Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Horror Movie BBQ 2015 Christmas Fallout!

CHRISTMAS FALLOUT!
Charlie has been ready for Christmas!


Last year I attempted to do a "Christmas Fallout" post where I posted my loot. It's something I've always enjoyed reading on other blogs and I figured "eh, what the heck!" and posted my own. It's a fun and pretty easy entry to do.

Problem is, I really wanted to enjoy Christmas, but between the crappy warm weather and my back acting up and I've been out of commission for most of the season. No caroling, no snow angels, no visiting houses with absurd amounts of Christmas tree lights down the street. Just laid up in bed every weekend all month. But Christmas day? Time slows down for that. There's time to relax.. So, as stressful and tiring as the rest of the month was, yesterday went very well. Christmas cookies, ham, a viewing of Inside Out, and plenty of laughs is what I wanted more than anything and that's what I got. And as great as everything you see below, that's the most important gift to me.

So with that said, I'm VERY easy to buy for. Movies and books are usually all I ask for. Well, that an Funko Pop Vinyls. Those have become extremely addicting over the past two years. I'm one of those guys who usually buys what he needs when I need it, so tools, cooking utensils, computer stuff, that usually gets bought during the year. But plenty of other less than vital things are the things that end up becoming what I request for gifts. So enough talking, let's dive in!,


MOVIES!



My gosh, this is a cornucopia of amazing! A documentary on the 1980s era of SNL, Scrooged, the nWo Revolution, the first two seasons of the Goldbergs, Gremlins, and double features of Tales From The Crypt/Vault of Horror and TerrorVision/Video Dead. I mean how amazing are those titles?

Now all of those are downright fantastic and in no way being taken for granted. How could they? In combines everything I love! But the crown jewel? The Turkey Day Mystery Science Theatre 3000 collection! Holy crap! 4 of the best MST3K episodes and plenty of amazing special features including a look at the cherished Turkey Day, intros, and so much more amazing stuff!

The entire haul is rather overwhelming, but we're not close to done!


BOOKS!



Let me wipe the drool off my mouth. These books are just downright mouthwatering for every geek. Ghostbusters AND Ninja Turtles visual guides and a year by year history of DC Comics. Each book has their own charm. The visual guides have plenty of neat doo-dads like prototype art of Ninja Turtles, concept arts of Slimer and the Marshmallow Man, animation cells of both cartoons, stickers, and so much more! The DC Comics book has so many amazing stories and tidbits of info I may have forgotten, so it's a real nice way to catch up and become informed. I'm hoping for a snowstorm just so I can hide under 4 blankets and read all these.

FUNKOS!




Hands down, these little fellas have become my biggest and most insane obsession of the year. I don't know what it is, but I've fallen in love with these arty little dudes. So these were my most hoped for items. Hordak and Beetlejuice were a big fave. My sister in law gave me a Stripe Gremlin, but I already had one, so I traded in for the Target exclusive Roddy Piper. Quite frankly, I know a lot of people loathe these, but they're so cool and I'm loving these like little Chad at age 7 loved his Sewer Den! (Not to be confused with my buddy Jon's site The Sewer Den!)


I was very happy, I just wanted to open it quickly but my mom spent like 5 minutes trying to get good photos.



SHIRT!




I only wear tshirts. I hate collared shirts and button up shirts. My fiancée always knows where to find the bests shirts. This is no different. I love retro DC Comics art so much so this is just too much too handle! It didn't take me long to start wearing this!

PEANUTS PINT GLASSES AND ICE CUBE TRAYS!




These are phenomenal. A great pint glass and ice cube tray featuring Snoopy? MUST HAVES. I'm way too obsessed with Peanuts and I always keep my eyes peeled for Peanuts memorabilia. Even better? My girlfriend loves them just as much and encourages my love of those great characters.

Sadly, the Peanuts logo is peeling so I have to trade these in for new ones. I pray and hope the nearest Kohls has spare ones. I'm not willing to go down without a fight. I need Snoopy ice cubes, gosh darnit!


HORROR PINS, STICKERS AND CARD!





My friend Chris Ott of London1888 made some amazing offerings this season. A great Jason pin and his mothers head in decal form as well as an amazing CryptKeeper pin, sticker and great greeting card! Once again, my fiancee KNEW I had to have these. Since receiving them, the pins have been stuck to my 8-bit Freddy Krueger hoodie(also made by Ott), the stickers are headed to my car and latpop and the card is being kept in my Tales From The Crypt collection for safe keeping! Great art and great gifts!

