Friday, December 24, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 1 Day ...

  
     Good morning! Our journey together is almost done – after a month and a half of Christmas Craziness, I have one more gift for you to open.
     What is one of the most engaging traditions this time of year? Here in America you would probably answer, “the tree, the presents, the carols, etc.” But there’s an even earlier tradition – I’ll give you a hint: it’s mentioned in the holiday song ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’- no? OK, remember this part of the song? “There'll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.”
     Ah, NOW we’re on the same page. Have you ever wondered what that meant? I did and started doing some research on it. Turns out there are a number of theories about it – the most likely being that Victorian people, not having access to all the distractions we have today, would entertain each other before the fire with different tales … such as a spooky ghost story, one that gives you a pleasant frisson of fear while at the same time reassuring you that ‘it’s only a story’.
     The most famous example of the Christmas ghost story is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There were a number of other British authors of the period who were publishing collections of short stories for just this purpose, as well. It has become such a long-standing tradition in the UK that it still goes on today, and has spread to other media, such as radio and television.

     Which brings us to today’s final offering. One of the BEST ghost story adaptations I have EVER seen is this 1968 BBC version of M.R. James’ “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come To You, My Lad”. Unlike modern tales, this one takes its time to creep up your spine … it gets more and more unsettling as the story progresses until the climax. This is not a ‘BOO!’ story – one that goes for the cheap scare, the jump-cut, throw-something-into-the-frame scare, this story is the type that will work its way into your brain and stay with you LONG after you see it.
     Michael Hordern stars as a professor on holiday who picks up a flute in a graveyard while hiking, translates the titular Latin engraving … and invites in terror. So turn off your lights, gather the family round and enjoy!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYjtxHHjZ00

 
     And with that, our Tinsel Tour is once more at an end. My thanks to you all for joining me for the last 37 days – it was fun and we’ll do it again next year! My New Year's Resolution is to get back to a more regular blogging schedule as I continue looking back at our original Conjure Cinema films. With that in mind, I’ll be back in a few days, picking up where we left off with my review of one of the strangest of the early 3-D efforts, THE MASK (aka THE EYES OF HELL)!
     May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – thanks for reading and for sending me your submissions to share – BYE!
 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 2 Days ...

























     For those of you who may not have seen this, Wendee posted an interesting 'update' of Linus' speech from A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS - nice find, Wendee! Thanks!


     Today we wrap up our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition with  1963's 'A Visit To Santa' ... I don't know where to begin here, there's just SO much wrong! Is it Santa's naugahyde chair and shag rug at the North Pole (?) or his disturbing 'elves' or his thinly-disguised department store 'Toyland'? Maybe it's the 'Santa Rocket' or the toys he shows Dick and Ann, especially the girls' toy section, where Santa espouses this gem, "she'll cook and scrub the whole day long, then serve a TV dinner ". Wow. There's more, MUCH more, so if you've managed to see the other twelve shorts we've put up here, I think you're ready for this ... ready? Deep breath ... go to the good place and ... hit play!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_kiaBlBZSI

     Tomorrow: we say goodbye with one final entry ... and we've saved the best (and spookiest) for last! Be there as we wrap up the K.A.C. for 2010! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 3 Days ...

     For our next-to-last entry in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition, I refer you to the photo on the left - what is it, you ask? An alien in a helmet approaching for a landing? Fallout from an atomic blast? Noooo ... would you believe the story of the Nativity ... told by PUPPETS? Prepare yourself for THE FIRST CHRISTMAS! 

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA2VgXJfuME&playnext=1&list=PL17AFDC0CA8B0399C&index=5


    
    Coming in too late to join our Musical Mistletoes, here is the UK viral video singing sensations, the Carol-Singing Goats! :)


http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/Carol-singing-goats-kidding/story-11966817-detail/story.html

     We'll wind up today by staying in the UK and this article from the Sun about this years' favorite Christmas Pantos (as in Pantomimes, for our American readers) --- this is mainly for the TORCHWOOD fans in the audience ... scroll down to see 'Captain Jack' (John Barrowman) in ALADDIN! It's worth it just for the picture! 

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3311122/Panto-king-Christopher-Biggins-on-best-festive-shows.html

     Tomorrow: our final entry in the '13 Strangest Shorts' and other surprises ... all leading up to our eye-popping finale!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 4 Days ...

