Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Or rather, Happy T-Hanksgiving!
This week we dig deep into the Tom Hanks-filled 2004 animated feature The Polar Express, which somehow manages to turn Chris Van Allsburg's 32-page book into a feature-length adventure full of magical train-hopping hobos, swing-dancing elves, and one kid's quest to continue believing in Santa at all costs.
Our discussion takes some wild turns, from musing on the film's intended audience, to The Polar Express's influence on later animated features and video games (more than you'd think!), to postulating the existence of a Santa Claus multiverse. So hold onto your tickets and hop aboard, because this train's about to leave the station!
On this week's episode, we attempt to explain the weirdo madness of the 1985 Rankin/Bass special The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus! Based on a story by "Wizard of Oz" author L. Frank Baum, this special features a council of immortal wood nymphs, an army of invisible trolls, and an elf that may or may not have inspired a character from The Legend of Zelda. Oh, and somewhere in all that there's the origin story of Santa Claus.
Also in this week's show, we take some time to sample a few new holiday libations, break down what it means to be a Christmas movie, and share our pitches for The Christmas Chronicles 3!
We conclude Home For The Horrordays with James Wan's The Conjuring 2! Set against the chilly backdrop of Christmas, Conjuring 2 is based on the Enfield Poltergeist, a true haunting case from the late 1970s in which a ghost supposedly haunted a single mother and her four children living in the north of London.
And joining us this week is our old pal Dr. Nick! Last heard on our Black Christmas episode, Nick returns to help us break down all the spooks, scares and general quackery going on here.
Also this week, we taste test some disgusting holiday candy, Johnny-5 slams a Four Loko and, well... You can guess where things go from there...
The days are getting shorter... A chill is in the air... The smell of candy corn lingers... That can only mean one thing: It's time for HOME FOR THE HORRORDAYS!
For this year's spookytimes, we're spotlighting a pair of holiday horror sequels. On this episode, our pal Stuart joins us to bear witness to the wanton police brutality of Maniac Cop 2! They thought they killed the zombie cop the first time around, but now he's back and he's making some new friends...
Obviously, the idea of a maniac cop hits differently than it did in 1990. But that doesn't mean the film isn't without its pleasures. For one thing, there are some truly spectacular car chases and shootouts. Action hounds will be right at home here...
This week Bradford brings us an episode of the Viceland comedy series "Nirvanna The Band The Show". The episode, titled "The Bean", follows its stars' attempt to sneak a float into the Toronto Christmas parade as a means of promoting their rock band that may or may not actually exist.
Christmas gags abound on this episode, including a surprisingly detailed homage to the finer points of Home Alone, and The Usual Suspects (for some reason). Meanwhile, our hosts reminisce about their own experiences with Christmas parades, holiday TV, and more!
Let's try that whole Dog Days of Summer thing again, huh? Santa Stole Our Dog! absolutely has a dog in it, and this time it might even be important to the plot! Why on earth would Santa steal someone's dog, anyway? Well friends, this is not the first time a little critter has followed Ed Asner home...
And in order the tell the full story of Santa Stole Our Dog!, we receive a transmission from our sister podcast, The O/S/T Party, to suss out how the film managed to secure music from Dolly Parton.
That ain't even the half of what makes this week's film so bizarre, so grab yourselves a cold one, buckle up, and join us on another wild ride to the North Pole...
Welcome, dear listeners, to the Dog Days of Summer! The season is winding down, but it's hotter than ever out there, so what better time to stay indoors with a cool holiday treat featuring some cute little puppers? Well there's a problem...
This week's film, 12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog, was sold to us as exactly the kind of holiday/dog shenanigans we usually watch this time of year. Instead, this film features dogs for roughly sixty seconds before ditching them for a story even the Hallmark Channel would call ridiculous.
Also in this episode: the boys bag on J5 for drinking trash, the movie completely destroys Bradford's ability to do basic math, and we make more Butterfly Effect and Matrix references than any one Christmas podcast should make in an episode.
Happy Christmas in July, superfriends! You didn't think we'd be doing one, but guess what? We're doing one! And wow is this one a doozy...
A Karate Christmas Miracle is one of those movies that defies explanation. A kid sets out to teach himself enough karate to reach black belt by Christmas in order for his missing father to come home after a yearlong absence. Why is he missing? Who is responsible? Why is the kid having psychic phone calls to The Karate Kid's Martin Kove? All of these are questions we asked ourselves while watching this baffling freight train to Nightmare City.
Welcome back, friends! We're officially halfway to Christmas, so we figured what better way to round the corner on 2021 than with some toasty, heartwarming Muppet goodness!