VCR DRAWER!
(special appearance by Charlie Bunny!)



My mother is on to me. She sent this up and I needed it. BADLY.

NECA RE-RELEASE OF JASON!



Remember that awesome SDCC exclusive 8 Bit Jason that NECA put out in 2013? They went back to the well once again and gave him a nice rerelease with Mrs. Voorhees head on a pole and a sound bite that plays the old NES theme. Check it out!




Spooky! In 8 bit style! Gotta love it! I sold my Jason earlier this year and I was very happy to replace it with this! Thanks to my mom for this!


I'm so overwhelmed by the generosity by friends and family. It really did mean a lot, especially since I spent practically all my free time in bed. But it's family and friends that makes Christmas what it is. 

Hope your Christmas or whatever you chose to celebrate was just as fantastic as mine. I'd invite you over to watch some movies and indulge in leftover Christmas cookies, but after 11 hours of searching for Christmas clearance items throughout New York left me downright exhausted. Rain check?

-Chad

PS: Don't forget to check out other sites including MorbidMuch, The Sexy Armpit, the Holidaze The Stunt Zombie , DinosaurDracula, the Sewer Den, and It's Trash Culture for their Christmas Fallout. We kinda, somewhat, sorta made a pact on Twitter. Plus, these are awesome blogs, you should be reading them on a regular basis anyway.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ant-Man Review

So, I put off seeing movies about certain comic characters. Reason being is when it comes to characters or storylines I don't care about, I won't see the movie. Thor is one of those characters. Most of the other Avengers as a whole are characters I just don't care about. Nothing against the Marvel brand whatsoever, it's just I don't wanna go out of my way to spend 13 bucks to see a movie about characters that I never liked. I don't think that's too crazy of an idea.

Antman was one of those characters I've always found to be very boring. Just never got into him. But once Paul Rudd was cast in the role of Scott Lang, I had a lot more interest than I did say, Thor or Jonah Hex or Agents of Shield. Paul Rudd would make this movie entertaining no matter what. And entertaining it was. The visuals, the comedy, the action, the fights. It definitely made me appreciate the character more.

My only complaint is that sometimes it comes off as a silly 1990's superhero movie but not in a bad way. Not a corny Steel or Batman Forever way that panders, but kind of in a "ok, we get the joke and reference to other comic titles and sometimes it seems forced comedy or plotpoint" way. I think in this case, it could've been scaled back. I tend to remember the "Tales To Astonish" line making me want to shake my head. Corey Stoll. also kinda comes off a little too over the top and hokey. Maybe that's just me, I didn't enjoy him as much.



Michael Douglas, much like his father, is one of the greatest living legends in Hollywood. His addition to this movie as the original AntMan, Hank Pym, was perfectly cast. His experience, his wit, his knowledge makes him the perfect Pym who plays as a mentor to Scott Lang. In fact, his chemistry with Rudd may be the best part of the movie.


I highly recommend this. I really think this fits perfectly into the Marvel cinematic universe. If you loved Guardians of the Galaxy, you'll love this. The humor and action are about on par. It's a very fun movie though, so that's what truly matters in my mind. Pick up the bluray for the best viewing experience. This is definitely one movie you can watch and enjoy multiple viewings.


-Chad

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Celebrating Fright Flicks Trading Cards!

I hate to sound like that guy, but man oh man, I really miss trading cards. The mystery of what could be received. Trading them with my friends on the playground or in the neighborhood. The stickers that would end up on my dresser or the side of the tv and in the process, pissing off my brother because his tv now had a Growing Pains sticker.

Whoops.

Point is, they were a nice novelty when we were kids and even now. I'll pick up a pair of old WWF Superstars of Garbage Pail Kids cards in hopes that I score something cool. There's a lot of great packs of the past pop culture properties ranging from tv shows to bands to cartoons to comics and even Troll dolls. Everything had a trading card set dedicated to it. Including horror movies...

Fright Flicks was an awesome set given to us by the trading card gods at Topps. This set focused on the hottest horror movies of the time. Freddy, Pumpkinhead, Ghostbusters, Poltergeist, House, Fright Night are only some of the titles that this awesome card set covered. For a horror fan this was perfect.

