Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: The 10 Worst (and 5 Best) Movies

Hello. Hello. Hello. Merry Christmas! We made it all the way through Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever! For those of you who don’t know. I spent the whole month of late November/December watching and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies ever made, because Christmas 2020 was bound to suck anyways. It was quite the challenge. There was a lot of bad stuff to parse through. But, we’re here now: on the other side. And, well, that was fun. I don’t think I’d ever do it again… or at least not something of that size. This was just too much, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

28 truly awful pieces of cinema have been seen by me. And, I figured I’d recap and celebrate by counting down the worst of the worst. But, then I got to thinking, I enjoyed watching a couple of these though. So, what counts as a truly bad movie? Is it one that I can laugh at or one that was absolute torture to get through? Then, I thought “hey, why not do both?” And that’s just what I’m going to do. First, we’re going to go through some of the most painful movies I’ve ever seen. Seriously, my critera here was pretty much “what would I never, ever want to watch again?” Then, we’ll cover the more fun entries. I would have no problem gathering some friends together, having a couple of drinks, and laughing about how these movies are so bad, they’re good. Because, as I’ve said, sometimes it’s just fun to enjoy a bad movie. But, first,

THE WORST OF THE WORST

10. Jack Frost (1997)

This is the “scary” Jack Frost movie for those keeping track at home. It’s also the one I didn’t really spend much time reviewing. Because this movie is bad on purpose, which, quite frankly, I hate. So, I guess congratulations Jack Frost creators. You did what you set out to do. You made a bad movie. I bet you wish you were on the other list though. Too bad. Your movie sucks. Moving on.

9. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Frankly, I don’t like that I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus made this list. I really respect the Sprouse twins. They’ve made me laugh a lot over the years. But, their performances here were god awful. Actually, everyone in this movie is bad, which led to one of the longer, more painful viewing experiences of this entire month. Plus, it wanted too badly to be Home Alone or Jingle All the Way so bad. Sorry, Dylan and Cole. You’re still cool in my book. This movie sucks though.

8. Black Christmas (2006)

So, I’ve never seen the original Black Christmas, but I still completely hated this version. I hate when horror films are more interested in gore than they are effective scares. That’s definitely the case with this unscary remake. This whole movie just kinda feels icky and gross. Plus, the villains are two of the least frightening in horror history. I’ll probably go back and watch the original at some point, but I’m forever staying far, far away from this disaster.

7. Elves

My sister recently asked me about Elves. After reading my review, she was very confused about why this had a Nazi subplot. I didn’t know what to do other than shrug. Honestly, this was one of the weirdest backstories I’ve ever seen in a horror film. If only it were more entertaining, I’d call it good bad. But, holy crap, this movie is booooring. Still, I recommend that YouTube video that summarizes the whole movie in five minutes. That’s a good viewing experience. The actual whole movie: not so much.

6. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Now we’re getting into the movies that actually give me PTSD. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny is so bad that 70% of it’s runtime is a completely unrelated movie. Seriously, we kind of just leave this story behind and are told the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk instead. I should be grateful though because both Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny are terrifying in this. The less of them the better. This feels less like a movie I watched and more like some bizarre drug induced nightmare I had.

5. Santa’s Slay

I’ve never seen a movie as mean spirited as Santa’s Slay before. Seriously, all the way down to it’s core it’s mean. This movie hates absolutely everyone. It’s like watching a mad man make a movie that plays out all of his worst, perverted fantasies. I’m all for a sick, demented time, but this just felt angry.

4. An American Carol

Speaking of offensive and angry, An American Carol. I challenge anyone with decent taste to watch this movie and laugh. All of the jokes fall extremely flat. They brutally mock entire religions and political beliefs. And, the moral goes completely goes against Charles Dickens’ original. It’s sad that Zucker, one of the funniest film makers of all-time, has fallen this far. In fact, it makes me love Airplane and Naked Gun just a little less.

3. Santa Buddies

Woof. You see that image up above? See how it’s just dogs staring blankly into the camera? Like, there’s obviously someone with a treat right behind the camera guy. Well, now imagine their mouths moving and some horrible child actor’s voice coming out. And they’re trying to save Santa. Now, imagine this goes on for 90 minutes. That’s Santa Buddies. When I review it originally, I called it pure torture. I stand by that remark, yet somehow there are still two movies coming that are worse.

2. Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas barely counts as a movie. It’s just Cameron lecturing you for an hour about the “War on Christmas” and then they dance. That’s it. Seriously. It’s terrible. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

1. Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin)

Say what you will about any movie on this list. Heck, any movie in this challenge. Or, you know, any movie ever made. But, AT LEAST THEY MOVE. I can’t say the same about Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin). This is just 75 minutes of creepy, vintage, still images with an annoying voice, very reminiscent of Mr. Bill talking over them. And it feels like it lasts an eternity. This has to be against the Geneva Conventions or something. I have to be owed compensation after watching this. Can I call my lawyer? Someone has to make these people pay for forcing this cruelty upon the world. They can’t just keep getting away with it! (Side note: the producers also made Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, so, yeah, they deserve two spots in hell.)

