The World O' Crap Archive

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

In Other War News: Santa Dragged Out Of Spiderhole By Coalition Troops

Well kids, it’s War on Christmas time again, and I thought this year I’d start early by asking which beloved holiday classic you’d like us to defile for you.
As you may recall, last December we asked you, the Wo’C reader, to select the Christmas-themed movie you would most like to see receive the Better Living Through Bad Movies treatment, and the the winner, by a landslide, was that heartwarming perennial, It’s A Wonderful Life.  Man, you guys are cynical — and I say that with love (and a stake of holly) in my heart — and you set the bar pretty high, but I’m confident that this year you can find a film to mock that will prove even more offensive to Bill O’Reilly, John Gibson, and theMarley Brothers.
Comments are open.  And when nominating a movie, please tell Santa a little bit about why you think it deserves to be the Official Wo’C Cinematic Slayride Victim of 2007.  Thank you.

86 Responses to “In Other War News: Santa Dragged Out Of Spiderhole By Coalition Troops”

That wonderful 1964 animated tale, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Why? I’ve made fun of it for so long that no one laughs at my jokes anymore (at least, that’s what I want to believe). So you’d be giving me new material.
Was that the one with some snow freak thing called a Bumble? And did Burl Ives sing “holly, jolly Christmas” in it?
Oh god, I don’t care, just do that damn movie and stop the singing in my head!
Stop it! I can still hear it!!!1!
How about the original Miracle on 34th Street? A movie which, now that I’m older and nitpick more easily, doesn’t make a lot of sense. “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” BLARGH.
Oh, yes, Miracle on 34th Street. The one where the little girl’s mom doesn’t want her daughter believing in the holl Giftmas nonsense. That’s utterly mock-worthy.
I dunno what the “holl” in the second sentence of my post was supposed to be. Please pretend it’s not there. kthxbai
I think in today’s forclosure-rich (now THERE’S a concept) environment, the story of a madcap adventure involving the purchase of a dilapidated inn in Vermont could benefit from some expert snarking, especially when it’s a really bad remake of a movie that was pretty bad to begin with. I nominate: “White Christmas”
Oh, I’ll have to agree with “Miracle on 34th Street.” The concept of Post Office employees and the court system getting all misty-eyed over kiddies’ letters to Santa is so desperately far removed from reality as to give me a headache. I won’t even discuss the fact that it’s been “colorized.” There’s a special place in hell for people who do that…
“Miracle on 34 Street” gets my vote so far, but only because I know I’ll get beaten if I push for “A Christmas Story”. What you people see in that thing, I will never understand…
Although, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Ron Howard, starring Jim Carrey) would be enjoyable if fish-in-a-barrel easy. I admit a bias, Santa. My least favorite boyfriend was a dead ringer for Carrey, in voice and behavior as well, and I can’t get anywhere near one of his movies anymore without hurling. Imagine six on-and-off months of fart jokes presented as high humor and you’ll understand why I live four hundred miles away from him.
D. Sidhe, are you sure 400 miles is far enough? Jim Carrey gives me the dry heaves…
D. Sidhe, you’re not alone ! “A Christmas Story” is a soul-killing holiday experience.
Miracle on 34th is a little precious but as Garth said: if Maureen O’Hara was a president, she’d be Baberham Lincoln !
I’m begging here:
Can’t you make a concession and do the musical Annie or at least the scene where they are de-anthromorphizing (?!?) the cabinet into reindeer? (“On Morgenthau and Cummings… Get along Cordell Hull.”) This would take much less time than a big two hour movie. Come on, you know you want to!
AnnPW is on the right track, but I think you should go ahead and snark on the original “Holiday Inn”. Not only is it the original template for “White Christmas”, but it has a blackface scene that I’m sure was well-meaning at the time, but today just looks freakin’ racist.
I love “A Christmas Story”. It might be because I grew watching Jean Sheppard on PBS and really like his humor.
