All The Creatures Were Stirring

All The Creatures Were Stirring

all the creatures were stirring still

For the second in our holiday horror series, we decided to try this anthology that LOOKED promising due to the recognizable faces in it. But the only thing more baffling than the number of talented actors like Constance Woo and Stephanie Drake in it were the number of missed opportunities, cheap effects, and utterly baffling plots. So yeah….you can bet we had a lot to talk about! How’s YOUR holiday season going so far?

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All The Creatures Were Stirring (2018)

Episode 372, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Alright, hello and uh, welcome to our second Christmas episode of the month. Last week we did Black Friday, and uh, that was, you know Was a little mixed as far as things go, and I, it was my turn to pick, and I said, let’s find, uh, an anthology.

Yeah. We’ve done a couple Christmas horror anthologies. Maybe we’ve scraped the bottom of the barrel, because this was all I could find. But it was 2018, and I have to admit, Craig, I had you in mind when I picked this, because I was really leaning towards this, like, cheesy 80s movie, but I thought, no, Craig would much rather watch something more modern.

So, this movie is 2018’s All the Creatures Were Stirring. 

Craig: Yeah, don’t underestimate me on the cheesy 80’s movies. I can get down with those. It’s more your, like, 70’s thrillers that aren’t my cup of tea. Cheesy 80’s are always good. But, I do also love an anthology movie, and I love Holiday anthology movies.

Unfortunately, when you sent me the title, I knew immediately, Ah, crap. I’ve seen this, and it’s bad. I should have just texted you right away. You should have. Because I knew, as soon as you said it, I knew. 

Todd: What is the deal with people online? Like, I read, you know, this came up in one of the lists or something, and it got a decent little review.

I go onto IMDB, and the very first user review says, Solid anthology of holiday horror, 7 out of 10. And then I look at the cast list, and I see a few familiar people, like Constance Wu is in this? Yeah, 

Craig: which one was she in? Like, she’s top billed, obviously, because she’s the most famous. I don’t even remember now which one she was in.

Todd: She was in the one that was kind of like a Twilight Zone episode. 

Craig: They’re all kind of like Twilight 

Todd: Zone episodes. Well, it’s the one where like, uh, there’s like, I don’t know, aliens or something in their house. Oh, okay. The guy’s like celebrating Christmas. And, and what’s her, the other girl was in there too, uh, Stephanie Drake.

Who I, I was like, God, I know this woman. What is she from? Oh, she was in Mad Men. She was Meredith. The um, kind of ditzy I really liked her in that. And so I saw that she was in here and I was like, Oh, that’s great too. You know? The 

Craig: movie is riddled with people that you will be scratching your head wondering, Where do I know them from?

There’s just And, and none of them, aside from Constance Wu who Has gotten pretty big. The rest of them are people that you have seen before, but they’re not huge stars or anything. And we can kind of point them out as we go along. Constance Wu 

Todd: was in, uh, Fresh Off the Boat, uh, Crazy Rich Asians. 

Craig: Crazy Rich Asians was the thing that I know her most from and she’s beautiful and she’s fantastic.

I’m, I’m not at all surprised they give her top billing because she is a rising star. She’s great. But even though I knew I had seen this before, I remembered. That I was excited to watch it that first time, because I really do love, uh, Christmas anthologies. Yes. And, I don’t really understand where this one misses the mark.

Uh. But it just does. Like, I was talking to Alan last night, and I was saying, uh, he was asking about, you know, what time are you podcasting or whatever. And I said, I don’t know, but I don’t know how long it’s gonna take us to talk about it, because it’s bad, but not in that way that’s fun. 

Todd: Yeah. That’s the sad thing.

Craig: In the way that you’re just kind of rolling your eyes and looking at your watch like, Oh my god, is this still on? And it’s only an hour and 20 minutes long and I felt like it took me all day to watch it. It felt so 

Todd: long! 30 minutes in I was like, All right, well we’re probably at least close to the end.

And I looked 

Craig: at the time and I was like, Well, there’s one point in the movie where somebody puts up a card that says intermission. And I was like, It’s this only half over?

I couldn’t possibly, I couldn’t possibly watch like as much of it as I’ve 

Todd: already seen. And you had to see it a second time, I deeply apologize. You know, it’s, the thing about anthology movies, one of the reasons why I love them is that sometimes they are uneven, you know? Yeah. There’s always one or two stories in there, it’s kind of eh, but you know, there’s usually one really good one or You know, a couple solid ones.

I mean, part of the fun of it is just seeing a bunch of short little stories, and some of them will connect with you, and some of them will be like, Eh, that was a good attempt, or some of them might even just be weird or bonkers, but that’s part of the fun. This movie’s not fun. None of these are, are really that great, and I think the thing that struck me from the very beginning, which I was trying to keep an open mind about, was the production value.

Yeah. From the very beginning, it looked kinda like a shot on video. Yeah. Cheap, like the lighting was Yeah. Bad, and the special effects looked like I did them myself in Final Cut Pro. Yeah. And as a guy who’s made things, like, you know, I try to keep an open mind. Like, it shouldn’t matter, right? If it’s a good story, you know, you can watch, like, you all shoot, you know, a couple weeks ago we watched something that was shot on a VHS camera, you know, and we’re way more entertained.

So, I tried to keep an open mind about that aspect, but this never rose above it. It just felt cheap the whole way through. The writing felt cheap. 

Craig: Ugh, gosh. As far as the shooting goes, it’s clean. It’s very clean. It’s just not interesting at all. And it does very much look like somebody could I don’t know if they did or not.

It looks very much like somebody could have shot this on their iPhone. 