The Best “So Bad, It’s Good” Movies

5. Silent Night, Deadly Night

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about Silent Night, Deadly Night. I have no idea if it was bad on purpose. Heck, I don’t even know if it’s bad. So, putting this on the “so bad, it’s good” list might be cheating a bit. This might be a legitimately good movie. I can’t tell. I just know that I enjoyed myself tremendously while watching it. I saw a decent amount of Christmas themed horror this month and this one definitely was my favorite. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for alternative programming this Christmas season.

4. Magic Christmas Tree

First of all, Magic Christmas Tree is absolutely insane. You never know where this plot is going to go. It just jumps from one extreme occurrence to the next. Second, it can be easily be read as a super villain origin story with one of the main plot points being to kidnap Santa Claus. And, then finally, it features one of the greatest fourth wall breaks in the history of cinema. Seriously, gather some friends up, have a couple drinks, and enjoy this bizarre, out of this world trip.

3. Santa Claus

Santa Claus, a Mexican film from 1959, definitely takes the cake for weirdest interpretation of a famous fictional character I’ve ever seen. This Santa is just so freaking weird. He’s creepy. He lives in space. He uses children from different countries around the world instead of elves. He has robot reindeer. I don’t even know how to describe the nightmare fuel of a machine he uses to watch over all the kids. And, he fights Satan himself. Seriously, you’ve got to see this to believe it. Definitely a highlight from the month.

2. The Star Wars Holiday Special

If you’re a Star Wars fan with a sense of humor, you’ve got to subject yourself to The Star Wars Holiday Special. It’ll make everything else seem so much better in comparison. Seriously, the decision to put Jar Jar in Episode I doesn’t seem so weird when you’ve seen a Wookiee grandfather watching VR porn in the middle of his living room. Or Bea Arhtur as a singing bartender on Tattooine. Or Luke Skywalker in an insane amount of makeup. Or, heck, realizing that this is the first time audiences saw Boba Fett. It’s a weird trip. But, with the right group of friends, it can be a very rewarding one.

1. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2

Now, Part 2 I have no problem putting on the list. It is absolutely a “so bad it’s good” movie. First of all, the entire first half of the movie is just a recap of the first one. So, technically, you don’t have to have seen Part 1 to understand this one. Though, I definitely still recommend it. Second, this features one of the most over the top, campy lead performances in horror movie history. Seriously, I was dying laughing at the way this guy delivered his lines. Pair that with some ridiculously over the top kills and you’ve got yourself a good time. The two night adventure of Part 1 and Part 2 was easily the highlight of this whole experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if I revisited these two movies over and over and over again.

So, that’s my list. I checked it twice. I would absolutely not recommend anything on that first list. They’re all complete trash. And, there’s a couple of hidden gems on the second that almost made this challenge worth it. I’d say to get in the right mindset and maybe give a couple of those a try.

Either way, thank you! This month has been a lot of fun and I appreciate those of you who’ve been reading along at home. Like I said, I probably won’t do anything quite like this ever again. Though, I can definitely see more “so bad, it’s good” reviews coming in the future. Until then, Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And, most importantly, Happy Life Day.

Now it’s time to catch up on some of 2020’s best movies I missed for my Top 10 list, which should be up in a couple of weeks.

See you guys soon.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Jingle All the Way 2

Merry Christmas, one and all! Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever! We made it! It’s Christmas! This is the last review for this challenge. I hope you had as much fun reading these as I did writing them. Wait. Let me take that back. I hope it wasn’t as torturous for you to read about these movies as it was for me to watch them. Anywho, don’t worry. This isn’t the last write up for this series. I’ve got a special Top 10 list coming tomorrow. I’m gonna try and actually rank some of these, which should be incredibly difficult. They’ve all been incredibly bad. But, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about the latest nightmare first.

I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in the almost 30 movies I’ve watched for this challenge. Christmas sequels just aren’t very good. Whether it’s a holiday spin on something that wasn’t very Christmasy in the first place (Star Wars Holiday Special, Santa Buddies) or a belated sequel to a beloved Christmas classic (Home Alone 3, A Christmas Story 2), they’ve all been pretty darn bad. And, well, I just had the “pleasure” of watching another one. Jingle All the Way 2 is in the later category. It’s another belated sequel that has almost none of the charm or iconic imagery of the first one. (Side note: Is Jingle All the Way a classic? I feel like it’s kind of in this in-between, grey area. Some like it. Some hate it. I don’t know what the consensus is.)