My nominees are
“The Homecoming” – first introduction to the Waltons Scrooged, or
The Christmas that almost wasn’t. I never actually watched the last one but I remember the ads for it every year at Christmas. From the imdb:
Sam Whipple, an attorney in once-upon-a-time-land, is startled to receive a visit from Santa Claus shortly before Christmas. It seems that when he was a child, Sam wrote a letter thanking Santa for the presents he’d received, and offering to return the favor someday. That day is now – a mean old soul named Phineas Prune, who holds the deed to the North Pole, is demanding back rent. Otherwise, he’s going to evict Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves and take all the Christmas toys. It’s up to Sam and Santa to find a way to pay off Prune and prevent Christmas from being canceled. Fun Fact: Although most of the actors mouthed the script in English (the movie was shot with no live sound), in the American version all of the Italian actors, except for Rossano Brazzi, had their voices dubbed by someone else, so that their accents would not show up. Brazzi, who appeared in many American films, including South Pacific (1958), is the only Italian in the film who is heard speaking English with an accent.
I have to confess, I loooooove bad Christmas movies. Hell, I love bad movies period. I can’t stand Barbara Stanwyck so I suggest Christmas in Connecticut. The over-the-top Hungarian chef, Barbara buying herself a mink coat, the greedy rich publisher, the spastic boyfriend and the baby switching. Satirical goldmine, I tell ya.
I may not be eligible to vote, but I say, “One Magic Christmas” where a creepy angel, (Harry Dean Stanton) tries to bring the Christmas Spirit to a depressed mom, (Mary Steenburgen) by destroying all she loves.
Really a Christmas pick me up. Really. And I love how God made Santa in charge of purgatory, where all the souls who weren’t quite good enough to go to heaven, have gone to work (thereby replacing the elves).
I’ve always been a lifelong cynic, but It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the few things that I’ve had to cling onto to demonstrate that people really aren’t as shitty as they would appear to be. But since your write-up (a wet-your-pants funny piece that I just finished reading–don’t know how I missed it the first time) has pretty much scratched IAWL off my “hope for humanity” list, I beg you not to tackle Miracle. (To be honest, that movie is already cynical enough–think about it: everybody in the film is motivated not because they believe in a Santa Claus, but because of their own selfish needs. Mr. Macy says he believes that Kringle is really Santa Claus because he’s afraid of the bad publicity, lawyer John Payne invites Kris to stay with him in order to get to know–in the biblical sense–Maureen O’Hara better, etc.)
Instead, why not have a go at The Bishop’s Wife, where angel Cary Grant tries to make time with David Niven’s wife, Loretta Young. It even has a couple of the IAWL kids in it, and it would be a no-brainer to ridicule.
It’s interesting that there aren’t actually that many classic H’wood movies that really center on Christmas. There have been more in recent years, the aforebarfedat Tim Allen flix, “Scrooged”, the current Fred Claus, “Elf” (which I rather liked, particularly for the lovely elfin dad, Bob Newhart), “Polar Express”… a sign, perhaps, of the needs and confusions of the faultline-ridden current pop culture.
I notice no one has proposed the snarking of the original British “Christmas Carol”. And no one had better, either, or the effects of the fragment of underdone potato shall visit them.
Polar Express was a weird flick. For some reason, I spent the entire thing waiting for the zombies to crash in and start eating people.
Mary, I think you’re allowed to vote, as long as you don’t exert undue influence on the judges.
I haven’t watched a lot of movies in the past years, particularly Christmas movies but I recall the years of torturous subjection to those stupid TV christmas “specials”, all the way from the 1964 Rudolf the Rednosed Reindeer (yeah, that wooden doll animation), to the last horrid television special, centered around Henry Winkler — need I say more?
“…to the last horrid television special…”
I need to qualify that — the last one I saw as I don’t watch the tube anymore.
Hey! Can we get Rankin and Bass’ “Little Drummer Boy”? Complete with racist anti-semitic animation?
Okay, the Rudolph and Drummer Boy and all of the wooden-claymation flicks are great stuff to lampoon, they were full of shit then, they’re full of shit (and ADVERTISING ICONS!!!) now.