The cards themselves featured scenes from various movies with wacky quotes on the bottom. Kinda makes the scary creatures and monsters more kid friendly. Concerned mothers are more inclined to buy their kids scary cards if it's not 100% blood and guts. But a wise crack about Freddy roasting marshmallows? That'll get you a pack in no time. No harm, moms! Give little Billy that 50 cents to pick up a pack and feel safe!

The backs of the trading cards take more the PG rated spook story approach. Sure they could've got into detail about the movie they feature on the front, but instead it gives the young reader a small campfire ghost story/urban legend. Which if you're ten years old, trying to scare your friends with fictional story you pass around school as your own is pretty cool. Plus, you kinda get to be a sort of horror story kingpin in school. Nothing makes kids feel more power than starting false rumors with nothing to back it up other than a trading card. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's how the internet started...


The wrappers were standard Topps creations. Cartoony versions of the horror helped these packs become very popular. I always loved the Topps art. I could always spot them a mile away. It was kinda comforting. These were no different. Freddy, Predator, Pumpkinhead and Amy from Fright Night make sure you know you're getting quality cards and big names.

Ahhh the stickers! Another Topps hallmark. As I mentioned, I loved the stickers and these packs had some really fun cards. Usually just the name of the movie or the character, but this one always stood out as my favorite piece in the entire line:

Gets my vote. And yes, you better believe this is being placed in a hard case and joining my Elm Street memorabilia collection! It's so perfect!


Of course it wouldn't be a pack of Topps trading cards without a stick of chewing gum harder than concrete. I dare not even TRY to eat these. Why? True story: Christmas 2002, my friend Ryan and I bought a boatload of old trading cards and actually chewed the gum. It was actually pretty good tasting and we became addicted to these. For the night. A week later, I went to his place and he told me he threw all the gum out because he got a stomach virus the night after our gum binge. That was enough for me to swear off trading card bubble gum for good. 13 years strong, son.


All in all, these are solid cards that represent an era when horror was ripe for becoming cartoon characters and cereal mascots so these cards were a natural step in merchandising evolution at that time. They're a very nice collectible that most horror fans should have on their shelves. At least one or two packs. Me, I've got unopened Predator and Freddy packs on my shelf as we speak.

So, the big question: Wanna trade my Slimer for that Freddy?


-Chad




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happy 50th Charlie Brown!

Good grief!

For a crudely drawn kid who just wanted to enjoy his Christmas with his friends and family, Charlie Brown sure stuck around and stood the test of time well. Think of it. What other Christmas specials have been aired every year since their original broadcast? Garfield? Nope. Pacman? Nope. He-Man and She-Ra? Nope. Other than the Rankin Bass specials, you can't really name many. But when people discuss Christmas specials, you'd be very hard pressed to find someone who doesn't mention A Charlie Brown Christmas first.

And why not? It's as charming as ever! Sure, the kids are still mean to Charlie Brown, but hey, kids are cruel to begin with. Charlie, as stubborn as he is doesn't give up in his nonstop venture to share his love of the holiday with everyone, even to the point of finding the worst tree in the Christmas tree lot. Finally, with a little assistance from his best friend Linus, he and all his friends finally come together and share the warmth of the holiday.


Through many generations, kids of all ages have relished in the laughs, the sadness and the joy of Charlie Brown Christmas. Myself included. To this day, even though I own the entire holiday collection on bluray, I never miss it when it's on ABC. While growing up, I loved hearing and seeing "A Charlie Brown Christmas here on CBS!", seeing it in all it's hidef and crystal clear glory is just fine with me!

Oh and the music? Forget it. My Christmas playlist simply isn't complete without the Vince Guaraldi Trio's fun jazz score! You just simply can't have a Christmas dinner without it playing int he background either!



In my opinion, aside from Christmas Vacation, you're not gonna get a much better way to start off the season and get into the spirit. In fact, before Goldbergs tonight, I may have to pop my copy in the bluray player just to celebrate. That'll be my third viewing so far, and probably not my last.


So happy 50th anniversary, Charlie Brown! Much like your tree, you're not so bad after all!


-Chad

Saturday, December 5, 2015

FIVE YEARS?!?!?!

5 years, huh? Yikes!