I will give Jingle All the Way 2 a tad bit of credit though. Compared to all of the other sequels on this list, it’s not horrible. It’s the fact that it’s called Jingle All the Way 2 that hurts it so much. When I think of Jingle All the Way, I think of big, over the top, ridiculous action-comedy set pieces. I think of Arnold noises, Sinbad yelling, and silly superhero costumes. It’s big. It’s bombastic. It’s, well, the type of movie they don’t really make anymore. In short, it’s kind of Arnold. But, Jingle All the Way 2 kind of grounds it in a weird way. They’ve kept the parents trying to hunt down the biggest toy of the season, but there’s no action here. It’s just your typical Larry the Cable guy comedy. There are a few punches thrown, but I wouldn’t call any of them fights. I don’t know. Maybe I’m alone on this. But, this isn’t Jingle All the Way to me. It’s basically a completely different movie.

Also, when I say that it’s the best of the sequels watched, please don’t mistake that for me saying Jingle All the Way 2 is good. It’s most definitely not. It is a Larry the Cable Guy comedy through and through. There are no less than three jokes about him pooping his pants. Git R Done is said. And it’s very much a Blue Collar vs White Collar story. Plus, not a single character in this movie is likable. The kid especially annoyed me quite a bit. It’s definitely a bad movie. It’s just not the travesty that a lot of other belated Christmas sequels are. Heck, it’s probably even the best Larry the Cable Guy movie I’ve seen outside of the Cars franchise. But, that really says less about this movie and more about Larry and Christmas sequels.

Overall, I didn’t have the worst time watching Jingle All the Way 2. I still definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It does not live up to the status of the first one. And, honestly, it’s still a bad movie. But, what I do recommend is watching the original again. Because I want to have that discussion. Right here. Right now. Is Jingle All the Way a classic? I don’t even know how I feel about it. So, please, answer my question so I can make my mind up. It’s bothering me. I think I like it, but also the nostalgia is heavy on that one. I’ve gotta go. Otherwise, I could talk about this all day.

See you tomorrow for my Top 10 Worst Christmas Movies list!

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Hello. Merry Christmas Eve! Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. For the last month, I have been watching and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies of all time. And, well, it’s kind of sucked. In fact, you might say it’s turned me grumpy. Nah. I’m just messing. I’m not going to be that lame. It really has put me in quite the mood though. But, I’m almost done. Like, really, really close. So, let’s get this over with shall we?

Do you remember those super corny meme commercials Wendy’s made a couple of years? You know, the ones where the sandwiches were so good that it made people strike meme poses. They sucked. Everyone hated them. They felt so out of touch and dated. Clearly made by someone who doesn’t understand meme culture beyond knowing that it’s popular. It was cringe personified. Well, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever is pretty much the movie version of that.

First of all, a meme is never going to be enough to carry a whole movie. They’re relatable images. In this case, it’s funny because the cat is making a grump face. Then, you throw a line in there like “Mondays suck” or “I hate waking up” and everyone giggles because #relatable. There’s no plot to a meme. No real character. Heck, even the image itself isn’t all that important. You just take something and make it relatable to your life. If it clicks with others, you have a popular meme. And, everyone else does the same. Within a week, you’ve got thousands of versions of the same joke. Over and over and over. It’s great. Until it’s not. Because of the repetition, these jokes also go stale incredibly fast. Within a couple of days, we’re onto the next joke and there is no looking back. Thus, it’s ridiculously naive to try and make a movie out of a meme. First of all, like I said, there’s only one joke to tell. She’s a grumpy cat. Second, by the time you finish making your movie, the joke has been dead for months. No one cares anymore.

But, since they made the movie, how is it? Well, it’s simply not good. Because, uh, the plot is super similar to Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Like, shockingly so. In this, Grump Cat belongs to a suffering pet store in the mall. It’s about to saved from going out of business when they get their hands on a million dollar dog. Two thieves then learn about this canine and try to steal him. So, it’s up to Grumpy Cat and her new human friend, who can understand her after being granted a wish by Santa, to stop them after the mall has closed. Que a lot of running between stores, using the merchandise to take the crooks down. The only thing this movie has that Paul Blart doesn’t is talking animals. Well, talking and paint ball wielding. And car driving. Yes, we see Grumpy Cat drive a car. So, let that be a reminder the next time you’re suffering through a Kevin James movie. At least it doesn’t have a talking cat in it.

Shit! I mean… at least Paul Blart doesn’t…

Anyways, if Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever was just a bad movie, I could maybe give it a pass. It definitely wouldn’t be a movie for me, but I could see how maybe someone out there might enjoy it. Nah. What makes it truly horrific is the fact that it’s constantly interrupting itself. I understand that this was originally a TV movie with commercials. I get that. But, do we really need Grumpy leading us into and then easing us out of every commercial break? Seriously, she’d pop up in the middle of a scene and say something clever about how they’re never going to escape this, the screen would go black, and then she’d pop back up to catch you up on where you just were. Or, worse, there would be an extensive gag pretending that it’s a different program or just straight up plugging her merch store. Would this have worked better when watched in its original format on Lifetime? Maybe. I doubt it would be less annoying, but I can see how it might work. But, when watching this as a commercial free rental on a streaming service, it’s absolute torture. On one or two of the intros, Grumpy Cat broke the fourth wall, asking why I was still watching, and I was honestly asking myself the same question.