BUT: To be TRULY cynical, I dare to put forth that most-adored, much-lauded, more-precious-than-thou CHARLIE BROWN XMAS SERIES!!!!
Not just the original “Charlie Brown Xmas”, but there were a couple of sequelish-ones, and I can’t remember their names, but I’m sure the that the krewe here can wrangle those titles out of thin air and a bit o’ ether. At any rate, let’s set fire to that pathetic fucking tree, right along with EVERY SINGLE “FRIENDS” EPISODE THAT HAD ANYTHING to do with the Hannukah Armadillo and/or Superman Santa and Phoebe and the dead tree forest…
C’mon, it’s two diabetic comas in one — if we are allowed to nominate TV episodes/specials as Xmas movies, those are the ones that I want on the barbie with the shrimp.
Oh, and throw in every “Holiday”/”Xmas” movie-of-the-week made by Hallmark and Lifetime — perfect kindling.
Bitter atheist? Moi? Does it show much?
Hmmm. Maybe we need to look for TV series with “very special” Xmas episodes….think Xena ever had a Xmas ep?
One of the Waltons episodes involves two orphans from the blitz in London in World War II and the ginger Walton talking on the CB a lot.
I notice no one has proposed the snarking of the original British “Christmas Carol”.
After Blackadder’s Christmas Carol it would be redundant.
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”. Sheesh, what’s wrong with you people-isn’t that the obvious choice?
“You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S
Hooray for Santy Claus!”
Bill, I don’t think we could ever hope to best Mystery Science Theater’s classic take on Santa Claus Conquers the Martians:
How you gonna top “Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas This Year?”
See, I was going to go for Christmas in Connecticut, just for all the endless absurd situations built around who thinks who is having sex *and* the wonder that is SZ[!] (Cuddles) Sakall, but now I’m afraid I have to vote for Holiday Inn.
I mean, come on. You got your exploding jam, your Bing Crosby flopping in pigshit, your blonde starlet in blackface dressed as Topsy (in honor, mind you, of Lincoln’s Birthday), your drunkdriving Fred Astaire, and the Amazingly Accurate Hollywood Holiday Inn Set.
Do it for Louise Beavers. She deserves to get something out of this.
I’d offer “Home Alone.” Then everyone should be forced, forced I say, to watch “Santa Claus vs. The Martians!”
Mentis Fugit:
After Blackadder’s Christmas Carol that would be redundant.
Yo’, Emm-Eff, how you do that to mah homies?!
Got ta, got ta, got ta try some Blackiness!!!
(apologies to my man Otis)
Hey, we watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians every year on Christmas Eve. It’s the closest thing we have to a holiday tradition, and each year it never fails to warm my rum-and-eggnog-clogged heart. But again, it’s the MST3K episode, with Tom Servo’s Currier & Ives snowglobe head, Crow’s bulbous red Rudolph nose, and Gypsy’s touching homage to the true meaning of Christmas: her oral nativity scene.
It’s available in a two-disc set (click the link below), bundled withManos the Hands of Fate which I guess is the perennial It’s A Wonderful Life-style holiday special for really lame, poorly-dressed Satanists. (We like to think of it as Satan Conquers the Texans.
Oops. Here’s the link:
FYI, vol 2 of MST3K features, among other shorts, a biting expose of life (here) at Iowa State University.
Get to know me; get to love it.
I agree with Ivan up there that people who believe that “Miracle on 34th Street” is mawkish are missing the whole point of the movie. It is really a meditation on faith that is quite complex and satisfying. Everyone declares their faith in Santa not because of blind faith but because there is something in it for them.
And the final scene of the movie leaves doubt hanging in the air, there is absolutely no resolution to the movie’s central question: is the old man Santa or not? Don’t look to this movie for answers because it isn’t providing any.
“Appearance is reality! Have a postmodern Christmas!” is the feel-good message of this movie. You can’t possibly make it any more surreal than it already is.
Don’t even think about it or I will shoot your eye out!