Well, I guess it's ok to celebrate. Some blogs don't really last past maybe a year or two. Facebook pages too. So I don't know if I'm truly motivated to become the best blogger I can be or I'm just stubborn.

I originally started this blog, originally called "Big Chad's Creature Feature", because I had a couple friends who were (and still are) successful horror bloggers, as well as my love of sites like Wrestlecrap, IMockery and X-Entertainment(now DinosaurDracula). I always loved to write, was never an expert at it but whatever, I loved to write. So after hanging around a few friends and hearing them talk about how much they loved it and how it was getting their foot in the door of a few places, I decided to give it a try.

And I failed at first.

Or did I? I struggled at first, which is what you're supposed to do. I didn't get more than maybe one entry done every few months, but by the encouragement of a few friends, my girlfriend Laurie and an offer from DeathEnsemble and UnderScoopFire, I became more and more motivated to get more done. HorrorMovieBBQ was born shortly after that, I felt like I needed a bigger and better name.It rolls off the tongue better. After changing the name, a lot of doors opened. Screeners, giveaways, I'm becoming friends with fellow bloggers, exchanging ideas and doing contributing more. It's been great! Heck, I've even been featured in one of the Cinema Snob's videos! How cool is that?!?!

Evenetually, I went from a strictly horror centric blog to just posting about whatever I like. Whether it's a Cheeto's bucket to interviewing actors of obscure movies to reviewing action figures. I have a lot of weird and eccentric interests, so why stick to just one? I think limiting myself may have been part of the reason I never got more than 2 entries done a year at most. Kinda glad I didn't pigeonhole myself into one genre.

I've had three goals since starting this blog:

Find Eric Freeman of Silent Night Deadly Night 2 fame
Jump on some podcasts
Have fun


Well, the first two have been accomplished, which is awesome and the third is ongoing. I really don't do anything in life unless I'm having fun. Blogging is all about fun. And I've been having a lot of fun with this. I don't plan on stopping until I start looking at it like a chore. I hope that day never comes. I'm always having fun here and I hope you are, too. In the words of Skeletor from the New Adventures of He-Man "Fun is where you find it!".



So I'd love to sit here and list every person who's helped me achieve my goals, motivate me when I've doubted what I'm doing, or even just commented(I'm looking at you, Emmanuel Lewis!), but it'll take waaaaay too long. So all I can really say is, thank you to everybody. Thank you thank you thank you. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support, the conversations, the encouragement, even the criticisms and telling me I'm a joke. Thank you for sharing a link or two. Thank you for liking something on the Facebook page. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!


I hope you guys will continue to stick around! I'm hoping this is just the beginning and that bigger and better things come out of this blog!



That's not the most flattering photo of myself...Maybe I should've thought that one through more.

Eh, screw it.


-Chad



Monday, November 30, 2015

Funko Mystery Boxes Reviewed!

I don't normally participate in Black Friday and this year was no exception. However, if you're able to wake up buttcrack early to buy Inside Out for 2 bucks at 6 am, then in all seriousness, you're better than me. But honestly, I used to do Black Friday, but I can't anymore. Plus, there just isn't anything that ever catches my eye.



Ok, there's that. I'd pay any price to own a Arn Anderson figure with fist pumping action. But nothing else.

That is, until yesterday. And even then, I'm a little late.  It's my fault for being late to the party though. But in this case, it still paid off. See, Funko decided to put their all into a fun exclusive with Gamestop and gave us a great reason to wake up early(or in my case, wait three days later) with these amazing Mystery Boxes...




Ahhhh....the mysterious allure of the Mystery Box. Remember the scene in UHF where some shmuck on Wheel of Fish gave up their delicious red snapper for a mystery box containing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!?!?!? That's the power of a mystery box. But what if, for 20 bucks each, you were guaranteed an EXCLUSIVE FUNKO POP, TWO Reaction Figures, One pin, and a Pocket Pop! Even better, 1 in 8 boxes contained a GOLDEN Pop! Yessir. Thank you, I'll take 2! 




What exclusive Funko Pop Vinyl's were being offered, you may think? Take a look below...

Holy crap, check those out! No wonder a lot of fans went crazy over these!



So after discovering my local Gamestop had a few leftover, In fact, the clerk told me that he started with 40 and after my purchase, they were now down to 4. Not bad, actually! I had to at least pick two up just for chance of receiving a Batgirl or a 1989 Batman, my two biggest wants. (But after looking on Ebay, I wouldn't mind a gold chase variant!) I knew whatever I'd receive, I'd still have something that others just kick themselves for missing out on. So, I came home, gave my fiancee one to open and I opened the other. The contents, were a real shocker.