Todd: Yeah, I kinda wonder if they did. Maybe. But even, I’ve seen, I’ve seen stuff shot on iPhone that’s way 

Craig: better. It looks a little amateurish, and the acting is a little amateurish, which is Strange, because like you said, there are lots of recognizable people in here who have been in quality stuff.

I feel like we should jump into it, because even though it’s only an hour and 20 minutes, like, if we’re going to cover the plot, which We have to, because there’s nothing else interesting to say. about 

Todd: this movie. We will cover the plot so you don’t have to watch it. You 

Craig: can just . Yeah, and, and the other thing is there were a couple of, you said, none of, you know, I wasn’t interested in any of them.

I feel like there were a couple that had they been in a better anthology. I might have been like, oh, that one was clever, or I, I don’t know, I don’t know, but let’s get into it. I, I didn’t write down any of the actors names. If we want to look them up as we go along, that’s fine. It was hard enough because it’s an anthology.

It was so hard to keep track of everybody’s names. So, throughout this whole thing, I’m gonna be like, and then the guy did that, and then that other girl did this. Cuz, I don’t know who all these people are. But, I do know that Jenna and Max meet up on Christmas Eve on a because they are both alone on Christmas Eve.

And he’s like, thanks for coming out. And she’s like, well, I didn’t have anything better to do. And he’s like, oh, okay, well, thanks. She’s like, no, I didn’t mean it that way. But apparently they are going to see a live play. On Christmas Eve. Yeah. Doesn’t make any sense. And it’s called, the play is called All the Creatures We’re Stirring.

Which is the name of our movie. And they go into what looks like, I thought they were going to a movie at first. Cause they go into what looks like a, a movie lobby. Um, and there’s a creepy old guy in there and he kinda scares it. Jenna and they get their tickets and the ticket girl is acts a little bit bizarre too Like everything’s just a little bit bizarre and then they go into the a tiny tiny theater Well, it maybe has what like 20 seats.

I don’t know. 

Todd: Yeah, it’s like I counted it. I think it has like 50 seats. I literally counted. That’s how bored I was. I was like, I wonder how many seats are in this theater. I think about, close to 50. It 

Craig: looks like a porn set. Both laugh. It’s a little, it’s 

Todd: a little black 

Craig: box theater. Yeah, it’s tiny. And there’s not very many people in there.

There’s no, 

Todd: there’s almost nobody in there. There’s maybe, what, 15 people in this, in here? If that, 

Craig: maybe. Yeah, ten, I don’t know. 

Todd: And to be fair, that’s part of the point, like, number one, who would be going to something like this, let alone putting it on, 

Craig: on Christmas Eve? A live play on Christmas Eve doesn’t make any sense.

I have to admit, 

Todd: if I had a favorite thing about this, and I’m stretching, I thought that this wraparound section, it made me laugh, multiple times, because it’s an ongoing joke. About how lame and stupid sometimes, like, and pretentious this black box theater stuff can 

Craig: be. Oh god, yeah, the theater stuff was But I didn’t even find it funny, because like, I’ve lived that.

You know, like, I’ve, I have seen You and I both, well, I did more, I think, college theater than you. I didn’t major in it, but I was very, very involved in the department. And I saw so many Sincere performances like this, that it’s not, that it’s not even funny to me because like, I’ve seen people sincerely doing this and at the time when I saw them sincerely doing this, my eyes almost From rolling so far back in my head, you know, I was one of those 

Todd: guys that was wrapped up in this kind of stuff, you know, this sort of artsy, like, like push the boundaries, use your imagination in high school.

And so Watching this made me remember, oh god, yeah, I remember like, 30 years ago when I thought this kind of stuff could be cool and now it’s just kind of a big joke. And you’re right. Oh my god. Such sincerity that you have to sit through sometimes. 

Craig: Yeah. So it made me laugh. I don’t know how to describe it.

My partner, Alan, was a theater major and he did, he studied this thing called viewpointing where it was just like all about like body movement and it was so silly and that’s what this reminds me of. It’s super, super minimalist with just like no set, no costumes, just actors on the stage with very minimalist.

props. The conceit for the movie is that they’re watching this minimalist play, but as soon as the actors get started, then it switches to film. Like, not for them, presumably, but for us. Yeah. Then it becomes these, you know, this anthology of short films for us and we are to understand that they are seeing these stories performed minimally on a stage.

In that way, we’re kind 

Todd: of saved, 

Craig: aren’t we? I mean, Thank God, can you imagine? I don’t remember if it was a Christmas movie, but we did a movie that was, it was just two people telling stories back and forth. And I kept expecting it to be an anthology. Like I expected them to start a story and then for it to go like to the film version, but it wasn’t.

It was just them telling stories. And I really liked that movie because those people were good. That movie was clever. This, thank God. They, they went to film, even though that wasn’t much better. The first one, it’s so funny, cause I suspected that I had seen it before, and then I just kept thinking, Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this before.

Every one of them is titled a line from The Night Before Christmas, right? Mm hmm. And, and some creepy lady comes out and like changes the title card before each one. Uh, and the first one is called The Stockings Were Hung, and it takes place in an office building, which I read the It’s it’s mostly like in a break room, or like a conference room, and this just literally is the Blumhouse.

Production company conference room. Was this 

Todd: produced by Blumhouse? I don’t know! It doesn’t seem 

Craig: like. It doesn’t seem like it. So, I’m, I’m wondering if these guys are like, interns? You know, like, they’re working for this huge horror, you know, Blumhouse is huge. 

Todd: Uh, it was a special thanks to Blumhouse. So, I know, I think they just got to use their conference room.

