Archive for the 'Holiday films' Category

Dec

posted by admin | December 22, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Holiday films, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Satan Claus: Rest Stop Review Edition by Doktor

Satan Claus

If one more kid asks me for a Zuzu Pet...

This is a very dark film. I mean that quite literally, not that it was brooding and evil. It was either a.) filmed in dark-o-vision (i.e. with the lens cap on) or b.) zombie Ray Charles was the director of photography. Or, perhaps c.) both. The lighting is so bad that for most of the 61 minutes you can’t tell what is going on.

From what I could hear, that might have been for the best. The story was terrible, but the acting…

The acting left my heinie feeling violated and in desperate need of a very hot shower. I implore the actors in this film to pick up a copy of The Room and study it, thoroughly. There is much you can learn. After which, get anything starring William Shatner. Please don’t skip ahead and go straight for Shatner. You’re not ready for that. Please, take small steps. I don’t want you to hurt yourselves.

I will say this, the one kernel of corn in this turd in the punch bowl, was the Rent-A-Center Mrs. Cleo. I dubbed her Mrs. Chloe ‘cos don’t know what her name was, Mom-mom or something uhm-tarded like that. I was too busy comforting myself with the gentle swaying that is the Autistic Rock while counting all the toothpicks in my kitchen.

In conclusion, if you’re finding it hard to pass that clump of cheese fondue from your work’s Christmas party, this is the movie for you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Dec

Comments Off on Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2


Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Welcome to the Second Annual Holiday Movie Review by Drive-in Dan and Mrs. Drive-in Dan. Now, I heard a lot about how I just “took over” last year’s review of “Christmas Vacation”, so this year I am going to sit back and keep my mouth shut. Really. I will. I promise. Dan, dear, take it away.

Drive-in Dan: All right, woman. You sure you’re gonna be able to keep quiet for this one?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear.

Drive-in Dan: *Sigh* Uh-huh. We’ll see. But I love you. O.K., here we go…

Filmed on a budget of a Britney Spears weekend shopping spree, this abomination of film making was made by a group of first-time hacks-for-hire, who proudly wear this cinematic scarlet letter, even though the movie industry and legions of horror fans shun them.

After his older brother (psycho Santa) gets slayed at the conclusion of the first film, Ricky, psycho Santa’s baby brother, has an ax to grind with the naughty and continues to spread the family brand of holiday fear. If you haven’t seen the first movie that’s O.K.–because this “sequel” has about 40 or so minutes of footage from the first movie in the form of flashbacks to get you caught-up. The production value takes cheap to whole new low, as it would make a flea market look like a Macy’s. Starring Eric Freeman (Ricky), who is the greatest eyebrow actor to ever appear onscreen, some in the horror community consider this film to be the “Troll 2” of holiday movies. The acting by everyone in this thing is so bad, the performances should be considered a criminal offense.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetie? Can I interject something here?

Drive-in Dan: Yes…?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Now, I must agree with you. That Eric Freeman’s eyebrows are a force to be reckoned with. I mean seriously–those things should have had top-billing for the movie! At the very least, their own line in the credits! Did they get their own trailer on the set during the shooting? And what was with that girl taking a moment to gulp before she was about to get killed? Run, girl, run! Don’t just stand there and gulp, waiting for the nut-case to do you in!

Drive-in Dan: Dang it, woman! Can I continue here?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear. I apologize. Carry on.

Drive-in Dan: Anyhow, you have to wonder how many “writers” (I use the term very loosely) it takes to throw together a screenplay for a sequel in six hours using the script and half the footage from the previous movie. Believe it or not five. Five writers.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honestly, someone should question what in the world that Pringle lady did as the script supervisor. This thing was a piece of…

Drive-in Dan: Woman!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Shushing. Sorry, dear. Keep going.

Drive-in Dan: I’ve made a list of the good stuff for you to check out so that you don’t have to waste your time with the entirety of this shoddy film. Here’s the list:

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetie?

Drive-in Dan: (annoyed) Yes…?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honey, I don’t have the list.

