Remember when “Santa” and his reindeer “Tom, Dick, and Harry” paid a visit to 001 Cemetary Lane? Well in season 2, episode 15 of the beloved series, The Addams’ showed America that their Christmas spirit was just as strong as their Halloween vibing.
As a matter of fact, The Addams Family cartoon strip before the 60’s series, which appeared in The New Yorker by Charles Addams, most popular cartoon drawing was that of Christmas Carolers bringing tidings to the fam while they stood on the roof of their mansion on standby with a hot cauldron ready to dump on these poor kids’ heads. Charles Addams himself called this, “probably the most famous and delightfully shocking” of all his cartoons. Which was then later depicted in the 1991 film.
However, the series episode which aired on Christmas Eve of 1965, was a lot lighter than that of a bunch of kids’ scalding domes; giving us a tried a true lighthearted Christmas special with the Addams touch. A jerkoff neighbor, who had previously told the Addams children their Halloween beliefs were nonsense has now gone and done it; by sparking the notion to Pugsley and Wednesday that there is no Santa Claus. WHAT A DICK MOVE for any adult to do that to any children, especially ones that aren’t theirs’.
Anyways, Morticia and Gomez handle it with graceful class and arrange for Uncle Fester to drop through the chimney but gets stuck, leading to each member of the Addams’ residence to take on the Santa role with one hilarious fail after another. Of course, Wednesday and Pugsley aren’t the average-naive children and they aren’t fooled a bit by any of this. Uncle Fester finally falls through the chimney, the kids are grateful but wish the real Santa could have come. To their shock, a very traditional (non-Addams) tree and gifts suddenly appear, replacing their idea of decorations, with the real Santa having snuck in while their backs were turned. And what better way to sound off a very special Christmas episode with the ghoulish gang singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” as the episode ends.
You can watch the entire series here at Amazon, which I will always recommend because bingingThe Addams is a favorite past-time. However, if you feel like being nostalgic right here and now, here’s a full free upload of said “Addams Christmas Special”!
Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since the first real, and fuckin’ awesome, Addams Family flick. As surreal as that all seems, the first time I saw the perfectly cast Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams was not in the film itself, but rather the 1991 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade along with Pugsly (Jimmy Workman), Grandmama (Judith Malina), Lurch (Carel Struycken), and of course Cousin It riding a float mocking their 001 Cemetery Lane home.
The Addams Family film was a huge affair (I mean, it was for me anyway) during the 1991 holiday season and opened up officially in theaters just days before Thanksgiving that year. So naturally, banking on the tremendous advertising campaign the Macy’s parade brings as millions watch from home with the smell of turkey basting in the oven, Paramount used the traditional event to promote the movie- and man was it ever long overdue as the original cast of the 60s’ series never got the Macy’s treatment like their parallel monster family, The Munsters and it was a damn travesty- at least until 1991. Still, it would have been sweet as hell to see John Astin and Carolyn Jones in a Thanksgiving Parade during their heyday.
Anyways, beyond the fact The Addams’ infiltrated the sacred Tom Turkey-led march of helium madness, it was a VERY special year for the annual event as it was celebrating its 65th anniversary! Hosted by Willard Scott and Katie Couric, the lineup was every bit as entertaining with Ninja Turtles in cars, a stiff as hell Captain Planet, and a drunk Kermit the Frog balloon!
Ok, not drunk but winds provided some challenges that day and poor Kermit’s head got popped during the walk down Broadway.
Besides getting to see The Addams crash the parade, one of my favorite things about this particular year was the Ninja Turtles. In their second year appearance after the explosively cool 1990 film, the foursome donning Santa hats cruised down the parade in a couple of 1961 Cadillac convertibles like the true gangsters they are. Now that’s really all there is to it, but it was pretty awesome nonetheless.
The final highlight for me was the Captain Planet float. Again, nothing crazy spectacular going on here performance-wise but rather a stiff-looking Captain Planet on a very pretty Earth-themed float decorated with flowers and just aesthetically pleasing to my senses. Although it was years before Jingle All The Way, Captain’s stance is giving me serious Turbo Man vibes.
*Sorry for the ultra pixelated snapshots here guys.
The full parade can, of course, be found on YouTube- uploaded into two parts by user Major League Pong Gods. Time Stamps for the above highlights are all located in Part 2, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll just watch the whole damn thing in all its cheesy glory.
It’s been 40 years since studios practically begged Carpenter for a sequel to his monumentally successful Halloween movie; and an unforgettable one at that. I realize this might be a hot take dubbing Dick Warlock King Myers over his amazing predecessor Nick Castle- but I’ll die on this hill. Warlock scared the ever-loving shit out of me as a kid in this simply fantastic sequel more so than the original.