     Welcome to our Final Four ... and a Merry Winter Solstice to you all! Did you get up in the wee hours to see the eclipse? We decided to have a snowstorm, so that scotched those plans!

     Isn't this a nice illustration for the day? Makes a lovely wallpaper for your computer (hint, hint)! It's from the Winter, 1931 issue of the Women's Home Companion magazine ... sweet! Click on the illustration for a nice BIG copy!

     With only a few days left, I did promise we'd get back to our old buddy Krampus, so today is his day to shine. First, some cool footage from a Krampus Parade over in Europe: 
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSFAUyZVfdQ&feature=player_embedded

     Next, a neat Krampus story called 'The Long Yuletide War' - just the thing for a bedtime story on these long winter nights!
spiritualmonkey.livejournal.com/478311.html

     Finally, STOP whatever you're doing and go click on this NOW! It's 'Werner Herzog's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" ... a Tale of Existential Terror!" Yes, our boy Krampus is in there, too! :)


io9.com/5715198/werner-herzog-turns-twas-the-night-before-christmas-into-a-tale-of-existential-terror

      Tomorrow: our next-to-last entry in the '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition and a lot of last-minute craziness - see you!
     

Monday, December 20, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 5 Days ...

Miss Ethelyn P. Hill, Teacher Extraordinaire
     Today I'm going off on a personal journey, with an entry I've been meaning to write since the K.A.C. started - join me, won't you?

     Marvel Comics ran a series a number of years ago called Secret Origins, which got me to thinking: what are the Secret Origins of the K.A.C. and my silly way of looking at this holiday? Yes, there is the origin from three years ago, with the contest between myself and my work-study students for the most foolish holiday computer wallpaper. However, as with all the best tales, if you dig deeper, you'll find there's more to the story.

     The actual beginnings of this story start with my primary school education. As I've mentioned before, I went to a military school in Tennessee from first grade - ninth grade. I have found through talking to people that almost everyone has that 'one special teacher', one person who made a difference in either their education or their personal lives, sometimes both. I have been lucky to have had two such teachers in my life. Miss Ethelyn P. Hill was the first. 

Miss. Hill (center) with students in the 1940s.
     Miss Hill was already an established legend when I arrived at school in 1963. She had been a teacher at the school as long as anyone could remember, having come on board with the original founders of the school, and stayed (and stayed and stayed ...) 

     I did not actually have classes with Miss Hill until my upper years at the school (DeBerry Academy, Baxter, TN - which has since closed). Miss Hill was our foreign languages teacher and I took her hardest course, four years of Latin. The running joke among the students was she was so fluent in it because she had spoken it as a little girl in ancient Rome! :) To her credit, though, she could explain anything you got stuck on and had an unlimited reservoir of patience with her thick-headed students! :)

     My tenure with Miss Hill began long before I ever took classes with her. At our school during meals, you had assigned seating - 10 boys to a table, with one teacher at the head to watch over you. From day one, I sat at Miss Hill's table. To this day I don't know why, but she took a liking to this little geeky Boston boy, a fish out of water compared to the rough and tumble Southern boys she was used to dealing with. She always sat at the head of the table and I was always on the first chair to her left, and God help ANY boy who tried (on purpose or otherwise) to take that seat. While normally a quiet, complacent soul, if riled she could hit a screeching note that would send the feathers flying off a harpy (and according to lore, probably did just that)! 


     As with all other aspects of military school, our meal time was very strictly limited. 30 minutes to eat, from start to finish. Ten boys, no horsing around. If you did, you were called out and were to stand at attention behind your seat for the remainder of the meal - and you went hungry until the next meal. If you did not like what was being served, you sat quietly in your seat until the next meal and hoped (and prayed) for something to be served that you DID like ... or you stopped being a picky eater VERY quickly.


     The only exception to this rule was Sunday dinner, which was almost always fried chicken, mashed potatoes and the like. Table behavior rules were still enforced, but the time limit was relaxed. It helped that fried chicken was Miss Hill's favorite dish, and on some Sundays, with the gentlest of questioning, she would tell me stories of her travels.