And, and Fallback Plan Productions, ironically. God, it’s funny. Produced this. I hope everybody involved in this had a fallback plan. But I saw that it 

Craig: was taking place in an office, and I was like, Wait, I’m pretty sure I remember this. I’m pretty sure it’s like, Naughty Christmas, Gift Exchange. That’s what we call it.

What do other people It’s that You don’t call it, like, Secret Santa? We call it Naughty Christmas because it’s that thing where, like, Everybody puts their presents like in a kitty and then you pick one and you open it. Then the next person goes and they can either steal your present or keep their own.

And it keeps going on and you know, you can always like, there’s always that threat that people can steal your present. Well, that’s why we, maybe it’s just me and Alan. I don’t know, but we call it naughty Christmas. I enjoy 

Todd: that game. That’s very 

Craig: common. I don’t, I hate it. 

Todd: It’s a common thing to play in offices.

You know, but you know, when, when it started off, actually, even now in my head, I have ideas for making this really good, 

Craig: that’s the thing, like the concept isn’t terrible of the whole movie. I mean, the stage thing is kind of weird, but each of these segments has potential. They just fall flat pretty much every time.

Todd: Yeah, they’re just bafflingly so. Like this one, there’s this explanation about this game. 

Craig: Uh, uh, uh, Suzanne, you wanted to go over some rules. Uh, yes, thank you. Okay, here are the rules. Someone will open a gift, and the next person who opens one can either keep the gift or they can steal someone else’s already opened gift.

Got it? This is going to be so much fun! 

Todd: But the game itself is never played. One person pulls a present out, and it’s some gal’s balsamic vinegar, and har har, you know, she’s excited about it. The person who got it is less than thrilled. The next person pulls their present, and when they open it, it’s like spring loaded with a gun or something, and it blows their head off.

Right. And now 

Craig: Now, it’s a saw trap. Yeah. Because some anonymous person, the thing that drove me crazy about this one is that I had no idea what was going on. Like, some anonymous person calls them and like, laughs maniacally, and like, This is a game, ugh, I hate all of you, and now you have to Open these presents one by one, and if you don’t do it in the next ten minutes, I’ll come and kill you myself.

And so they’re all like, okay. 

Todd: And he’s like, pumping gas in there, but 

Craig: it doesn’t hurt them? No, he pumps some gas in there in the beginning, like, I guess, just to let them know that he can. And then later on He pumps gas in that immediately kills one lady and has no effect on anybody else. Is it just like, it’s like personal gas?

I don’t get it! DNA. It’s a saw trap, like each one of them has to open a gift and But it’s not clever. No, it’s not, because he says some of the gifts will help you and some of them will hurt you. And it’s just random dumb stuff, like the first one is an unloaded gun. And then the second one’s a bullet, I think, well, there’s a bullet eventually there, a kitchen knife one time.

Mm-Hmm. a, a Christmas ornament. That seems to be important, but I don’t understand what’s happening. Well, she 

Todd: pulls out the Christmas ornament and then underneath it is like an iPad. She pulls up the iPad and it’s playing a video. Of two of those people in that room making out in the break room and suddenly that pisses off a couple people in there and they kind of start a little fight.

Like who 

Craig: cares like no nobody cares like they try to do like this office Intrigue like there are affairs going on and people have vendettas Against one another and like one guy is trying to get another guy fired and this all comes out through like video and audio recordings when they open these gifts who Cares who cares we don’t know these people we don’t care about them They all look exactly the same except for that one cute black lady.

Uh huh, who again? I don’t know who she is. I didn’t look up her name, but I looked at her IMDb page I recognize her because she’s been in literally everything for the last Um, I did recognize she was in the cancelled, the recently cancelled series adaptation of A League of Their Own, and I did remember her from that.

And, and I like, like I saw her, and like her acting was good, and I’m like, Why are you in this movie? I guess a check’s a check. I don’t know. But like, it’s all this office intrigue that like kind of inspires them to want to go after one another. Yeah. And it all culminates with one of them has the gun and the bullet and one of them has the kitchen knife and two of them are fighting because one of them was trying to get the other one fired.

Or something, and then the whole room starts to fill with gas, or something, and one of the ladies has a gas mask, and then, it just, does it cut to black, and you hear a scuffle? And then one of the chicks walks out of the building in a gas mask, and just walks away. I had no idea what was going on. 

Todd: That was it.

She leaves. The one who was lucky enough to open up the gas mask walks out and leaves. And I’m scratching my head. What? Like, usually with these stories, there’s some twist or there’s something clever about it. There was nothing clever about it. As far as I can tell, there was no twist here. It 

Craig: was just confusing!

Todd: Just one of them got a gas mask and left. 

Craig: Yeah, it was dumb. I didn’t get it at all. Okay, so then it cuts back to the actors in the theater, and the lady switches the title card. Well, my favorite, my favorite part was like, I was sitting there thinking, What the F? Like, what was that? And then the first thing that happens when it comes back to the theater is Jenna goes, What.

The hell. Was that? And I was like, I am right there with you, girl. I have no idea. But that, 

Todd: that got me hopeful. I was like, oh, okay, so is this deliberately being weird and dumb because they’re watching the Black Box production of it and it’s just as weird and dumb as what we’re seeing? So I thought, okay, like, this is all gonna Kind of wrap up in, in some clever way, you know, at the end.

No. I mean, spoiler alert, it doesn’t. It’s not. Oh, so the next one, like you said, is Dash Away All, and this was, might have been my favorite one. It 

Craig: was my favorite. It’s this 

Todd: guy who, uh, is, again, this production is so cheap. It’s just this dude who leaves with a bunch of presents and goes to his car in this empty parking lot, and what I guess, it looks to me like just on the outskirts of a suburban neighborhood, but I suppose it’s supposed to be the parking lot of a department store that we never see.

