It's French. It's Christmas. It's got a deranged Santa and a kid who has seen a lot of 80's action films. It's like "what if 'Home Alone' were infinitely @#$%ed up?" Justin and Ryan take a deep dive into a movie that feels like it's about to break as a cult classic, and features a very Bonnie Tyler Christmas song. You may know it as "3615 code Père Noël", "Deadly Games", "Game Over" or even "Dial Code: Santa Claus". But it's a frikkin' delight, this thing.
Tis the season for genre mashes! It's horror with Christmas joy! Join us as we peek in on a family that has lost its Christmas spirit - and is now facing a giant beastman-shaped reckoning. Marshall and Ryan talk the 2015 holiday horror hit that's become a bit of a perennial favorite (already!) - which reflects on how the holidays with family can really be a nightmare.
Honestly, I've gotten so used to, like, "sexy cop" going by, I don't really think about it anymore. But there's still always a few costumes that pop out at me as "but why?".
The first thing that popped out at me on this go-round was:
Would the target audience even know what this is?
I'm assuming to have Halloween plans and the body confidence to wear a hastily-stitched Halloween costume that's not work appropriate, these costumes are aimed at women aged, oh, 18-28. And even that may be pushing it.
But that would mean the target audience was born between 1992 and 2002. So... do they even know who these characters are?
Pretty sure this is supposed to be Julia Roberts in the first reel of 1990's Pretty Woman. It was called something like "Beautiful Lady"/
Not to be weird about it, and no surprise to longtime readers, but Maureen O'Hara was a screen-crush for me since catching Miracle on 34th Street back in high school. Watching The Quiet Man (1952) did nothing to slow that train down.
Here's to a year where, hopefully, we all learned something, even if it was a hard-earned or hard-fought lesson. Here's to a year where the shadows seemed to grow darker, and where we found light, it shone brighter. Here's to knowing what the coming year can bring, and not being on our heels this time when it comes.
Every night has a morning, and the sun always comes up.
Let's get our game faces on and be those lights shining brighter.
Let's extend a hand and help others to their feet. Let's stand between those who are looking to strike and those who can't raise their hands. Let's do it because we know the right thing to do, even when it's hard.
I have a lot of improvements I want to make in 2020. Now, we're gonna try and make this work.
We've all seen this movie, and the weirdest part to me is still that they got Michael Caine to sing and (kinda?) dance.
I like it, too. It's probably as safe a bet as you've got for introducing your kids to the notion of A Christmas Carol, which they might as well get to know at some point. But it is genuinely a sweet movie, even if not my favorite adaptation of the book (the George C. Scott version is incredible, the Patrick Stewart version surprisingly moving, and I'm always in the bag for Scrooged).
But, hey, you get penguins ice skating, some great muppet-eering, and Paul Williams providing excellent musical numbers. The sets are absolutely mind-boggling, and the "let's put a ton of Muppets on the screen" approach totally pays off.
It's a Signal Watch Stocking Stuffer! SimonUK and Ryan watched the 2010 Finnish sorta-horror import "Rare Exports" (2010), all about Santa maybe not being the fun-loving fellow who drops down chimneys to drop off presents, and maybe more a bit of "hold my beer, Krampus".
Format: Netflix streaming
I am pretty sure I've written up this movie a half-dozen times, because I watch it every year or two.
I will say this for this viewing - the last time I watched it, I was watching a restored version, and I don't think that's what Netflix has. And, it's weird. The cast looks way rougher with the tint in the film. Look for the restored version.
Viewing: Unknown. 7th?
It's Christmas Noir! From a first-person-perspective! It's kinda weird, honestly! Join Jamie and Ryan as they discuss "Lady in the Lake", a movie about murder with a very twisty mystery, with a lot of the story taking place on Christmas! For some reason. And Ryan finally gets to talk about Audrey Totter, noir and whatnot.
Format: Streaming - Amazon
The Signal Watch hearts Geena Davis. And here she is! In a movie that takes place at Christmas - because it's written by Shane Black. SimonUK, Jamie and Ryan talk this mid-90's actioner that predates Jason Bourne movies but post-dates the Bourne books about a secret assassin recovering her memory as the baddies movie in.
Music: Long Kiss Goodnight Intro - Alan Silvestri, Long Kiss Goodnight OST
Format: Alamo Mueller Movie Party
I saw Gremlins (1984) during its original theatrical run back when I was a kid. I wasn't someone who watched any horror yet, so I do recall the movie scaring the crap out of me in one or two scenes, but as the same kid who thought Ewoks were *great*, I also loved me some Gizmo.
In fact, I started 4th grade with an official Gremlins backpack that had Gizmo screenprinted on the outside like I was Billy Peltzer chasing me down some Stripe with my little buddy.
The amazing Elizabeth Mitchell, partially blocked by some guy
Format: Hallmark Channel, baby!
Mostly I don't write up the Hallmark Christmas movies that I watch, because I don't really watch them. I put them on and do other things, how I'll sometimes watch a 4 hour baseball game on a Saturday or Sunday. You do some work or check email or talk on chat to someone while the movie is on. And when you do look up, it's mostly a game of Hallmark movie bingo, teasing out what the new formula themes are this year (military, servicepeople - mostly men, and veterans have been big the past two years).
But The Christmas Club (2019) was one of the more expensive version of the formula, where they'd hired actors you may have seen somewhere before rather than the usual "who is that?" stars of other than Hallmark movies, assembled from spare parts found in a vat of pumpkin spice, Coach purses, bedazzled iPhones, Lululemons and Uggs.