“We’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f’ing Kaye!”
For my second “Favorite Films” review, I thought I’d go back to the well I went to in the first one — that of John Hughes holiday movies. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation may have a lot more competition, and much steeper competition, for the title of best movie for its holiday, but even if it wouldn’t take everyone’s top spot, it’s certainly a solid contender. It’s easily the Christmas movie I watch most often, and that’s due to both how funny it is, and how believable it is.
Released in 1989, when Chevy Chase was at the peak of his career, Christmas Vacation has him reprising his role as Clark Griswold, this time trying to ensure the perfect Christmas for his kids and extended family. Of course, it’s not going to be that easy — he’s Clark Griswold, after all, and there’s no such thing as a successful Griswold vacation. Continue reading →
If there’s one description that inspires even less confidence in a film than “made for TV”, it’s “direct to video”. Sure, producer Charles Band stated he could make more money on this film in the direct market than in theatres. But… actually, I don’t really need a counterpoint there, do I? He kind of did my work for me there. It’s hard to snark at someone that sets himself up so effortlessly.
With some rather obvious inspiration from Child’s Play, 1989′s Puppet Master is a horror movie playing on the common sense of unease that people have with puppets. Horror films are about scaring people, people find puppets creepy, it’s a logical enough fit. Except, of course, for the minor detail that even the creepiest puppet looks silly when it’s subjected to stop-motion animation. As I’ve said earlier, it’s hard to give a horror film credit when it looks ridiculous.