God, it looks so, so cheap. It looks like I just went around the corner of my house and was like, here’s a parking lot, let’s pretend this is the parking lot of an apartment store. Oh, sure. 

Craig: Absolutely. And he’s getting to 

Todd: his car, and he goes to his car, and there’s that weird, god, even the texting from his wife.

They do this thing where his wife is texting him like, get home soon, the turkey’s almost 

Craig: ready, yada yada yada. Your mom’s here, she’s already complaining about the turkey, yeah. 

Todd: And it comes up on the screen, and you’ve seen this in a bunch of movies and TV shows lately, and it looks so bad. It just looks bad.


Craig: It looks, I don’t know, I didn’t have any product, I didn’t really have any problem with the production quality. Like, I believe that this is the all, the empty parking lot of a department store at the very end of the day, like it’s Closed. Uh, he’s the last one out. There’s literally 

Todd: nobody else.

There is him 

Craig: and this car. And this creepy 

Todd: van. And this van. If he left this store, like, whoever checked him out, like, made a mad dash for the back door. 

Craig: You’re right. 

Todd: Shut off the lights and lock the door in record time. Because he tries Yeah. He ends up locking his keys and his phone inside the car. 

Craig: Well his his locks are act like the automatic locks are acting funny, which I didn’t get.

That’s true. I think it gets ex I think it gets explained in the end. Oh, really? I don’t remember why he gets out. Oh! Will the car not start? I don’t remember what happens, because he gets in, he puts all the things in the backseat and then he gets in the car and he but then he gets out again for some reason.

I don’t remember why. I don’t remember why. But anyway, he gets locked out, and the only other car in, well, like you said, he tries to beat on the doors and asks to use the phone, but there’s nobody like, they closed in record time. I mean, I worked in fast food when I was a kid, and we After we locked the doors, we were there for a good hour, if not longer.

Anyway, so nobody’s there. The only other car in the lot is like a rape van. So he walks up to it. Like, why would you even think, like, if there was just a rape van parked in the court, the back corner of a parking lot, why would you even think there’d be 

Todd: somebody 

Craig: inside? Right. It would never occur to me that there would be somebody in there.

And if it did occur to me that there was somebody in there, that would not be somebody that I wanted to talk to. Yeah, very true. Walk, walk to a gas station, my boy. Come on, like, 

Todd: this isn’t hard. Walk to the road where we see, actually see cars passing by every now 

Craig: and then. But anyway, he knocks on the rape van and these two hot girls open up and talk to him.

And the whole time. I felt like the movie was trying to tell us that this was about to turn into a porno. Yeah. Like, these girls, like, they’re not They’re inviting him in. Yeah, they’re not openly hitting on him, but they’re, like, looking him up and down, and like They’re like, why don’t you come in the van?

It seemed like they were DTF, right? Yeah. Like, why don’t you come in the van? He, they do give him their phone and he calls for a tow truck and he calls his wife and tells her, you know, my, I locked my keys in my car or whatever. So it seems fairly innocent. It just seems like they want to bone him so bad.

Yeah. At one point, he’s on the phone, and he has his back to the van, and we see that there’s somebody else in there. Yeah. Somebody is like peeking through a curtain. Uh, and then, and then they’re all standing by the Oh, God. He has to tell the tow truck driver his date of birth? Yeah, what? I’ve called tow trucks before.

I’ve never had to tell them my birthday. Yeah. God. I don’t know, maybe he was giving them his credit card information, I don’t know. But his birthday is Christmas and, uh, that makes them even hornier.

But then they’re standing next to the van and he’s like, Is there someone else? Your door is open. Oh yeah, it’s an old van. And then a demon hand reaches out. And strokes them. And they’re like, the two girls like, no, you didn’t see that. That was nothing. Nothing happened. Oh God. This one, I like I in short form, like stand alone.

This one doesn’t bother me. I recognized this guy. I don’t know his name. But he was on a show called Manifest that Alan and I watched, like, four seasons of before giving up. It was basically lost 2. 0. Like, this airplane full of people disappeared off of all of the radars. And the people on the plane, like, there was, like, turbulence or whatever.

But then it came back, but when the plane landed, it was, like, Ten years later, and they hadn’t aged at all. And it was a big mystery and we watched it for like four seasons. And then we’re like, Oh my God. Like, if you’re not going to wrap this up, we’re done with it. But anyway, this guy, the main guy was on that show and he was fine on that show.

He was a good guy on that show. I I’m trying to like lead you into wrapping it up because I’ve been rambling forever. The 

Todd: demon comes out, the girls start chanting, right? Because of his birthday. Yeah. She starts chanting something, I think I might have written it down. The tether is with it. The tether must hold, the evil must not be set free.

And they’re chanting and chanting and chanting, and then I I don’t remember exactly how it goes down, but they just basically tell him everything he needs to know. Uh, you’re 

Craig: you’re They grab him, they cut him. Oh, yes. They, like, spill his blood on the ground. And then one of them is like, ah, I’m free. And she runs and the, and the other one’s like, wait, it’s not finished yet.

And this girl like runs into an invisible boundary that we vaguely see. And then she turns back and she’s like, Oh no, how far away am I? And the other girl just like stands there in terror. And then we see this demon. Pop up behind the one girl and it cuts her throat. There’s a lot of throat cutting in this movie Oh, yeah We forgot to say that in in the first one in the first one a guy cuts his own throat in this one this girl Gets her throat cut and it never looks good.

And then it’s just this I don’t even know how to describe this demon He looks like venom. I guess kind like like a cheap low rate venom. It’s just black and little fangy Yeah, it’s dumb. And then the remaining girl explains it to him It’s a curse, basically, I 

Todd: guess. Yeah, it’s just a curse, and they’ve got to find people who were born on Christmas.