     You would never know it to look at the pictures above, but Miss Hill had been a world traveler and had all sorts of stories to tell, which I soaked up like a sponge. She had also for a while been the Dean of the school preceding our military school (which I had not known) - in addition to teaching whatever courses needed teaching, she was equally adept at busting girls who snuck off campus to meet boys ... and breaking up knife fights! The full telling of these tales can be found here: www.ajlambert.com/wallace/edy_pepl.pdf 


     Be that as it may, how does any of this relate to Christmas and the K.A.C.? Well, every year, either in late November or early December, Miss Hill would buy the Christmas edition of a seasonal magazine called Ideals. 
    
Published out of Nashville, Tennessee, by Guidepost Publications, Ideals was a heady mix of holiday artwork, stories, poems, recipes and pictures of the season. It was unlike anything I had seen before and I asked Miss Hill at our Sunday dinners if I could look at it. Not only did she let me see it and explain the things in it I couldn't understand, in later years she would give me a copy each year as a Christmas gift. Mind you, teachers giving students presents was Extremely Frowned Upon, but NOBODY messed with Miss Hill! :) The magazine colored my ideas of what Christmas SHOULD be like vs. what it usually WAS like in my house, and I looked forward to it every year.


     Miss Hill passed away in 1990, after a long life. Like many teachers before (and after) her, I doubt she knew just how influential she had been in so many students' lives. I never forgot her or her many kindnesses to me, and even today, my OFFICIAL Christmas season starts by going to the local Barnes and Noble around the end of November to pick up this years' edition of Christmas Ideals. I like to think that there's a gentle Christmas spirit looking over my shoulder each year, enjoying it with me as we did so many years ago.


Tomorrow: Your patience is rewarded, and we go back to the usual K.A.C. lunacy! Thanks to my readers for indulging me in this holiday wool-gathering today. Peace.



Sunday, December 19, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 6 Days ...

     Good morning! Our theme today (for # 11 in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition) is Musical Mistletoes. Our first performer is the lovely Canadian songstress Gisele Mackenzie (who I'm sure many, if not most, of you young pups have never heard of ... fame is fleeting!) - this clip is from 1954, from the TV show YOUR HIT PARADE - it's a cute holiday rendition of "Papa Loves Mambo" ... is it wrong to have lecherous feelings towards reindeer? 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWGPSVp-19E

      That's was only the appetizer for our main course - Christmas at Liberace's! Lee Liberace was the consummate pianist and showman, whose career spanned many decades. He had a long-running television series which consisted of him playing the popular tunes and classics of the day on his piano, with musical guest stars coming in. As hard as that may seem on today's jump-cut-editing, don't-show-anything-for-more-than-a-second TV shows, his shows were hugely popular and he was adored by a legion of fans (my mother being one of them).

     True story: I got to meet Liberace once - it was during the early 1970s, when my mother and I went to see the mansions of Newport, Rhode Island on a day trip one weekend during the summer. Liberace was filming a TV special  at one of the mansions we were visiting and tourists were allowed to watch, as long as we were quiet. He played some classical pieces on one of the magnificent grand pianos there and they took a break for new camera setups. This was before the days of teams of security around celebrities, and my Mom was spazzing out over him and how close we were to him. She told me, "Go get his autograph!" I said, "No ... YOU go get his autograph!", as I had NO idea who he was! :) Well, you guessed it, I got strong-armed over there and polite as could be asked him for his autograph. He was very gracious and talked with me for a bit and gave it to me (with a small drawing of a piano!) - I thanked him and off we went. 

     For my ignorance, Every Single Time he was on TV after that, I was sat down and had to watch him! (Sadly, it turned out he was a guest villain on BATMAN back in the '60s ... now THAT would have impressed the Hell out of me, if only I'd known!) - anyways, here are some holiday clips (also from 1954) of Lee Liberace, PLUS as an added treat, a clip of him stumping the panel on WHAT'S MY LINE? - I am including that so you can see his signature which opens the show ... just like the one I got! 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8TdtWt7nAg&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GITRzdNihM&feature=related

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6XXTSZmWcs

     That's it! Tune in tomorrow for our Final Five! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 7 Days ...

     Oh, sure, they all LOOK happy, but ...

     Today (as on every December 18th) we celebrate the anniversary of one of our K.A.C. favorites, 'The Three Little Dwarfs'. Not familiar with it? Read on ...

