Trifecta #05: A Holly Jolly Halloween
You can’t go out and party every weekend, so on those nights you want to take it easy, Flix66.com has put together a bi-weekly column to help you with your movie selection. The Trifecta is a recommendation of three movies that set a mood, that showcase an actor or director, that acquaint the viewer with a geographic location, or maybe even have some obscure link like a Best Boy or Key Grip.
Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier each year. Case in point., last week, a week before Halloween, I had to come into work to set up all our Christmas decorations. Yes, for the next two months I am living and breathing Christmas with 70-hour work weeks. On the upside, I do get to listen to Christmas music during that entire time (I’m not kidding, I love Christmas music). Therefore, I thought I would invite all of you into my own Christmas Horror with a trifecta of Halloween movies revolving around Christmas. If Christmas is going to ruin my Halloween, I might as well make it ruin yours.
First off, I’ll begin with the most family friendly of Halloween movies, NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. It’s funny to say family friendly since the first time I saw the preview of a little kid pulling a shrunken head out of gift box, my parents freaked. Although morbidly dark it is a very sweet film. Jack the Pumpkin King is bored with his Halloween life until he stumbles across Christmas Town, which brings him alive inside. Being a skeleton he doesn’t really have an inside but you get what I’m saying. Since he is sort of a monster his affection is slightly misplaced by kidnapping Santa Clause so he can bring joy to the boys and girls through his own halloweenified Christmas. The strange and unusual visuals along with the story of Christmas getting hijacked by Halloween are fantastic but the music by Danny Elman is the real standout. I’ll put this DVD in as a CD so I can listen to it while I clean house or decorate my Christmas tree.
For the second film I’m going to mature it up slightly with GREMLINS. It is a growing up favorite of mine. In typical 80’s horror mode this is half comedy as well. A father buys an unusual gift for his son from a creepy old, pipe smoking, glass eyed, bearded Asian man. The gift is a cute little furry pet that can speak like Howie Mandel. Like all pets, it comes with some instructions, but rather than “Do’s” like feed and walk, the instructions are a list of “Don’ts.” Don’t put it in Sunlight, Don’t let it get wet and whatever you do Don’t feed it after midnight. Obviously all these rules are broken at some point and our horror begins. The theme music is fantastic and whenever I hear the lovely Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” I think of a green gremlin getting blown up in a microwave.
The third film is BLACK CHRISTMAS, which is definitely not for children. Like all horror films, a remake was done in 2006. I have yet to see that film. The one I’m speaking of came out in 1974, was directed by Bob Clark, and should not be confused with his other film, A CHRISTMAS STORY. The story is simple, a psychotic killer sneaks into the attic of a sorority house over Christmas. He makes many over the top obscene phone calls (from inside the house) and kills off the girls in interesting jump moment fashion one by one, specifically Margot Kidde, otherwise known as Lois Lane. Most of the time the audience is the POV of the killer who seems to have a heavy breathing problem, perhaps asthma. It’s ridiculously silly and definitely dated with afros and porn mustaches but you will laugh and you will jump. It’s the perfect blend of cheer and chill…as long as you are blending it with alcohol.