Sunday, December 22, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Who Needs Christ in Christmas?







I don't know anything about these guys or what this is all about, other than what you see before you in this video. Just some guy on the street asking people about a billboard in Times Square which asks (during the holiday season) "Who needs Christ in Christmas? Nobody." I think this video is well-done from a technical perspective.

It's an intriguing premise. Stirring the pot amongst jaded New Yorkers, who are probably the most difficult people on earth to stir any pots with, is not easy. I wouldn't put it past whoever the people who made this video to have put the advertisement up themselves for who knows what purpose, giving them the chance to create this video and who knows what other projects they have in mind. That ad in Times Square didn't come cheap, that's for sure. I agree with the guy who says, "Don't waste your money."

You know the old game: if you artificially go to some extreme that obviously is way over the top, you naturally will get a counter-reaction that may confirm what you really want confirmed, i.e., perhaps whoever put up the billboard really wanted to draw a pro-Christian reaction by putting up something that is clearly obnoxious to anyone who has any feeling about Christmas beyond money and Santa. Sort of a bank shot.

In New York City, though, it's an interesting question how many such people there are, who actually give a hoot about Christianity in the first place. To be sure, there are an awful lot who don't, and I knew quite a few of them. Beyond that, getting anyone to respond to you who is randomly walking by is not easy in the Big Apple, especially in the cold and damp, when every day you have to walk past panhandlers and guys lying comatose on the sidewalk and people pushing for donations for this and that and drug dealers trying to sell you "sensimilla" and crazy cults trying to convince you that their way is the only way and barkers trying to draw you into their stores and streetwalkers and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

It's also "not cool" for christians in New York City to be defensive about their faith. Instead, it is the fashion to find fault with whatever faults there may be with the church and its practices and so on and so forth. So, if you are looking for some kind of defensiveness about it, you really have to provoke folks in the other direction.

But all that is kind of besides the point. This is just a fun series of random street encounters that ring very true to life for New Yorkers, so perhaps you will find it fun.





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas at Ground Zero

Weird Al Lets Loose with a Holiday... Classic?



"Weird Al" Yankovic put out this video deep into the Ronald Reagan Presidency (1986, a year of actual nuclear disasters), so naturally the Gipper makes a genial cameo appearance. That now seems like a lost, wonderful time, which no doubt was not the impression Yankovic was striving for at the time. But the video is fun as a look at a bygone era and its peculiar preoccupations.

President Reagan gets the very rare honor of spoken dialog in an Al Yankovic video. Don't think he didn't appreciate it!

There are quick scenes from some long-forgotten classics. Did you notice the quick look at "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"? Whoever strung these clips together was an expert on cult films of the 1950s and 1960s.

My local college radio station has this on heavy rotation during the run-up to Christmas. Cynical? Nah, just a little Christmas cheer.

Ronald Reagan President holiday.filminspector.com

As a special bonus, here is "Weird Al" with "The Night Santa Went Crazy," complete with special guest appearances by Sculley and Mulder.


Now, you're ready for Christmas!






Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"Monster Mash" By Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Come See the Monster Mash!

monster mash holiday.filminspector.com




"Monster Mash" is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby "Boris" Pickett. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton's Garpax Records label in August 1962. Also released was a full-length LP called "The Original Monster Mash," which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The "Monster Mash" single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20 of that year, just in time for Halloween. It was a fabulous kick-off for the 1962 holiday season, back in the days before all the animated holiday specials were around and this song was a rare seasonal treat.

The video above was done much later, and includes corny scenes from a score of old "B" monster movies, such as Vincent Price (Pickett does a pretty good imitation of him in the song), "Creature From the Black Lagoon," and the original "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman." A great video to watch around Halloween! A timeless Halloween classic, perhaps the greatest of them all.

Vincent Price, who as mentioned actually appears in the above video in a younger man's clothes, did his own version of "Monster Mash" some years later in 1977, six years before the time of his classic vocal in Michael Jackson's "Thriller." This is truly a classic performance, not to be missed, perhaps better than the original even though Mr. Price was not even a singer. The introduction, which would have been tedious from anybody else on the planet, is a tour de force for Mr. Price. Vincent Price during the disco era! Perfect creepy diction, Boris Pickett must have been so proud! Not to be missed!




Below is another version which features a sort of performance of the tune, if you can call it that. Sort of a trip back into the dawn of the age of music videos, which is interesting in its own right.




In 1965, Boris Karloff was enjoying something of a career Renaissance. In addition, one of the popular shows on television was sort of Halloweeny "The Addams Family." The music show "Shindig" decided to capitalize on these facts and put together a version of "Monsters Mash" narrated by Mr. Karloff, with Lurch doing a little dance. Come on, Lurch is dancing, this is classic stuff! The original clip is missing, but it probably will turn up eventually. Below is a recreation of this truly classic version of "Monster Mash," a sort of rock and roll version that wanders all over the yard.