Drive-in Dan: (through clenched teeth) That’s because there ISN’T one. There is no dang list of good stuff in the movie, because this movie is a big piece of reindeer poop marinated in Elf urine. If you’d let me get through this dang review, that would become apparent!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Oh. Yes, dear. Sorry. Keep going.

Drive-in Dan: Little Ricky is lucky enough to get adopted, but he apparently suffers from “chromophobia”–the fear of color. Ricky’s problem is with the color red…as in the color of Santa’s suit and just about every other dang thing at Christmas. The first incident of this we see is when he’s on the street with his adoptive mother, and while she is talking to a friend, Ricky has some kind of “episode” when a red cloth is thrown over a chair in a store window. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the nuns he kept seeing on the street, or the Omen-ish music that accompanied them as they virtually floated off the ground, in and out of the stores. He had such positive experiences at the hand of Mother Superior at the orphanage. What a fine woman of God she was… Uh, yeah. Anyhow…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Sweetheart? Are you going to talk about the part with–

Drive-in Dan: Dang it, woman… I’m getting there!

Ricky grows up and gets a job as a dishwasher, because his adoptive father died, and his adoptive mother had no money to send him to college, so he had to work to pay his own way. Life’s rough. While confronting a loan shark in the alley behind where he works, Ricky has another “episode” when the loan shark pulls out a red handkerchief. Seriously, somebody put this guy in a ring for a bull fight. Ricky impales the loan shark with an umbrella from a trash can and leaves him in the alley. And then it starts to rain…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Well at least he had an umbrella over him to keep him dry.

Drive-in Dan: Woman, he was dead! The umbrella was through his body!

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes, but at least he was a dry corpse! Now hurry up! I have to go check my Christmas cookies and mix up the icing to decorate them!

Drive-in Dan: Fine. I have to go see a man about a horse–too much holiday nog. You wanna jump in the driver’s seat while I go take care of this?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Certainly, dear. I’ll move us along until you get back.

So, any-hoo, all of this is part of Ricky’s flashbacks as he’s telling his life story to shrink #13 who’s come in to talk to him in jail. The shrink pulls out a photo of a pretty blonde. Ah, Jennifer. The only thing Ricky ever cared about. So then we see flashbacks of Ricky with Jennifer. He flips-out when he sees Jennifer’s ex, Chip, in front of Jennifer’s house by his red Mustang, talking about how he and Jennifer got busy in the back seat. Uh-oh. Not only do we have a red vehicle in this picture, but Ricky also thought Jennifer was a virgin when he’d slept with her. Tsk-tsk. So, he zaps Chip–literally–with a jumper cable from the car battery to the mouth. Jennifer is stupid enough to stop, take a moment, and gulp as she realizes she’s about to be killed (if you are not screaming at the television for her to RUN in this scene, you have way more patience with people than I do), which gives Ricky a chance to yank the antenna from the car and strangle her.

Well, wouldn’t-cha know it, a cop sees the whole thing and pulls a gun on him. Ricky gets the gun away from the cop and kills him, and goes on a rampage through the neighborhood. Oh, sweetie–you’re back.

Drive-in Dan: Yes. Where are you?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: I was just about to talk about “garbage day.“

Drive-in Dan: Oh, O.K. So, anyhow, Ricky goes around shooting people like he’s at the O.K. Corral, including a guy putting out his trash. But before Ricky offs him, he (and his eyebrows) deliver the classic line, “Garbage day!“ This is probably the best-known scene from the movie. Heck, it’s the only known scene from the movie.

So, back to real time in the jail, the psychiatrist Ricky was talking to is dead as a dodo, slumped over the tape recorder, and Ricky is gone. He has one more ax to grind…with Mother Superior. Mother Superior we learn had a stroke, is retired, and living alone. Of course. She is confined to a wheelchair, and has some nasty boils on her face. What the heck kind of stroke did she have? Yikes! She looks like she got on the wrong end of an exorcism.

Of course Ricky finds her place with no problem, and naturally her house has the weakest doors known to man. Wet tissue paper would have put up more of a fight. He hacks his way in in no time…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Oh, sweetie, this is the part with the flying nun!

