Episode 95: Klaus

Welcome to season six of Christmas Creeps! It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for so long, but there are lots of Christmas movie still to discover and we have no plans of stopping now!

Niall Flanagan and Dwayne Moloney, cohosts of the Secret of the Sailor Madness podcast, join us once again to discuss the handmade charms of the Netflix original film Klaus! The film tells the story of Jesper, a young postal worker sent to the farthest reaches of Scandinavia. With the help of a reclusive toymaker named Klaus, Jesper accidentally gives birth to the Yuletide legend of Santa Claus. The film was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, so consider this our 2020 Oscar Special!

On top of being a unique spin on a well-worn tale, Klaus delivers a welcome return to the tradition of hand-drawn animation, and when you put three animation nerds in a room together, what you get is a whole lot of gushing! So sit back, grab yourself one of those leftover Christmas beers, and join us as we break down Klaus!

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Episode 94: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Merry Christmas everyone! It’s time once again for our annual “July at Christmas” episode, where we take a break from Christmas to discuss something equally near and dear to our hearts: Obnoxious jingoism! And also video games! Inspired by our discussion of Four Christmases, this year we turn our attention to one of our favorite sports documentaries.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters isn’t just a film about competitive Donkey Kong. It examines what drives and obsesses men to lie, cheat and con their way to victory. Billy Mitchell can cling to a high score for twenty years through sheer cult of personality, but what happens when Steve Wiebe, a legitimate contender, emerges to challenge his record? How far will one clique go to keep potential newcomers away? And how can such an attitude rot a community from the inside out? These are the questions King of Kong grapples with, and we hope you’ll join us as we discuss all of it!

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Stocking Stuffer #20: Cranberry Christmas

Happy December to one and all! This week on the podcast, we present to you a Stocking Stuffer we recorded back in August. J5 went digging around the Lost Media Wiki and turned up Cranberry Christmas! This is an animated special sponsored and produced by the Ocean Spray cranberry juice company, featuring songs and narration from the one and only Barry Manilow! To our knowledge it has aired only once, and as this podcast bears out, there is probably a very good reason why.

This episode takes a weird turn into pitching Christmas specials sponsored by other corporate entities, and whether or not Cranberry Christmas could have stood to be a little bit more craven in its ambitions. Also in this episode, Joe and J5 read a listener email and wish Santa would bring them more. Enjoy!

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Episode 93: The Long Kiss Goodnight

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and that can only mean one thing… It’s time for our third annual Shane Black Friday!

Libby Cudmore joins us to help navigate all the bizarre twists and turns of Renny Harlin’s 1996 action yarn The Long Kiss Goodnight. National treasure Geena Davis plays a recovering amnesiac who suddenly, violently discovers her former life as a trained assassin, and Samuel L. Jackson plays the low-rent detective helping her get to the bottom of things. There are explosions and gunfights and it’s all very silly. Also it’s a Christmas movie. Shane Black wrote this, so of course it’s a Christmas movie!

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Episode 92: A Christmas Story

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!

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Episode 91: Black Christmas

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. HalloweenMy Bloody ValentineScream 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!

This week, our pal and horror expert Dr. Nick drops by to discuss all things Black Christmas, and why this film deserves its reputation as a bona fide horror classic!

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Episode 90: Silent Night Deadly Night 3

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.

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Episode 89: Fred Claus

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.

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The Fred Claus Activity Book of Fun!

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?

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Episode 88: Four Christmases

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!

(NB: Movie chat begins at 23:50)

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