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Top 5 Favorite Christmas Horror Films

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Gremlins

You know the rules – no bright light, no water, no food after midnight. Doesn’t seem like a good kind of pet to give your kid, teenager or not, does it? And didn’t Billy Peltzer already have a dog, Buddy the dog who was causing so much trouble with the Lady Grinch of the town, Mrs. Deagle, anyways?

Well, who cares. Rand Peltzer likes the unique and unusual, and his son Billy seems to have inherited his curiosity and kind, well-meaning heart in the bargain. Gizmo, as the cute little Mogwai creature is dubbed, is an adorable bundle of fur with giant anime eyes, who can learn and even talk a bit; seemingly the perfect pet. Yet next thing we know all three rules have been broken and soft fur and giant melty-heart eyes have given way to scales, slitted pupils and a really nasty sense of humor! 

Like his dad, Billy is smart and resourceful, and manages to find ways to defeat the Gremlins in this oh-so-very-80’s classic holiday hit. Those little scaly monsters learn to multiply way too fast, which would give any Christmas elf sent against them a run for their money!

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Apparently most of the major holidays have their own entire worlds, with like-minded denizens who inhabit those worlds and make sure their holiday gets observed in the grandest way possible every year. And who better than the always beloved king of whimsy-goth himself, Tim Burton, to bring Halloweentown to life?

As we all know, Jack is our Pumpkin King and he’s the very best at scaring the pants off of everyone in the world. But as it turns out, Jack is tired of his job and is looking for a new one, to actually bring happiness to the peoples of earth. But yknow, when you happen to be a humanoid-ish construct based around a particular holiday, trying to mix another holiday in there is simply unlikely to work. Only our patchwork princess Sally truly understands how Jack feels, and as she’s the only one who really makes sense around this insane asylum, it’s up to her to save Jack from himself! And also, because even Halloweentown has to have an actual villain, Sally is gonna have to help Jack defeat the Boogeyman!

 

Batman Returns

People have a tendency to forget that the second Michael Keaton as Batman film took place during Christmas-time in Gotham, because after all, there is so much else going on. The Red Triangle circus gang has descended in all its bloody glory on Gotham again, as has the charismatic freak-o Penguin, I mean, Oswald Cobblepot, ultimately deciding he wants to run for mayor, and a certain secretary that’s had way too much of men trying to kill her, which leads to her feline resurrection as that badass Catwoman. The movie also happens to feature Christopher Walken as the redoubtable Max Shreck, antagonist industrialist titan of Gotham.

The movie is everything my gothic Gotham-loving heart could want, and set during Christmas-time too, which makes it all the more poignant. Murder, revenge, betrayal, more murder, even rocket-suited penguins, and hey, toss some infanticide in there too!

Danny DeVito got the role of Penguin on the recommendation of his friend Jack Nicholson, who had of course played the Joker in the first Keaton-Batman film. Michelle Pfeiffer took kickboxing lessons and practiced with a whip for her role as Catwoman, once accidentally actually cutting her teacher. And for a great easter egg, the role of Penguin’s father in the very beginning of the movie went to Paul Reubens, better known as yes Peewee Herman. (Bonus easter egg twist – Reubens returned to play Penguin’s father once again on the FOX TV show Gotham!)

Jack Frost

One of the best of the worst of D-grade Horror flicks, Jack Frost boasts a mutant killer snowman antagonist, and I’m not even kidding either. On the way to his execution, the truck ferrying the serial killer Jack Frost crashes into a ‘genetics truck’, mixes the genetic sludge with the snow and turns ol’ Jack into a, wait for it, killer snowman! Of course after that nothing would do but for Jack to go hunting down the Sheriff who caught him, with some of the cheesiest bystander deaths you will ever see in any bad Horror movie.

I know – the special effects are bad, the movie is poorly shot and what story there is, is laughingly awful. Nevertheless, it’s a mutant killer snowman and the way Scott MacDonald cackles for his voice is just hilarious. For anyone who’s ever wanted to knife Christmas with the snowman carrot even once, this one’s for you!

Jack Frost spawned a sequel, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, which yes I also own and enjoyed. The series was even slated for a third movie, but was cancelled when the actor who played the Sheriff who caught Jack in both films, Christopher Allport, died in an avalanche in 2008.

 

Krampus

The legend of Krampus, that anthropomorphic demon that is the antithesis of dear old Saint Nick himself, has been around for a long time of course, but has only really enjoyed ascendance in the last few decades. Krampus comes in the night and takes care of the naughty children, and occasionally adults too, that Santa Claus won’t demean himself to deal with, dispensing coal for the stockings and ruten bundles for the inevitable Christmas beatings about to ensue!

So, like oh so many of us during the winter holidays, the Engel family has issues. Max is a bit of a wuss, his mom and dad are a little pretentious-yuppie type, and German grandma Omi, she’s got a death-grip on traditions older than you might think. Aunt Linda and Uncle Howard, they’re a bit too down-home-y for my taste, their kids are animals that dad probably really does wish were boys, and cantankerous old Aunt Dorothy, also known as ‘eyeroll-she’s-here-too’. And inevitably as the family descends their personalities on each-other, the threat that people who are naughty to each-other on Christmas will receive unhappy visitors, becomes terrifyingly real.

Krampus stands out as a Christmas Horror movie by reminding us that there are real consequences to being assholes to people during the holidays. The things you place your faith in, even and perhaps especially as a child, can come back to haunt you as a regretful adult far too easily. And as a marvelous nod to his other glorious film Trick ‘r Treat, director Michael Dougherty snuck Sam’s lollipop weapon into Max’s Halloween stash.

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Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

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Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

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American Horror Story: Delicate

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As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

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Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

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Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

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