"On December 18, 1956, WGN-TV's "Garfield Goose and Friends" introduced Chicago area children to Santa Claus' three favorite elves, Hardrock, Coco and Joe. At two-feet-high, Hardrock drove Santa's sleigh while Coco navigated and Joe tagged along for fun. To create the animated short or "song cartoonette", Hill & Range Songs hired Centaur Productions. The company was established in the early 1950s by Wah Ming Chang, a sculptor in Walt Disney's Effects and Model Department who created the model of Pinocchio; and George Pal, a producer and Academy Award nominee. The shorts were produced in black-and-white using stop-motion animation, a cinematic process that brings figures or puppets to life by minutely reposing and photographing them frame-by-frame, resulting as fluid movement on screen."

     The above description comes courtesy of Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications (which you can subscribe to online to see their holdings, as I have - it's worth it if you're interested in early TV).  A number of our readers grew up in the area or surrounding areas and remember these appearance on their TV of these three lads as the OFFICIAL start of the Christmas season!


     Here's a couple of links to the video: first, the Museums' copy:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDM6Bbt9WDY 

     Next, the XmasFLIX version (with the original, plus two other musical variations): 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G2uRfYQSVw

     For completists, here's the very funny TV Funhouse parody of Santa's helpers, entitled 'Tingles, the Christmas Tension' !!! Since it wouldn't seem right to label Hardrock, Coco and Joe as # 10 in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition, we'll give that honor to Tingles! :)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UIwFCzH3BI




 Last but not least, from the same company that brought you 'The Three Little Dwarfs', comes another perennial winter wonder, Miss Susy Snowflake! The Museum had this to say about her: "On December 28, 1953, Chicago area kids were introduced to the whimsical story of Suzy Snowflake "tap, tap, tappin'" on every windowpane, seen on "Garfield Goose and Friends" then on WBBM-TV. Like "Hardrock, Coco and Joe", Suzy too was brought to life by the stop-motion animators of Centaur Productions. Norma Zimmer was Suzy's voice and the song was sung by The Norman Luboff Choir, a premier studio group who recorded with well-known artists, such as Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte." Here she comes now, a tap,tap, tappin' on the windowpane of your computer! 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaUBpsn4QjQ&feature=channel    

If you would like a permanent DVD copy of these classics (sorry, no Tingles!), you can get the Museum's DVD copy, with the full story of the history and making of these shorts, here (scroll down to the DVD section): 

https://squareup.com/market/museum-of-broadcast-communications

     Oh, did I mention the songs are total earworms that will stick in your head for days? NO? Hmmm, yeah, sorry about that ...  

     Tomorrow: number 11 in our competition doesn't have anywhere NEAR as classic a pedigree as our fine fellows today! Come on back and see who he is! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 8 Days ...

     Yesterday we showed you the 10,000 lights Christmas firetruck ... not to be outdone, here is the world's most expensive Christmas tree, at the cost of over $11 million !!! Read about it here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12006875


    Stay classy, Abu Dhabi ... stay classy.
     
     Two last-minute gift suggestions have made their way into our box, and they both DEMAND not to be ignored! First up is the Doughnut Transport Case ... for carrying ONE doughnut! My favorite part of this item? The SECURITY LOCK so no one can steal your precious pastry! Even better? It comes with a DEMONSTRATION VIDEO! www.geekologie.com/2010/11/doughnut_transport_will_never.php


     Next is the ... umm ... Poke'-bra ... ya know, there is NOTHING I can say that's not gonna sound horrible here, so I'll just stay with the original tagline of "Gotta catch 'em all!" (Lord, that sounds even MORE pervy!) ... if you can't live without this, here's the link! www.geekologie.com/2010/11/gotta_carress_em_all_the_pokeb.php




         
Finally, add some panache to your holiday dinner by having the kiddies EAT 'Spudolph, the Red-Nosed Potato' for Christmas! It will get them right in the mood for the Big Event ... or send them to bed crying - you be the judge! Here's the recipe: www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/parenting/3251847/Turn-a-baked-potato-into-a-Christmassy-treat-for-kids.html 

     Tune in tomorrow for the return of out Three Little Friends from the North Pole as we continue our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition ... see you then!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 9 Days ...

     We're down to the final nine of the K.A.C. and the last minute entries are arriving fast and furious. How fast? As fast as this cute little UFO here! Thanks to Mark R. for that!