So, overall, I definitely would recommend skipping Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. It’s just not funny at all. It feels like it was written for 15 year old girls, but somehow missed and is a favorite among Karens who share Minion memes on Facebook. It’s ridiculously uncool and I’m shocked they got Aubrey Plaza to be part of it. That must’ve been one heck of a paycheck. And, if Grumpy Cat stands for anything, it’s milking something for a profit. Go to grumpycats.com for more information.

Also, yes, I named this challenge Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever specifically to pay homage to this movie. Was it worth it? Is it funny? No. Not really. But, now you know.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: A Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Merry friggin’ Christmas, everybody! (Sorry. I had to.) Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been going through and reviewing some of the absolute worst Christmas movies of all-time. Because it’s 2020 and everything sucks anyways. Today’s entry might be the least bad movie I’ve watched all month, which, you know… isn’t saying all that much to be honest.

I’m not going to lie. I walked into A Merry Friggin’ Christmas wanting to like it. I know I’ve watched a lot of comedically talented people make some really unfunny movies this December, but I still held out hope. There’s no way this cast could make something all that bad. After all, I’ve been a die hard Robin Williams fan my entire life and Joel McHale starred in Community, which is probably my favorite sitcom of all-time. So, yeah, I had decently high hopes for this. And, you know what? It didn’t really disappoint. It’s by far the best movie I’ve seen come out of this challenge (with the possible exception of Silent Night, Deadly Night). Now, would I have liked it if I went in with normal expectations? If it wasn’t on my list of the worst Christmas movies ever? Probably not. But, with those lowered expectations, I thought it was a decent time.

It all comes down to enjoyment factor. I found myself doing something during this movie that I haven’t most of the rest of the month. I was smiling and giggling at jokes that the movie was telling me. I actually laughed at a movie… for things that were intentionally funny. That’s a brand spanking new emotion. Or at least one I haven’t felt in a long time. Don’t get me wrong though. This movie has it’s fair share of cringe. It’s got more than average. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that most of the jokes here don’t work. In fact, it gets a tad unnessecarily dark towards the end with the guys thinking they accidentally murdered a guy and now have to hide a body. Williams’ character even busts out a chainsaw to cut them up. Then, it’s followed by a scene where a little boy dreams that a snowglobe is telling him Santa doesn’t exist. It’s maybe the weirdest transition in any movie I’ve ever seen. And, that’s kind of the norm for A Merry Friggin’ Christmas. It’s all over the place. But, this cast is so talented and so generally likeable that you’ll still feel like you’re having a good time. Or not a bad one.

The only real, genuine complaint I have against this movie is that it feels a tad melancholy due to the fact that it came out after Robin’s suicide. This is, of course, in no way the movie’s fault. As I’ve said before, most of his work has a weird aurora of sadness over it for me now. I just can’t help it. This one in particular feels extra dark though, as he’s playing a depressed man who feels their entire life has been a failure. It’s not too much of a stretch to put this and real life together. And, well, it kind of brings the mood down a bit.

So, overall, would I recommend A Merry Friggin’ Christmas? I honestly don’t know. This month of shitty movies has screwed with my taste so much. I think I almost liked it. But, like I said, it could just be that my expectations are all out of whack. Take that however you want I guess. All I know is that I’m going to need to recalibrate my taste buds once this challenge is over. I don’t even know who I am anymore…

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever! This holiday season, we’ve been counting down some of the worst Christmas movies ever made. And, guess what? We’re almost done! Yep. We’re only a few days away from the big day and, therefore, only a few bad films away from the end of this challenge. Unfortunately though, we’ve got quite the hurdle to overcome today. Let’s get to it.

Upon it’s release in 2014, Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas became the lowest rated movie on IMDB. Think about that. Worse than The Room, Birdemic, every shitty horror film you’ve ever seen. The worst movie of all-time. (FYI: It’s since fallen to #6.) If you’re like me, the question is simple: is it really that bad? And, the short answer is yeah, kinda.

Honestly, there’s really not a lot to Saving Christmas. The “plot” is one of the simplest I’ve ever seen. We open with a huge monologue from Kirk Cameron about how important Christmas is and how we should be fighting the “War on Christmas”. This goes on for about ten minutes. Then, we cut to a Christmas party. Everyone is having a good time except for Cameron’s brother-in-law, who isn’t feeling the holiday spirit and is hiding in his car. Cameron then follows him into the car and they debate about how many of the commercial elements of Christmas actually do have roots in Christian beliefs. It’s a whole of Cameron pushing up him metaphorical glasses as he goes “uhm, actually” while stock footage plays in the background. Then, rejuvenated in his love for the holiday, the brother-in-law leads the party in a hip hop musical number, which goes on entirely too long. Then, our story wraps up with them enjoying dinner as Cameron narrates to us what the point of it all was. Seriously, that’s it. This movie is 95% Cameron talking directly to the camera about how we don’t “get” Christmas.

