The 12 Days Of Obscure Xmas Movies (Day 5)

After creating the motion picture camera back in 1894, the Lumière Brothers had no idea their invention would go on to become the most important art form in history. More culturally significant than novels, paintings or songs, the motion picture is a indispensable cultural artifact that documents not only the culture and times in which it was made, making it the world’s greatest time capsule, it’s the only thing that unites us all as a people. Music comes close but music has lyrics and with that comes an instant wall that separates people. You can’t connect everyone if not everyone understands the meaning.

Silent films don’t have that problem. A well made silent comedy will give you all the information you need from visuals alone. Now, the motion picture has evolved far beyond the old black and white flicker shows of old but the sentiment is still there. A well made film can be understood purely on visuals alone and that’s why it’s the most important art form there is. It connects us all through magic. Because at the end of the day, films are, at their very core, illusions. They’re a series of pictures that, if played in rapid succession, create the illusion of motion.

They’re magic tricks.

Magic tricks that have been capturing audiences imaginations for over 100 years. Let’s honor that magic by highlighting some less than famous magicians that have sadly been forgotten by time.

This will be part of an on going segment that aims to shine a light on the forgotten and the obscure.



Day 5 Of The 12 Days Of Xmas: Red Christmas

A mother (Dee Wallace) must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger who is hell-bent on tearing them apart.

Exploitation is the hardest thing to recreate accurately. The films of the “grindhouse” era are sleazy and often unpleasant but the best ones offered viewers things they had never seen before. I picture Roger Corman and his acolytes as cinematic cenobites from the film Hellraiser. He’ll tempt you with pleasures that are usually painful but for some of us, that pain is always worth it.

Red Christmas looks like it follows in that tradition of the low budget but big ambition style of filmmaking of the past. Where you paint over all of your money problems with buckets of blood. I believe that was the major problem with the 2007 film Grindhouse.

Tarantino and Rodriguez clearly have an affinity to the genre but you can’t make a big budget grindhouse film. It literally defeats the purpose. The true grindhouse film that came out of that was Hobo with a Shotgun.

Jason Eisener won a trailer contest and not only had his a fake trailer included into some of the film prints but eventually got 3 million dollars to turn his crazy idea into a feature film. Love it or hate it, it accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do, which is to grab the audience by the throat and make them witness 90 minutes of over the top carnage and that’s exactly why I’m excited for Red Christmas.

I miss this genre and hopefully director Craig Anderson can deliver a film that can sit alongside the pantheon of the grindhouse masterpieces.