Ten movies later, and “A Cinderella Story” continues to push forward as a franchise that is mainly just a vehicle for young up and coming female Disney stars. After Hilary Duff came and went, portraying a contemporary take on the fairytale, the series stomped on and now introduces a Christmas themed romance. It’s tough to review “Christmas Wish” as it’s mainly aimed toward teens that love this kind of sickly sweet Christmas muck. It’s basically like a greeting card with a pre-written message on it. It’s predictable, formula, and kind of hard to criticize.
I’m no misanthrope, but it’s tough to find great new Christmas movies, even though Hollywood does keep trying no matter what. I went in with low expectations with “Let It Snow” but took the chance thanks to the great cast, and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s hard to remember a Christmas movie that feels so down to Earth and unassuming than “Let It Snow.” It has every chance to be so saccharine and cloying, but it instead insists on a very sweet and engaging tone with some genuinely engaging characters.
Joe Dante’s 1984 masterpiece “Gremlins” is that perfect hybrid of a movie and culture milestone that appeals to horror fans, and fans of Amblin and Spielberg. It influenced a whole sub-genre of monster movies, and serves a wonderful purpose as a Christmas movie and a horror movie. It’s also a perfect bit of gateway horror for blossoming fans that want to ease in to what kind of heights this genre is capable of. There are also the hallmarks of Dante’s films from the chaos and terror implanted in to the suburbs, and the always great Dick Miller.
It’s shocking how “I Trapped the Devil” is Josh Lobo’s feature film debut, because this is a man who is obviously not content with just delivering a horror film, but has put very meticulous care in to how he frames just about every single shot in his own horror tale. “I Trapped The Devil” is a single setting film that comes to life thanks to director Josh Lobo’s amazing ability to make every corner of character Steve’s small house seem menacing, sinister, and teeming with potential to destroy every character that enters in to the threshold of this cursed abode.
When it originally premiered at Fantasia I was very anxious to check out Johnny Kevorkian’s science fiction horror film, and I’m glad I was finally able to view it. “Await Further Instructions” is one of those horror tales in the vein of “They Live” or “V” where it’s a tale about humanity, civilization, and way we can be led like sheep in the face of chaos. While “Await Further Instructions” is a very sharply written and vicious look at a dysfunctional family stuck together in a house, it packs in so many more relevant overtones that ring true in a day where everything on the internet is taken as gospel.
“Tainted Love” Shorts Block
I love the whole plot twist that ensues in the middle of “My Monster,” a short film basically about finding the right mate, and them showing up when they least suspect it. Brea Grant is always a pleasure to see pop up in these genre pictures, and she’s great in Izzy Lee’s holiday set fractured love tale.
According to sources, Lee Harry’s “Silent Night Deadly Night 2” was given a horrible budget, and was asked to re-cut the original film to make it look brand new. What we get is basically a barebones plot about the brother of the original murderer… for about thirty minutes or so. About seventy five percent of the film is a highlight reel from the original film with everything from the origin of the series, to every single murder that ensues, right down to Linnea Quigley’s famous death. While that amounts to nothing, Eric Freeman works overtime to make this “sequel” a worthwhile viewing experience, and he accomplishes that.
BOOTLEG FILES 666: “The Norelco Santa Commercials” (long-running television advertising campaign).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived home entertainment market for old TV commercials.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
Every Christmas season, certain programming is dusted off for an annual television broadcast. But for those of us who admit to being a certain age, there is one holiday favorite that always made the December television line-up worthwhile. No, it wasn’t a movie or a standalone special. Instead, it was a simple but effective 30-second commercial for a company specializing in electric razors.