Here’s the thing. Having been born in 1992, I barely know who Kirk Cameron is. The only thing I know about him is that he’s super religious and had an actress fired from his show after she posed for Playboy. So, screw him. I don’t care for him spending a whole movie telling me how I should celebrate Christmas. This is literally the same as going to a party, getting wasted, and then accidentally starting a conversation with the wrong guy. You know the feeling. You just feel so trapped. You don’t want to be rude, but, also, you’re desperately looking for an out. That’s the whole movie. Kirk Cameron is mansplaining Christmas to you, while you beg for the credits to start rolling. Then, there’s a dance. And it may be worse than the lecture.

So, yeah, that’s all I have to say about Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas. Sorry it’s not a lot. This isn’t a whole lot of movie though. I would avoid it if at all possible. Unless you’re looking for this sort of thing. Then, by all means, you do you. Just leave me the hell out of it please.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: A Christmas Story 2

Hello. Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever, where I’m going through and reviewing some of the absolute worst Christmas movies ever made. I’m running behind and you know the drill so let’s skip the foreplay.

Why do they insist on doing stuff like this? Can’t a movie just stand on it’s own? With it’s legacy in tact? Why must they ruin everything? Or at least try? Basically, why does A Christmas Story 2 even exist? I mean… come on! You know that lightning isn’t going to strike the same place twice. Heck, you even say that line a couple of times in your own movie. The original was such a classic, such a masterpiece, that anything you made would pale in comparison.

The first mistake this movie made was the fact that it exists at all. Ralphie’s an annoying teenager now. Instead of ducking bullies and begging for toys for Christmas, he’s fantasizing about cars and girls. I’m sorry, but no one cares what a teenage boy wants for Christmas. It’s just not cute. Plus, the actor who plays him is somehow worse than the kid that did it before. In fact, every single performance is worse than the iconic originals. Ralphie’s mom and dad in particular seem to have been hit extra hard. The performances aren’t necessarily awful. They’re just not the characters we know and love. If you absolutely had to do another Christmas Story, why not make it an anthology thing? Follow a completely different group of characters like Home Alone 3 did. But, unlike that movie, it’d probably work here, because there’s nothing specific about Ralphie that was special. He’s just an average boy having a slightly above average Christmas. If this movie had been about teenage Steve who lives three doors down from Ralphie, I probably would’ve liked it a lot more. You don’t have to change anything else. Just make it slightly detached from the original.

Don’t worry though. If you were one of the few people who wanted to see an actual sequel to A Christmas Story, this movie has you covered. It brings back every single joke you laughed at the first time to be recycled once again. Only everything is significantly worse and less funny the second time around. Remember the kid sticking his tongue to a telephone pole? Well, now he sticks his whole damn mouth into a suction tube. The slightly over it Santa? He’s straight up Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa now. The bunny suit is swapped out for both a goofy reindeer costume and a sailor suit for his little brother. Ralphie says fudge when he wrecks his car. The Chinese restaurant is dragged into this for no real reason. And, gosh darn it, you knew they had to shove that leg lamp in there somewhere. Most sequels are guilty of this to some degree. South Park calls them “member berries,” where you show the audience things they liked before and go “member A Christmas Story?” But, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done quite so obviously as it is here. These don’t feel like clever callbacks. It feels like they forced references to the original in wherever they could. It’s lazy. It’s cheap. And I don’t like it.

To wrap up this review, I thought I’d do something a bit different. This isn’t my first time watching this travesty. In fact, it’s not even my first time reviewing it. Back in my Tumblr days, I wrote up a short little piece on this. And, I thought I’d let 2012 Dylan take this one home. So, here it is: A sequel no one wanted? Crappy acting? Reenacting scenes from the first one? Taking a cute little kid and turning him into an annoying teenager? Completely missing the fun of the first one? Actual cussing? Ridiculous plot? Potentially ruining one of the best Christmas traditions ever? I don’t think you even tried at all. Oh, and FUCK YOU! I will be pissed if they try to show this on Christmas Eve and it breaks up the awesomeness that is A Christmas Story marathon. Grade: F

Well put, 2012 Dylan. Well put indeed.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure

Welcome to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. Tis the season to be jolly. So, what the heck am I doing all of this for? Well, because I thought it’d be a fun, unique, interesting way to bring in the holidays. And, here’s the thing. I was right… But also very wrong. And it’s only now, 22 movies deep in the middle of a dog-centric stretch, do I realize that I should’ve played on the 12 days of Christmas thing. It would’ve been more on brand and much easier. Oh well. You live and you learn I guess. Anyways, let’s get to today’s movie, shall we?