Santa Claus: The Quickening (I mean, The Movie).
Not only because I went to college with the little red-haired girl in the film but because the slope of Dudley Moore’s career took an abrupt rapid decline here.
And actually, and while it’s not a movie, strictly speaking, it will generate the absolute hands-down best piece Scott could possibly write: The Star Wars Holiday Craptacular (I mean, Special). I’d be happy to supply a copy if he’s not seen this turgid turd.
The first 20 minutes are in fucking Wookiee. Carrie Fisher looks like she’s been mainlining between takes. Suddenly Barbara Mandrell appears. Bea Arthur does a Broadway number in the cantina. Harvey Korman plays a 4-armed space Julia Child. They don’t make drugs that give this effect, people.
There was a Christmas-y movie called “While You Were Sleeping”, came out about 11-12 years ago.
How ’bout “Prancer”? I don’t know about anyone else, but I _hated_ that film. Call me sick, but I actually _like_ holiday films that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. And, “Prancer” completely fails in that. The family was just so loveless and depressing that I wanted to kill myself 20 min. into it.
Holy crapola! I never knew such garbage was manufactured in the name of Christmas! And the Jesus people still think the day isn’t given enough of a work-around? C’mon!
My vote is for Miracle on 34th Street. What other movie feature the US Postal Service as the ontological arbitrator of mythic figures. By the rules of this film, if I address a letter to God, c/o Heaven, and the post office returns it – God does not exist. Hey, maybe I’ll try that. . .
sjk is right, it is an ontological question in 34th St. I think it is definitely what John Searle would characterize as a speech act that creates social reality rather than a discovery of brute reality of the world.
It is also a nice depiction of judicial deference to legislative authority as well. Notice that the court does not actually issue a finding that Kris is Santa Claus. The court chooses “not to dispute” that the post office does! See! We learn about the three branches of government and their proper powers!
Plus Natalie Wood is cute as a button.
She is, fardels.
But my main objection to dumping on “Miracle On 34th Street” is: any movie that gets a “Condemned” rating by the Catholic Legion of Decency can’t be ALL bad.
Okay, so “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is out of the running?
How about “Trapped In Paradise”, the most innacurate movie title ever. About halfway through it, I thought, “Hey, this is kinda like ‘The Ref’*, only, it really sucks!”
*”The Ref” is, in my opinion, the last great Christmas movie. The ending’s a cop-out, but Ted Demme owned up to that and said he regretted changing it from the original ending (which had Gus getting nabbed by the cops.)
Oh, and the live-action version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a truly painful movie. Actually, the casting of Jim Carrey ISN’T the problem, because whether you like him or loathe him, he’s so buried under make you can’t recognize him. It doesn’t even matter who’s playing the role.
No the real problem is that they’ve taken a charming 22 minute animated film and actively worked to change EVERYTHING that made it enjoyable. And dragged it out to almost two hours.
My brother rented the flick for my nephew (who was 3 at the time) to watch. The poor kid hated it and protested, “This is NOT funny!”
Trash this one-if not for me, then for little Ned, and all the other kids who this picture was inflicted upon.
I meant of course, “he’s so buried under makeup”.
Damn spelling errors.
I’ve got it!!!
“It’s A Kathie Lee Gifford Christmas!”
Even if Scott can’t find the actual TV show, there’s a South Park version, an SNL version, 2 MadTV versions, and probably a Cracked Magazine version.
Overexposed? Nah. When we’re talking about the Leona Helmsley of child-labor sweatshops, how could ANYTHING be “overexposed” by the biggest media whore of the 1990s (and that’s including Linda Tripp)???
See, the problem with that, Annti, is that nobody saw that. Or wanted to see that. Or had the faintest bit of curiosity about what it was like from a second-hand source. I only learned about its existence from you, just now, and I already feel a twinge of nausea.
Does “Cracked” magazine still exist? As rip-offs of “Mad” go, it was probably the best of the bunch. If my memory serves me right, it was better than “Crazy”, which shamelessly ripped off the artwork from both “Mad” and “Cracked”.
