Thursday, December 10, 2009

Animated Christmas Horror


I have been out of commission temporarily due to end of the quarter itis. I finally declared my major (history), and this is the first quarter I've taken as declared; I wrote a lot. A LOT. I think probably around fifty pages, just for the end of the quarter? I like to write, but damn, you guys. DAMN. To add to that, it's (gloriously) butt-wheemingly cold; I went to my final final today (a glorious pairing of words!), and it was, no kidding, two degrees out. Not twenty two, not forty two, TWO. I walk to class. I never get cold, but holy shit, I was cold. It's so frigid here that the steam grates, while still steaming away, have actually grown a healthy beard of hoarfrost. I had no idea that steam and frost could co-exist, but in central Washington it's currently happening. I felt the way Jack Nicholson looked at the end of The Shining by the time I got inside and in front of my space heater.

Before we get into the title of this article, I must give big, wet, lickory kisses to Cins, who did a marvelous job of holding down the blog whilst I was off reflecting on why Bonnie Prince Charlie was actually a douche nozzle. She also observed our first anniversary with a LOVELY drawing, and I just wanna say: Cins, you're awesome. An awesome writer, an awesome artist, and best of all, an awesome friend. Thank you for not only letting me get my shenanigans all over you, but for also actively participating in them!

Now, on to the thrust of this post! I love Christmas horror almost as much as I love Halloween horror. I think it's the juxtaposition between the imagery and then what's going on; in particular I love Christmas set ghost stories. Now I love Christmas, I really do; in fact I'm sitting next to my tree as I type this. But Halloween wasn't that long ago, and I feel like everything is still thin; what is a hazy thought laying in a hammock in July seems so much more real when huddled next to a heater or fireplace in December. Is it a recollection of some kind of shared, genetic recall that winter frequently meant death? Fuck if I know, I just know it's creepy.

There are some really great gems hidden, if you know where to look, and I'm not talking about the obvious choices like Silent Night, Deadly Night or any of its ilk. I'm talking about cartoons.

Specifically this time 'round, I'm talking about two of my favorite animated Christmas specials: the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Billy and Mandy Save Christmas. We've all seen the Grinch, so I'll keep mention of it here minimal: angry, green, fuzzy man decides that he hates Christmas, so no one gets it. This guy is the original creeper, too boot, and steals everything, then learns a valuable lesson about where Christmas is truly housed: in the heart, rendering it accessible to anyone who wants it. It's wonderful, and if you haven't seen it then you're either a cultureless tit or you don't have TBS.

Watch, lest I fuck you up in some fashion.

What I really want to pimp out is Billy and Mandy. This is the Christmas special for the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, and it's sick and hilarious all at once. Ever thought your Christmas special needed more vampires? More Malcolm McDowell? More Malcolm McDowell as a vampire? More Malcolm McDowell as a vampire singing Singing in the Rain, one of the most disturbing nods to pop culture ever seen in what is ostensibly a show for children?

I wanted to show pictures of the amazingly fucked up character design for Baron von Ghoulish, but apparently I'm the only person on our glorious water planet that wants to look at screen captures and giggle at the memory of the terrible American accent Mr. McDowell does at one point. Seriously. It's my favorite part of the whole show.

The gist is this: somehow Santa Claus has been turned into a vampire, and it turns out that Grim (the grim reaper and unwilling slave to the tiny blond tyrant that is Mandy) went to college with Santa. Mrs. Clause calls Grim for help, and the denouement is hilarious and wrong. I'll give you two small tastes: for the first and only time Gilbert Godfry was tapped to voice Santa, and this isn't the first time this has happened to Saint Nick!

It's a great show, and the holiday specials tend to be aces in my book. Cartoon Network tends to show this a lot, so if it's on give it a watch! You'll never look at dustbusters the same way again.


Matthew said...

You sold me on Billy & Mandy... check it out, if you click the Remind Me star on this page: LOCATETV, they'll email you a few days before it airs again (They track 14 days ahead)!

I use that site for any horror movies I intend to see... I maxed out an account's worth of films :)

Hope I get to see it this year.

Nojh said...

Ahh. The Adventures of Billy and Mandy. A show with such potential that sometimes seems to fall flat on its face. All too often it seems to turn into The Adventures of how stupid Billy can be. When its not that, however, it tends to be brilliant.

This sounds like a hilarious episode though. I will definitely try and find it!

And... as it stands. I have!
Cartoon Network: The Adventures of Billy and Mandy: Billy & Mandy Save Christmas

Yes yes I know. I'm awesome. ;)

Nojh said...

Wow. Thats an awesome little site you have there Matthew. I think I may start using that. Thank you!

Matthew said...

@Nojh... yeah it's a great site (not mine though)... if you happen to max out the limit of movie/TV episode "picks", they told me it was OK to make more accounts for yourself (different emails required). I had a big Netflix queue, so I just went down the list and picked them all on LocateTV... so it's helping me whittle it down nicely!

Eviltwin said...

Billy and Mandy are the best! Dracula don't SUCK! Dracula SCRAPE and LICK!!