UNK SEZ: It’s that time of year again- time to watch Christmas horror movies! Check out our Avalanche of Christmas Horror movies way back HERE! But hey, that list is ten years old! Make sure you help us update it by adding the titles of your favorite Christmas horror movies of the last decade in the comments of this rewind post! Thanks, pals!
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May your holidays be filled with visions of terrifying marionettes!
unkle lancifer & aunt john
I’ve got to snap out of it and get my groove back. There I was happily riding the horror Christmas train when suddenly, absolute derailment. What the hell is wrong with people? If horrendous tragedy wasn’t enough to sap my spirit, here comes everybody with their too late answers for everything. In my opinion, if your solution doesn’t put the value of human life above all else then it already blows. Whatever you do, don’t even try to place blame on movies and video games, they happen to be exactly what I’m going to use to springboard out of this funk. I want to thank INFAMOUS 2 for providing a place for me to hide ‘til the coast was clear and now I’m going to make a ten-ingredient movie cocktail to obliterate this malaise. I’m not saying these movies (not in any order) will work for you, but I know through experience that they work for me. If you have your own secret weapon stuper-smasher please share it in the comments section!
THE NEVER ENDING STORY (1984)
Let’s get the tough love out of the way . I know this movie has the saddest scene ever but I’m going to stick it up here anyway as a crystal clear mission statement. Don’t let the swamp of sadness get to you Artax! Also, if you can watch the scene below without crying, you are most likely a sociopath… so please get help.
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955)
They may have complimentary singing voices but in the end murderous charlatan Harry Powell (ROBERT MITCHUM) is no match for unsung saint Rachel Cooper (LILLIAN GISH). “I’m a strong tree with branches for many birds. I’m good for somethin’ in this old world, and I know it too.”
SUPERMAN II (1980)
Ignore the cellophane “S” and let’s hear it for the citizens of Metropolis! After Zod and his cohorts have apparently killed Superman, bystanders are so outraged; they band together and selflessly throw their own safety to the wind. “They killed Superman!” one screams; “Let’s go get’em!” yells another. This always makes me happy. The fun’s not over yet, I could watch Lois clock Ursa (“You know something? You’re a real pain in the neck!”) all day.
A list is not a list without JOHN CARPENTER. If you want to convince me that an alien would be even remotely impressed with humanity, it’s a good idea to get an actor like JEFF BRIDGES to play said alien and KAREN ALLEN to represent humanity. “You’re at your very best when things are at their worst” Not always true but when it is…wow.
FLASH GORDON (1980)
The theme song alone is enough to make me euphoric but what I find most life affirming is when Dr. Zarkov explains how he avoided being brainwashed by thinking of the works of Einstein, Shakespeare and the Beatles. That must be one hell of a planet he comes from! As Flash would say, “Not too bad.”
You didn’t think I’d neglect to put a horror film up in here did you? CANDYMAN is stuffed with stinging bees and violence but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t got anything positive to relay. I love that our hero Helen sacrifices herself to save a baby and I love even more that she is recognized and mourned by the residents of Cabrini-Green for her deed. They don’t even know a fraction of what she’s been through but they know enough.
(Tie) HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (2010) /THE IRON GIANT (1999)
I can’t choose between these two and so I won’t.
(Tie) LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986)/GREASE 2 (1982)
I don’t always watch musicals but when I do they include songs about murder and dentistry (LITTLE SHOP) or sex education and bowling (GREASE 2).
Johnny Case (CARY GRANT) must choose between shallow dud Julia and her freethinking down to earth sister Linda who just happens to be KATHARINE HEPBURN. I won’t tell you how it ends but summersaults and the world’s greatest rumpus room are involved.
You’ve seen this right? You know how it ends. Once upon a time way back in 1988 I went to see SCROOGED in the theater and I’ll never forget it. After BILL MURRAY has his epiphany he breaks the 4th wall and invites the audience to sing along with the closing song “Put a Little Love In Your Heart.” I don’t know what was going on with the packed Center City Philadelphia audience I saw this with but they really got into it. At first it was embarrassing and then it became mandatory. You had to sing and clap along. When MURRAY told one side of the theater to sing they did and when he told the other (my side) we did too. It was amazing and I’m not exaggerating and if you think it sounds lame that means you weren’t there. Hey, isn’t that Harry Powell (ROBERT MITCHUM) singing along too? I forgot that he was in it. How perfect. Yes, the world really sucks sometimes but if you’re one of the many people not adding to the grief, you should make sure you enjoy yourself this season. You deserve it.
