Watching the Holiday Classics

Christmas is a holiday steeped in tradition. The music, the lights, the tree, the gift exchange, and the drunken uncle trying to molest you. These are all perennial aspects of this very special time of year. And just like your divorced grandfather bringing in a 23 year-old hooker to make his ex-wife jealous, there are some parts of the holiday you want to experience over and over again. One of those is watching Christmas films. Movies about Christmas have become an entire genre of their own. Some of these films are beloved, timeless classics. Two of my all-time favorites are the stuff of legend. The ones that people herald as utter brilliance, and are watched by families year after year. Of course, the films I am talking about are A Christmas Story 2 and Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure.

A Christmas Story 2

A Christmas Story 2 continues the Christmas adventures of Ralphie Parker. He is now a teenager, about to turn 16, and wants a car for Christmas. Getting a car isn’t easy, especially since this is still vaguely the 1940s and he lives in a modest middle-class family. Ralphie and his father, The Old Man, go to a car dealership to run a scam where The Old Man can get a deal on a new car. While there, Ralphie spies a used Mercury that he falls in love with. A few days later, he shows it off to his friends. Naturally, this involves him breaking into the car so he can sit in it. And when the dealer comes outside, Ralphie gets his pant leg caught on the emergency brake, which leads to hilarious hijinx! The car ends up taking some damage to the convertible rooftop, and now Ralphie will have to pay the dealer $85 or face the consequences. This plot line is completely retarded. Seriously, guys?! His pant leg got caught on the fucking emergency brake? What the fuck is this, a goddamn episode of Looney Tunes? Is that the best the writers could come up with?

These guys don’t look like they have the holiday spirit. Are they even trying?

Anyway, the rest of the movie documents Ralphie’s exploits as he tries to earn the money he needs to pay the dealer back in 1 week or he will presumably get anally raped until he dies. Those exploits are a tired retread of everything from the original movie. The Old Man continues to battle with a malfunctioning furnace, Flick gets his tongue stuck in a vacuum-powered pneumatic tube (instead of frozen to a metal pole), visiting Santa becomes a huge debacle, Ralphie has to wear a ridiculous animal costume, Ralphie says “Oh Fudge!”, the Mother character threatens to wash Randy’s mouth out with soap, Christmas morning plays out exactly the same way (with Aunt Clara’s clothes and Ralphie’s secret/awesome present), the decoder pin is referenced, somebody gets “Double Dog Dared”, and the famous leg lamp makes a triumphant return.

Instead of trying out something new, the movie tries to sell itself on nostalgia the audience will have for the original. The original worked because it reminded us of humorous situations from our youths, and the sequel fails because it tries to remind us how funny the first movie was. While I watched it, I could hear the writers shrieking, “LOL! OH HEY, DO YOU REMEMBER THE LEG LAMP FROM THE FIRST MOVIE? WELL, HERE IT IS AGAIN! YOU LOVED IT THE FIRST TIME AROUND SO NOW YOU WILL LOVE THIS MOVIE JUST AS MUCH! LOL!” Although, I’m not even certain this movie had writers. Sure, there was a script and all that, but I don’t think any human beings actually wrote this rehashed piece of shit. I think somebody took the first film’s script, cut out all the famous scenes, shuffled them, and then put them together in random order to make this movie’s script. Seriously. Everything from the first movie is here, just in a different order.

See? It’s back! Back to tarnish your memories of the original movie.

Ralphie still has an active imagination, and each time he daydreamed, I wanted to gouge my fucking eyes out. The original movie had daydreams too, but they were somewhat grounded in reality or at least built into some kind of real-life situation. Now, Ralphie’s daydreams are on the scale of full-blown delusions. For example, he imagines himself saving a girl he likes from torture at the hands of Nazis. Um. Yeah. These scenes are completely retarded at best, and do nothing to enhance the movie.

Half the movie is dedicated to The Old Man and what a cheap bastard he is. I don’t remember him being all that cheap in the original, but there is an entire subplot in the sequel dedicated to him being a cheapskate. He won’t buy a turkey for Christmas because 40 cents a pound is too expensive, even though the original movie showed us how he fucking lived just to eat turkey. He spends the majority of the movie ice-fishing so he can catch a delicious bass, the perfect, traditional holiday meal. He also spends a shitload of time trying to buy a used furnace to replace the current one. He eventually tracks one down, and it works beautifully. I suppose the lesson is that he was proven right that it’s good to be so fucking cheap.

