Friday, December 23, 2016

30 Days of Horrible Christmas Movies... Day Twenty-Six

The Night They Saved Christmas (1984) - ABC

Let's travel back to a simpler time before Hallmark hijacked the TV Christmas movie, where oil companies were the devil and a woman's long flowing locks never moved out of place, no matter hard the wind was blowing.

Michael (Paul Le Mat) is a hard working geologist detonating dynamite in the arctic looking for oil for his dickish boss Mr. Murdock (Mason Adams).  Unfortunately there's no oil to be found, Michael is sad and Murdock is super angry.  Worst still, Michael is odds with super beautiful wife Claudia (Jaclyn Smith) who has grown weary of dragging their three kids around the globe in the search of the black gold, and the youngest one, C.B., is seriously unstable.  I mean this kid punched another kid for saying there's no Santa Claus.  Who does that?  Later in the evening C.B. will stomp out the the room and wish his mother dead for even hinting that Santa might not be a real person.  C.B. is the worst.

Eventually the family gets a visit from the elf Ed (Paul Williams) who warns that all that dynamite is about to destroy North Pole City and Santa Claus, and he even takes Claudia and the three kids on a trip to the city, which Claudia agrees to, which kind of makes her the worst mom ever.

Eventually Claudia believes in Santa (Art Carney) and the looming danger, but now she has to convince her husband and his boss.  They don't believe her.  In fact they choose to believe the story that an oil competitor kidnapped the family, drugged them and implanted those Santa memories in their brains  This might be a wackier story than there's a Santa Claus.

Santa has to be warned that explosions will continue, two of the kids get lost in the snow, Claudia has to find them, chances are they are all going to die of hypothermia, North Pole City and Christmas are doomed and to be quite honest, nobody except the terrible C.B. really cares because oil is super important.  And C.B. wished his mom dead earlier so we don't really believe him either.

Obviously this is more of a traditional tale since nobody was trying to get a man, find a man or didn't know they needed a man... at Christmas.  Nope, this was simply about trying to save Christmas by believing in the magic of Santa and avoid Evil Oil.  And I had no idea how mad evil oil executives were before watching this movie.  Okay, not totally true... Exxon... B.P.. but still.  So Michael's wife and kids are lost in the arctic, chances are they are going to die and Murdock has given Mike until the end of the day to find them... then back to work!   And Mike seems okay with those terms.  And kidnapping families and implanting false memories must be common practice in the oil industry because they all seemed cool with that too.

The filmmakers even created a whole batch of new Santa Tech to explain how he does what he does, that we are not going to get into, but it was kind of interesting.  I also learned that of all the toys Santa has given kids through the centuries, he's never given one a toy gun.  In today's America, this Santa would be labeled a lib-tard.

As you can see this particular TV Christmas movie was not very vomit worthy, despite the presence of a couple of wise old people and some cute kids, and it's kind of watchable, especially if you have a bunch kids hanging around.


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