I’ve made it clear I’m saving my tears for tragedies more devastating than a horror movie being remade HERE. Let me also be honest and admit that I get a kick out of watching supposedly broad-minded horror fans stomp their feet and get all Harper Valley P.T A. puritanical whenever a new one is announced. Sorry, nothing is more comical than a person in a zombie T-shirt crying about the death of originality. Greedy Hollywood is “out of ideas” that, or maybe they just know that pious bubble-dwellers will promote their film ad nauseum by bitching about it non-stop for a year…and then see it anyway. Can you believe that somebody had the gall to remake SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT? How can anyone hope to improve upon that fine piece of cinematic artistry? Don’t get me wrong, I adore SNDN but a lot of my affection for it is because it is crass, disrespectful and mocks propriety. It’s not a movie that would clutch its pearls and say “Well, I never!” at the thought of being remade. It was born to step on toes.
If you are appalled by remakes you better not watch SILENT NIGHT (2012); not only does it use a previously existing movie as a springboard to tell its story, it brazenly lifts swatches of content from fellow maligned remakes! Still teary-eyed about the MY BLOODY VALENTINE redo? Well here comes JAIME KING and a small town atmosphere to pour salt on your wounds! Still throwing darts at that ROB ZOMBIE poster because he successfully burned every copy of JOHN CARPENTER‘s masterpiece in existence? Here comes that no good MALCOLM McDOWELL and he’s brought expressive color filters and light flares with him! That’s gotta sting. Never mind that the first two SNDN‘s, long out of print, have been released at a reduced price to coincide with this differently titled movie’s release, this abomination was built to ruin everybody’s innocent memories! How will we ever go on?
SILENT NIGHT is a fine modern slasher. It has an exceedingly likable lead in KING and even though it’s lame on occasion, its coal black sense of humor easily wins out in the end. They did a superior job making the Santa killer look menacing and there are more than a couple inspired kills. Granted, some of the nods to the original work better than others. It’s always nice during the holidays to see someone impaled on antlers, but they needed to hire a much gnarlier dude to play phony-comatose grandpa. The guy they chose could play a patriarch on a nighttime soap! Look, I LOVE Christmas horror films and regardless of this flick’s origin, it’s a welcome addition to my collection. It’s too soon to say if it will become part of my seasonal rotation but if I had to guess I’d say, “Who am I kidding? Yes.” It’s a crisp breezy romp and I must put a star on its tree for not shying away from killing a bratty kid who asked for it. I’ll always favor the orginal’s more personal story focusing on the forging of a psychopath, but there’s room in my stocking for this approach too. I won’t over sell it because I’m bias as hell but if you’re into killer Santas movies than it’s a must see all the way. In fact, I’m hoping it follows its inspiration’s lead and spews out many sequels for years to come. Yes, SEQUELS! Groans of disapproval are music to my ears.
A ways back we received a traumafession regarding THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY (HERE)- specifically about the scene where the title character witnesses the horrific murder of his parents. Although personally my heart was filing its nails during that incident, it did break into a zillion Legos during a scene that occurs later in the program.
I am talking about the moment that Baba the lamb is run over by a chariot. I think it may be the worst thing that ever happened in the history of ever and even thinking about it now makes me want throw my computer out the window and scream to the heavens like WESLEY SNIPES in JUNGLE FEVER. To me, Baba’s death was more tragic than a 1,000 Bambi’s moms. Have you ever seen that Baba guy? He is adorable. Especially when he is dancing around on his little hind lamby legs. Naturally, I’d rather throw myself into a volcano than see something bad happen to Baba.
When you are a kid the time period between when Baba gets plowed down and the point where he is miraculously brought back to life lasts eons. In reality, it takes less than five minutes for the little baby Jesus to conclude that the kid’s drum playing (and heart) are decent enough to splash some resurrection mojo on his poor dead friend.
For some reason the Bible neglects to include the story of THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY and I’m guessing it’s because the song it’s based on didn’t exist until 1941. I suppose that will do for an excuse. They should really add it though because it’s got most Bible stories beat because it can’t be misinterpreted to spread evil and it doesn’t talk smack about delicious shellfish.
THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY ends with the very clear statement that hate, ALL hate, is and always will be wrong. I like when stories cut to the chase and don’t include a bunch of random rules and sloppy propaganda. In the end the Little Drummer Boy and I are so psyched that Baba is alive that we both can’t help dumping our free-floating elephantine hatred of all things human. Well, most of it anyway, I still wouldn’t mind seeing that chariot driver dragged into the middle of town and his smug puppet head sliced off with a rusty scythe. Careful driving this Christmas Eve kids and hold on tight to your lambs!