Laurie's Mystery Box:





Could it be...?



HOLY CRAP! BATGIRL! Score!!!! Yessss! Trying to find a Batgirl Pop Vinyl for under 50 bucks is a pain in the butt, and who doesn't love Batgirl? Laurie was very excited to pick this one out, because she likes Batgirl too! We can now put a Batgirl up on our Funko shelf next to Batman and Robin. Finally. The Terrific Trio has been assembled!

Next up, the ReAction figures. First off, Laurie is the biggest Breaking Bad fan you'll ever meet. I mean, for a good month after last Christmas, all her time was consumed in watching the entire bluray set. So, when she laid eyes on Jesse Pinkman, she was even more excited. Much like Batgirl, you can't hate Aaron Paul or his lovable druggie character of Jesse. Plus, it could be used as Todd from Bojack Horseman!


The other ReAction figure we received was a character named Dave Clark from Tomorrowland, Disney's summer flop. I literally know nothing about the movie, but he looks like he's been punched in the face or his face turned into a melty Nestle Buncha Crunch, so he's ok with me.

Ahhh...the Pocket Pop! Yes! Mrs Voorhees' baby boy himself, Jason! It was fate! Of course we'd end up with at least one horror icon. I'd prefer Freddy, but I'll accept Jason as an easy victory!

The pin isn't too spectacular. It's Deadpool, who I like, but I'm not crazy over. I prefer his old X-Force days where he was Spider-Man with a gun and swords.


Ok, so that box was pretty spectacular! A truly spectacular package to be assured. It's gonna be a hard box to beat, but I'll give it my best:


Oh my gosh...



OH CRAP, IT'S 1989 BATMAN! HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP! YES!

I had been hoping for a Batman 89 since I started my Funko Collecting so I'm very happy to finally own one! Sure it's just an all black repaint, but look at it. IT'S KEATON'S BATMAN.
Now I just need a Bob the Goon.

The ReAction figures were also a nice score! Another Jesse Pinkman and Ali from Karate Kid! Woo! Karate Kid is one of my faves and I have Daniel and Johnny hanging up, but to be perfectly honest, Ali(well, Elizabeth Shue in general) always annoyed me. But I guess I have to keep her by default. Plus, you never know when she could do a convention.



The Pocket Pop turned out to be Elsa from Frozen. Now, I'm normally an Princess Jasmine kinda guy, but I know what's hot. Frozen may be one of the most popular Disney movies I've ever seen, and my love of Disney forbids me to say anything negatory. I will say, if I got Olaf, I probably would've been able to sleep better. Snowmen, son.

And rounding out the box was a Harley Quinn pin. Two of the most popular comic mascots represented in these boxes in pin form. Not bad, actually, especially  considering Christmas could lead these pins to becoming fun stocking stuffers for friends!

So, are these a hit? In my opinion, YES. These are awesome. Didn't walk away with a gold one, but hey, we both got Funko's we liked! So really, that's what matters!

I don't know if they're going to be a monthly offering through Gamestop, but if they are, I'll gladly be lining up early to get these.

Also, check out your local Gamestop. Maybe there's a few leftover boxes in stock! Who knows, maybe you'll get a golden Pop!


-Chad

Friday, November 20, 2015

What I've Been Watching Volume 2

Watched some interesting stuff this week...


Shock 'Em Dead:

Shock 'Em Dead is one of those movies I've always heard of, but never watched. It's always alluded me for some reason. I mean, I'm sure I've passed it by at video stores at conventions for one reason or another. After watching it, I kinda regret it though.

Shock 'Em Dead tells the story of a hopeless geek named Angel Martin(played by Stephen Quadros) who, after failing at his part time pizza flipping job and an audition to become a guitarist in a local rock band, becomes dejected at every turn and receives quite the offer from the Devil: women, success, money, and some sick guitar playing. Only catch? He has to eat souls. Yup, kill people and suck up their souls like a Hoover.