Those two girls apparently were born on Christmas. And so that’s the only thing that keeps this demon at bay from taking over the world or something. He’s got to be the new guardian. 

Craig: If you don’t take care of it, if you don’t stay within 20 yards or 20 feet of it or something, it’ll kill you, but then it won’t stop there.

It’ll kill It’ll kill your family and then it’ll just start killing everybody. It’s pure evil. You’ve gotta stay with it. And she’s like, Don’t worry, maybe you’ll get lucky. It only took us three years. Right. 

Todd: Oh man, of what? Hanging out in a van? I 

Craig: liked this one better before I talked about it. Yeah, I know, I 

Todd: was just thinking about it 

Craig: myself.

So like, he has to live in the van, like he has to live in the van with this demon. And this cute girl, she’s like, I’m sorry, um, I’ll drop your kids presents off at your house. She just drives away. Oh my god. Yeah. It’s stupid. It’s 

Todd: not clever. It’s like a convoluted thing that somebody came up with, but, you know, you kind of need more, right?

You need like, a little bit of more Of a reason or some kind of mini backstory like something that sounds more interesting than just this is its rules Like I don’t know like I don’t know why it just It’s very unsatisfying. I 

Craig: guess. And unfortunately, that was my favorite one. And honestly, in the moment, I was like, Oh, this one’s okay.

Me too. Maybe I was just so disappointed in the other ones. I don’t know. Um, but anyway, it cuts back to the theater. And the creepy old guy is staring at Jenna, and then we get the next one, which is all through the house. This one is a Christmas Carol. It’s just a modern retelling of a Christmas Carol. Not clever, not funny, terrible special effects.

Todd: Nothing charming 

Craig: about it. No! The Scrooge character is just an asshole. Which, you know, like he’s supposed to be, but usually Oh, God. I don’t even know how to describe it. Like, he’s just a middle aged dick. 

Todd: And this is where the movie’s really punching above its weight, you know? It’s trying to do this thing where he’s watching some black and white TV show, I guess it’s supposed to be a Christmas 

Craig: Carol?

Yeah, it is. It’s just a Christmas Carol, you know, it’s called Christmas Spirit. Obviously, they shot this movie for this movie, but it’s like in grainy black and white, so we’re supposed to believe. That it’s a classic, or whatever. But 

Todd: it looks so bad. The special effects here, even the grainy black and white thing they couldn’t get right.

It just looked terrible. I’m sorry. I hated this one. I was I couldn’t 

Craig: wait for this to be over. I know. He’s a jerk. His neighbor tries to get him in the Christmas spirit and that he’s flipping channels. He’s snorting Coke. He’s drinking. It’s so stupid. At some point the TV won’t change channels. Like it sticks on this Christmas Carol movie and it says you will be visited by three ghosts.

At which point the cheapest looking Atari ass looking three ghosts appear behind him. And they’re just black silhouettes with white eyes. It is so cheap. You could have almost had the same effect with just like black construction paper with eye holes cut out and just blurred a little bit. It looks terrible.

That would have been innovative. And then the rest of it is kind of his dreams, like, I guess the ghosts are nondescript. There’s nothing unique about them. They’re just these three things. And I guess the ghost of Christmas past. Shows when he was a little kid and his family tried to make him sing a Christmas song and that traumatized him.

And the main guy plays both his dad and himself as a baby in a onesie. Yeah. Oh, God. It’s Christmas. I’m trying not to use the F word, but it looks so f ing stupid. And the whole thing is The whole thing is. And then Ghost of Christmas Present, like, his neighbor knocks on the door, and he’s drunk, and he’s still, I don’t know, like he’s chewing him out about not having the Christmas spirit, and then I guess it immediately switches to Future because they get in a tussle.

And accidentally the neighbor like trips the guy and he falls and hits his head and dies. So the ghost of Christmas future just shows him like his body decomposing and rats eating it. And then when he wakes up and realizes that isn’t real. He’s cured. I don’t even remember. 

Todd: What? Like, girlfriend comes home or something.

He’s happy. And that’s it. And that was so disappointing. I mean, I don’t want to see a segment that just recreates the Christmas Carol in the worst possible way. Badly! 

Craig: Oh my god, it was 

Todd: terrible! I’m so glad that you clearly took some notes on this because I literally have one sentence and I had no energy.

To take notes on the rest of this thing after I saw how it was going. God. 

Craig: And then the lady comes out and puts up the sign that says intermission and I’m like, are you kidding me? No! 

Todd: But, but interesting things are happening here, right? Like they go, they get up and it’s funny because every time this black box thing ends, it ends on some stupid like, you know.

pantomime thing on stage, which is supposed to look stupid, and I chuckled almost every time. I was actually looking forward to the end of every segment. Not only 

Craig: because Just to see how the actors were configured. 

Todd: Yeah, it was kind of funny, but like, that was a joke that I’ll that will never get old for me.

The other running gag is that slowly and slowly the audience is disappearing as this is going on, like nobody is interested in this. And once again, I’m thinking, yeah, that’s me too, like maybe there’s like a big joke at the end, right? That this is all setting me up for. Because, 

Craig: interesting things happen.

No, but the movie is, interesting is, interesting is a stretch. Things happen. 

Todd: Intriguing for the time things happen. He goes to get water. 

Craig: Right, but that’s what’s so frustrating is that it’s intriguing in the moment but there are, like, no payoffs. 

Todd: Yeah, that’s the frustrating thing. But at the moment, I was like, oh, what’s he doing?

He’s going to get water. He’s being cagey about somebody he’s having a phone conversation with. 