Now I’m wracking my brain trying to remember another one that was around in the ’70′s. I got exactly one issue of it, and it totally sucked-I think it folded after less than a year. The issue I got tried to do a takeoff on “Soap”, but it was painfully obvious the writers and artists had never actually seen the show-they didn’t even know what Father Tim LOOKED like, so they drew him from the back, and got his hair wrong. They also had Jodie talking and acting in a way that stupid people think homosexuals talk and act. Does anybody have a clue what magazine that was?
Excuse me. Raises hand. I have a question.
Somewhere in the mists of my failing memory, I see a vision of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell singing a neato little ditty about “Sisters”.Whence this vision? Is it for real?Or is it just fantasy?
Speak, I beg you, O wise ones.
It seems to be a little of both. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell co-starred in the musical “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, but the song “Sisters” isn’t in the score. I think it’s from “White Christmas”, but someone will correct me if I’m wrong.
The “Sisters” song is Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen from “White Christmas,” also starring Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. And that is my nominee for the treatment. It’s got Christmas and patriotism all wrapped up in a red, white and blue fuzzy and warm pile of shit.
Basically, it’s a cross between Holiday Inn and an Andy Hardy movie where Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen, and Rosemary Clooney get together by saving some general’s skiing resort in Vermont which, probably due to early global warming, is having a bad season. Of course, they do that by getting the guy’s entire World War II division up there on Christmas for a national broadcast. Of, without telling him. Thank God, they weren’t Germans. I mean a fucking division of people sitting in your living room? They sing. It snows. They go skiing. The General gets a job with Blackwater.
My favorite bad song: “What Do You Do With a General When He’s No Longer Being a General?” I dunno. The movie came out in 1953, so I guess the answer then was “elect him president of the United States.” Today it would be “listen to him denounce the war and rising fascism.”
Hmmm. Maybe we need to look for TV series with “very special” Xmas episodes….think Xena ever had a Xmas ep?
Left by Maryc on November 21st, 2007
I know X Files did…
Maybe I’m hallucinating, but I could almost swear that Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe did “Sisters” in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” only the extra-bitchy-special snarky version.
Bill will correct me if I’m wrong, no doubt.
And yes, dear, “Cracked” exists, perhaps only as a website, but they’ve got some of the funniest/sickest shit online. I dunno if it’s still being printed, and it was never as good as “MAD,” but then, “MAD” hasn’t been as good as “MAD” for a long time. I gave up on it in junior high.
I know that there were many pretenders to the throne in the ’70s and early ’80s, but I can’t recall any of them by name, sorry.
But I’d love for somebody to find an archival tape of the Kathie Lee “Best Crap That Sweatshops Can Offer” Gifford special… There might have been two, but maybe I’m just remembering the aftershocks, who knows.
Why did anybody ever tell that shriveled carp that she could “sing”?!??!?
My partner has suggested “Die Hard”, the first one, as “Sort of Christmassy”.
Reindeer Games. Because it’s fast becoming premium cable’s answer to It’s A Wonderful Life. Plus, it was Maureen O’Hara who inspired me to become a dashingly handsome, ladykilling roué with a touch of larceny and a heart o’ gold.
Annti, there’s a song in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes called Just Two Little Girls from Little Rock which is essentially the same song, except for the part where pretty much all comers are invited to come between them as much as they want if they have a great deal of money to spend.
Oh, and Annti? You have no idea.
Dude, three words: Anita Bryant’s nanny.
Julia, PLEASE tell me that you’re kidding. Please tell me that even that batshit-crazy bigoted old cunt wasn’t stupid enough to entrust HER spawn to that shrill, psychotic harpie!!!
And Doghouse, I knew that there was a reason that I always adored & respected you, but the adoration of the beloved and belovely Maureen O’Hara is the icing on top. She is a goddess, always has been, always will be.
Not Christmasy, but at least wintery: Jack Frost. Michael Keaton playing a killer snowman. Did you hear me? A killer snowman.