A Muppet Family Christmas first aired in 1987 with a whole host of musical numbers, and due to copyright issues the special has appeared in a truncated form ever since. Unless you know where to look online... We dug up an original broadcast on YouTube, and that's what we're discussing today! So join us for a trip down memory lane as we discuss A Muppet Family Christmas, commercials and all!
And now, we bring you the thrilling conclusion to the Let It Snow trilogy! This week's film is a romantic comedy from the late 90s, when indie cinema was all the rage and bucking Hollywood trends was a surefire way to get yourself noticed! That's a fancy way of saying this movie doesn't know what the hell its doing.
James and Sarah meet on a snow day in high school. His family is unlucky in love; she has too many quirks for her own good. Neither person comes across as especially dateable, but nevertheless a romance ensues. The will they/won't they dynamic flies off the rails almost immediately, leading to a series of extremely poor decisions for everyone involved. But it's okay, because people do stupid things for love, right? RIIIIIIGHT?????
Memorial Day has come and gone! Summer is unofficially here! It's freakin' hot outside!
Since we're all sweating our butts off, we decided one good Let It Snow deserved another. That's right, this week we're discussing another film titled Let It Snow. This one is a horror film out of Ukraine, about a pair of dumb American tourists who find themselves stranded on a ski slope with a madman on a snowmobile hot on their trail. You know how these things go...
We're finally back in the saddle this week with a Christmas movie that made all of us feel extremely old. It's the Netflix original film Let It Snow, which follows three sets of teens on Christmas Eve, each in search of love in one form or another. Naturally, all of these stories converge, and we have a real Love, Actually situation on our hands.
This one actually turns out to be a pretty open and shut case for us. It is exactly the film that you think it is, but that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. So hop on in and join us as we beg for some snow!
Last year, in the middle of COVID lockdown, Joe and Bradford got good and drunk one night and recorded three episodes of a brand new podcast all about The Adventures of Pete & Pete. What you're about to hear is the first episode, in which we discuss Season 1, Episode 1: "King of the Road".
Topics of discussion include: Our own adventures at the Hoover Dam, our first encounters with the internet, the storied career of Toby Huss, Wellsville and the End of History, and whether or not we would return to the 90s if given the opportunity.
This week we remember the late, great Christopher Plummer with a look at the 1978 heist thriller The Silent Partner. Plummer plays a bank robber disguised as a mall Santa; Elliot Gould plays the bank teller who sees him coming and pulls a heist of his own. The cat and mouse game that ensues is as chilling as it is entertaining.
Also in this episode, we try to figure out why kids in this movie sing "Away in a Manger" wrong, ponder how to spend $48000 in the most boring white bread ways imaginable, and come to terms with the fact that both Gould and Plummer were undeniable smokeshows in their day.
Kurt Russell is back as everyone's favorite Santa for another wacky holiday adventure! It's Christmas Chronicles 2, a film that opens up the world of Santa and the North Pole, but in the process squanders practically everything that made the first film so charming.
Also in this episode, we get into the proliferation of the dead parent trope, the further retreading of Chris Columbus' filmography, and the inevitable Christmas Chronicles/Fast & Furious crossover we all know is coming. We then attempt to completely rewrite this series, because we're desperate for fun around here...
Merry Christmas to one and all! The big day is finally here!
This time every year, we like to celebrate July At Christmas with an obnoxiously patriotic action film! This year, we're dipping back into one of our favorite series with Live Free or Die Hard! It's a Die Hard! It's a 4th of July movie! It's got everything!
Okay, so maybe that last part isn't true. It's fun enough for a Die Hard movie, but this episode also gives us a chance to discuss a handful of other topics, including Christmas movie titles from around the world, the state of the internet in 2007, and how on earth a bunch of super-nerds never noticed giant C-4 bricks in their fancy Alienware computers...
Welcome to our fourth annual Shane Black Friday, celebrating the works of writer/director Shane Black! On this year's edition, our pal Libby Cudmore returns to help us figure out why the hell we decided to watch the 1991 Bruce Willis/Damon Wayans actionfest The Last Boy Scout.
Buckle up, because this episode is absolute chaos. The Last Boy Scout has almost nothing to do with Christmas. We discuss the inclusion of "Satan Claus", and whether or not "family" is enough of a case to call this thing Christmasy. We also inflict some truly gross holiday foods upon ourselves, so hopefully the Christmas spirit is alive and well in one of us at the end of this ordeal.