Craig: He’s been doing this from the beginning. He did it in the very beginning. He does it now. He gets on the phone with somebody. She hears him anxiously talking to somebody. But we don’t 

Todd: know who. She goes to get a water from that boring woman at the front who is being kind of a dick that sells things, who doesn’t talk.

And a duplicate of her comes from the back room and hands her a water? Like, 

Craig: there’s just no com like, the girl, Jenna, just kinda looks like, Oh, I didn’t know there were two of you. Like, that’s just the look that she gives, but that’s the only commentary that you get, like, Oh, okay, well, I guess there are just identical twins that work here.

There is never a payoff 

Todd: for this. No! 

Craig: So shitty. Apparently the concessions at this theater are free. Because she, she asks for a water and it just gets handed to her and then the creepy guy who keeps staring at her just comes and grabs a bag of popcorn and walks back into the theater staring at her and then when they get back into the theater, the guy, this was, this I think was my favorite part.

The guy says, Gosh, not many people came back from intermission, and she looks around and says, Yeah, do you think we could And the lights go down. Like Right? I can imagine myself in that situation where I would look around and realize that almost everybody had left and I would want to leave too, and then the lights go down and you’re like, God damn it.

Now I have to stay for the rest of this and the next one is called a rose such a clatter. Oh my God, please, please do this one. I can’t. 

Todd: I can’t. Oh, I can do it in like two sentences. Please. A guy is driving down the road in the dark and he hits something and what do you know? It’s a deer. Like, I did not see this coming.

I’m, I’m kidding. He gets a deer, he pulls it off the road, and we see in this close up that there’s a collar on the road that says Blitzen. Okay, so he’s killed one of Santa’s reindeer. 

Craig: Yeah, and there’s also red POV, like something or someone is watching him. You get this all red POV watching all of this go down.

Todd: Was he set up to hit this reindeer? God. Okay, then he goes into his house, and there’s like a red light, and I was thinking, ooh, it’s like alien abduction. 

Craig: It did, it felt like that, yeah. And he 

Todd: creeps around his house a bit, he goes upstairs, and then, Oh my God. The red light flashes, and he gets stabbed in the stomach by some deer 

Craig: antlers.

You and I could have filmed this in an afternoon. Like, 

Todd: in an hour. This was so basic, and the whole conceit was, Ooh, this 

Craig: guy ran over one of Santa’s 

Todd: reindeer, and now I guess off screen Rudolph has come to kill him. And he does. That’s 

Craig: it. Oh my god, I didn’t even get the Rudolph reference! 

Todd: That’s the red light!

It’s easy to miss because there is, there is like some stupid, bizarre, weird ass shit when he gets killed. It’s like flickering. I think the movie’s trying to be clever or trying to get all music video on us or something where it like Flashes to his car and then flashes to the collar and then flashes to his stomach again and it’s just this cacophony of Yeah, I don’t know.

Craig: My favorite thing about this one is that apparently Santa’s reindeer wear small identifying dog collars Yeah, that collar looked like it was for a terrier like and then when the reindeer attacks the guy It couldn’t have looked more stupid. Yeah. It does not, like, you get, you only see flashes of the horns and the, the deer’s eye.

And it looks like it’s about, like, the, the span of the reindeer’s rack. It’s like a foot. Like, it’s like No, it’s bad. I guess they’re supposed to be tiny reindeer? It’s 

Todd: bad. So far, all of the things that we’ve talked about, there’s like no Twist. There’s nothing clever or smart about them. It’s like the basic requirement of this anthology.

Even if it’s a stupid twist, give me a twist. This is way too straightforward and dumb, and thank God it’s short. I think it’s the shortest one. 

Craig: Eh, I have the least notes on it, but I thought it was just so stupid, yeah. So then it goes back to the stage. This was my favorite part, though. It goes 

Todd: back to the stage, and it’s these people standing on stage staring at each other blankly.

One guy has a big like plastic reindeer and he’s going, Mm, 

Craig: uh, He’s 

Todd: pushing it towards this other person who’s got like these red streamers he’s holding in his stomach and he’s tossing them out. I, I did fall out of my chair laughing at that bit. That, that one 

Craig: was pretty 

Todd: funny.

Craig: That one was pretty funny. I have to admit, then it goes back to the stage. And at this point, Max seems visibly uncomfortable. Like it looks like he has diarrhea. I don’t know what’s going on. And the old guy who’s been staring at Jenna the whole time is gone, which is weird because he comes back later.

But then we get to the next one and I’m like, are you serious? Like I’m looking at the time, like, there really is one God. Please God let this be the last one and I was confident that it would be and it is but they Trick you like it’s really not We’ll get there in a second. But this one’s called in a twinkling and I don’t remember what it’s about.

Oh, oh god Okay, this is the weird ass Twilight Zone. This is the weird ass Twilight Zone one Oh, so a guy is coming home on Christmas Eve makes a point Of staring at the full moon and saying not tonight, not tonight. Yes. And then he goes into his bedroom and he’s gonna chain himself up. This is the only thing in this movie that I thought was clever.

Because I was a hundred percent certain that this was a werewolf segment. Yeah, me too. And it’s not. And 

Todd: it’s not. His girlfriend comes over and surprises him. It’s like, oh everyone’s here, we’re gonna give you a party. And this is the one Constance Wu was in. Constance Wu, I guess, is his girlfriend, right?

Okay. And he was very adamant, uh, on the phone with her, like, I don’t want to do anything tonight. I’m just gonna be home by myself. And she’s like, hey, aren’t I great? Aren’t I a wonderful girlfriend? And I brought all these people over. He’s very uncomfortable. And then 

Craig: Yeah, he tries to talk to her. He tries to explain to her what’s going on.