That’s back, too! Absolutely hilarious! (not)

By the end of the 90-minute runtime, Ralphie earns the $85 but blows it on buying Christmas dinner (at a Chinese restaurant – OH LOOK ANOTHER REFERENCE!) for a homeless family. It’s a schmaltzy, shoe-horned reference to how we all need to be good and god bless our fellow man and all that stupid shit during the holiday season. It’s stupid because the other 364 days of the year, we think that our fellow man can suck a fat cock. Helping people is COMMUNISM! Fortunately, Ralphie has good karma, and he still gets his dream car for Christmas. Oh yeah, and he gets his dream girl, too. Blah, what the fuck?

Don’t waste your time watching this steaming pile of shit. Just don’t. I don’t care how much you love the original. I don’t care how morbid your morbid curosity is, just don’t waste your time. You’d be better off trying to re-enact the original movie yourself than watching this monstrosity.

Verdict: Shitty

Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

Seriously, you guys.

What the fuck did I just watch?

Do you want to talk about stupidity? How about low production values? How about shitty actors who can’t get any other work? Well, if you want to talk about those things, you’re in luck. Christmas Vacation 2 has them all! This movie is so bad, so vile and putrid, it makes A Christmas Story 2 look like Casablanca in comparison. Unlike the four movies in the main Vacation series, this movie does not feature Chevy Chase or Beverly D’Angelo. Also unlike the main Vacation series, there is not a single laugh to be found in the entirety of this abomination.

The movie begins by introducing us to Third, the seventh child of Eddie and Catherine Johnson. Third is a shortened version of Clark W. Griswold III. Yes, he is named after Chevy Chase’s character from the previous movies. Third is unlike anyone else in his family, because he’s the only one with a brain. We know this because the movie tells us directly. We wouldn’t know this from watching the movie, because all Third does is bitch about how stupid he thinks Eddie is. He’s a whiny asshole who constantly complains that his father is dumb, a slob, and can’t hold down a job. He doesn’t actually ever do anything throughout the entire course of the movie to showcase his intelligence. We are simply told he’s smart, and must therefore accept it.

The Santa hats make this look like a Christmas movie, right?

The “plot” of the movie, if it can even be called that, shows Eddie being fired from his job at a nuclear testing company. He is outperformed by a Chimpanzee, and let go. He gets mad, fights with the Chimp, and gets bitten on the ass. In order to prevent a lawsuit, the company sends Eddie’s family on a getaway to a fictional Hawaiian-esque island in the South Pacific. And wouldn’t you know it, it happens just in time for Christmas!

Randy Quaid ballooned up to 300 pounds in order to get in shape to play Eddie. And believe me, it’s traumatizing in the “Tarzan scene” when he goes shirtless. Along for the ride are Eddie’s wife Catherine, their son Third, Audrey (who is played by Dana Barron – the same actress who played Audrey in the original Vacation movie), and Ed Asner. Apparently, Asner can’t get work any more. There is no other logical explanation for why he would be in this shitfest of a movie. Maybe he owed the director a favor because the director got Asner laid or something? I could see that. But I can’t imagine Asner reading the script for this movie, calling up his agent, and breathlessly shouting, “I HAVE TO BE IN THIS MOVIE! DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET ME A ROLE!” A couple of other characters show up once they reach the island. One is an Australian pilot named Jack and the other is a tour guide named Muka Luka Miki.

Oh look! An eating scene! I bet Randy Quaid asked to reshoot this one a bunch of times, you know, just to get it right.

Miki is played by South Korean model and former Playboy Playmate, Sung-Hi Lee. Now, I don’t want to come right out and say that the acting is bad in this movie, but when a former nude centerfold turns in the best performance, you know this thing has problems. Also slumming it are Fred Willard and Eric Idle. Idle reprises his performance from the second movie, European Vacation. It’s absolutely amazing to me that both of these guys had nothing better to do than be in a piece of shit, made-for-TV sequel. Seriously?! I mean, did the producers of this movie pay all these guys in cocaine and hookers? How else did they get them to be in this piece of crap? It’s truly mind-boggling. I feel bad for them, that their careers have plummeted this far, they resorted to acting in a sequel to Christmas Vacation. And it’s not just a sequel. It’s a wacky adventure that focuses on a side character who spends Christmas on the beach.