It’s actually quite fitting that Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure would come directly after Santa Buddies on this list. They have a lot in common after all. Both are Christmas related entries to dog-centric family franchises that started off semi-beloved but went on for way, way too long. In Beethoven’s case, this is the seventh entry in the series! Seventh! And, like Air Buddies, this has very little to do with the previous movies. I’ve only seen the first two or three movies in the series, but they were nothing like this. Beethoven’s family (both the humans and dogs) are nowhere to be found. And, apparently, Beethoven is a huge movie star who travels around making celebrity appearances. I guess the plot mostly started going in this direction in the last movie. I don’t know. I liked it better when Beethoven was just a big, gross dog who made his owners angry. That’s Beethoven to me. (#NotMyBeethoven) Anyways, Beethoven runs into a Christmas elf who has lost Santa’s magical sack and the titular “Christmas adventure” takes place.

Here’s the thing though. I really don’t have that much to say about the actual movie itself. Compared to a lot of the trash I’ve watched recently, it’s really not all that bad. It sort of felt like your typical Hallmark or Disney Channel Christmas movie. It’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not going to offend anyone if you put it on either. There are a couple of cringeworthy scenes, sure. There are plenty of fart jokes. A couple of droll jokes. Some of Kyle Massey’s (AKA Corey from That’s So Raven’s) slapstick doesn’t work. It’s very obvious that the ASPCA gave them a lot of money to get their message across. And, well, there are a couple of talking dogs. But, none of it is going to stick with me for the rest of my life, cursing me with it’s existence like some of these other movies. Heck, even the talking dogs are done much better than in Santa Buddies. I’m glad they actually decided to give their faces just a tad of emotional range.

So, if you’re looking for something to put on this holiday season, you could honestly do a lot worse than Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure. I mean… you could do a lot better too. Actually, do a lot better. Don’t settle for this. Revisit a Christmas favorite. Keep ignoring that this movie even exists. Cool? Cool.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Santa Buddies

Hello friends! Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever, where I’m going through and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies of all-time. It feels like it’s been awhile. I’m sorry. I’ve fallen behind quite a bit. It’s a combination of too much Christmas festivities, a laptop that decided to die on me, and just a pinch of not wanting to watch these horrible movies. This one in particular was one I was dreading. And, boy, did it live up to it. This is maybe the worst movie I’ve seen yet.

Let’s just say Disney has a reputation when it comes to direct to video sequels. Plain and simple, they aren’t very good. They tend to be cheap versions of what worked so well without much of a story to tell or talented people left to tell it that’s rushed to make a quick buck or two. The Air Bud franchise in particular seemed to get hit especially hard. The first film, about a golden retriever who plays basketball, was a massive success. I remember it being all the rage in the 1990s elementary school cafeteria. Then, they made a second one, where he plays football. Not nearly as good but still successful. So, they moved to VHS and seemingly forced this poor dog to play every sport known to man. I mean… how the heck is a dog supposed to play baseball? Anyways, after running out of Dick’s Sporting Goods sections, some executive thought it would be a good idea to concentrate on Air Bud’s puppies instead. Because everyone but small children had abandoned this franchise several entries ago and kids love puppies. Also, you might as well have them talk. Because why not? And these poor puppies had to do so much more than play around in gym class. They sent these bitches to space, into tombs like Indiana Jones, and briefly turned them into superheroes. But, that’s not what I’m here today to talk about. Nope. I’m talking about the time they met Santa and had to save Christmas. More specifically (because there were a number of Christmas offerings), I’m reviewing Santa Buddies.

Now listen. I’ve sat through a lot this December. There have been movies that really, really hurt my brain. It’s been quite the ordeal. But, none of them, not a single one, tested me quite like Santa Buddies. This is the first movie all month that I straight up almost gave up on. This thing is torturous. Holy crap. There’s only so much a guy can put up with. And, apparently, dogs just standing around in semi-circles talking to each other is my breaking point. It was just so obvious that someone was standing off camera with a treat so the dogs would just stare at them for a couple minutes at a time. Then, they animated their mouths moving afterwards. The only problem with that is that the dogs then don’t have any expressions on their face. They’re just deadpan staring into the camera. And the voice actors don’t help either. Their performances are just as flat as the canines. So, no, I did not enjoy the monotone, expressionless golden retriever puppies standing around and talking about Christmas.

I would tell you about the plot, but, honestly, I was having an extremely hard time paying attention. From what I could tell, it was pretty generic. Apparently, Santa Claus has a dog named Santa Paws, who is the Santa for dogs. Santa Paws has a kid, who runs away to try and live a normal life. That’s when he meets the Air Buddies. Meanwhile, they’ve got a whole Elf style subplot where Christmas spirit is fading so I guess the whole North Pole is dying. I don’t know how they tied together. They might’ve explained it, but I really doubt it. Towards the end, I guess because Christmas spirit is so low, they have to have the puppies deliver the toys instead of the fully grown Santas. I don’t know. I just know that I was bored. It’s very cliched. And, story wise, it feels like it’s wrapping up for the whole second half of the movie. I kept thinking “Oh, thank god it’s almost over” only to discover there was still 40 minutes left. Seriously, I’d almost rather watch all of the other movies in this challenge again before sitting through a second viewing of this. It felt just about as long.