Drive-in Dan: What?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: This is the part where Ricky gets into her house and Mother Superior pulls a “Flying Nun” routine to get upstairs in the blink of an eye. She must have flown, because not even an able-bodied person can get upstairs that fast.

Drive-in Dan: Yes, dear, you’re right. This is the part. Anyway, Mother Superior is now upstairs and has barricaded herself in one of the rooms. Somehow, she is able to move a fairly solid and heavy piece of furniture–remember, she’s in a wheelchair–to keep Ricky out even more. But he hacks through that wimpy door, too, and Mother Superior goes wheeling around the upstairs, and flies down the stairs (well, actually she falls when Ricky pushes her, but she gets down quick!). The cops and Sister Mary pull up outside and Sister Mary goes inside and finds Mother Superior at the dining table. But she won’t respond, and as Sister Mary touches her to snap her out of it, Mother Superior’s head rolls off and hits the floor. But there’s no blood. Not only did Ricky execute a precise surgical cut even though he swung the ax overtop her head like he was about to chop some kindling but he also cauterized the wound too. What a swell job! Sister Mary faints, hits the floor, and the cops shoot Ricky outside.

They couldn’t even end the film with a newly-shot scene. Now, granted, the shot they did use was more effective in this movie than in the original, but they still lifted it from a dream sequence in the first film. Sister Mary comes to, and when she opens her eyes, the severed head is right next to her on the floor, and she screams. This causes Ricky to open his eyes. I guess all those gunshots weren’t that serious after all. Or maybe he deflected the bullets with eyebrows. Who knows what happened? But it looks like he’ll be back for another sequel.

The writers were actually proud of the fact that they banged the script out in about as long as it would take to watch a mini “Law & Order” marathon. And that apparently meant they didn’t pay much attention to continuity. In this film, we learn that the Santa shot at the orphanage in “Silent Night Deadly Night” wasn’t Father O’Brien, but old man Kelsey, the janitor. That’s quite a difference. The janitor instead of the priest? Oh, and then there’s the part where Ricky as a little baby remembers the night Killer Santa murder his parents even though he was so young he couldn’t tell the difference between topsoil and strained carrots. Man, you gotta love shoddy writing and directing. Well, at least they got the part about him being deaf right.

Michael Armstrong does create a really creepy snyth-tastic score. And makeup effects artist, Christopher Biggs (“A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child”), manages to pull off some impressive-looking makeup effects even though the movie had a tiny budget and a really short shooting schedule (10 days). But a couple of positive things can’t save this “sequel” from making my Top 10 Worst Movies of All Time. This movie really should have been called “Silent, but Deadly” because it’s a real stinker.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Honey, speaking of stinkers, did you break wind?

Drive-in Dan: No.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Goodness, what IS that awful smell?

Drive-in: Yikes! It just hit me. It smells like a Sumo Wrestler took a dump on a burning tire.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: OH, MY COOKIES! My Christmas cookies! Now, look what you’ve gone and made me do–I’ve gone and burned my cookies!

Drive-in Dan: Woman, how is this my fault? You’re the one who has to go and bake…

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: I’ve gotta run, everybody! My cookies are burning! Happy holidays, y’all! Dan, get the fire extinguisher! I know it’s not a real Christmas until it’s a fire hazard, but that’s supposed to be with LIGHTS, not cookies! Jiminy Pete… We’ll see you next year, everyone! Dan! Get in her with that fire extinguisher; we have a SITUATION here!

roadside attractions

  • 1 impaling by umbrella
  • 1 electrocution via jumper cables
  • 1 strangulation by car antenna
  • 1 exploding car
  • Random people are shot with a handgun
  • Attack of the flashback
  • Extreme wheelchairing
  • Boobies in distress
  • 40+ minutes of recycled footage
  • Eyebrows gone wild
totals

1

blood
BLOOD

Not a lot of the red stuff. I’ve seen more blood when I nick my face shaving.

-5

blood
BREASTS

5 boobies in peril and a whole lot of random skin. We give this section a negative rating because we don’t like seeing boobies in violent situations.