Actually, David, there are two movies entitled Jack Frostinvolving snowmen imbued with the spirits of the dead and come to unholy life — one of them is a light-hearted romp about a serial killer (Jack Frost (1996), and the other a turgid, uplifting delight for the whole family starring Michael Keaton as a neglectful dad who dies in a car crash, and then belatedly decides to get all up in his estranged son’s grill by spiritually infecting the seasonal precipitation piled up in the front yard (Jack Frost (1998)).
Maybe we need to look for TV series with “very special” Xmas episodes….think Xena ever had a Xmas ep?
Yes, yes it did. It was a rip off of A Christmas Carol. Every single TV show that went longer than two seasons ripped off a Christmas Carol.
I still have nightmares about the Scrooging of Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Dukes of Hazzard, and so many others that they all blend together. This is why I suggest we leave Dickens alone: everyone else is already digging the old boy up and ripping putrid pieces of flesh from his decaying corpse this season.
Re: “Miracle on 34th Street”
The concept of Post Office employees and the court system getting all misty-eyed over kiddies’ letters to Santa is so desperately far removed from reality as to give me a headache.
Someone earlier mentioned the cynical, self-serving interests of everyone in the film. The postal employees were no different. They thought it would be funny to send the letters to Kris, and then the letters would become someone else’s problem. The whole film is an indictment against the selfish commercialism of Christmas–kind of the first counter attack in the 100 Years War Against Christmas. Actually, it would be pretty funny to use Miracle on 34th Street contrasted with modern WoC rants.
As for “please trash this film”, my vote (again this year) goes to that “One Magic Christmas” nightmare or the amazing mind-altering drug known as “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. It’s so bad on so many levels…I can’t even describe it.
scott, in re the Michael Keaton “Jack Frost” (which s.z. submitted last year as a contender):
Have you noticed how many comedies involving reincarnation or resurrection of a dead character, use an auto crash as the cause of death? Any theories as to why that is?
I never saw the picture, because that snowman featured in the trailer was just too creepy.
Oh, and just a question for anybody who wants to answer it:
While “Scrooged” is definitely the worst version of “A Christmas Carol”, which one is the best? I was actually thinking of buying the Alister Sim version, which for me has always been a favorite, but I’ve heard the George C. Scott version (which I’ve never seen) is better. Any suggestions?
Bill, the Alistair Sim version has always been my favorite, but then I think Bill Murray makes “Scrooged” well worth watching, so you may not trust my opinion.
My gracious yes, and wasn’t Kathie Lee grateful, for that and all the blessings that followed (she was interviewed for this biography):
At 17, Gifford won her state Junior Miss pageant and traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to represent Maryland in the nationwide competition. There she met Anita Bryant, a prominent Christian singer and co-host of the pageant.Bryant immediately saw Gifford’s potential as a Christian entertainer and invited her to live and work with her and her husband, Al Green, at their home in Key Biscayne, Florida . Gifford agreed and spent a disillusioning year babysitting, doing secretarial work, and occasionally singing in Southern Baptist churches. She realized that the couple’s loveless marriage was merely a front for their careers and that their family life lay in shambles. Wanting no part of the hypocrisy, Gifford opted to leave.However, Bryant had already secured a full scholarship for Gifford at the evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as a place in Roberts’ World Action Singers. Beginning in 1972, Gifford sang on Oral Roberts’ television show broadcast from Burbank, California , and traveled throughout the Bible Belt attending revival meetings. Gifford quickly became aware of the manipulation going on behind Roberts’ charismatic veneer and dropped out of the university during her junior year.Experiencing her own form of spiritual awakening, Gifford used the remainder of her scholarship money to rent an apartment in Tulsa…
Tell the truth, you miss her.
By the way, I have a remaindered copy of Tell It To My Heart around here somewhere, and those kids are going to need SWAT teams of therapists.