     Heidi sent in another holiday LP link, with a few I had not seen before - take a look: listoftheday.blogspot.com/2010/12/best-of-worst-christmas-albums-vol-1.html 

   


     When Santa gets tired of the whole sleigh and reindeer bit, there's always this! 10,000 lights for only $1,000 ... and we'll throw in the firetruck for free! :) The FIRETRUCK, you say? Oh, yes ...

www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81220140/



      Finally, if you are REALLY fed up with the whole shopping madness and all the rest of this SH**, then the Holiday Crapping Elf is for you! No, this is NOT a Photoshop - he's real (click on the photo for a bigger version of him). He's known as a Caganer and is the 'traditional Christmas decoration of Catalonia, Spain'. Finally, something SO weird even I couldn't make it up! :) We've actually covered ... or uncovered ... or covered up ... hmmm... WRITTEN ABOUT the Caganer before in these posts, but you can learn more about this fine fellow by following the link! A shout out to Emily for this find! Well done! 

 www.someecards.com/2010/12/06/weirdest-christmas-decoration-pooping-elf

     That's it! Come back tomorrow for more!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 10 Days ...

     Sorry for the delay, kids! In sympathy with my buddy Mark R. and our other friends out in Minneapolis who are getting clobbered by snow (and in anticipation of when the snowy white stuff hits here), we present one of the most notorious cartoons of all time, the Van Beuren Studios production of 'The Snow Man'! Made in 1932, this is one bizarre piece of celluloid! 

     Forget Frosty and his ilk --- you'll want to be keeping an eye on any and ALL snowmen you come across after viewing THIS bad boy! This is the UNCUT version of the film and (like the unexpurgated earlier posting of 'The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives') it's one you won't be seeing on TV anytime soon! Hard to believe this originally ran as a theatrical short back in the '30s, but it did.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4nU6Kz5vYE

     Back tomorrow with more, as we move down to the single digit countdowns!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 11 Days ...

     Have you been inundated this year with Christmas cards? We haven't and probably won't be anymore --- not only is it getting to be prohibitively expensive, the trend nowadays (to save money) is to send online greetings. Long, long ago however, cards were an expected staple of the season - the more inventive folks made their own cards. Case in point: the card to the left was made for director Cecil B. deMille from 1957 ... you can get the whole humorous story behind this card, as well as other vintage cards from Walt Disney and his animators (such as Ward Kimball below left) at this site!


blackwingdiaries.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html

     Worried that your last-minute shopping is nowhere NEAR done? Need some one-of-a-kind suggestions? Then check the three links below - from books to DVDs, five-POUND Gummi Bears to Wampa Throw Rugs and everything else in between (including a very sweet Bettie Page statue), there's something for almost everybody on your list ...
 
www.aintitcool.com/node/47576
www.aintitcool.com/node/47583
www.aintitcool.com/node/47582



          ... and if none of that is good enough, then there's the follow-up to last years' Millenium Falcon bed ... the Star Wars Tie Fighter bed. The good news? It's about as rare as can be. The bad news? It costs $ 16,000 !!!!! If you know a fool and his/her money, then by all means forward them this link!


www.geekologie.com/2010/12/no_child_deserves_a_16k_spaces.php


           If you know an even BIGGER fool and money is NO object, then here's the link to this years' Neiman-Marcus Christmas Book. With gifts ranging from a $15,000 Gingerbread Play House to a 'His and Her' gift of a $250,000 houseboat, go see what the stupendously wealthy are giving this year! 


www.luxist.com/2010/10/05/neiman-marcus-christmas-book-fantasy-experiences-2010/


     Enough of the greed and selfishness of the season ... let's get back to good old-fashioned ... family ... valu .... OMG, IS THAT A MONKEY ??? Ummm, yes, actually ... and it's here to get your attention as part of the Christmas Gallery in Awkward Family Photos ... give it a look! 

http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/?s=christmas


     On that note, we are done here for the day --- come back tomorrow as we begin our final Top Ten countdowns! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 12 Days ...