There aren’t even that many “so bad it’s good” moments in Santa Buddies. From my recollection, there’s only two. In the first, they are testing out a new vehicle for picking up Santa’s letters. It’s a typical USPS mail truck, but will change shapes depending on the country they’re in. When they bring up India, it transforms into this weird little car and the elf inside starts talking in his most offensive Indian accent. It’s definitely not the most offensive stereotyping Disney’s done, but to see it in a 2009 movie was pretty jarring. The other funny sequence has probably aged worse though. See, one of Air Bud’s children is apparently a rapper. And he talks like a rapper. It’s bizarre. Hearing a talking puppy say “fo shizzle” in a Disney movie is, well, it’s something. And, when the little Santa Paws meets up with this puppy, they have a break dancing battle. Oh my god. This CGI is the worst. First of all, the rendering is god awful. It looks like that dancing baby gif from the early 90s. There is no way anyone would buy that those puppies were actually in that living room. Second, THEY LOOKED NOTHING LIKE THE LIVE ACTION DOGS. They’re different breeds! Like, what the hell. I wish I could find a clip, because it’s hilariously bad. One of the worst CGI moments I’ve ever seen in a movie. Other than that though, there’s nothing to write home about here.

So, yeah, that’s a big no from me for Santa Buddies. This might be one of the most painful movies I’ve ever had to watch. It was absolute torture. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemies. Especially at Christmas. There’s almost absolutely no fun to be had here. It’s just a bunch of blank stares from puppies. I’d rather gauge my own eyes out then watch the two other Santa Paws movies. Honestly though, watch me do it that next year.

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: An American Carol

Hiya friends. Seasons greetings! Welcome back to Dyl’s Movie Stuff’s Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever, where I, Dylan, am going through and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies ever made. It’s been quite the adventure, as we travel from one version of shit to the other. You never realize how many variations of crappy movies there really are until you just jump in head first. Today, we cover a new genre of crap that you don’t see much in holiday movies: the political satire. And, let’s just say this one is easily one of the worst “comedies” I’ve ever seen. Let’s get to it.

Ok, first off, An American Carol is not technically a Christmas movie. It actually takes place on the Fourth of July. But, it does adapt one of the most famous Christmas tales of all-time so I feel like it counts. And, man, if Dickens could see this he’d be rolling in his grave. This has to be one of the worst adaptations I’ve ever seen. On the most basic level, it gets the story wrong. Everyone knows that Ebenezer Scrooge was visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve: Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future (portayed as a grim reaper type). Well, An American Carol just tosses that right out the window. There are only three ghosts here. We have John F. Kennedy serving as the Jacob Marley, George Patton as the past/present/future, and, then, Trace Adkins as Death. It’s like they fell so head over heels in love with Kelsey Grammer that they forgot to cast the other part. Not to mention how much of an absolute slap to the face this is to Dicken’s intentions. The original story is actually pretty liberal when you think about it. An old man learns that money isn’t everything. Instead we should focus on love, good spirits, compassion, and charity. This version turns the moral into: war is good and we shouldn’t treat everyone the same. Which, I don’t know… is kind of the exact opposite message.

Honestly, it really, really bums me out that this was directed by David Zucker. He’s one of the absolute geniuses behind Airplane and The Naked Gun. How did he fall this far? This is the movie equivalent of watching your drunk grandfather rant about how much better this country used to be. It’s an angry, racist, homophobic, ageist, and fat shaming mess that’s done in the worst possible taste. This movie goes as far as to equate being against the War on Terror with being pro-Nazi. It’s just ridiculous. To say I disagree politically with this movie would be the understatement of the decade. It’s propaganda for the MAGA crowd before MAGA was even a thing. But, honestly, that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that this is so unfunny. I want someone to count how many times a character is hit in the head. I bet it’s over 50. Then, count how many times the butt of the joke is how fat Michael Moore is. I bet that number is almost as high. Even gags that are very similar to ones pulled off in Airplane just feel so mean spirited here. Honestly, I think I’d hate this movie just as much if Zucker and I lined up politically. It’s just not a pleasant experience.

And why’d he have to drag Leslie Nielson into this too? Isn’t it bad enough to make me dislike one person involved in those classics.

So, yeah, I freaking hated An American Carol. It’s one of the least funny, most offensive movies I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I even cracked a smile once. Plus, it made me look at the director of some of my favorite movies in a much different, darker light. This is what happens though. We grow old. We fall out of touch. And we make shit like An American Carol. Then, we die.

Merry Christmas!

Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: The Perfect Holiday

Seasons greetings, friends. Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. If this is your first post, welcome. I’m spending this Christmas season going through and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies ever made. Why? Because it’s 2020. That’s why. And I may or may not just be a sucker for self-punishment. But, let’s not waste anymore time. Let’s get to today’s movie.