Finally, a metal remake came along to spice up the song. Horror punk band (never knew that category existed) the Misfits recorded a cover version of "Monster Mash" in 1997 as part of a promotion surrounding a DVD release of the 1967 stop motion film "Mad Monster Party." The Misfits' version was released as a single in 1999, and a new version was recorded for their 2003 album Project 1950. The Misfits recorded their version of "Monster Mash" in 1997 in a recording studio in Newark, New Jersey and apparently greatly enjoyed the experience, as for a horror punk band this song must be like "The Odyssey" or something in terms of its cultural significance.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Christmas at War

Sometimes, Even Wars Stop for Christmas

War is Hell, as General Sherman famously put it. Even in Hell, then, there are moments to celebrate Christmas. There's something important about it. So here, we show how ordinary soldiers at the front celebrate Christmas during Wartime.

Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas in the Battle of the Bulge, 1944

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Praying at a roadside shrine, France, Christmas 1944


Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas in Italy, 1944

Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas in the Barracks, World War II

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Christmas in the medical ward, University of Pennsylvania, World War II

Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas in a civilian garden bunker, England, World War II

Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas service for bomber crews in England, 1944

Christmas war theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Christmas at the front, North Africa, 1942

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The Christmas truce, December 1914. The fellows in the middle are wearing German helmets, the rest are English

The Generals on both sides didn't like the Christmas truce of 1914. They knew it undermined the willingness of the men to be treated as mere pawns in the great European war.

Italy World War II theholidaysite.blogspot.com
American GI sharing his Christmas package goodies with Italian children

Christmas on Guadalcanal

This is a series of pictures of Christmas on Guadalcanal, 1942. The Japanese were still on the island and far from defeated. However, the men found a way to celebrate anyway because, well, it was Christmas.

Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com

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Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com

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Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Christmas Guadalcanal worldwartwo.filminspector.com



2015


Monday, July 22, 2013

Katy Perry Celebrates July 4th

The Right Way to Celebrate July 4th, with Katy Perry

Celebrate July 4th with Katy Perry!


Katy Perry July 4 theholidaysite.blogspot.com

Katy Perry July 4 Katy Perry July 4 theholidaysite.blogspot.com


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Katy in NYC

Katy Perry July 4 theholidaysite.blogspot.com
Katy Perry celebrating with John Mayer

Katy Perry Celebrates Christmas

Katy Perry Celebrates Christmas with Style

Katy Perry Christmas holiday.filminspector.com


It wouldn't be Christmas without beautiful singer Katy Perry celebrating it in style! Katy always finds a way to celebrate the big day in style, so here are a few glimpses at what Katy Perry does to mark the biggest day of the year.

Katy Perry Christmas holiday.filminspector.com

Katy Perry Christmas holiday.filminspector.com


Katy Perry Christmas theholidaysite.blogspot.com

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Katy Perry Christmas theholidaysite.blogspot.com

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Katy with the jolly old fellow himself

2014

Sunday, July 21, 2013

William Conrad Does "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

This is for Adults Only

William Conrad holiday.filminspector.com
William Conrad



You may not know who William Conrad is, but he was a big radio and television star. In 1974, when this was recorded, William Conrad was enjoying huge fame as the title character of the private investigator show "Cannon." He later starred in "Jake and the Fat Man" (Conrad was the latter), which was an even bigger hit. Not bad for an old-time radio guy.

William Conrad himself originally rose to fame in radio due to his truly impressive voice, which he uses to great advantage in this parody version of "Twelve Days of Christmas."

If you are in the proper anti-Holiday mood, this is a riot, especially if you are only familiar with Conrad from his G-rated television shows. It's just so unexpected to hear Conrad let loose with some choice words.

There is some raw language involved, so adults only, please!





Wings Wonderful Christmas Time

Wings Gets You in the Holiday Spirit

Wings Christmas paulmccartneyvideos.blogspot.com
"Having a wonderful Christmastime."

Yes, it's a Wings Christmas-time! Paul McCartney and Wings are in fine form. This is from 1979, the last incarnation of Wings. It is around the time of "Wonderful Christmastime," which isn't really a Wings song, though they did the video for it. Just a corny old picture that will bring back memories, perhaps.

Lind McCartney paulmccartneyvideos.blogspot.com
Linda McCartney hard at work

Here is the video, which is quite good, especially for pre-MTV:




Is "Wonderful Christmastime" a "Wings" song? Only sort of. Paul wrote it and performed it alone while doing the same with "McCartney II." He just used the other Wings members for this video, almost like a hired crew of extras. They filmed it at an inn somewhere in West Sussex, England.


Keeping the rights completely to himself was a shrewd business move, as "Wonderful Christmastime" became a seasonal that still gets airplay to this day during the holiday season. It has earned him a ton of money. It did not appear on any Wings albums until the 1993 reissue of "Back to the Egg." That is a weird choice, since by rights it should go on "McCartney II." However, because of the Wings band members in the video and the fact that this was released well before "McCartney II," people naturally associate "Wonderful Christmastime" with Wings material. In that sense, it is in the same boat as early hits like "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey," which had absolutely nothing to do with Wings, but which many people always consider a Wings tune.

Paul Linda McCartney paulmccartney.filminspector.com


Either you enjoy "Wonderful Christmastime" or you don't. Many prominent artists have covered it, including Amy Grant, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Chicago, so it can't be that bad. It is just a fun song, nothing profound. The general public enjoys it, so it continues to be played every year, starting at Thanksgiving and ending on Christmas.

2014

Welcome!


Welcome to the holiday site! We're going to post reviews of your favorite holiday films and all sorts of other stuff related to the holidays, so stay tuned!