     Good Morning! We're down to the last delirious dozen entries of the K.A.C. and I did promise you the Big Guns as we got closer to the end ... let's give you a taste of what I mean with A Christopher Walken Christmas! 

raincoaster.com/2007/12/22/a-very-very-walken-christmas/



     And if you've got little kiddies staying over for the holidays and they need a bedtime story, the multi-talented Mr. W has THAT covered, as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4IrfObVzJo



     For sheer Walken Awesomeness, however, NOTHING beats his twinkle-toes skill in Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice music video! This brings a smile to my face every time ... how about you?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEyY6LEUWUw

     I'm tempted to say "More COWBELL!" at this point, but in keeping with the spirit of the K.A.C. we'll instead just say ... 'More SLEIGHBELL!" See you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 13 Days ...

     Today we go waaaay back, all the way to 1933 for our next entry in the '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' contest. Film # 9 is a Harmon-Ising Merrie Melodies cartoon called The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives, and is a fascinating look at a little boy from 'the other side of the tracks' during Depression-Era America who feels left out and forgotten by everyone (even Santa Claus) at Christmas-time. 

     He returns to his bare, cold shack to cry himself to sleep until he hears the sounds of familiar jingle bells and Santa appears to ask him if he'd like to see the titular shack at the North Pole. Rapidly agreeing (anything to get away from his own miserable life), he is whisked away to Santa's Toy Workshop, where the toys seem to have all gotten into the espresso while SC was out ... and are in a hyperactive frenzy.

     If you're asking yourself "Why haven't I ever seen this charming cartoon before?", just continue to watch - I have confidence you'll figure out why soon enough! :) Also keep in mind when this was made (1933) - this was a reality for many boys and girls of the time. Many were the families who struggled just to have food and a roof over their heads during this era, so the idea of Christmas toys was an extravagance and cost that they could not afford and this cartoon reflected a real-life fantasy for many children of the 1930s. So without further ado,  enjoy The Shanty Where Santa Claus Lives!

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZIMtBChvbI

     Come back tomorrow as we count down our last dozen entries ... bye!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 14 Days ...

     Two weeks to go, my Holiday Hellions! In our continuing series of the '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts', at # 8 we bring back a film which we featured last year, 1946's A Christmas Dream! Trust me, you'll be as gobsmacked as this little tyke when you see what trouble the innocent-looking little doll in her arms gets up to ... let this be a lesson to you all: treat your old dolls and toys with care, or they'll turn on you and carve your eyes out when you sleep! Whoa, wait a minute ... that's not what happens here ... or ... IS ... IT???

     Only one way to find out - does she survive or does she meet a grisly end? Click on the link and find out the shudder-filled answer!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLZ9anveCT4

     Come back tomorrow for our next candy-cane cinematic curio! 

    

Friday, December 10, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 15 Days ...

           


     We're back with our second helping of Holiday LPs, this time featuring 'Albums Your Parents (or Grandparents) Had'. Take a look at this list and see if any of these old records bring back memories! 


ernienotbert.blogspot.com/2006_12_03_archive.html






     Those of you who are long-time followers of the K.A.C. know I can't let a year go by without an entry on Christmas in the comics! This years' four-color frolics include Ash from 'The Evil Dead' and 'Army of Darkness' (seen on the left), as well as Santa vs. Frankenstein and much more! Read on ...

www.mindpollution.org/2008/12/23/7-days-of-holiday-weirdness-christmas-in-comic-books/




      Finally, remember to pace yourself at all the holiday parties you're attending! For many of us, this is the most stressful time of the year. As a public service, here are some useful tips to keep in mind as the countdown shifts to its' final two weeks: www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/3267402/Guide-to-avoiding-mishaps-at-Xmas.html 

     Have a good Friday, everyone! Make sure you check back over the weekend for our next two entries in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' contest - bundle up and stay warm!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 16 Days ...

     Hello, again, my Snowball Sweethearts! We start today's edition of the K.A.C on a rather sad note, with the death (by impalement) of a Christmas icon: none other than Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Be warned, though, the footage is graphic and not for the squeamish!

www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/81218157/ 


    

 


     Then there's this little fella - he showed up too late for Ornament Day, but there's something just so chillingly creepy about him, I had to add him to the mix. 

     Speaking of creepy ... give this a listen while perusing this photo - I came across this a while back and held onto it for the K.A.C. It's a recording of 'Jingle Bells' played backwards, and while it's no 'Paul Is Dead', it has it's own spooky feel to it - share it with your friends!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8_568FE0ps






     More tomorrow! See ya!
    