I’m going to admit something. I had super low expectations for The Perfect Holiday. I mean… well, duh, right? I’m working my way through a list of the worst Christmas movies ever made and this made the cut. How could my expectations not be super low? But, as someone who’s sat through their fair share of Madea movies (the first six) and keeps up on the critical reception of most wide releases, I know that comedies for Black audiences can get pretty damn awful. I don’t know what it is. There’s just something about targeting that audience that makes the writers especially lazy. Then, the studios get to say that Black movies don’t sell. Which, they don’t because of general lack of quality. And the whole cycle repeats itself over and over and over again and… that’s not actually what I’m here to talk about. Point is, the fact that The Perfect Holiday beat A Madea Christmas to a spot on this list was not a good sign. 

But, here’s the thing. I actually kind of liked The Perfect Holiday. Maybe I’ve just seen too many bad movies lately. It’s changed my point of view. Maybe I’m just in a good mood. I don’t know. But, I thought, at its core, this movie works pretty well. Sure, there’s plenty of stuff that didn’t (we’ll get to that), but it’s nowhere near the travesty that most reviews would have you believe. First of all, Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union are a pretty perfect couple. I believed their chemistry. They’re both likeable characters, dripping with charisma and sex appeal. And, I was rooting for them to get together. I dug the Christmas link too. The fact that he’s a mall Santa who only flirted with her because her daughter wished someone would is cute and original. I’ve not seen it before at least. I also liked the wrinkle that her oldest son didn’t want them to be together, because he wanted things the old way. As the oldest of three in a split family, maybe I related to that a bit more than most would, but I think it’s pretty universal. It also led to some cute hijinks, as the kids tried to get them to break up. The only part of their relationship that I didn’t really buy was the fact that he lied to her about what type of work he did. He says he did it to protect the kid-Santa relations, but it felt like something tagged on just to make sure there was enough plot to this movie. Overall though, the dating and family angles of this movie really worked for me. It’s nothing groundbreaking. It’s pretty cliche romantic comedy fare, but it served its purpose well. 

It’s too bad they decided to devote so much screen time elsewhere then. This is where The Perfect Holiday kinda falls apart for me. See, we spend a lot of time focusing on other, less relatable, more ridiculous, and less funny characters in this movie. First of all, there’s the kids’ father and Union’s ex-husband, J-Jizzy played by Eddie Murphy’s brother, Charlie. I think whoever decided to put this character in has seen Love Actually one too many times. Because they kind of just ripped it off. Remember the storyline in Love Actually featuring Bill Nighy as that terrifically over the top rocker trying to make the year’s best Christmas song? Yeah. That’s what this plotline is too. They’ve even got the devoted manager who’s desperate for his bosses approval. The only thing The Perfect Holiday adds to the equation is children. This musician also ignores his kids. But, let’s be real for a moment. If Bill Nighy’s character had kids, he’d ignore them too. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Charlie Murphy’s performance isn’t half as engaging as Nighy’s. For one, he’s not believable as a hip hop artist. Two, he’s not very cool. Three, you don’t feel bad for him in the same way you do for the former, even though this movie really, really tried. And, finally, he’s just not as funny. This character and this subplot could’ve been cut altogether and I wouldn’t even notice. 

But, he’s not even the most unnecessary character. In fact, he’s only third on the list. Ahead of him are two cringe worthy, all time low performances by Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard. I don’t know what the writers were thinking here. It’s bad. It’s really, really bad. Latifah plays a character called Mrs. Christmas, who randomly appears throughout the movie to kind of nudge the characters in the right direction. I don’t know if she’s supposed to be some kind of fairy godmother or Mrs. Claus or an angel or what, but I was baffled every time she’d show up. Plus, she demolishes the fourth wall, constantly making eye contact with the audience while narrating what JUST happened. I don’t get it. I mean… I understand when a character like this exists in Rudolph or Elf. They’re mystical movies where magic doesn’t feel out of place. This is reality. Other than these two at least. Oh, but who is Terrence Howard playing? Uh… Uhm… According to the credits, his name is Bah Humbug and he’s… trying to make Christmas awful? Creating chaos? Trying to add comedy to this movie for no real reason? There for a paycheck? Just weird? I don’t know. He just shows up alongside her, does something stupid, makes a goofy face. And, well, that’s it. I really don’t understand. At one point, he shows up as a child with snot running down his nose screaming about how he has to “go dookie.” I wish I made that up. I had to watch it over twice to make sure what I was seeing wasn’t some kind of fever dream. I have so many questions! Who? What? When? Where? And, most definitely, why? But, I’m also afraid of what answers I might receive. 

So, overall, The Perfect Holiday is definitely a mixed bag. Overall, I didn’t hate it though. The core story and relationships actually worked quite well. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of weird in this movie. Like, really, really weird. Personally, I don’t think it took away from the experience all that much. It’s still more or less a perfectly average, mostly non-remarkable, dime a dozen, romantic comedy. Just, you know, be prepared to see a tiny Terrence Howard dressed as a little boy cowboy.