Friday, January 20, 2012

Contest Results!

I ran a contest!
And in true Doll’s House tradition, I was extremely tardy with delivering  the results. But there’s a kicker to all my laziness, and that kicker means everyone’s a winner!

Due to the generosity of Drive-In Horrorshow/Infinite Santa 8000 team Grimm Pictures, I’ve got more than enough swag to go around. And since a lucky seven readers had the dedication and good taste to put down the Christmas cookies and take a break from caroling long enough to send in entries, each will receive a special package with a few goodies mailed their way.

Best of all (for me) is the ring of recommendations I got for next year’s Decemberstravaganza! Here they are, starting with the one and only man behind Not This Time, Nayland Smith, Chris Hewson:
My favourite Christmas-based film is the action/sci-fi, Trancers (aka Future Cop). It's a fun action film that, other than having a kickass protag (Tim Thomerson as JACK DETH) it's brisk and has a quick pace at only 75 minutes long. Other points are that it has a fight between zombie (kinda)-Santa and JACK DETH, and that its four sequels are just as entertaining! The sequels are ALL insane amounts of fun! And the series has a kickass theme tune too!

--While I’ve delved into Dollman like any short Bronxite, I confess to never actually watching Thomerson’s other big franchise. Now that I know it has at least something to do with Christmas, I fully expect to put it on December’s calendar.
Up next is Nicole, aka the Living Dead Girl with something more cuddly: 
Okay I thought about using any number of Christmas themed horror flicks that I enjoyed (Santa's Slay, if you haven't seen it, rocks way harder than I'd have imagined. I'm not saying it's a GOOD movie, but it's bad in all the best ways and a lot of fun. And I have an addiction to lengthy parenthetical asides. Sorry about that.) but that would be disingenuous. Truth be told, while most of the time the more bare tits, terror, chainsaws, creepy Japanese ghost kids and blood the better... at Christmas there's one movie that warms my orange and black little heart like no other. And that movie is...
Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas 

It's got ridiculously cute little characters (Jim Henson did it so Kermit makes an appearance at the beginning but then Emmet, Ma and the gang take center stage), a song which includes the lyric "They made curtains and handkerchiefs and clothing for the poooor... from the one bathing suit that your grandma otter wooooore!", a jugband song that will NEVER be out of your head once you hear it. That little movie is comfort food for my soul. I LOVE it.

Sorry I went over the 2-3 sentences suggestion. If it helps my chances any, I have a drawer filled mostly with googly eyes, condoms and Pez (so clearly, I'm just not right) and my Cockatiel, Foofer, hopes I'll win. 
Thanks and Merry Cthulhumas! May you be eaten last.

P.S. Coming in at a painfully close second is A Garfield Christmas. 

Dear Nicole, never in my life would I judge thee for choosing ANYTHING Jim Henson related. I only caught Emmet Otter this past year when it magically landed on Netflix Instant (along with the equally tear-inducing Christmas Toy) and my goodness, everything you say is true to the extreme. The Paul Williams' songs are incredible and I almost hate you for getting Ain't No Hole In a Washtub stuck back in my head. It's a sweet, moving, and painfully adorable tale that I only regret not watching for the past 29 Christmases! 

And now we move onto an ace pick from Chris Love:

To answer the question posed on your blog "What is your favorite December holiday film and why", I will say it's Christmas Evil (a.k.a. You Better Watch Out). The idea of a man so obsessed with the holiday that he actually takes on the persona of Santa Claus throughout the year to me is both extremely creepy, and somewhat heartfelt at the same time due to Brandon Maggart's portrayal of the holiday obsessed man not being one note. While yeah, he does do bad things, you can understand where he's coming from, and you actually start rooting for him. It's his acting that takes a story that's pretty silly and elevates it into something great. Plus, that totally out there ending is a thing of beauty!

And I will say this... Silent Night Deadly Night 2? My second favorite holiday horror film of all time (no lie!). Sure, Garbage Day! is an awesome sequence, but when Ricky kills the blonde douchebag with the jumper cables, then his girlfriend starts yelling at him? Awesome-ness! "Punish!" "Uh-oh!" :)

Chris, be still my heart. As my old review of Christmas Evil shows, I absolutely adore that film. It's truly a special entry into the holiday horror canon, with a wonderful central performance and heartfelt theme. And "uh-oh" remains one of the best reactions to watching your boyfriend electrocute your ex-boyfriend ever captured on camera!

Moving onto more intentionally comedic films, Aaron of The Death Rattle and keeper of the Gentlemen's Blog to Midnite Cinema asks us to put a little love in our hearts:

My favorite holiday/Christmas film frequently changes and I don't have a mandatory film that I watch during the holiday season, but right now my favorite is Scrooged, starring Bill Murray; it's always been a favorite of mine, I love the feel-good breaking the fourth wall ending, and it's the movie that I'll be watching at some point on or around Christmas this year. I'm thinking a double feature of Scrooged and Santa's Slay (another favorite). Thanks!