7

beast
BEASTS

Six if you count the flashbacks from the first movie and Mother Superior

1.5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2”

trailers

dripper
Nov

posted by admin | November 21, 2010 | Holiday films, Review by Die-Anne Takillya

Comments Off on A Holiday Greeting from Donna Bleed

[Editor’s Note: We received this DVD from Donna Bleed via FedEx this morning. The below is transcribed from the salvageable audio, with visuals and other parties in italics. We have not contacted the proper authorities, because the contents below are bewildering, and we don’t want her coming after us.]

Woman’s face, smiling. This can safely be assumed to be Donna Bleed. Ah, Thanksgiving! The one day a year when you gather together with family to stuff yourself and watch football, or air all the family’s dirty laundry and point out everybody’s shortcomings. This is the preferred tradition of my Mother in Law, Pat. I’m not allowed to call her Pat. She *insists* I call her Mother, and it makes me cringe. This is a woman for whom schadenfreude is not an emotion, but a religion. She sucks the life out of a room like a dour succubus. She refuses to eat my cooking, despite her devoted son’s reassurances of how delicious it is (and IT IS!). I’m not good enough to cook for him, and she always fussing about me and the way I keep this trailer house. I’ve wanted to have a chat with her about her manners, and show her just how lucky her son is to have me. She wants a bad dinner, I’ll show her a bad dinner! Camera turns, we are now able to see a bright, spotless kitchen, moving into a living room. Dominating the room is a large television, in front of which is a high-backed chair. Bits of duct tape peek around the sides.

Luckily, I was able to send Bert and Dad out for another bag of cranberries so I can finish up the last bit of baking for tomorrow, leaving Mother and I here for some ‘girl time.’

Mother snuck a piece of the ‘guest fudge’ and she’s now sitting in her favorite chair. She’s going to sit there quietly while I show her my very favorite dinner scenes from some great horror movies. If she’ll stop wiggling, I won’t have to rewind. I want her to see just how bad a dinner could get.

The camera pans back around, to Donna’s face. The camera is placed on a stationary object. She exits the room, and returns shortly with a chair, likely from a dining table. She sits it next to the high-back chair, then moves towards camera, then turns and sits in the chair. We hear a snap, and she leans over to the high-backed chair. A woman’s screams immediately begin.

DB: Oh, hush, Mother. I swear, you make the biggest fuss out of nothing. Screams continue. Donna snaps her fingers. SHUT UP. You are not in charge right now, this is my show. You’re going to watch, and you’re going to learn! Let’s start! Donna points a remote at the television, and it turns on. A slide show presentation begins. The numbers and titles were taken directly from the slide show. All transcribed audio is Donna Bleed talking.

10. Thirteen Ghosts (1960) This is a rather tame one compared to the rest, but I like it because it sets the scene for the mayem of the rest of the movie. All the exposition happens around the dinner table. [She turns to face the woman in the chair, gesturing with the remote control.] See, Mother? See how calmly they’re all talking? [Reply indistinct.] Pass the peas, and by the way, you’re all going to die because there are 12 ghosts in your house, you play with the Ouija, and the Wicked Witch of the West is your maid. Look at how civilized they are! [She turns back to face the television, pointing the remote control.]

9. The Legend of Hell House (1973) One of the finest furniture-flinging, pissed-off poltergeist, chasing skeptics around the room scenes ever put to film…[Screams resume, with cries of “Help!” DB pauses the video and stands, pointing at the person in the chair] and if you don’t shush with that screaming… [DB leans out of frame, then back, brandishing a throw pillow] …I’ll stuff this throw pillow between your teeth and you can choke on imitation goose down. Nobody here will help you, they know better. [Screaming is replaced with muffled crying. DB tosses the pillow out of frame and nods curtly.] That’s more like it. [DB sits back down, and starts the video.] Now where were we? Oh yes! Look! The plates jitter and jive all over that table like they’re doing the Bristol Stomp! Those slivers of broken glass look sharp as a pistol, don’t they, Pat? [DB looks sharply at Pat, leaning on the arm.] Do you mind if I call you Pat? [Reply indistinct] Oh, every time I look across the dinner table at you, I picture something like this happening. You know, I think you do, too. It’s so great to bond. [DB reaches over] Here, let me get that hair out of your face…there you go. [DB advances the video]