John Carpenter’s Halloween was everything a perfectly effective horror slasher should look like without the heavy gore effects. The film used tension-building sequences paired with genius camera work and of course, the infamous score by Carpenter himself that practically made the movie what it is today. When Halloween II came around three years later, the film allowed Myers to continue his killing quest but in a much more sinister tone; if that were even possible but hey- here we are. The sequel was Halloween on steroids (by 1981 standards anyway), with both an angrier Myers and soundtrack to accompany him during his “walk”, and it made The Shape that much scarier.
Here me out but first, enjoy the greatest pumpkin intro of the franchisethat breaks apart into a grim, grinning skull foreshadowing that is a lot more evil and death was built into this installment so hold onto your kitchen knives ladies- especially YOU Mrs. Elrod!
Now, after Loomis unloads all his bullets into Michael and he simply just walks away from the scene, he slinks into a neighboring home occupied by the Elrods who are winding down from the night with a couple of ham sandwiches and a viewing of Romero’s Night of the Living Dead; or at least they think they are. Michael, in a very ballsey fashion, opens up the back patio door to the kitchen where Mrs. Elrod is preparing her sleepy husband some food, and had her back not been turned, she would have been extra meat for those sandwiches for sure. Myers just grabs the knife sitting on the cutting board and walks out, and Mrs. Elrod lets out a blood-curdling scream that would wake the dead once she sees the missing knife and drips of blood all over the counter. This then grabs the attention of her own neighbor, Alice Martin, who unfortunately doesn’t get away so lucky; and that’s when we see that Myers really isn’t fucking around in the sequel. In the first film, Myers while it was at random, set his sights on a specific group and stayed the course. Even people getting in his way, by just basically being in his path, didn’t get the slash treatment. Marion Chambers, while he scared her goddamn good, he didn’t kill her. He just needed the car and he very well could have. Same for little Lonnie- Myers seemed to get off just as well in putting a good fright into his victims while maintaining his kill course targets. BUT, Alice performing her civic duty upon hearing her elderly neighbors’ screams, got her brutally murdered in a most vicious way and we get our first real jump scare in the sequel. Why? My best-educated horror guess is because she WAS simply in his path and now we know that absolutely NO ONE is safe this time around.
It did its job too. Scared the piss out of me when I first saw it.
Moving on to a now hysterical Loomis who in the first film kept his composure throughout quite well, damn near shoots a kid because he is wearing a similar mask to Michael’s. May as well have anyway since we all know how that scene worked out. The good doctor throughout the franchise sinks deeper into madness in his fight to stop Michael and in doing so, endangers those around him. Just look what happened to poor Ben Tramer and then the deputy at the end of the film. The guy was just doing his job- he certainly didn’t ask for this shit.
That’s just terrifying.
Even more horrifying is the scene with the razor blade in the apple. Good LAWD seeing that as a child was traumatizing almost even more so than Myers on a rampage itself. The lore and urban legends swirling around Halloween night of bastards putting arsenic and razor blades in candy for kids put the fear of GOD into a lot of parents and even some anxious kids as well. Well, in Halloween II they made it real and it was real disgusting at that. Fairly brilliant writing to add that little extra tidbit in there. Also full disclosure, for years as a kid I thought this was an ice cube in the kid’s mouth until my father corrected me; and that totally blew my mind and horrified me. I’m all about transparency here.
Now, aside from a crazy Loomis, laced candy, and an angrier score by John Carpenter and Alan Howarth, we have to discuss the biggest sell here as to why Halloween II is much scarier than its predesessor- and that everyone is DICK WARLOCK.
Nick Castle did an absolute bang-up job as The Shape in the original, but it was Warlock’s menacing force of nature that gave Myers a more evil presence. Kind of like what Kane Hodder did for Jason Voorhes, Dick did for Michael and he nailed it as what I think, is the perfect personification of Michael Myers. Many see his moves as robotic in nature, but I think that is precisely what makes The Shape slightly scarier. As stated earlier, Myers is more focused and determined to get the job done this time around sort of like a Terminator. And honestly, would there be anything more terrifying than Michael Myers as a goddamn Terminator?! I think not… The guy walked through a glass door without hesitation without any problem to get to Laurie for fucks’ sake. Just straight through the thing! Or the fact he’s walking down a steep set of stairs without looking at his feet or holding onto anything in that mask that you and I both know is obstructive somewhat in the very least.
That’s just gangster.
Stabbing down at empty pillows, getting his hand almost caught in an elevator door, and his quick- jolt-like movements without using all of his body parts are just nothing short of brilliance on Warlock’s end. Without ever saying a word, a grunt, or even having that heavy breathing as pronounced as it was in the first movie, Warlock managed to give us a more pissed-off Myers and execute it perfectly. I just wish we would have seen more of him in subsequent sequels. But hey, we’ll always have his robotic, malevolent force in Halloween II and Season of the Witch.
Happy 40th anniversary to the scariest installment of the Halloween franchise. If you haven’t already pick up this masterpiece from Amazon. I always prefer the 30th-anniversary edition Blu-Ray from Shout Factory as it contains the bonus feature of Terror In The Aisles! Can’t really beat it for $10!