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 3: Attack of the Crab Monsters

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I was scrolling through Netflix today looking for some kind of movie to watch, and I found 1957’s Attack of the Crab Monsters. I could not pass up that title. This better be total shit, but hilarious at the same time. I’ve been expecting some really bad looking crabs. I’m way more excited for this than I should be. The film is directed by Roger Corman who has been called the king of the B movie.  He churned out movies left and right back in the day. Roger better not let me down! It’s time to for some crabs!

The title card has goofy looking grabs and weird fish. I like it. It screams B movie garbage. Random voiceover delivers a line from the bible. Not sure what it has to do with crab monsters, but I’m rolling with it. So it appears from what I see there was a shipwreck? A couple of boats are coming into the shore on some island. Oh fuck! A crab is already attacking! We have our first decapitation! That didn’t take long. I guess they aren’t on some island. It could be a big island. Well, they are in a house now. It appears they washed up on a beach instead. A cop and doctor are talking about how that guy lost his head. They can’t seem to figure out giant crab monsters were in the water.

Earthquake?! There was an avalanche of some kind. Roger Corman did a good shook the camera pretty well to get that quake effect. Exposition time! Hydrogen bomb fallout! A favorite of 1950s B movies! Now we know why there are crab monsters. A small plane just randomly blew up. No idea if anyone important was on it. A guys a good deal of men were killed. I don’t think the crabs had a part in it. So I guess they are on an island, but it is raining and they are having trouble getting off the island.

The characters are trying to figure out the killer creature. They suggest worms. More earthquakes going on. I should mention that I don’t know much about the characters at the moment. I know there was a doctor and a cop. One guy is named Hank. Wikipedia tells me there are multiple doctors and a character named Ron Fellows. I’m glad a NASCAR road course specialist could make it into a 1950s B movie. Only one female character is present. She’s swimming in the water at this moment. Lots of fish roaming around. They all appear to be pretty big. Someone should go fishing. Another guy is in the water with her. Where did Roger Corman get all these damn fish!? Perhaps this scene was shot on location. He could be using some trick photography here.

The woman and man in the water are back on land now. Shots of crabs on land are being show. Let’s show them murdering some people already. I didn’t know Corman was a master of suspense like this. I guess the island is changing. A new pit has formed that wasn’t there around before. Damn, that one guy in the water has a shitload of chest hair. He’s a true man.

The female has a name now. It’s Martha. Someone is calling her name while she sleeps. The voice wants help! It sounds like the voiceover from the beginning of the film. Apparently, it is some guy named McClane? John McClane? Bruce Willis? Jim also was being called too. Jim is one of the doctors. They go to the pit and Jim decides to go check this pit out like an idiot. He goes down and we hear his scream. He’s dead, Jim. Wait, he’s not dead. His leg is broken. Jim said so.

I’m pretty confused by what is going on. Crabs are shown every now and then. The characters can see them and they even talk about them. Poor Jim is still in that pit. I guess Mr. Chest Hair and Martha are a couple. God lord, some kind of giant thing was in their house. It looked like a big crab arm, so I’m leaning towards the crab monster theory. Back to the pit, five guys are trying to get Jim out. Jim’s voice sounds like an alien from the original Star Trek at the moment. I like Jules. He has a funny accent. I don’t know what his job is other than to be an ethnic stereotype.

Martha and Chest Hair are without power and stuck with a giant crab. The crab does not seem to be bothering them at the moment. The crabs apparently know how to cut with precision according to Mr. Chest Hair. The next day everything still seems to be fine. One doctor suggests that the creature is afraid of electricity. He even believes that whatever is responsible for all their problems is because of this one creature.

Back down to the cave, something bad happened to funny accent guy. Is he dead? Not yet. They are taking him back to that house. IMDB tells me the guy who plays Hank was the Professor on Gilligan’s Island. He has bad luck with these islands. A voice is calling to poor Jules the accent man in bed. The voice wants him to go to that pit. I’d be avoiding that pit like the plague. It’s like the milk from Troll 2. Get that shit out of here. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! A giant claw grabbed Jules by the throat and pulled him away. Now the crabs are using his voice to talk to the other guys back at the house. I think they figured out that it wasn’t Jules. I might be overestimating their intelligence though. I guess Jules was French. Crab Jules is French. I know that for sure. Crab Jules and Jim want the gang to come down to the caves. I think I was overestimating their intelligence.

This cave is getting a lot of use. Oh no! Giant crab! Shoot it! Waste the motherfucker!!!! I guess they killed it. A stone penetrated the brain after falling from the crab and shooting. Doctor Weiland is taking a piece to study, but oh shit another crab. He’s pissed off about his crab friend. Doc Weiland is trying to explain the crab’s physiology now. He’s talking about how whatever the crab eats, it can assimilate its brain making the crab smarter. Fascinating. A Borg crab! Another reveal from pictures shows that the second crab was female…..and it’s pregnant! They’re fucked! Wait, they proved electricity can kill them. They have their weapon! It’s crab killing time!

They are planning their strategy since the crab sleeps during the day. I guess they are climbing into that pit now. Mr. Chest Hair is not going this time. No Chest Hair Hank went instead. Don’t know why they need underwater gear in this pit to set up their electricity devices. Hold up, I think Hank just hit on Martha. The crab is coming! Into the water! I think I can see the strings on the crab, but I won’ t let that bother me. I see why they had that underwater gear now. I should not question the greatness of Roger Corman. Swim! Swim! Swim! They aren’t really hurrying back on the shore really quick. I guess they don’t fear the giant crab. It’s coming though! Mr. Chest Hair’s gun is failing against it. Retreat!

These crabs are lazy. I’m tired of these guys going back to this house/lab place. Hank has got the radio working. That’s a start. Chest Hair and Weiland are still by the beach. Get the hell out of there! Nope, they went back into the cave. The crab is waiting for them. That crab is so slow! Michael Myers pace seems like a spring compared to this crab. It was fast enough to catch Weiland though. It’s got the pincers around his poor head. Chest Hair tries to kill the crab, but the crab makes fun of him for his failure. Back at the lab and the crab is still mocking them. Only three of them remain: Chest Hair Dale, Hank, and Martha. How will they survive? They have six grenades left. That might work. The first grenade fails and so do some gunshots. Hank has balls. He ran right at the crab with his grenade and it exploded. His leg is no good now. He’s lucky he only hurt that. Surprisingly, the crab is going after Chest Hair and Martha instead. Poor move by the crab. It gave Hank the chance to drop a big electrical thing on the crab which killed him and the crab. That’s how the movie ended. Mr. Chest Hair said Hank gave his life and then “The End!”

Final Thoughts

It was a little disappointing actually. It wasn’t that entertaining. I was expecting better schlock than that. I was actually pretty bored throughout the film. It needed more funny death scenes or something. The acting was okay. Nothing stood out and nobody was awful. The film was pretty average from beginning to end. The film really lacked a lot of giant crab monsters. It hardly ever showed up. Most of the time it was just that voice calling out to them. One positive is that the film is only an hour, so you won’t be bored for too long. This film could have been so much better. You failed me, Roger Corman!