8. Carrie (1976) While less dramatic, we’ll keep in vein with the souped-up psychic phenomena. She’s going to the prom, Mrs. White, and you’re not going to stop her! [DB slams her fist on the arm of the chair, glaring at Pat] I married your son, Pat! [Crying resumes] You couldn’t stop me, no matter how many times you stood across the room and called me a witch! [DB slaps her knee, bending over in her chair, laughing. She sits back up, pointing at the screen] All it took was a cup of lukewarm apple-cinnamon zinger thrown in her face and she turns into a telekenetic wunderkind, holding momma captive in her own kitchen. No smashing crockery, but the threat that if she wanted to she could, and she’d enjoy it. She’s not going to her closet, she’s gonna let the boys look at her dirtypillows. So there. [DB advances video]

7. American Gothic (1987) This movie is not well known, sadly, but it’s one of my favorite twist-ending psycho-family flicks. This is one of a couple of dinner scenes, but the first one is a big ol’ red flag screaming to these liberal types to just go on and row their way back to the mainland before they become beef-jerky barbie dolls. There are blessings, and there are BLESSINGS, right, Pat? And when Yvonne De Carlo scolds you for not being in the Clean Plate Club and for telling tall tales about the moon landing, you know something’s just not right. Pa made me uncomfortable when he talked about the vice of tobacco. You can’t get their dander up too early, or they’ll run, unless they’re stupid…oh, wait. Heh, that’s just what happens. [DB advances the video]

6. Dead Alive (aka Braindead, aka Dead-Alive) (1992) I’ll never forget the first time I saw this one, Pat. It was a special day! I had to rewind it to be sure I had seen what I thought I saw. One of the pinnacle gross-out, gag-o-matic scenes ever put on film; you’ve got skin sloughing, zombie slobbering, ooze spewing, undead pus-filled pudding eating…it’s beautiful in it’s awfulness. Hats off to Peter “The One Ring” Jackson for making one of the grossest films ever put to celluloid, right, Pat? [DB looks at Pat] Pat? Oh, this is why I keep smelling salts handy…[DB drops the remote and stands, reaching into her apron pocket. She leans in to Pat. A sharp snap, and Pat’s screaming resumes] There we go. [Screams continue] Yes, yes; now you were nice and calm just a second ago. [DB points at the television behind her] Don’t make me rewind this…[Screams immediately stop. DB turns, picks up the remote and sits down.] That’s better. Moving on! [DB advances the video]

5. Hannibal (2001) He’s so classy, that Hannibal the Cannibal, especially when he’s murdering somebody! [DB leans on the chair in a relaxed way] Making sauteed brains in a copper fait-tout out of the man who got Clarice fired! How elegant, how refined…and she’s so ungrateful! [Muffled; possibly “Right” or “Uh-huh”] I saw this one in the theater, and when he removed the top of Paul’s head, I couldn’t help but laugh with delight, much to the discomfort of my fellow theater patrons. [DB looks at Pat] You’re looking a little green, Pat; you know, I thought you were made of stronger stuff! Just focus on the silverware. [DB advances video]

4. Psycho (1960) You’re the only guest at the motel, you just stole a bunch of money from your job, and the awkward clerk invites you up to his house for dinner. The room is full of taxidermied animals and over your sandwiches and coffee, he tells you he did it himself. [DB looks at Pat] That is the time you put down the sandwich (to quote you, “who knows WHAT it’s made of!), [Pat chuckles] and drive off into the night. How many warning signs do you need? Then dear old MOTHER starts screaming from upstairs about the whore in her parlor? Yeah, let’s sleep there! [Laughter from both. DB advances video.]