It's a pretty corny movie, sure, and the acting is downright terrible, but man oh man, I gotta say this is an entertainingly bad movie. Like watching a Troma movie with a higher special effects budget. The music isn't bad, if you're a fan of bad rock music like me. The special features on the bluray are much better than you'd expect. Check them out:

Bonus Features:

1. Director's Commentary
2. Deleted & Extended Scenes
3. Interview with Director Mark Freed
4. Cast Reunion 2015
5. Actor Auditions
6. Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery
7. Cast Revisits Audition Tapes
8. Cast Views & Comments On Deleted Scenes
9. Director's Cut (deleted scenes)
10. Poster and Art Photo Gallery
11. Shock Em Dead Trailer 1990


Yup, pretty good stuff. I really enjoyed the cast reunion. Even though it's not the most widely known and popular movie, I still like hearing stories from set and the audition process. Definitely suggest picking this one up from Olive Films!



Deadly Prey and Deadliest Prey:






So unlike SED, I hadn't ever heard of this movie until I got a press release on it and to be honest, I'm kind of ok with it. It's really a very generic Rambo ripoff with an awesome theme song. Ted Prior(who resembles a less Swedish Dolph Lundgren) plays a killing machine by the name Mike Stanton who is kidnapped by the evil Col. Hogan and his mercenaries while taking the garbage out. And no I'm not talking about this movie.

Eventually the movie becomes a cat and mouse game between Stanton and Hogan. Eventually, Hogan kidnaps Stanton's wife and rapes her. Stanton gets revenge and kills him. The movie ends with him raising his arms, ala Stone Cold Steve Austin and screaming.

It's a typical 80s action movie with some terrible acting. It's a little grueling to get through, but still worth a watch. If you love shot on video action movies, this is a good addition to your collection and for that reason, I will suggest.

Now, Deadliest Prey on the other hand...



In an extra interview on the disc, director and writer David Prior practically admits he put no effort into this sequel and stole the story and scenes from the first one. This bothers me because while sequels from older movies can be successful if done right, this movie was a complete piece of terrible trash. Every scene, including being kidnapped while taking out garbage, is the same. I have absolutely nothing nice to say about this movie. I can't even suggest it.

The ONLY positive is an interview with Ted Prior where he gushes about how amazed he was that there was such a fanbase and how excited he was to do this sequel. That's it. Otherwise, I suggest you stay away from this.


The Velveteen Rabbit:



Ok, as much as I'm a rabbit enthusiast and lover, I can't recall actually reading the book as a kid. Which is funny, since I was a heavy reader. This one? For some reason just never was picked up. But while I was in a thrift store, I found this for only 69 cents! Now, why? Because while I don't remember reading it, I remember my mom actually buying this movie! Yep, It's totally a forgotten and buried memory! The cover brought back so many memories. If I recall, this was an Easter tradition for my mom and I. It's such a charming story, that if you can hunt it down, I suggest you pick it up. If not for nostalgic purposes, then just to check out a fun interpretation of the story.



The Condemned 2:






So because I am a host of the  Dead Air Horror and Genre Podcast, I watch a lot of unusual movies. This is one of them. Tonight, we discuss this and the Irish horror movie, The Hallow. All I'll say, is Randy Orton is just as exciting of an actor as he is on the microphone. I'll save the rest of my thoughts for the podcast. Click the link to join us between 9 and 10 for the most unusual 2 and half hours of your life!


So it's been a pretty fun week as far as movies, I'll be back some time next week to discuss more!!!

-Chad

Monday, November 16, 2015

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Home Alone!




Today marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved family film Home Alone which is not easy to accept. It makes me feel old. I mean, I saw this movie in the theater! But, I guess when I think about it,seeing Masters of the Universe in the theater at age 4 was 28 years ago, so it's not as bad I guess. But still, combined with the thinning hair, and back issues, this doesn't help me feel any younger.  Whatever, I guess everyone gets to that point. Pass the Geritol!


Anyway, for most if not all of us, it was love at first sight for Home Alone. We all found a new holiday movie to watch and found a new favorite star in Macauly Culkin. I remember laughing hysterically when seeing it in the theater that year and loving every second! And hey, my mom and older brother(who was at that age of "everything is dumb" phase) loved it too. It was very easy to love this movie.

Not only is Home Alone a great family film and Christmas film, but it finally hit me, it's a great ACTION movie! Yes! I know it sounds crazy and in no way am I comparing Kevin McCallister to Charles Bronson but I am saying it's one of the best family friendly-Christmas-action flicks ever and here's why...


