It’s that time of year. It seems like a month since ABC ran A Charlie Brown Christmas and tonight we’ll be around the Tabloid Baby flatscreen watching Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, but not everything can be as timeless and high quality as those two, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Very Brady Christmas
While many of our TV columnist buddies are already gearing up their 10 Best and 10 Worst of 2006 lists, our good pal Dave Larsen at the Dayton Daily News in Ohio has stepped forward with his list of The worst Christmas specials and TV movies ever. Ever!
Here’s the list. See if you agree with our man in Middle America. Or if you have anything to add– more of the worst– or the best:Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: “The Citizen Kane of bad Christmas films, this bizarre 1964 sci-fi fantasy finds Santa Claus being kidnapped by Martians to bring cheer to the children of Mars. One of the Martian kids was portrayed by a 10-year-old Pia Zadora…”
The Star Wars Holiday Special: “This 1978 CBS holiday special spinoff of the original Star Wars… ‘is some of the most painful television ever created, said a review on the website, Oh, the Humanity!… featured the film’s cast, plus such guest stars as Harvey Korman and Bea Arthur…”
Babes in Toyland: “The oft-filmed Victor Herbert operetta was translated to Cincinnati in this 1986 TV movie musical that starred Drew Barrymore, Keanu Reeves and Pat Morita…”
Christmas Comes to Pac-Land: “This 1982 cartoon special starring Pac-Man and his family was a crass attempt to cash in on the video-game craze…”
Jack Frost: “Michael Keaton, as a mediocre blues singer who neglects his son, is killed in a car crash on Christmas Eve. How’s that for a cheery premise? But wait, it gets better. Keaton’s character, named Jack Frost, is reincarnated a year later as his son Charlie’s snowman…”
Silent Night, Deadly Night: “Naughty people get punished by an ax-wielding psycho wearing a Santa suit in this controversial 1984 slasher film… Heavy on bloodshed and gratuitous nudity, it was a box-office success and spawned four sequels…”
Surviving Christmas: “This 2004 comedy starred Ben Affleck as a spoiled millionaire who hires a suburban Chicago clan to be his family at Christmas time. Ben forces the likes of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) to wear a Santa hat — but sadly, he doesn’t get whacked…”
Eight Crazy Nights: “Adam Sandler’s 2002 animated gross-out musical-comedy celebrates the Festival of Lights, whose candles should have been used to torch the master print…’A holiday film for the whole family,’ wrote the Chicago Reader’s J.R. Jones, provided the whole family is obsessed with human waste’…”
Jingle All the Way: Arnold Schwarzenegger… has yet to live down the holiday turkey…”
Kathie Lee Gifford’s Christmas specials: “Washington Post television critic Tom Shales called 1995′s Kathie Lee: Home for Christmas, ‘a sickeningly saccharine vanity production that should really have been titled O Come, Let Us Adore Me‘…”
Well, we don’t know about the Kathie Lee specials. We could watch them on a loop all summer. You?