3. Alien (1979) I have never clutched my chest so hard in my life; this is the kind of heartburn that no kind of antacid or bicarbonate soda will even touch! Alien larvae incubating in your esophagus, just waiting on you to scarf down on some galactic spaghetti-o’s, then BAM! Space spawn all over your formica table. Everyone screaming, then out pops that bugger like a stripper from a giant cake…memories. [ Pat, indistinct, “…seen that? No!” DB turns to face Pat] You have to admit, this is brilliance right here. [Pat, indistinct, ”..better…Ressurection…”] I mean, come on, exploding John Hurt! Alien chest babies! Dinner is the beginning of the end for this crew! [DB advances video]

2. Misery (1990) This was another one that had multiples to choose from, and it is hard to pick a favorite, but one that speaks to me, [DB looks at Pat] especially when it comes to our relationship, is the fancy dinner scene. She’s rolled out the leaf in the table and lit candles, and all he wants to do is kill her with his saved-up Novril. But, that clumsy oaf, she spills that wine. But, was she so much clumsy as she is crafty, Pat, hmm? [DB turns to face Pat, leaning on the chair.] You’ve pulled this one on me a couple of times, [Pat, indistinct, “…could smell it…”] but I got you with that stash of fudge, didn’t I? I wish she wouldn’t have spilled, though; she needed to be punished for putting Spam in her meatloaf. [Pat, indistinct “…might be alright, but I…wouldn’t …Bert try it…” DB laughs, turning back to face the television. Advances video.]

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) The family that slays together stays together, Pat! Just ask my momma! [Pat, indistinct “…your mother…wedding…lovely”] Shh-pay attention! [DB points emphatically at the television] This is THE hands-down ultimate dinner scene of all dinner scenes before or since. This also happens to be my very favorite movie of all time. [Pat: “Really?” DB nods.] Yes, and this scene is the reason why. Three generations of jeering cannibal psychos, [Pat, indistinct “…grandmother someday…”] Shush! Look at the helpless girl tied to an armchair made out of real arms, REAL ARMS, Pat! The sweltering heat-look! [DB points at the screen] Look at the heat waves rising during the overhead shots! Look at those bloated animal parts baking! Then you’ve got Leatherface’s lovely dinner mask, Marilyn Burns’ horrified screams…you feel like you’re going crazy right along with her, don’t you, Pat? [Pat, indistinct “…a little dizzy..”] Then, just when you think it can’t get any more horrifying, holy- [Pat: ”Language, young lady.”] Er…uh…moley! Grandpa isn’t a corpse, he’s ALIVE! He’s gonna smash her with the hammer! [Pat: “That’s awful.”] Stay with it, Pat, come on! See! Look! Look at the blood! I-

[A car door slams outside, DB leaps from her chair, runs out of frame.] Oh! That’s Bert’s car! [DB rushes back to the chair, bending down. Slight tearing sounds.] Let me just get this tape. [Pat: “OW!” I know, yes it stings, I’m sorry. I’ve got ointment…Shh, they’ll hear. [A door opens, DB looks towards it, smiling brightly, pointing the remote behind her, turning off the television.] Hi, honey, hi, dad! [Male voices, indistinct. Two male figures walk into frame towards the kitchen, carrying grocery bags. Male voice, indistinct: “…furniture, sweetie?” A woman (Pat) stands up from the high-back chair, pulling the sleeves of her sweater down around her wrists, turning to face camera. DB backs up, standing close to the television]

Pat: For God’s sake, Bert, the woman has been slaving away in there and you’re asking about furniture? I moved the furniture.” [Bert, indistinct: “…Ma…asking…”]

Pat: Yeah well you could help out rather than conducting an interview. [Pat walks out of frame, following Bert into the kitchen. Grocery bags rattle. An oven timer goes off. Murmured voices. DB walks to the chair, removing the tape from the back and sides. She walks towards camera, balling up the tape and putting it into her apron pocket. She leans in, her face filling the frame.]

Donna Bleed: [Whispering] Happy Thanksgiving!

[DB grins, adjusts her glasses, and drops a wink. The camera goes dark.]

[Editor’s Note: The footage ends. We do have to admit, she’s got some pretty good taste in movies. Happy Thanksgiving from your crew at The Lost Highway!]