Ah Aaron, I can't get through December without watching Carol Kane beat the chiffon out of Bill Murray. Funny to see so much love for Santa's Slay, a film I was fairly underwhelmed by a few years back because I felt it tried a touch too hard. Perhaps Christmas 2012 will be a chance to revisit and see if my opinions change, providing the world is still spinning by then. 

Keeping it in the comedic vein is everyone's favorite cannibal, Mattsuzaka of Chuck Norris Ate My Baby. In his words:

After some serious internal debate, my answer is Gremlins. Gremlins narrowly beats out A Christmas Story as my favorite Holiday/December thingy movie because it has so many things that I love: Christmas, snow, Phoebe Cates (sigh), monsters, humor, horror, old Asian men, and Dick Miller.     

Nothing to argue with there! Gremlins is the kind of film I sit down for every few years, and it never gets tired. As dark as comedy can get while still being funny, yet still packed with genuine, let's face it, the cutest li'l creature to grace our screens in the '80s:

It's almost illegally adorable!

Staying firmly in the '80s is Craig's vote for the only film that I know of to combine Christmas elves with Nazi medical experimentation:

I am sure someone has already submitted this, but...

because traditional Christmas recycles the same tired mythology over and over (fat man in suit with toys, reindeer, Grither, zzz).  ELVES incorporates all other elements of import to Western civilization like how to chain-smoke with a beard, abusive TV MILFs, and elf-science Nazis.  Everything that you need to know to be a good citizen is in ELVES.  They should just screen it for community college students, cancel the next two years of classes, and send them off to be paleontologists and English teachers and shit.  The money saved could fill the Medicare donut hole!
But, really, EMMET OTTER'S JUG BAND CHRISTMAS should win this. And your blog is AWESOME...

Oh Craig, flattery is always appreciated (P.S.: remind me who to make that check out to). I haven't seen Elves since I was but a wee elf myself, but just about everything you said about it makes me think I NEED to rewatch it if I want to be a better person. Maybe I'll carefully time it for this coming early December so as to clean my slate in time for a Santa visit. 

Lastly but in no ways leastly is Ron's puntastic explanation for one of cinema's first real slashers:

Hello and please AXE-CEPT (I know corny as hell)  my comment entry into the 'An Infinite (Kinda) Giveaway!  Fangs for the opportunity! (I know, I know...another lame pun/play on words...I probably already disqualified myself and and lost the contest in advance)! But here's my entry nonetheless" 

For me, I really love the work of the late, great Bob Clark, a man who had such varied aplomb in the language of film that he successfully made two of the most diametrically opposed Christmas films of all time...BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) and A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983). While most are no doubt familiar with the latter, it's Clark's BLACK CHRISTMAS, for me! The precursor to the American slasher subgenre, that is bestowed the highest gift on my Christmas film favorites list. Abominable remake aside, BLACK CHRISTMAS not only set the bar, it pretty much authored the rules of the game. A lone stalker, identified through shaky POV shots, taunts and tortures a harem of sorority girls. Sound familiar? A harasser calling from inside the house? Banging any chimes? Thing is, aside from the pioneering, the film is actually anchored by good storytelling and solid performances from good actors. Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon...these are pros' pros...and what could easily be cast aside as B-movie pabulum actually turns out to be something far greater! At least for me, and I'm sure, thousands of other horror fans!

Have a Horrifically Wonderful  AXE-MAS ...ahem... X-MAS!  :-)

You know, I realized this year--and Ron's explanation certainly helps confirm it--that I REALLY need to give Black Christmas another go. I've only watched it one time, on a small computer screen with poor audio. Perhaps the time hath come to revisit one of the genre's most important--and yet in many ways, underappreciated--gems.

Preferably with a drink mixed by Margot

Thanks again to everyone for the entries! Now you just have to wait for me to ride my reindeer to the post office and get mailing (note: the apocalypse might happen before that does).


  1. Whoo hoo! Look at that, my name in print! Things are gonna start happening to me now!

    Thanks again for picking me as a winner, Emily!


  2. Invest in some bodyguards Chris! The paparazzi is already mapping out your home for the best awkward morning newspaper photos of you in york Tony Soprano bathrobe. It's nothing but the big time now!

  3. The other synopses are so great that I just added a bunch of titles to my Netflix queue for rewatching. And I am voting Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas for President in November.

    Thanks for posting my Elves thing, Emily (and thanks for making me aware of YellowBrickRoad, it was fabu).


  4. What a great nation this would be with Emmett and Ma in office. A gal could dream...

    So glad you dug YellowBrickRoad! I know some folks haven't loved it, but I'm just happy that more people are checking out what could have fallen under the radar. I'm excited to see what those filmmakers do next.