She’s like, uh, I don’t have time for this. I need to smoke. Yeah. So she goes and sits outside to smoke. And while she’s smoking A star, like, bursts into three pieces and starts swirling around, and she’s like, Hey guys, come look at this star. Then it like, goes to fuzzy TV screen? Mm hmm. Like old school static TV screen?

Todd: Yeah, old school static. And now everything is in black and white. Right. Now, I could see what they were trying to do here. And I would have appreciated this had this been a different movie. They were literally making this, like, patterned after an old Twilight Zone episode. Yeah. To the point where even the music is, uh, just, like, one note away, basically, from the Do do do do do do do do.

Yeah. Do do do do do, you know, the old classic Twilight Zone. And so suddenly, everything’s 

Craig: weird. Well, especially since it’s all in black and white. 

Todd: They sit down at the table. And now her friends, who she had brought over, are just staring at them. They’re super 

Craig: wide eyed and super smiley. And they’re like, 

Todd: can I get you some more turkey?

Do you like 

Craig: Christmas, Gabby? Yeah, sure. Could you tell us about one of your own Christmas memories?

Uh, you guys are messing with me, right? And they’re really weird, and I have, I’ll say the, I don’t know who he is, but the guy friend, whoever he was, he was really creepy. He was particularly wide eyed and smiley and consistent. Like it’s one guy and two girls. The girls just weren’t as invested. I felt like, like he is going for this wide eyed, creepy thing.

Todd: don’t know. I thought that Stephanie Drake was kind of good. She was the one who was on Mad Men, and, and she had 

Craig: almost Was she the blonde, or there was a, there was a blonde and a brunette? Right, the blonde did most of 

Todd: the talking. Yeah, she was the blonde. I, you know, she was also a little out there in Mad Men 2.

Yeah. I think it was, she was what, the secretary for D’Andrea? I don’t know, I haven’t watched it. I can’t remember exactly. She’s one of those gals who I feel like she could just do this character, right? This kind of spacey, creepy, out there woman, and she did it well. 

Craig: I didn’t hate This one either. No, this, this one was another one that I felt like if this had been in a better anthology, I would’ve appreciated it.

Just thinking, oh, this is one of the weaker segments in a better anthology. But I didn’t hate it. I, I liked the concept and I thought that it was kind of fun, but really all it comes down to, I like, this has happened to this guy before and he. is not an alien. Like, he is still himself too. And he excuses himself from the table and comes back in with a gun and shoots them all in the head and she’s like, What have you done?

And he says, not what you think. And the aliens Just come back to life and are fine, but they’re glitchy. It’s like they’re in an old 1950s TV show and the alien people are glitchy. 

Todd: It’s weird. Yeah, there wasn’t enough explanation here. Like it wasn’t obvious enough exactly what was going on. The gist of it was, I think, if I interpret it correctly, Is that this guy, for the last, who knows how many years, has been visited by aliens at Christmas time.

Yeah, and 

Craig: it’s like the aliens are just really, really curious about Christmas. 

Todd: Right, and so I guess they’re kind of harmless, they’re more annoying than anything, but they just ask him a bunch of questions, and Then they go 

Craig: away. And at one point, at one point, he’s like, she’s like, she tries to get away several times, but every time she walks out of the room, she just ends up walking right back into it.

And, uh, they’re asking all kinds of questions, and she asks the guy, like, What, what do they want? What are they doing? Have you ever asked them? And he’s like, no, in 10 years, I’ve never asked them what they want. So she, uh, sarcastically, he says that. And then, so she asked them, what do you want? And they’re, they like get mad.

Scary alien faces. For a second. Yeah, that’s right. And the guy’s like, yeah, they don’t like that when you ask. And my favorite part of the whole movie is at one point they’re sitting down and it’s weird, like they they sit down to dinner and everything’s in black and white but when they Pull up the cu the tray cover off the turkey.

The turkey is like in technicolor. Then they make them open presents and when they pull their presents out, their presents are in like technicolor. It’s weird. And I kinda liked that actually, stylistically. I liked it, but I don’t understand what it means, you know? No, I don’t understand what it means either.

But my favorite part of the whole movie was when they were sitting at dinner and uh, the blonde alien says, like, the two main people who aren’t aliens are kind of having a conversation. And the blonde alien keeps asking the girl, Do you want to say a blessing? Do you want to say a blessing? And she just keeps getting more and more aggressive.

Do you want to say a blessing? And finally, the girl says, Jesus Christ, Mary! And the aliens all go, Amen.

Oh, I thought that was so funny. I laughed out loud at that. Jesus Christ, Mary. Amen.

Oh, gosh. But they basically just have to, they just have to wait it out. That’s it. 

Todd: That’s it. And then it’s done. This could have been good if there was a little more information or if it had a better payoff at the end. Or if maybe this year something different happened. Because I really liked the fake out, the werewolf fake out.

But now in retrospect, I’m not sure why he was chaining himself to anything. I don’t 

Craig: either. I think that what we’re supposed to believe is that the whole time that it’s in black and white, they’re not really in his house. 

Todd: Oh, they’ve been pulled up into a ship. Oh, you might be right about that. 

Craig: Yeah, I think so.

And, you know, eventually they, I don’t know, they ask her like, why don’t you like Christmas? And she, oh God, it’s so convoluted. It’s like the gremlins thing. Like, oh, my dad died in the chimney. No, it was just her parents didn’t celebrate Christmas. And every year she would get so excited about Christmas and she would ask, for things.

And she never got it. And the aliens like give her this doll that she wanted when she was a kid or something. But then she and the other guy just wake up. Um, what happened to their other friends? I don’t know why. Did the aliens take them? And they’re just fine with it? Oh and also they leave, the aliens apparently before they leave set up a Christmas tree and leave a note on it and I didn’t have my glasses on and I didn’t care so do you, what, did you read what the note said?