May

posted by admin | May 8, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Holiday films, Trailer park

Comments Off on Happy Mother’s Day From Lost Highway

Sure she gave birth to you, changed your diapers, kept you from running in the streets with scissors, but how much can you really trust that strange lady in your home often referred to as “mom” or “mother?”
She made you sit up straight, eat your vegetables, always asked if you wanted a second helping of gravey dipped cheese sticks, but could it be a plot to fatten us up and eat us while we sleep? The proof is in the pudding…delicious chocolatey pudding.

trailers

dripper
Dec

posted by admin | December 21, 2009 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Holiday films

Comments Off on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Happy holidays, y’all.  Boy do we have a special treat for you.  This is the first-ever review done by Drive-in Dan and me, his loving wife, Mrs. Drive-in Dan.  We are going to review for you what we consider to be the quintessential holiday film, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”  If you have not seen this, y’all need to just go out and buy it, because it is a classic that will have you tangled up in the tinsel and rolling on the floor under the Christmas tree, you’ll be laughing so hard.  Y’all wanna know just how much of a classic it is?  Why Hallmark even has a “Christmas Vacation” tree ornament of Cousin Eddie’s RV, that speaks Eddie quotes.  Y’all can bet on your last bottle of moonshine Dan and I have that sucker hangin’ on the tree.

Now, in terms of format, Dan and I are going to do this sort of like a script.  Each of our names will be listed, with our thoughts and comments after.  O.K., y’all ready now?  Here we go.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Our story begins with the Griswolds driving out into the countryside to select the all-important symbol of the holiday season…the Griswold Family Christmas Tree.  Clark W/ Griswold, Jr. (Chevy Chase) leads his family in the singing of Christmas carols, while barely escaping the jaws of certain death when he moves the car under a big rig haulin’ logs.  After a moment of being airborne over a snow bank (which resembles the airborne moment in the desert from the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation”), the family wagon lands at the tree lot, and the search for the tree begins.  Unfortunately, it leads them out into the wilderness, and no one brought a saw, so they take the tree home—roots and all.

Drive-in Dan: Honey, you forgot to tell how they got under that big rig in the first place—by pissing-off those good ol’ boys in the pick-up truck.  And how did they dig-up that big tree, anyway?


Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Suspend your disbelief, honey.  It’s a movie.  They can do that kinda stuff in Hollywood.  Anyhow, Clark wants to have a big, family Christmas at their house.  The in-laws arrive, to several descending, ominous notes of a doorbell chime.  The children are outsted from their rooms and beds; Ellen Griswold (Beverly D’Angelo) starts smoking; and everyone is in a general state of holiday miserableness.  In a display of classic avoidance, Clark and Rusty head outside to string-up the lights on the house.  Rusty gets the un-enviable task of untangling a knot in the string of lights that resembles the world’s largest ball of twine.  Honey, do you remember when we went to go see that?

Drive-in Dan: Honey, can I get a word in here?  You’re forgetting about the part where Clark comes out of the garage with the chainsaw and the Jason hockey mask on to cut the tree, and exchanges unfriendly comments with the yuppie neighbors, Todd and Margot (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicholas Guest).  And then they get the tree in the living room, and when Clark cuts the rope to release the branches, 50 million things are knocked over and broken.  It’s kind of like Rosie O’Donnell taking off her spandex and releasing everything.  “Stand back!  Contents under pressure!”

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Oh, honey, you’re right!  Now, how could I forget that!  Do you want to keep telling the story?

Drive-in Dan: No, I think you’re doing a fine job.  I’m comfortable here on the couch.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Alrighty, then!  Anyway, so back to stringing the lights.  Clark spends the whole day putting lights all over the house, risking life and limb as he has some mishaps with the ladder, and is hanging by the gutter at one point.  The gutter starts to separate from the house, sending a huge piece of ice shooting through Todd and Margot’s window when they’re not home, and wreckin’ their expensive stereo (heh, heh).  And when Clark brings the whole family out to see the fruits of his labors, the dang things won’t light!  After much pain and agony on Clark’s part—and a few meltdowns—Ellen realizes the light switch in the garage needs to be flipped on for the outside lights to work.  And, oh my Lord, let’s not even talk about the craziness of add-ons, extensions, and cords at that electrical outlet!  That thing fully illustrates what my college friend used to say: It’s not a real Christmas unless it’s a fire hazard.  But I digress…  Anyhow, the lights come on, the nuclear power plant needs to flip on the auxiliary power, and the entire Griswold clan ooh’s and aah’s at the purr-ty lights…Although Art, Ellen’s Dad, notices that they aren’t twinkling.  Big, freakin’ deal. Catherine and Cousin Eddie are impressed.  They just pulled up in their RV, which is the biggest piece of crap you could ever lay eyes on.  I am telling you, it is a sight to behold.  Honey, do you want to jump in here?

