The Christmas Movie Marathon: 16 – 20
I’m in the home stretch and now the film’s are getting extra out there.
WIND CHILL (2007)
From the director of MAGIC MIKE XXL, comes a spooky tale of the supernatural. Emily Blunt stars as a College student who catches a ride with a creepy ass ride share participant (Ashton Holmes) and when they have a vehicular breakdown at night in the middle of a forest they quickly discover that it’s packed full of G-G-G-G-G-HOSTS! There’s some shaky CGI going on, but the mood is extra thick, and the scares are a plenty. It deserves more love.
NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS (1975)
Two girls head home on a train for Christmas and meet up with a gang of roughians that are up to no good. Extremely nasty stuff ensues. It’s an Italian remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT that loses the gritty documentary feel of Wes Craven’s orginal and somehow ends up feeling grimmier when the images are photographed on a perfectly lit on a stage. One death in the movie tops anything in LAST HOUSE without question.
THE MONSTER’S CHRISTMAS (1981)
This one’s a tough recommendation because even though it’s barely an hour long, almost nothing happens in it, but the monsters look INSANE.
A PISTOL FOR RINGO (1965)
The first film in one of the popular Spaghetti semi-series (as there’s only two official entries but spawned dozens of in name only entries) along the lines of Django, Sartana an Sabata. It’s written and directed by Duccio Tessari, one of the co-writers of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, and it veers in the opposite direction of The Man with No Name by making the titular Ringo a fast talking, milk drinking, smart ass. The plot is suprisingly similar to Fistful (Yojimbo) as the anti-hero of the story pits villains against heroes and always seems to be trading sides until he finally comes out on top. The pace is fast, the body count enormous, and it’s filled with goofy gags (rebound a bullet off a metal object!) that would later come to prominence in 80’s action films. The christmas setting is exploited surpisingly roubstly from a opening gag of two gunslingers wishing themselves a “Merry Christmas” to the final conflict taking place on the big day.
EVENING ON A FARM NEAR DIKANKA (1961)
A classic Russian film set on Christmas eve involving dozens of characters, a witch, and the devil. It looks nice, and has some funny special effects, but I had no idea what the hell was going on. I couldn’t really get past the immaculate cinematography that translated to awkward stiffness.