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 17 Days ...

      Good morning! Welcome back to another edition of the K.A.C. It's Ornament Day today we have a TON of them to get through, so let's see what's in Santa's pack, shall we?

     We just decorated our tree last night and while it is decidedly unique in its' own right (what with Betty Boop and Chupacabra ornaments ... thanks, Helen!), it still is missing a certain something ... perhaps a nice, fuzzy Cthulthu! :)
 This little charmer and 53 (!) other ornaments await you at the link below - warning to those looking at this at work: a number of these ornaments are NSFW! 
weburbanist.com/2008/12/19/strange-bizarre-geek-christmas-tree-ornaments/


         
If those aren't bizarre enough for you or you're looking for something MUCH more disturbing to shake up your friends and relatives this holiday, may I recommend the homemade creations of Angela Rossi. With nightmare fuel like Timmy the Gazelle (at left), her mashups will guarantee your gift will never be forgotten! As reported at www.io9.com, she combines taxidermy and sculpture in an uneasy mix for these one-of-a-kind presents. Don't take my word for it, though. Go see her other 'little friends', like Maria the Gentle Fawn or Emily the Spider Woman, as well as her other deranged stocking stuffers here:

www.etsy.com/shop/BeatUpCreations?section_id=7275947


     I think that's where we'll stop today ... be back tomorrow for more. Don't make me send Timmy out to find YOU! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 18 Days ...

     Time to give your eyeballs a rest from the K.A.C. - today you can let your ears do the walking as we celebrate holiday music ... with a twist.

     Let's start with the picture on the left. When you hear the Christmas carol 'The Little Drummer Boy' , what's the first thing that comes to mind? A boy with a drum? The Baby in the manger? No, of course not ... it's Grace Jones! WHAT ??? Oh, it SO happened - back in 1988, in fact, on Pee-Wee's Christmas Special. Want to relive this Surrealistic Santa moment? Just click on the link! Thanks to Bill for the find!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uETyXE2mE2E

     Next, let's step into the Wayback Machine and head back to 1949, and the Screen Song cartoon SNOW FOOLIN' - a Famous Studios production which (hard as it may be for us to believe now) was quite popular in the theaters of the day, where audiences would "follow the Bouncing Ball" {in this case, an egg} and sing a popular tune - can you imagine going to the movies today and trying to get that to happen?
Well, it took place all the time back in the 1940s and in this winter-themed cartoon, you (and your friends and co-workers) can sing along to 'Jingle Bells'! The interesting thing about this is the song has alternate lyrics that I haven't seen anywhere else - give it a look!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_faPt0BGqP8

         Once again, we dial back the years, this time to 1941 and the fascinating machine you see on your left is called a Panoram. It was a coin-operated jukebox that would play the current hits while you watched the performers on screen
(it was NOT mandatory to watch them in a swimsuit, contrary to what the picture to the left implies) - yes, a very early form of the music video! The films were known as 'Soundies' and are all but forgotten today, but lucky you, in keeping with today's theme, we have for your perusal 'The Little Snowman' - enjoy!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5KGnTcV9TY









      Are all these earfuls of Christmas cheer making you crazy? Then get out your Kleenex, as we're ending today's aural assault with two of the saddest holiday hits ever made. First, the immortal Roy Orbison with his sad saga 'Pretty Paper' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOgsyNAsoWc




    
Finally, we leave you with the saddest Christmas song you will EVER hear, from my favorite folk artist Stan Rogers. Many an artist can sing a song and go through the motions with the words, but Stan had the ability to make you feel that he had LIVED the tales he was singing about in his beautiful, deep voice. If you've never heard his music, I urge you to track down his albums. Stan died tragically at a very young age, but his music lives on and I am proud to present this. A word of warning: I will post this and make sure the link works, but aside from that will not listen to it myself (for now) - it is the only song I know that makes me cry every single time I listen to it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you First Christmas.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=chTMOuuUZi4 


      On that note, let's all take a moment to compose ourselves and come back tomorrow for more holiday shenanigans - see you then.

Monday, December 6, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 19 Days ...

     Today in our K.A.C. Poinsettia Potpourri, we're going to throw a number of random holiday weirdness up and see what sticks ... and we're not paying your cleaning bills - forewarned is forearmed! Let's see what we have here ...

