick cash grab. I am quick to believe someone raided a storage closet from a party entertainers’ warehouse, and decided to release their own Christmas themed Ninja Turtles video. Even at eleven years old, I would have shut it off after the first few minutes. “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas” doesn’t even last longer than twenty five minutes in length, and still feels long as hell.
The plot to this anomaly is that the turtles are trying to find a present for Master Splinter. So they prepare for Christmas, and go looking for a perfect present. Cue the mind numbingly terrible cash grab that is “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas.” Here are five of the more head scratching aspects of the twenty minute “special. Continue reading →