Monday, December 18, 2017

Many Reasons For the Season

So I queued up Red Christmas via Netflix because hey! I like a good seasonal horror flick. With Christmas looming, why not devote that Monday to a new yuletide slasher?

Then I slogged through the mean-spirited coal that was Red Christmas and thought to myself, you know Emily, this year has been ugly enough without ending it on such a negative, punishing, anti-choice, mixed garbage statement of a movie. Let's find a happier note to play, something seasonal but positive.

So here are a few random things to love about horror movies during the holidays. And if nothing here works, just screw it all and queue up The Muppet Family Christmas for the 9,00th time. No judgement here. 

The Crypt Keeper Singing Holiday Jingles

Easily the best item ever to be purchased in the '90s by a teenage Emily at the Spencer's Gifts, this album (originally on cassette tape, natch) includes a dozen holiday tunes with the lyrics rewritten to be more fitting of the singer, John Kassir's pun-wielding, tale-spinning Crypt Keeper. Can't get your Walkman working? Revel in the kindness of strangers with YouTube accounts.

The Very Fact That There Exists Not One But Two Killer Snowman Movies

And yet, the unrelated but weirdly similar Michael Keaton family film of the same name is somehow far creepier

The Choice to View Christmas Evil As a Magical Tale of a Lonely Santa-Loving Man Ascending to Angel Status

My (and John Waters) favorite holiday genre film can be viewed as a lot of things: a an early entry into the slasher Santa trend, tragic tale of mental illness taken to extremes, the chance to spot a way-pre-Home Improvement Patricia Richardson in a tiny role. For my money, it's something even more special (that's also all of those things). The key to keeping Christmas Evil on the right side of your heart is to make the conscious decision that SPOILER ALERT! Harry Stadling's van doesn't crash and burn after his killing spree is over, but rather, transcends into the heavens, transforming into a magical sleigh and changing our sad sack factory worker into the real deal Santa. 

Margot Kidder In Black Christmas, Goddess

Easily on the top five list of Film Characters I Want To Lost a Drinking Game To. She. Is. Divine.

Vincent Cassel's Insanity In Sheitan
The movie itself? Somewhat insufferable. The MAN himself? 

A god. Or, well, technically agent of the devil. 

The Most Feel-Good Pop Montage In the Least Feel-Good Slasher

I've said it again and I'll say it an estimated 781 more times before I die: Silent Night Deadly Night is memorable for a bevy of reasons, but none more so than the weirdly placed, tonally mismatched "The Warm Side of the Door" sequence, wherein a sweet country tune cheerfully plays as our soon-to-be-mass-murderer learns about friendship, work ethic, and the joy of having alcoholic bosses.

Eric Freeman's Case For The Academy Awards Adding a Category for Best Performance By a Pair of Eyebrows
I mean...

Clint Howard's Phallic Coven Mask
Everybody forgets Silent Night Deadly Night Part 4 because it doesn't have The Warm Side of the Door or eyebrows, but you what it does have? Murderous roller blades. Also, this:

Ray Wise & Lin Shaye In Dead End
A good but flawed little Christmas Eve ghost story, Dead End deserves to be seen more, mostly because, you know, Ray Wise and Lin Shaye. 

Disco Cameo Greatness
Don't Open Til Christmas is filled with a lot of wonderful things, among them, a smily plastic mask, Halloween costume holiday parties, charmingly innocent peep show conversations, a sleazy male flutist, and insanely slow motion overwrought flashbacks. But you know what REALLY makes it exciting? That it has Caroline Munro randomly performing a disco number. Because if that's not the real reason for the season, what is?


  1. Is Sheitan an Xmas movie? I forget... I liked it a lot, but more as a twisted comedy.

    I've adopted the British tradition of ghost stories for Christmas, so I'm sticking with spooky stuff like Ghost Story and The Shining... maybe The Haunting.

    1. Yup, Sheitan is definitely set during Christmas.

      I love the idea of anything winter-set working as a holiday horror movie. Throw Let the Right One In in there too!