     Well, I can't think of a creepier place to begin a Monday post than this! When you think of Santa Claus, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Presents? Reindeer? Milk and cookies? Safe sex?
     Wait ... what ??? Yes, boys and girls, the Santa to your left is made entirely of ... condoms. Why, you ask? Hey, that's what we're here for ... we're nothing if not educational at the K.A.C. To learn more about the Prophylactic Pixie, check out the Huffington Post entry here: www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/05/condom-claus-photo_n_381347.html 

     Remember last Friday's entry regarding the bacon Christmas card? What could possibly top that? Glad you asked ... behold the Meat Nativity! Blasphemous or delicious ... or both? You can decide AND get the recipe here:
 www.geekologie.com/2010/12/mmmmmmm_wise_men_the_meat_nati.php

     In sadder news, be on the lookout for the following: one missing snowman, answers to 'Frosty', stolen from a woman's yard in the U.K. Hey, don't laugh, they take this kind of thing VERY seriously over there? How seriously? Try the lady calling the police to report it! Read on: 
www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3258685/Woman-rings-999-over-snowman.html

          Finally, let's end today on a happy note. Want the Ultimate Fanboy Christmas gift for your favorite geek? Look no further than the TARDIS Murphy Bed! Squeee !!!
Yes, it's a working bed in the shape of the Dr. Who's flying British Police Telephone Box and it's for sale! To read more about it, go here: www.geekologie.com/2010/12/up_for_auction_dr_who_tardis_m.php 

      There's also more info and pix of it here: 
io9.com/5703484/spend-every-night-with-the-doctor-in-this-awesome-tardis-bed

     OK, there should be a little something for everyone here today  - enjoy! Back tomorrow with more Christmas Curiosities!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 20 Days ...

     Are you tired and rundown? Been imbibing too much at too many Christmas parties? Can't remember what you did to who in that holiday haze? Brother, you ain't got nothin' on this little fella to your left.
He's the subject of entry # 7 in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' series of films. 

      Yes, the astrally projecting mouse is Sniffles, a Warner Brothers creation who was the lead in a minor series of cartoons for the studio, including his starring role in today's offering, entitled BEDTIME FOR SNIFFLES. From 1940, this Chuck Jones cartoon has the titular mouse awake on Christmas Eve and damned and determined to stay up 'till midnight to see Santa Claus. However, everything ... and I mean EVERYTHING ... is stacked against him to drag him off  to sweet, blessed sleep - in his comfy bed ... with the soft covers and the warm, downy pillow and ... well, you get the idea.

     Unfortunately, what could have been a sweet, SHORT cartoon  goes on and on an ON ... to the point where you're wishing Sniffles would stumble sleepily into a well-placed mousetrap. It's eight minutes of treacly goodness, so have your insulin handy and enjoy BEDTIME FOR SNIFFLES!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=639_1261591517

      Back with more tomorrow - see you!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 21 Days ...

     WHOA! What the heck happened here? Have the little tykes walked in on Santa 'in flagrante delicto'? Did the Klaus-meister leave his pants back on the sleigh? Have they stumbled upon the Horrible Secret of WHY "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse?" 

     NO! It's worse ... much worse as you'll see when you watch entry # 6 in our '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' contest. From 1947, it's A Present For Santa Claus and if ever there was a film just BEGGING for a MST3K/Rifftrax audio track, this is the one! For now, though, we'll have to make do with the snarky goodness of the write-up by XmasFLIX (which you'll find directly below the video). Enjoy!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oykHQ0cHdEg

     Come back tomorrow for our smarmiest entry of the year --- see you!

Friday, December 3, 2010

K.A.C. - T - 22 Days ...



ONE.

WORD.
                                                        
 B A C O N !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     Yes, bacon .... bacon Christmas cards tops off our list today of this years' edition of Worst Cards of 2010. If bacon doesn't grab you, then how about the traditional 'family' cards:
 

www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3256225/Toe-curling-Xmas-snaps.html

 ... or not ... pophangover.com/2009/12/07/worst-family-christmas-cards-of-2009/


... or REALLY not ...




     Creepy enough you? No? Then go DIRECTLY to Creepy Santa Photos to round out your day! 


www.creepysantaphotos.com/category/pets-animals/

     Coming this weekend: Our next two entries in the '13 Strangest Christmas Shorts' competition!