The Magic Christmas Tree-Not All That Magical or That Christmas-y (Wherein I Curse A Lot)

I wish that I could blow your mind with some serious feel good, nostalgic mother-fucking holiday yuletide shit. Instead, all I got is some weird ass mid-sixties west-coast tom-foolery, that was frankly disturbing at best.

‘The Magic Christmas Tree’ was originally released in 1964. Apparently they had not mastered the art of syncing lips with recorded sound yet or maybe it wasn’t in their budget, but regardless the disconnect left me with a bit of a headache. I suppose this could have been a result of time and crappy film storage, but I digress…

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Mark, our dorky prepubescent protagonist and two of his mates are walking home from school. They are discussing upcoming Halloween plans. Yeah, Halloween. It’s a Christmas movie. I guess this got our somewhat dull hero in the mood for tricks and treats and he talks his equally addle brained friends into swinging by the local ‘haunted’ house on the way home. Mark is super gung-ho to creep on the poor old spinster that lives in the house, but his chicken-shit friends aren’t having any of it. They run away with their tails between their legs. Fuck those guys.

Our budding peeping Tom continues to trespass. Guess you can see where this is going-that’s right. He gets caught. Granted, the lady that owns the house WAS super fucking creepy-I’d shit my pants for sure-but still, creeping is rude.

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Instead of ripping the little punk a new one, the crazy lady asks him to help her get her cat, Lucifer (seriously?), out of a nearby tree. Mark is NOT comfortable with this whole situation, but to his credit, he feels guilty and agrees to help. Up he goes like a spider monkey-a husky, out of shape spider monkey…

Maybe Lucifer had something to do with it, but Mark falls out of the tree. He’s out cold. At this point, I got a little panic-y. The vibe was already so freaking weird and the sixties were all about experimentation…

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Thankfully the little jackass wakes up only to discover that the wild eyed old lady is just a witch. Thank God! Her already bad wig now looks worse and I think she may have had green face paint on. Hard to tell. She’s grateful to him for essentially scaring the cat out of the tree. His kindness should be rewarded. Mark REALLY wants to get home. His discomfort is palpable.

The witch presents him with a hideously ugly artsy-craftsy magic Santa ring. The ring could hold drugs, but instead it holds seeds. He is instructed to plant the seeds on Thanksgiving. Yeah, Thanksgiving. It’s a Christmas movie. Oh, he also has to twist the ring three times and say some stupid thing that I can’t remember now.

Mark is ecstatic early Thanksgiving morning as he runs to the yard to plant the seeds and perform his voodoo.  There’s a seriously concerning lightening effect and Mark runs inside to the safety of his room.  This is also where we meet Ichabod.  As far as I am concerned, Ichabod, a pet turtle that lives in a drawer, should have received top billing as he WAS the best actor in this movie, by far…

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The tree grows to a full size, albeit Charlie Brown looking, tree overnight.  Mark’s dad, whom obviously gave Mark the genes responsible for his two brain cells, tries to mow the tree down.  Apparently a big fucking tree that grows overnight in a California suburb is not noticeable enough to warrant mowing around. Oh, and seriously-the scene where Dad is trying to start the mower?  That lasted about 15 tries longer than it should have.  Good Lord…

I will be perfectly honest-I was TRYING to follow along with this movie.  I was.  It kinda gets a little sketchy from here on out.  I did a lot of uncomfortable shifting in my seat.  To the best of my knowledge, on Christmas Eve, Mark tries out the spell.  The tree ends up in his house fully decorated and talking.  In a very condescending voice.  It was a shitty tree really.  It does, however, promise Mark three wishes.  His first wish was for an ‘hour of power’.  So stupid.  He can do whatever he wants for the next hour.  Yawn.  The second wish is to have Santa Claus all to himself.  Selfish prick.  Santa appears and they talk, about what, I’m not sure, I may have dozed off.  I think between the three of them they decide that Mark is a selfish asshole for stealing Santa from all the children in the world.

Here’s where it gets really weird.  I remember a giant.  Big hairy guy with very little in the way of pants on.   I have no idea why or how, but Mark is in the woods in his jammies with this big fucking giant harassing him!  I think the third wish was for Santa to be given back to all the children of the world, but what the hell was up with the giant?  Does anyone remember?  Jeez, what a mess.

The movie ends, but I was falling all over myself to get the hell out of the theater.  I could cheat and IMBD it or something, but I try to write these reviews as true to the memory and experience that I had as I can.  I just know it was super creepy, the dad made me feel dirty, I think the mom was a proponent of ‘little helpers’ and Mark is probably still in therapy.  Ichabod the turtle won my heart.  He’s probably still alive.

Merry Christmas Psycho Cinema and Film Club 3.0!  I love you guys so much!  You rock the Casbah!  I have so many great memories and I’ve made so many good friends!  I can always count on you for good conversation and a good laugh or maybe even sometimes a solid cry, depending on the movie.  All the best in the New Year and I look forward to seeing you at the movies!  xoxo

i live in a ‘cabin in the woods’ with my two dogs. it’s usually pretty quiet except for ‘the birds’ and if i leave them ‘alone in the dark’, then there is ‘the howling’. i once solicited an ‘exorcist’, but ’28 days later’, ‘it came back’. i guess ‘it follows’. i’m single and kind of a ‘hellraiser’, but one day i hope to ‘let the right one in’…
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The Magic Christmas Tree-Not All That Magical or That Christmas-y (Wherein I Curse A Lot)

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