Merry Christmas, Movie House! 25 Days of Christmas Day 23: Die Hard and The Year Without a Santa Claus

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You know there’s not much in common with Die Hard and The Year Without a Santa Claus. They share no common characters. There are no terrorists in The Year Without a Santa Claus. No reindeers dressed like dogs in Die Hard. The only real similarity is that they have some themes of Christmas. So why review them both at the same time? They were both on TV today. It’s that simple. The two don’t mix and match well, but I’m going to give it a whirl as Kevin McCallister would say.

The Plots

John McClane is invited to a Christmas party by his wife who he’s been having trouble with lately. Santa is also having some trouble since he thinks nobody believes in him anymore and that there is no need for Christmas. Both John McClane and Santa run into some problems as time progresses. Our favorite Hogwarts professor, Hans Gruber, is trying to take over Mr. Takagi’s big building. He has some get rich quick scheme. People are dying including Takagi and John McClane has to do something about it. Santa has to find where the elves, Jingle and Jangle, went so he can retrieve the reindeer named Vixen. Vixen has been taken to the pound, so it’s like she is taken hostage and Santa has to rescue her. The films have parallels after all! John McClane gets help in this movie from Carl Winslow. Carl hasn’t lost his mind dealing with Urkel yet, and he’s on a mission to save John McClane’s ass. Santa is also getting help from a little boy named Iggy. He didn’t really believe in Santa just like Carl at first with John, but they both come around. There’s some skeptics on both sides. The principal from Breakfast Club keeps complaining to Carl Winslow about the job John McClane is doing in the same way the mayor is doubting Santa Claus. John’s wife, Holly, tries to talk with the villains to get them to allow some things, and Hans Gruber is nice enough to comply. The same happens with Mrs. Claus. She has to deal with the Miser Brothers. It took some time to convince the Snow and Heat Misers to help, but a talk with Mother Nature straightened them out. John McClane eventually kills all the terrorists one by one in the same way Santa convinces everyone to believe in him one by one. They both get one last bit of help from Carl and Iggy. Carl shoots the last bad guy and Iggy helps other kids mail Santa. They both even end with Christmas songs!

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Final Thoughts

Clearly these two films have more in common than I imagined. It’s like watching the same film! I mean nobody dies in The Year Without a Santa Claus, but what does die is kids not believing in Santa. The parallels do not go unnoticed. I’m sure the Die Hard writers had The Year Without a Santa Claus in their mind when getting this movie made. Both are classics, so I suggest everyone should watch them in the next couple days. You won’t regret it. Look for the similarities!

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Halloween Havoc 2013 Day 24: Re-Animator

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Oh boy, I have reached day 24 of my month of horror film reviews. It can be tough finding the time to watch a film every day, but I keep on keeping on. Today’s film is 1985’s Re-AnimatorI’m really regretting not doing a running commentary on this film since my reactions to this film were pretty hilarious. I made the mistake of watching this film in the computer lab of my school. Thankfully, I’m in college and I can get away with that. This film should never ever be viewed in a computer lab though haha. Spoilers coming!

The Plot

Jeffrey Combs plays Dr. Herbert West. He’s a scientist who has developed a serum to bring things back to life. He did this while he was working with a doctor named Hans Gruber. He didn’t look a thing like Alan Rickman though. He drags another doctor into named Dan Cain played by Bruce Abbott. The two of them work together to try and bring some corpses back from the dead. It all backfires when the first dead corpse acts wildly and can’t be controlled. He kills Dr. Halsey who is the father of Dan’s girlfriend. They decide to bring him back to life too which causes problems. Another doctor named Dr. Carl Hill gets involved. He had been an enemy of West since the beginning of the film. He tries to blackmail West into giving him the serum, but West kills him and takes his head off. West once again makes the mistake of bringing Hill back to life. Dr. Hill has more control though. He knocks out West and steals all his stuff. Dr. Hill learns to control other dead corpses like himself. He even kidnaps Megan (Dan’s girlfriend) because he has an attraction to her. There’s a sick scene where he goes down on her. It’s funny though since he’s just a head. His own body is carrying him around. Megan is able to get through to her father who starts to fight off the other zombie like corpses. It’s fun, but not a scene to watch in a computer lab. A lot of nudity in this film from both the males and the females. West injects Dr. Hill with a lethal dose of his serum which causes him to mutate. It’s a really wild scene. Megan is killed at the end by one of the corpses. Dan tries to bring her back to life, but he fails. He decides to use the serum on her and that’s how the film ends. I should go find the sequels to see how that goes.

Acting

I enjoyed the acting in this one. Jeffrey Combs steals the show. He’s gold in everything he is in. He even made Star Trek: Enterprise worth watching and he’s always amazing in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. David Gale as Dr. Hill is pretty fun. It’s hilarious that he’s just a head after awhile. He’s talking like a freak, but it’s so entertaining. Bruce Abbott does a good job too as the straight man to the crazy in this film.

Special Effects and Gore

This film is simply amazing when it comes to this stuff. It’s so 80s! I mean a lot of it looks really hokey at times, but that adds to the charm. The cat scene is so great, and it’s because of how silly it all looks. You know it’s completely fake, but it’s so much fun to look at. The more I write about this film, the more I love it. I wondered throughout the film how they did a lot of the effects. David Gale’s head is being carried around by his body during the film. You have to wonder how that is pulled off. The built an upper torso for him to stick his head through to give the illusion that his body was holding his head. I love movie magic! The gore is very over the top. Blood is everywhere. One scene even has David Gale’s head getting blood put over him because he’s a sick fuck or something like that. Bodies are torn apart left and right. It’s crazy. Blood is being splattered everywhere.

Final Thoughts

Love it! Don’t watch it in a computer lab! Too much nudity and gory scenes for that! There’s so much to like. The acting and characters are great. The special effects are done really well or really cheesy. Lots of blood if you are into that. It’s probably one of the most fun movies you would ever watch. I highly recommend it to everyone. Not everyone should really watch it, but that’s a shame. It’s a classic from the 80s!