Curse of the Chupacabra

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I have A Christmas Story for you...

"I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time!"

Poetry, sheer poetry.  You know it... you know you know it!  About 98% of film fans, Christmas fans, and comedy fans will recognize this lengthy movie quote.  'A Christmas Story' is not only my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but probably in my Top 10 of favorite films of all time.  I am obsessed with this movie and TBS knows it because for years they've honored my little obsession by airing 'A Christmas Story' non-stop for 24 hours (unfortunatley, with commercials), starting on Christmas Eve (8:00pm EST) until the same time on Christmas Day.  All I have to do is turn on the TV and let it go for hours and hours, including Ralphie, Randy, Flick and Schwartz on my holiday guests; thereby, packaging up those days of hitting repeat on my DVD and hiding them in the closet for good. 

Now, I know a lot of you don't need the answer, because you feel the same as I about 'A Christmas Story', but for those who must know why I am obsessed with this movie, you obviously need an explanation because you have not watched it yet.  What are you waiting for? Christmas!?!  Hmmm... come to think of it, might be a good idea.  But it is Christmas now and there's no time like the present (present... get it?), and 'A Christmast Story' is the gift that keeps on giving.

'A Christmas Story' has become a timeless classic with a perfect cast.  Yes, it was directed by Bob Clark who brought you the first two Porky's movies and the original holiday cult classic, Black Christmas... but don't hold that against him.  Bob only proves that talent can't be locked into one genre.  This film is based on a book by Jean Shephard, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" who also adapted his own book into the screenplay and additionally, offers his voice talents by narrating as the adult Ralphie, the younger version played to perfection by Peter Billingsley.  Essentially, 'A Christmas Story' is about Ralphie trying to convince the adults in his life into getting him the perfect gift for Christmas, a Red Ryder BB gun.  But this story is so much more than that, filled with unforgettable supporting characters including Darren McGavin as Ralphie's Father (The Old Man) and his cleaned-up foul mouth, Ian Petrella as Ralphie's younger, whinier, piggier brother Randy, Ralphie's two best friends Flick (Scott Schwartz) and Schwartz (R.D. Robb) [always thought it was funny Schwartz was not played by Schwartz], Tedde Moore as the uptight teacher, Miss Shields, and my favorite of the cast, Melinda Dillion as Ralphie's mother (Mother), who also starred in another favorite film, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'.

'A Christmas Story' is filled with quotable quotes including, "Mommy's little piggy", "Randy lay there like a slug, it was his only defense", "You'll shoot your eye out!", "I TRIPLE dog dare you!", "fra-gee-lay" and the every popular, "Oh, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudge." to just name a few.  And then there are the many, many memorable scenes, of which I would like to share just three:

Now, here's a very interesting fact - former child actor, Ian Petrella, Ralphie's younger brother Randy, now LIVES in the home where they shot this film in Cleveland, Ohio and gives 'A Christmas Story' tours year round.  You can check out the fascinating website with fun facts and video at A Christmas Story House and Museum.  (Yes, it has its own museum, that's how awesome this film is.)

So, hoping to have done justice to 'A Christmas Story' within the walls of this confined post, I bid adieu (probably until 2012), so Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!!!  And if you haven't seen 'A Christmas Story' yet, please do.  The film really is simplisticly brilliant with subtle humor and filled with holiday tradition.  You may need to watch it more than once to get the full effect.  Thank you again, TBS.

This reviewer gives 'A Christmas Story' an A+++++++++++++++++++++



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Vlad Dracul, known later in life as Vlad the Impaler, suffered more than any should at the hands of Mehmed, son of Sultan Murad. Of all the pain and indignities brought upon him at the behest of the future ruler of the Ottoman Empire, the curse was the worst. All the young Vlad can do is try to survive and plot his vengeance.