Y’know, this year I got nothing. Last time around I was one of the folks lobbying hard for IAWL but this time, nada. The most awful offal of the season tends to be far more current which means I haven’t seen it (and won’t, either). Most of my favorite films are from the 1930s, and the Christmas movie hadn’t infected Hollywood badly during the Depression. If I weighed in on the Holiday Inn/White Christmas debate(both movies I can take or leave), I’d satirize White Christmas simply because it’s duller and doesn’t have Fred Astaire. Miracle on 34th St. I can’t say I hate because it’s interesting on some levels.
The sentimental Christmas (or Christmas season) films I like are Remember The Night, which may have unpromising leads (Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray), but has some nice moments and a good Preston Sturges script, and the English Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim (I like Sim in practically everything he did). Most holiday sentiment is so wet and sticky I can hardly stand to be near it.
Ann, I liked the idea of Bill Murray as a young Scrooge, and a network tv executive to boot-that’s good casting, and a promises concept. I also liked Alfre Woodard as the Bob Cratchett stand-in. What I didn’t like was the lowbrow slapstick that dragged the movie down*. It also seemed too mean-spirited-wtf was that cremation sequence doing in the film? There’s also the matter of that final act, when the Scrooge character undergoes that spiritual transformation. I expected Murray to underplay this, the way Alister Sim did-but instead we get Bobcat Goldtwait as a gun-toting nutjob and Murray having what appears to be a nervous breakdown. It was just a huge disappointment. (I did like the Annie Lennox & Al Green** duet of “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”-I still have the 45.)
*The over-the-top slapstick was also one of the things I hated about “Home Alone”, which, come to think of it, would be an excellent choice to mock. Since Macaulay Culkin managed to redeem himself with “Saved”(as a wheelchair bound, atheist teenager who dresses up as a roller skate on Halloween), why not skewer the film that made him a star?
**The R&B singer of course, not the other one.
They had to give Bill his star turn “drunk lounge singer” rant…he’s done one near the end of nearly every film I can think of. I disagree with you, mildly. I thought this particular rant was one of his better ones, punctuated with shot gun blasts and all.
That said, on the whole, I liked Scrooged, even if it has to go for the predictable heart-string tug or eighteen.
Have you noticed how many comedies involving reincarnation or resurrection of a dead character, use an auto crash as the cause of death? Any theories as to why that is?
Left by Bill S
I’ll take a crack at this:
In reincarnation films, it seems as tho the protagonist always has unfinished business at his or her death that must be taken care of.
So there needs to be a sudden death in order to make the plot a little more believable. Heart attacks (while used) aren’t funny, and neither are gun deaths. A car accident can actually be made funny (I think of Albert Brooks in “Defending Your Life” as I write this), but at the very least, is a death that people accept as instantaneous and sudden.
Somebody upthread mentioned a “Xena” Xmas episode. Just a couple minutes ago, I was channel-surfing and caught a few seconds of some public-access religeous program on which people were discussing, of all things, Lucy Lawless. They wer showing pictures of her with a caption that read “I am the God of Lawlessness” and attempted to put for the idea that Lucy is short for “Lucy-Fer”. I shit you not. I didn’t stay tuned to watch anymore, because I couldn’t imagine how it could get any nuttier-and I didn’t want to find out.
I think the reason movies use car crashes to kill someone is that lots and lots and lots of people in this country die in car crashes every year. It is the leading cause of the death in this country that isn’t some withering disease which, as actor212 doesn’t fit the reincarnation narrative.
I guess that beats my “The writers are lazy and unimaginative and copy from other bad movies” theory. :)
Wouldn’t that be more appropriately rendered as “Lucy-fur”?
Well, there’s always the gleefully amoral “We’re No Angels”(1955) in which Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, and Aldo Ray give a nice family a wonderful Christmas by murdering their unpleasant relatives…
Although I like that one. It fills me with the true meaning of Chris–er, maybe Solstice–the original one involving wicker and fire.
I do like to speculate on what would happen to Clarence if he showed up in these guys’ cell block.
I like that suggestion too longstreet63. They were escaped convicts, weren’t they? And wasn’t Aldo Ray’s character convicted of statutory rape?
