This one has been a long time coming. Our celebration of all things Bob Clark—known around these parts as CLARKSGIVING—comes to an end with perhaps the greatest Christmas movie of them all: A CHRISTMAS STORY!
On this episode, our friends Booker and Jessie join us for a discussion of one of the true kings of holiday cinema. The adventures of Ralphie Parker and his quest for that elusive Red Ryder BB gun have become an American institution in the form of TV marathons, museums and, yes, a cash-in sequel or three. But what makes this film endure where so many other wannabe Christmas classics simply don’t? When exactly does the film take place? Who would want to live down the street from that house? We dig into all of that and more!
Happy November, friends! It’s time to pack up Home for the Horrordays for another year. But fret not, because we have one last bit of horror goodness up our sleeves. Ten years before A Christmas Story, Bob Clark directed a little horror movie called Black Christmas, which would go on to inspire decades of slasher cinema. Halloween, My Bloody Valentine, Scream and countless others owe some sort of debt to Black Christmas. And with a brand new remake on the horizon, we thought it would be fun to dedicate an entire month to the Christmas offerings of Bob Clark. Welcome to CLARKSGIVING!
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year! No, it’s not Christmas just yet. It’s time to go Home for the HorrorDays! Join us as we dip into some spoooky Christmas-themed horror movies for your listening and viewing pleasure…
This week, we’re revisiting the saga of the Caldwell family with Silent Night Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! Somehow, Ricky “Santa Claus Killer” Caldwell survived the last film, and what’s he got to show for it? Oh nothing much, just his EXPOSED BRAIN IN A JAR WHERE HIS SKULL USED TO BE. No biggie. This film also features a blind psychic who can sense Ricky’s thoughts, and somehow never manages to do anything interesting with that. For real, SNDN3 is kinda the pits.
It’s finally here! We conclude Vaughn-a-thon this week with Vince Vaughn’s other holiday offering: The $100 million comedy spectacle Fred Claus! What happens when St. Nick’s deadbeat brother Fred gets arrested for grifting donations away from Salvation Army Santas? Nick bails him out on the condition that he come work for him at the North Pole. And then there are some shenanigans involving Kevin Spacey. Yes, it’s all very unpleasant.
Anywho, also in this week’s episode, Joe breaks out some Fred Claus marketing materials, Brad gives the Santa Talk to his dog Charles, and we ponder the difference between the Claus family and your average pack of vampires.
As we discuss in our most recent episode, one of the promotional materials released for Fred Claus was an activity book, appropriately titled “Fred’s Activity Book of Fun”. I picked up a copy of this book off of my movie theater’s merch table way back in 2007, mostly because I would gladly take any free junk they threw at us. Until today, it sat in a variety of drawers or storage tubs waiting for it’s moment to shine.
Reminder: Fred Claus is a Christmas film starring Vince Vaughn, so one would be forgiven for assuming this was a raunchy R-rated fartfest. But this book is basically an activity booklet for kids, which makes us think this was intended for family audiences? At any rate, Fred Claus never quite made back its $100 million budget, so their attempt at making this a four-quadrant hit was all for naught.
Anywho, here is the full contents of “Fred’s Activity Book of Fun”!
Please note that the “special Fred Claus paper” mentioned on page 9 no longer appears to exist. FredClaus.net now simply redirects to a Warner Bros page about the movie. Perhaps a reader who is better at Archive.org than me can track it down?
Welcome to Vaughn-a-thon! This month we’re highlighting the two holiday features produced by and starring Vince Vaughn. We kick things off with Four Christmases, which we assumed would be the lesser of two evils. We assumed wrong. From the sheer volume of A-list stars with nothing to do, to the film’s weirdly antagonistic tone, to the way it forces regressive notions about family upon a couple with more modern sensibilities, Four Christmases is a dire experience all the way around!
Also in this episode we discuss Freeform’s Halloween TV schedule, ponder how seasonal creep operates in the Southern hemisphere, and Joe and Bradford gets a chance to gush about one of their favorite films! Check it out!
Summer is winding down, and since we’ve been in the superhero mood lately, we thought it would be fun to take a look at a film that came out earlier this summer. Shazam! not only takes place around the holidays, but makes particularly good use of it in service of its themes of family and togetherness. It’s also a pretty damn fun movie to boot, with a positive streak a mile wide.
Why would a studio produce a movie set at Christmas, only to turn around and release it in April? Why would a wizard tell anyone they weren’t worthy of magic directly to their face? Why does one of the monsters in this movie strongly resemble Venom? We get into all of that and more!