Tuesday, October 11, 2016

HOLIDAYS (2016) [Joe's Review]

Holidays is a holiday-themed horror compilation that’s a lot like Thanksgiving dinner with your family – by turns amusing, embarrassing, and horrifying. You’ll be glad when it’s over, but you may miss it a little when it’s gone.

The general theme of Holidays is ‘The girl is crazy!’ Which is also the theme of the actual holidays, but I digress. Nearly half of the shorts in this compilation lead up to a plot twist where the female lead is a. crazy and b. kills someone.

This creates a Russian doll situation where the impact of each subsequent crazy girl is shrunk by the previous crazy girl. By the end, the idea that the girl is crazy will just be a matter of fact. When she finally flips out and attacks with an axe, you won’t blink.

You will blink, though, at the child molestation in the Easter sketch. My associate, Paul, is more interested in examining that bit for the way it cleverly repackages Christian iconography into something monstrous. But I have trouble seeing past the “Easter Bunny is a child molester” and “Here he is molesting a child” parts. It’s not explicit, of course. It’s symbolic. But in that regard it goes beyond horror and into tragedy. It might be art. It’s definitely awful.

Anyway, there are a lot of vignettes, so I’m going to write quick blurbs about each of them, along with thematically appropriate ratings.

Valentine’s Day

Like the Tin Man, a weird girl’s favorite PE teacher needs a heart. So she gets him one. Because the girl is crazy DUH DUH DUHHHHH! I give it two out of four valves for trying to convince me that a girl could excise a heart with a box cutter.

St. Patrick’s Day

A teacher is nice to a weird girl, but watch out, the little girl is crazy! Starts creepy, then gets absurd, then gets kind of racist and political. Zero clover leaves out of four.


Easter Bunny traps child, makes her touch him, and turns her into a monster. Gross. But, still better than Peeps.

Mother’s Day

A woman who gets pregnant every time she has sex has had like 50 abortions. So the doctor sends her to a wacky new-age fertility lodge (Watch out, all the women are crazy!) where they tell her “Every time you end one it grows back stronger.” So it’s like shaving a hair, but a baby. In the end, she literally gives birth to a full grown man. 

Father’s Day

The most atmospheric and inventive of the bunch, Father's Day involves a woman listening to a tape her father made for her when she was a girl, and retracing the steps through a wasteland that she once walked with him. 9 out of the first 9 minutes are good. Unfortunately, it’s 10 minutes long.


A jerk pisses off his webcam girls, who superglue an electrified dildo into his butt and make him cut off his own penis. The best parts are the thoughts you’ll have about how you’d escape an electric dildo super-glued in your ass. The worst/lamest parts are what actually happen. I give it one fake orgasm.


A man commits a crime in order to get a coveted VR device for his child for Christmas, but the VR device enables people to see each other’s sins! Watch out, his wife is crazy! 

New Year's

Crazy guy goes on a date. Watch out, the girl is crazy.

Questions for Paul

1. Which is your favorite holiday sketch and why?

PH:  Easter, paws down.  It's compact and controlled and scary without actually screaming at you.  Hellraiser meets Goodnight, Moon with a dash of the Children's Illustrated Bible.
2. Did the guy’s shirt in the Halloween sketch read “Haver of pussy?” What is a “Haver”?

PH:  According to the OED, a "haver" is someone who has something.  So the guy's shirt testifies to the fact that he has pussy.  I suppose this is ironic given the fact that he will be later instructed by emoticon to show us his pussy, which he protests he doesn't have.  But your shirt says different, haver.

3. How would you have gotten out of that situation?

PH:  The door.  Honestly, there doesn't seem to be any reason that the torture victim can't simply walk out after unplugging the cord that is electrocuting him.  But can I just take a moment to point out some things about his house rules?

(a)  I'm impressed with the dedication to grammar and spelling in his hastily scribbled wall notes.  He apparently was worried about the spelling of "camming" and later corrected his mistake!  This wall of rules has been through two drafts!  And "you're" used correctly?  A single tear may have slipped down my cheek.

(b)  But the real issue is here in rule #5, which states that if you break any rules, you're gone.  But what if #5 was the one rule you did break?  If you're not gone, then you're gone! Maybe that was why he didn't just walk out the door at the end, he was stuck in an infinite set paradox!

4. How did Jesus become the Easter Bunny? Did he become the Easter Bunny before he was crucified?

PH:   Interesting question!  According to the logic of that short, Jesus must have seen the Easter Bunny on Easter, since the only way to become the Easter Bunny is to see the Easter Bunny.  But Easter commemorates Jesus's resurrection, so it must have been the very day that Jesus came back to life.  That means that the Easter Bunny was in the tomb with him when he did his thing.

But now comes the even more complicated question.  If Jesus saw the Easter Bunny on the very first Easter, then what was the bunny before?  Was it just a magical bunny that came around every year?  Did the bunny itself resurrect Jesus using its magical powers?  It's like the passion story of the Bible is really a comic-book superhero crossover issue:  "Special Origins Issue!  The Magical Chocolate-Excreting Bunny and The Messiah, Trapped in a Tomb!  Can they join forces to unite Chocolate and Everlasting Life forever?"

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