(Quiet snoring)

I guess not.  He’s tired from being up late watching “Black Christmas” online and Twittering, or tweeting, or chirping—or whatever the heck you call it.  That’s fine.  He can pipe-in at the end.

While Clark was fiddlin’ with the lights on the house, Todd and Margot were getting’ ready to, um, well, have “relations.”  Y’all know what I’m talkin’ about?  There was wine, and candlelight, and…  You get the picture, don’t ya?  So, all of a sudden, Clark’s Mom goes into the garage and flips the switch to get a cake out of the icebox in the garage.  The Christmas lights come on, and Todd and Margot are blinded and just about kill themselves trying to move around their bedroom and down the stairs.  The following morning, there’s chaos in the Griswold dining room during breakfast, with Eddie and Catherine’s rug-rats runnin’ around.  Meanwhile Todd, who’s about to go out for a morning run, thinks otherwise when he comes out and is greeted by the sight of Eddie in a short bathrobe, emptying the RV’s chemical toilet into the storm sewer.  Eddie holds up his beer can in greeting and delivers the best line in the whole movie, “Merry Christmas!  Sh*tter was full!”

(Snort from Drive-in Dan as he wakes up)

Welcome back, sweetie pie.

Drive-in Dan: Woman, do you remember when we went to that baseball game, and you asked about the guy waaaay out in the field, and I told you he plays the position of right field?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Yes…

Drive-in Dan: Well that’s where you are in this review.  I need to reel you in.  You skipped over the whole part about where Clark gets locked up in the attic when he goes up there to hide Ellen’s present, and the family leaves and goes to the mall.  Clark is freezing his baguettes off in the attic, and dresses in drag in some old clothes from a trunk, and watches old home movies to pass the time.  First, though, he goes ten rounds with the floorboards coming up and hitting him in the face.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Well, darlin’, you were asleep, and so I was just keepin’ on here…

Drive-in Dan: Well I’m awake now to keep you on track.

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: Well aren’t we grumpy?  I think you need another nap.

Drive-in Dan: I’m fine.  Just wrap this up.  You’re going on forever here.  It’s a movie review, not a reading of Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue.  Jeez, couldn’t someone please go rogue on her?

Mrs. Drive-in Dan: You are on thin ice, mister.  Fine.  Anyhow, the rest of the movie involves a lingerie sales girl taking off her bathing suit; Aunt Bethany reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over dry turkey and cat food Jell-O; an electrocuted cat; Uncle Lewis igniting the Christmas tree and himself; Eddie’s dog, Snots, chasing a squirrel from the new Christmas tree through the house and out the door, tackling Margot, who then slugs Todd; Clark getting an unpleasant Christmas bonus from his employer and having a meltdown with a very impressive and agitated monologue; Eddie kidnapping Clark’s boss; and the police crashing into the Griswold home.  The plastic Santa and reindeer are sent spiraling across the moon, propelled by Uncle Lewis dropping a match by the storm sewer, igniting the fumes from Eddie’s emptying of the chemical toilet.  As Aunt Bethany sings the National Anthem, all join in, and then head back inside.  The end.  Does that wrap it up enough for you, dear?

Drive-in Dan: Yup.  That about covers it.  That’s all I’m gonna say, before I end-up sleeping on the couch.  But we need to do the Roadside Attractions…

– Jason Voorhees trimming a tree
– 2500 non-twinkling Christmas lights
– Christmas décor smackdown
– 1 flying Popsicle
– 1 rust-bucket RV
– 1 choking-hazard dry turkey
– 1 pissed-off squirrel
– 1 Tylenol plug
– Flaming Santa and Reindeer

Rated 10 out of 10

Check out the trailer for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>