Pleading ignorance of the original, but I did get a kick out of the DeNiro/Penn remake… especially Demi’s wet-shift laundry-hanging scene.
I actually enjoyed the remake more than the original, which is pretty rare.
Hey, I’ll celebrate whatever that Christ-thing is by putting up my feet, commandeering the DVD player, and re-watching “The Godfather” trilogy. My family owes me video time after I peel all those potatoes, onions, and apples, make applesauce, shred the spuds & onions, and frying up thousands of potato latkes that are lacy and crisp as Florentine cookies. (Up to four cast-iron skillets are sizzling away on the stove at the same time!) So what if the house smells like Wesson oil for days? It’s worth it.
Chanukah–a minor holiday, mind you–starts December 4. So as soon as I ship off the obligatory packages to the manly Mr. Biscuitbarrel’s family, as well as to a few folks I love, I’ll be done ‘way early this year.
On December 25, we go to D.C.’s Chinatown, where the restaurants are packed with Chinese folks, Jews, and some little kids who are both.
Wonders what becomes of magical chocolate cakes in the USPS… Bloody codgers…
I’ve set up a small homage over to th’Ponderosa to the memory of the oft-bedeviled, much-loved late Uma The Destroyer, Homicidal Hamster To The Stars. If y’all get a minute, come by, sign the guest book, comment upon how “lifelike” she looks…
I look forward to the skewering of “Most Popular Christmas Movie to be Skewered as Determined by WOC Commenters”. However, our family tradition of “Christmas” movies involves watching the following on Christmas Eve: Repo ManPitch Black,Saw and most recently added to our list, Shaun of the Dead. The list may vary from year to year, but nothing says “Christmas” like a dead body. Ho! Ho! Ho!
REPO MAN!!!!!!!!!!
I have GOT to find that on tape or DVD someday, I need to see it again, sooner than Netflix… *sigh*
Re-reading the screenplay just isn’t the same thing, y’know?
I think that I’ll probably be watching Bill Hicks concert videos on xmas day… Maybe Taxi Driver for desert.
Is “Shaun Of The Dead” as funny as the Evil Dead series?
I dunno, I haven’t seen it, Annti…but, wouldn’t that one be more appropriate for Easter?
(I can’t believe I actually wrote that.)
Cynthia, would you like to borrow my copy of “Hostel?” It seems to fit in with your planned festivities.
“Repo Man”??? Honey, that’s a year-round flick if ever there was one, and you can draw allegories to just about every Druidic, Judaic, “christian” (like they didn’t steal all of theirs from everybody else anyway) or other cult-related holiday.
As for “Shaun Of The Dead,” I can’t make any promises, as I’ve not seen it.
Fuckin’ idiotic schizophrenic mouse (or maybe it’s MPD) fired-off the damned post before I was finished.
What I was GOING to say is: “Taxi Driver”. while superficially, sure, you could say that it’s a resurrection allegory, but hell, you could say that about a lot of things. Baby Jessica in the well, for instance. Personally, I like a little bright-red bloodshed with my fake-gregorian-calendar misogynistic “holidays.” But that’s just me, prolly.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Merry Holidaze everyone!
Bill S: The imitations of MAD included Sick (which lasted several years), Crazy (from Marvel Comics), and… aw, just use a thesaurus and look at all the synonyms for “insane” and see what it gets you.
Well, my suggestion is a bit of a classic, and has been examined by others, but the Mexican “Santa Claus,” imported to our side of the Rio Grande by K. Gordon Murray, has just so much incredible holiday goodness to absorb! Consider…
Santa’s Fortress of Solitude has a telescope that can see everything, an ear that hears everything, and a crystal ball that lets him wiretap anybody’s dreams!
Santa has a Baby Jesus shrine.
Santa enlists Merlin to help him fight Old Scratch (a sub-Satan, I believe).
Santa starts the movie off with a pageant of Children From Many Lands, singing their own Christmas songs, in costume.
We see Little Lupita’s dream about the dolly that talks to her and tells her to shoplift her, because dolls don’t like little girls who don’t steal!

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