Christmas Stories: Christmas Vacation (1989)

Oh man, I love Christmas Vacation you guys. Unfortunately, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen the whole thing all the way through. It’s actually one of the few Christmas tapes that my parents had that I haven’t added to my own collection. This was definitely one that my dad brought to the table and not my mom as she’s more a fan of the older flicks, while my dad loves pretty much anything the original SNL crew did. I don’t have quite the same connection that Rickey does with it (hopefully he’ll jump on and explain exactly what that is), but Christmas Vacation was always the one I wanted to watch deep down while we were watching It’s A Wonderful Life again.

It’s funny watching this after not seeing it for a while and also as a bit more of a grown up. I can completely relate to his desire for a perfect Christmas and feeling like things are going to shit. I can also relate to not getting a Christmas bonus even though you worked really hard and no one told you otherwise. At least he got a jelly of the month subscription, we got asked to work overtime. And, yeah, to be honest, it would have been nice to get the boss there with a bow on his head to give him a piece of my mind, but alas, I’m not related to anyone quite like Cousin Eddie. Anyway, I think you’d be hard pressed not to relate to at least some part of this movie. Having to bunk with your brother or sister while family’s visiting, trying to keep the families from killing each other, trying to act like you like everyone, getting locked in the attic and having to wear old lady clothes. You know, the usual holiday craziness.

I was also surprised with how well I remembered the movie even though I hadn’t seen it in a while. Man, I knew this thing backwards and forwards. I remembered that Julie Louis Dreyfus was in it and even that Juliette Lewis played Audrey. I remembered the old aunt and uncle, the cat gag, everything. I did NOT realized that Russ was played by Roseanne and Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, so that was a nice little surprise. I also think I based my whole sledding life on the scene where Clark greases up the metal disc sled and goes light speed down the hill and through the tonw. Not only was I laughing my head off the whole time, but I was thinking back to when I was a kid and loved going down the hill in the park across the street from my house and sled as far as I could. Heck, I even loved jumping on it and standing all the way down. Hopefully, we’ll get a good amount of snow and find a hill to go sledding.

Really, if you haven’t seen Christmas Vacation in a while or you watch it every year, give it another look and have a great time. I know I did.

Mini Monsters: Troll 1 and 2

2009-04-10
3:19:35 am

Okay, I’m in search of a movie from my childhood. I thought either of the Troll flicks might jog my memory. Unfortunately, neither the original nor the non-sequel struck a chord in my memory, but I sure had a good time watching both movies.

Even though the first Troll (1986) flick has a mini monster with a ball on the freakingposter, it’s not the movie I remember. It is however a really strange flick with a father and son duo by the names of Harry Potter. Harry Jr’s sister gets taken over by a Troll (or something) when they move into their new apartment building. Soon enough the troll is causing all kinds of trouble, even converting the other tenants in weird creatures. Luckily there’s a weird old lady with a pet mushroom plant who helps Harry Jr. save the day. I’ll be honest, I watched Troll over a week ago and my already shoddy memory has forgotten a lot of the details. Sonny Bono, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and June Lockhart all have rolls and entertain in their own way. It really is just a great, weird movie.

Okay, so a swing and a miss on the first flick, maybe the second would be a hit. Nope. Whiff. Yeah baseball metaphors! Anyway, I didn’t really know Troll 2’s crazy history or its title as “Best Worst Movie” when I added it to my Netflix but between adding it and getting the movie, it was mentioned on both Horror Movie a Day and in the Totally Rad Show podcast. So, I was kind of excited to finally watch the movie, which apparently started life as a completely different movie about goblins. BC and HMAD did a pretty right on review though I think I liked the movie a lot more.

Yes, it’s completely ridiculous and poorly acted, but it’s definitely not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Slumber Party Massacre 2 still holds that spot. Anyway, the TRS guys talked about a documentary created by the kid who starred in Troll 2 that I’m interested in checking out.

Instead of doing a straight-up review, I’ll post the notes I made while watching the first three quarters of the movie (I gave up and just watched, probably buzzed, after a while).

Here goes, with commentary when necessary:

-he’s imagining his dead g-pa telling him a story?

-Kid has a Superman poster and fucking Killing Joke Joker HAHAHAHAHAHAHA poster!!!

-“You take them to bed with you and i don’t believe in group sex” (the daughter in the story says this about her boyfriend and his friends)

-acting is BAD

-“Joshua start singing” (I think one of the parents yells this at the kid/hero)

-this kid has crazy dreams – green blood/sweat, tree fingers and sucking chest wound

-holy crap, they’re driving an aerostar (in high school I drove a 1994 Ford Aerostar Mini Van, this one is pretty similar)

-the town is called Nilbog, hahahaha

-who would ever trade houses with strangers? (the whole story revolves around the main family leaving their regular house to live in the house of some strangers in Nilbog who never really leave)

-mom has a menacing/evil quality because she keeps staring RIGHT AT THE CAMERA

-is that a stripe of blue frosting on the corn? (yes, goblins love putting frosting on stuff)

-hahaha he pissed on the food! (to make sure his family wouldn’t eat it)

-dad just challenged Josh to a not eating contest “just remember I’ve got more practice at this than you do.” (which is exactly how your dad handled you when you peed on the food)

-i hear my friend scream in the woods, i’m out the door seeing if he’s okay, not drinking mountain dew (the boyfriend and his friends borrow a mobile home which they park near Nilbog, not a good move in the long run)

-eww, Nilbog “special milk” that’s not refrigerated

-that’s not pudding it’s a cheesecake with green frosting

-nothing like a warm jug of milk on a hot day

The movie goes on from there and never lets up in the weirdness. There’s a scene where the Nilbogians throw a surprise party in the family’s house without them knowing it that is out of control and of course, the end is nuts (you’ll never hear a kid say Grandpa so many times).

Ha, which reminds me. The grandpa’s name is Seth, but the kid seems to have a ridiculously hard time wrapping his mouth around the word and it just comes out garbled every time.

Anyway, you could probably start a whole blog just on this movie. I enjoyed it for the most part and have my eyes peeled for the Troll 1 and 2 DVD at a reasonable price, but, unfortunately, my mini monster quest is not yet over. Somehow I’ll soldier on…

By watching Ghoulies 1 and 2! Coming soon!