The City:

This movie took place in the city of Chicago, which makes sense. Two cities were the setting for essentially every Christmas movie in 80s and 90s: Chicago or New York. Why not? Big beautiful cities look great in the snow with big colorful lights. It's a perfect combo. I mean, I lived in the suburbs most of my life and they look great, but seeing the lights on Rockefeller Center is much more impressive than that of a barn in Davidsonville. Just saying.

Ok, ok, ok so it's not Chicago proper, more of a suburb but it's still in the area and it is a John Hughes production, so it's already in your head that it is. You can't see John Hughes and think "oh boy, I bet this one is going to take place in my hometown of Ho-Ho-Kus New Jersey!". Just won't happen. Sorry. Although I'd love to see a John Hughes movie with all Jersey accents. How great would that be?

So, we've got the great city of Chicago to set this place. But, now we need something huge...

The Story:

Kevin McCallister is the black sheep of a rather huge family. I mean, HUGE.  So large, they had to cast Big Pete Wrigley from Adventures of Pete and Pete as one of the oldest kids.  Yup. Sadly, no cameo for Arrie the Strongest Man in the Word. Pipe! So, deciding they needed to trek the whole family across country for Christmas, they rush to the airport and whoops! they left Kevin! So, that sets up our whole movie. What's a kid to do when he has a huge house to himself on Christmas? Eat crap, destroy his brother's possessions and get in trouble. That's what I'd do! So, now we have our setup. Now to establish our hero.

The Hero:

Kevin McAllister. Professional 7 year old boy. Pizza and Pepsi lover. Burglar eliminator. This was his town, his house and his movie. Macauly Culkin became the fresh faced, lovable pint sized hero that we as movie fans were itching for in the early 90s. Well, ok. Maybe just us kids. Not all of us were fortunate enough to have access to movies like Die Hard or Predator or whatever. I mean, I did, but some didn't. From here, it also gave Mac his own career. He'd go from this to Good Son to Party Monster to eating pizza in YouTube videos. Mac was hot in the early 90s, much like any kid star that would shoot adults with a bb gun.



So in a way Kevin's ingenuity was as close to a MacGuyver/JohnMcClain as some kids could get, therefore setting them up for a love of things exploding and burning people's hair. I mean, not a lot of adults would think to use an old movie from the 1940s to put the fear of death into burglars.


Kevin's confidence in himself is rather low after his family accidentally(most likely deserved) abandons him. He goes from down int he dumps to The Punisher in no time flat. And what a great job he did at defending his house from the Sticky Bandits...

The Villains:




Marv and Harry. The Sticky/Wet Bandits. You know them already. As hilarious as they are, you'd be very foolish to overlook them as villains. They may seem silly, but they're scheme of posing as police officers and finding out who is out of town for Christmas is a rather ingenious ploy on their part. Plus, the funster in me can't resist the jolly prankster in Marv who leaves faucets running. It's just too darned awesome and funny.

Also to be noted is their ferocity. I mean, they became downright obsessed with killing a 7 year old boy who they became suspicious of. I mean, they were close to killing him too if it weren't for the old South Bend Shovel Slayer. But if they're going to do that to a kid, imagine what would've happened to an adult who pissed them off? Prolly disfigurement. Yeah, gotta be disfigurement.

The Booby Traps:

Most will remember the booby traps. It's pretty much the centerpiece of ANY good action movie. So, it should make all the sense int he world to see how The Sticky Bandits getting their comeuppance  would be the favorite of fans everywhere. My favorite? The swinging paint cans on the stairway. Check out this great montage of all the fun traps!

The Climax:

Now that the Sticky Bandit's have been been disposed of, Kevin is now reunited with his frantic mother and eventually his family. Christmas movies usually are perfect movies for those emotional "awwwww" moments that if used by other movies, they'd be made fun of so much. But with snow and Santa in it, it's ok. You won't be pushed in a locker if you say to your buddies at school for revealing you cried when Kevin saw his family walk in the door. I mean, you'll get a wedgie, but it won't be as severe.

So there you have it, my breakdown of Home Alone. Happy 25th anniversary to a fun movie that made me laugh as a kid and even now! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a pizza from Little Nero's arriving any minute...


-Chad

PS-NECA is putting out some great Home Alone figures this year. Check these out!