Once Eddie and his clan make it to their destination, they go out for a day of big-game fishing. This winds up with them shipwrecked on a deserted island. The remainder of the film revolves around their efforts to stay alive, and to celebrate Christmas despite their terrible circumstances. Most of this is showcased by Eddie’s attempts to hunt for food and build a shelter. Each scene is more retarded than the last. Eddie bumbles around the island acting stupid and haphazardly being successful out of dumb luck. He kills a wild boar, but only on accident. He builds a shelter, but it turns out to be a rickety junk-heap. This kind of shit goes on and on for an extremely punishing 90 minutes.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

The “jokes” in this movie are so predictable, lame, and moronic they are completely devoid of humor. They run the gamut from LOL EDDIE’S DOG HAS SMELLY FARTS LOL to LOL EDDIE ACCIDENTALLY GAVE THE AIRPLANE PILOT AN EPIDURAL HEMATOMA LOL and LOL ED ASNER’S CHARACTER IS GRUMPY BECAUSE HE’S A OLD MAN LOL and the classic LOL EDDIE BROKE THE FAUCET AND NOW THE HOUSE IS FLOODED LOL and of course LOL A CHIMP JUST BIT EDDIE’S ASS LOL and who could forget LOL EDDIE’S STUPIDITY WOKE SOME GUY OUT OF A COMA LOL! Jesus fucking Christ. I don’t think you could intentionally write jokes this bad.

What an abysmal piece of shit. I think the U.S. government should start using this movie as a way to torture terrorist suspects. It would be far more effective than waterboarding. Just show them the scene where the Chimp bites Eddie on the ass, and they will spill their guts. Its low production values scream made-for-TV (and it was). Its washed-up actors are just sad. Its brain-dead plot is a waste of time, money, and celluloid. I’d like to find an alternate dimension where this movie was never created. I’d rather live there, even if it means the Nazis won World War II.

Verdict: Shitty

Well, that’s it, fuckos. I hope you enjoy your holidays. And I hope you enjoy watching these horrible movies that raped your memories of the original classics. If you are looking for more Christmas movies to watch this year, then check out these other holiday favorites.

12 Responses to “Watching the Holiday Classics”

  1. 1 Tarnsman
    December 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I for one am shocked and appalled to discover that there even is an “A Christmas Story 2”.

  2. December 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Heh! I love it when others subject themselves to torture for my reading pleasure! Thanks Brik!

    It is kind of amazing that Christmas Vacation 2 was able to draw some of the names it did, huh? Even though they were has beens, you’d think Asner and Idle would have more pride… maybe they figured no one would ever see it.

    “A Christmas Story 2” sickens me, from the very concept. Sounds as if they just try to shamelessly recreate the first one. Disgusting.

    Anyways, thanks for the early Christmas present! Always fun to watch you do your thing! LOL

    • December 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Fogs. ACS2 is sickening as it is nothing more than a money grab shamelessly ripping off the original. CV2 is horrible, too, but at least they tried to make it an original story without too many callbacks to the original. Both aren’t worth the time, though.

  3. January 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Great reviews of a couple of horrible movies, Brik (well, I’m assuming on A Christmas Story 2… but I wouldn’t call it a stretch of an assumption.) Absolutely right about the shamelessness involved — just blatant cash-in attempts.

  4. February 13, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I was afraid to even read the thing about “A Christmas Story 2”. Just the title alone prepared me for badness. Never watched the film and only heard about it from reading your post (and no wonder…it sounds HORRIBLY CORNY!). “A Christmas Story” really is one of my favorite films, in any genre, of al time. There is something about the goofy, hilarious charm of it. It’s not cheesy at all. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid! So I’m repulsed someone created a crappy sequel of sorts. I don’t think it will tarnish the original, but it has killed itself!
    Like I said, never saw the film, but I believe your article so much I will NEVER bother to watch ACS2…thanks!
    (“Oh. My. F******. God.” <—Change that line above! Terrible! Just noticed that…)

  5. January 30, 2020 at 5:07 am

    There was no reason to remake either of those movies.

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December 2012


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