This week we're joined by filmmakers Jake Horowitz and Andy Lewis to discuss the Rankin/Bass animated classic Frosty The Snowman!
Jake and Andy are the co-writers (and Jake the director) of the new holiday comedy Cup of Cheer! If you're a fan of the cozy, familiar Christmas movies that flood cable TV every holiday season, or even if you're not, then Cup of Cheer will be right up your alley. It's a big, goofy parody of the genre in the tradition of Airplane!, only with loads more Christmas trees and snow and awkward small-town romance.
On this episode we sit down with Jake and Andy to discuss the inspiration for their film, as well as some of their childhood favorites. This leads into a discussion of Frosty The Snowman and its place in the greater Rankin/Bass Cinematic Universe!
Cup of Cheer is now available to stream on Tubi!
Home for the Horrordays continues! Released in 1980, Christmas Evil was sold to cash in on the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th. While it bears many of the hallmarks of a typical 80s slasher film, what sets this one apart is how deeply we come to understand its main character, Harry. He's a disturbed individual, and we watch as he makes preparations to become his town's Santa Claus, delivering toys to good children, and dishing out pain to the naughty. And as we find out in this week's episode, it works more often than it doesn't!
Welcome to October, the season of falling leaves, pumpkin spiced everything and also a little thing called HOME FOR THE HORRORDAYS!
We're kicking things off with Santa's Slay! This film is notorious for it's opening scene, in which a whole host of C-list celebrities get brutally murdered. The rest of Santa's Slay follows Bill Goldberg's Santa as he terrorizes a small town and the two wayward teens tasked with ending his reign of terror once and for all. Or at least until midnight on Christmas Day. It's completely arbitrary and none of the rules actually matter, but as we discover, the film is 100% aware of this.
Happy Fall to one and all! Just as we bid farewell to another summer, so too must we leave behind the works of Tim Allen. On this episode, we round out the Santa Clause trilogy with a discussion of The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.
Join us as we ponder the hard questions of the Santa Clause universe: How strictly must one abide by the rules of the Clause? Does this film's version of time travel make any sense at all? What is up with all the gender reveal parties? Oh yeah, and what the hell happened to Bernard??? Anyway, this film raises far more questions than it could ever possibly answer, and on top of everything else we've got Martin Short running around as the living embodiment of 2020. So that's great.
Three years ago, we recorded an episode on The Santa Clause 2, and then immediately lost it the sands of time. This week we decided it was finally time to finish what we started. Santa Clause 2 is the definition of inessential, but is startlingly prescient in the way it depicts the rise of a fascist regime, and also how a fading 90s star can cling to fame with a vice grip well into the 2000s.
Also in this episode, we compare this film to another early-2000s blockbuster sequel, and Bradford discovers the worst Etsy listing on the entire internet. All in a day's work for Christmas Creeps!
On this episode, we spotlight a film we've been trying to get our hands on for a couple years now. It's 36:15 Code Pere Noel, also known as Dial Code Santa Claus, or Deadly Games depending on where you find it. There is a case to be made that John Hughes stole many of his ideas for Home Alone from this film. Even if the similarities are just coincidence, this is still an absolute brainmelter from start to finish.
We'll break down all the gory details, all the Home Alone similarities, and all the killer Santa motifs right here. We also get into the Minitel computer system, The Adventures of Milo and Otis for some reason, and oh so many video game detours. Don't miss it!
With our 100th episode behind us, it's time to get back to business. This week's show is all about Puppy Star Christmas. Not only is this part four in the Pup Star series, but it's also the eighteenth installment in the inexplicably extant Air Bud franchise. And if that's not enough, this is specifically a spin-off of the original Santa Buddies. If none of that makes any sense, don't worry, we'll lay it all out for you.
But because this film almost willfully ignores its own plot, we're forced to discuss everything from the superiority of foreign potato chip flavors, to whether or not the TV show CHiPS had any Christmas episodes, to the short history of people squatting on web domains for large corporations. It's a living.
Happy 100 episodes, everybody! We finally made it!
To celebrate, we're pulling out one of the Big Guns and dedicating an entire episode to the 2003 Will Ferrell comedy ELF! You know the story: Buddy is a human raised by Santa's elves, who journeys to New York City to meet his biological father and hopefully rescue him from Santa's naughty list.
Within that framework is a whole lot for us to explore, and in this episode we attempt to discuss it all. Everything from the forever problematic "Baby It's Cold Outside", to the lasting impact of director Jon Favreau, to the existence of the very bizarre Elf Game Boy game. And we even take some time out to answer a few listener questions! So buckle up, because this episode goes all over the map!