No, I didn’t. Me either. In fact, I don’t know. 

Todd: I have, I’ve gotten no more notes on this show at this point. I’m trying, I’m racking my brain trying to remember how it all ends because I think I distinctly remember just the whole thing didn’t really 

Craig: end. Okay, so I remember how it ends. They’re back in the black box and Max seems, again, super uncomfortable like he’s about to shit his pants.

And so he excuses himself and then the people on stage start the next Which is, and to all a good night, which is, they recreate the beginning of the movie. They recreate when, Max and Jenna were outside meeting, like, Oh, I, thanks for meeting with me. Oh, it’s okay, I didn’t have anything better to do. And then they recreate the night, like, sitting in the theater and, and things that these people have said, and it comes, like, it builds up to That moment.

That moment, when Max excuses himself because he’s not feeling well, and then she overhears Max on stage. The on stage Max, talking on the phone, saying, Oh man, I really tried, I really tried to resist it, but I just can’t. Um, I’m so hungry, I have to eat. And then, the on stage Max comes back and sits down, next to the on stage Jenna, and says, Is it over?

And then the lights go out. Yeah. And then the real Max comes back and sits down next to her and says, Is it over? And then, oh man, I’m so hungry. And then his face flashes as, like, a demon face for a second. Oh, I didn’t 

Todd: catch that. 

Craig: Like, she doesn’t even see it. Oh. And then, the old man, it’s just the two of them and the old man left in the theater, and the old man starts maniacally laughing.

The end. It’s so frustrating. I wish that it had been funnier. I wish that it had been worse. I wish that it had been so bad it’s funny. But it’s not. But it wasn’t. Like, it’s just, okay. It’s just a chore to watch. I know every segment, I’m just looking at my watch like, Oh my god. Like, I actually watched, because I had seen it before, so I wasn’t worried about seeing every intricate detail.

I actually put this on my television. And I was mad that I had because I couldn’t Hit the mouse pad to check where it was in the run time, because I thought, Oh my God, this will never end. And honestly, we’ve seen far, far worse. But I just can’t imagine. A scenario that I would recommend this for. Unless you are DESPERATE, if you are DESPERATE for something Christmassy, because Holy shit, it is Christmassy.

Like, it is Christmassy through and through. Yeah. But Unless you’re just absolutely desperate, find something else. Watch Krampus or Gremlins again before you watch this. 

Todd: Right. I think this is one of those cases where like middling is just even worse than bad. You know? This is just so middling that it’s frustrating and there’s nothing really joyful to latch onto.

There’s nothing so bad that you’re just chuckling in your seat or. And this is where I kind of realized that sometimes our job on this show is just to watch things so that our listeners don’t have to. I guess. I feel like this was like my Christmas public service was to pull this thing out that had, again, like I said, there are people who apparently think this is a solid Christmas anthology out there.

Don’t be fooled. This is not worth your time. Man. Don’t be fooled by the people in it. Don’t be fooled by any reviews you might read, 

Craig: uh. If you made this movie and you’re listening, I’m sorry. I know, I just I’m sorry, it just wasn’t good. 

Todd: I think it was a husband and wife team, and then they’ve written other stuff, and hopefully better things than this.

I just, uh, yeah, sorry guys. We can’t always bat a thousand, 

Craig: right? I mean, Merry Christmas anyway!

Todd: Happy Holidays! 

Craig: Outside my window, I’m looking at a winter wonderland. The evergreens in my backyard are just like drooping with boughs of snow. The snow is blowing across the window. Oh boy, I’m excited. And you get to come home for Christmas. 

Todd: Oh, I can’t wait. That’s going to be a blast. Definitely going to be surrounded by the spirit of the season.

I’m really looking forward to that. Well, you’re 

Craig: going to get, yeah, you’re going to get to experience cause you’re doing Christmas kind of in the. Middle northern part of the country and then heading south, right? So you’ll get Yeah, and then heading to the 

Todd: desert. 

Craig: Yeah. Talk a little bit 

Todd: about That’ll be interesting.

That’ll be my first time really, so that should be interesting, 

Craig: yeah. Yeah. I’m excited for you to get to see your family and I’m excited for us to get to keep doing Christmas stuff. Hopefully we’ll find something better for the next few weeks. Yeah, we 

Todd: got two more to go. There’s some promising ones on the horizon.

Please please 

Craig: stick around and then we’re gonna need to find A movie for new years. So if you’ve got any good, uh suggestions for a new year’s movie, we’re always Open to suggestions. So let us know 

Todd: Well, thank you so much for bearing with us through this episode if you enjoyed it Please share with a friend if you enjoy this podcast, you can subscribe to our podcast anywhere You know, you can subscribe to podcasts, but we have a new newsletter out now and if you go to our website ChainsawHorror.

com, there’s a link there to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. We put some news in there, put up some fun bits, of course, link to our episodes and any related episodes. Go and subscribe if that’s something that you want showing up in your inbox every week. But you know, you can also talk to us. Uh, there is a cool little app out there called SpeakPipe.

It’s not even an app, it’s just a website, so you can access it from your browser, your phone, wherever you are. Just go to our website and click the link that says talk to us. You can record a ni up to 90 second message and click the button and it’ll immediately get sent to us. And uh, we have been reviewing those messages on our show.

And we’d like to hear from you, so if you’d like to hear your voice in the show, you want to tell us a little bit about how you’re going to be spending the holiday season, the kind of movies you’re going to be watching, or really just anything you want to say. We may be featuring you on the end of an upcoming episode.

Until next time, I’m Todd. And I’m Craig. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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