Who Says It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The
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
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.
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.
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.
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.