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Volume 1 Issue 7 - In One Year And Out The Other

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Who Says It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

By Shorty

It's that time of year again when we deck the halls, hang the mistletoe, and spend quality time with colorful relatives like Crazy Aunt Edna who keeps saying things like, "What a big boy you are now!" even though you're almost 30, and Uncle Larry who smells like stale cheese. It's also time for the TV networks and cable channels to dust off the handful of "meaningful" holiday movies and completely saturate the market with them, since they really can only be shown one time a year.

Mom, Pop, and the little ones are given the opportunity to take a break from the screaming and yelling and sit around and stare slack-jawed at a flickering screen for a couple of hours of "quality family time." Movies like It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle On 34th Street play again and again ad nauseum from Thanksgiving until Christmas, showing us not only the importance of family, and the spirit of the holidays, but that network executives really know how to rape it for all it's worth. And who could forget such timeless classics like A Christmas Story? Certainly not me since a certain cable station felt it appropriate to show it back to back to back FOR TWENTY-FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT! Or maybe Carol Kane sucker punching Bill Murray is a little more up your alley so make sure you tune in to see the one Richard Donner film of recent memory that doesn't feature Mel Gibson and explosions.

I can't help but wonder: Are the Big Three, the Little Three and the myriad of cable stations really speaking to the masses? Are they really reaching everyone with the half-dozen movies that they show year after year? Maybe there's a segment of the population that they're missing. A segment of the population for whom a fat Tim Allen turning into Jolly Old St. Nick doesn't really cut the mustard.

Let's take a look at 1998's Jack Frost, the clearest example to date that Michael Keaton's Beetlejuice days are long gone. Is this movie really necessary? Didn't we get far more Christmas hijinks then we could properly stomach in the definitive Schwarzenegger / Sinbad action/adventure/comedy/ romance? I'm sure that some executive was sold on the idea of the father-dies-and-gets-transported-into-Frosty-the-Snowman storyline with the magic word of contemporary Hollywood. (And no, it's not "Please" or "Open Sesame.") CGI. That same executive's eyes probably twinkled like the shiny lights adorning the decorated fir trees in homes all over the world, and his or her ears were filled with the ringing of silver bells - or was the it ringing of cash registers? I can never keep it straight.

So I say "Screw perennial Christmas favorites!" and "To Hell with family fare star vehicles!" Go for schlock that's not afraid to admit it's schlock. Schlock that revels in the oozing squishiness that seeps between its toes and makes loud sucking noises. That other Jack Frost for example. You know which one I mean - the 1997 one you've seen at Blockbuster with that crazy changing box cover. You look at it one way and it's an innocent snowman. You look at it another way and it's an evil snowman readyto kill you. In this Jack Frost a SERIAL KILLER (not some whitebread dad) enters into the body of Frosty the Snowman. What an utterly ridiculous idea! Atrociously delightful! You mean he gets to shoot icicles through people's skulls so their brains ooze out the back? Yes, please! Or freeze beautiful women while they take a bath, and... oh!... what ever is he doing with that carrot that has relocated from his nose to another part of his body?! I can't decide if I want to be horrified or burst out laughing.

It's movies like this and the five installments of the Silent Night, Deadly Night series that need to see a little more programming during the holiday season. These gore-fests very nicely fill in the holes and round out the edges of the standard network programming to truly make it a joyous time for the masses - something for everyone. So if you can't take another year of grandma's fruit cake, or if you're feeling like if you hear "You'll shoot your eye out" one more time YOU might grab a gun, then why don't you pop on down to your friendly neighborhood videostore and pick up some Holiday Horror with Santa and his Slay.


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