VIDEO: A Cheap-Arse Christmas Special: The Curse of Chris Mass

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Bonus Video! Paper Jam, a film about killer printers, co-starring Liam Barrett!

The Cheap-Arse Film Critic reviews four, yes, four movies in one episode! Cheapus gets a set of DVDs for Christmas, but it turns out they contain four disembodied souls trapped between worlds by the sinister Chris Mass, and they can only be freed by reviewing the Christmas-themed movies contained within: Scrooged, Gremlins, Fred Claus, and Mixed Nuts!

Special Bonus Video: Paper Jam, a short film about killer printers, co-starring Cheapus AKA Liam Barrett! When a police detective investigates a suspicious murder, he discovers desktop printers are on the loose and murdering the innocent. Its up to him and his partner Barry (Liam) to locate the mysterious figure behind it all.

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  • LindaMinda

    Say what you want about the ‘review’, but I quite enjoyed Paper Jam, thought it was hilarious. It gave me that Simon Pegg/Shaun of the Dead vibe about it for some reason.

  • Jason Withrow

    “Or it might have got cut out of this DVD.”

    Still disappointing!

  • Muthsarah

    That was really fun.  How long did it take you to do all that?

    I miss the 1980s PG movies too, even if I was barely alive for them at the time (I technically got to them later).  They had edge, they had fun, they pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable for kids (which is why we kids loved them so much, and why PG-13 ultimately came into being), and they were not afraid to be disturbing and creepy.  And if anything, they get more fun with time.  I had to grow into movies like Scrooged, which was fun as a kid because of how strange and scary it is, but it has a lot of satire and subversive humor that I didn’t get until years later.  Mostly, I loved how some kids were absolutely terrified of them.  They wouldn’t dare make anything potentially terrifying today, it’d never make it past pre-development.

    Whenever I hear of projects like Mixed Nuts, I keep remembering what Ebert said in his Death to Smoochy review (paraphrasing): “Only a very, very talented group of people could possibly make something this bad.  A mediocre talent would never have it in them to go where this movie goes and thus fail so spectacularly.  You need a visionary to do that.”  It could maybe have worked as a nihilistic farce if none of the characters save Wilson’s cared one whit about saving anybody, and found the constant attempts by the desperate and lonely to reach out to them for help to be nothing more than annoying interruptions to their own petty arguments (in a Black Books sorta way).  Or it could have gone traditionally sentimental, with the dark humor removed, and having no one get killed just to set up a sex scene.  I still think the film’s setup had potential, it just needed half the subplots removed and for Ephron to settle on one comedic tone.  It is bizarre that there is so little going on, given that the premise itself is so cluttered.

  • Dennis_Fischer

    Liam, your theory about Billy originally written as a younger character is absolutely correct.  An earlier draft of Chris Columbus’ screenplay had Billy being around 8 years old, but Dante suggested they go older, as there are strict limitations on how long young kids are allowed to work per day in Hollywood.

  • Torgeaux


  • The_Stig

    I don’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrate Hogswatch.

    Oh god, The Smiths. LIGHTEN UP, MORRISSEY! She won’t do sport with me, says it’s way, way too masculine. Look at him. (you win the internet if you get that reference. Yes, all the internet))

    Pal, you just reviewed one of the three most awesome Christmas movies ever made simply for the first ten minutes alone. THE NIGHT THE REINDEER DIED—HOW WAS THIS NOT A REAL THING??? Seriously, I would give all the money for that to be an actual Christmas special. Rankin-Bass can go to Hell, Lee Majors is where it’s at.

    Although, why did they call the TV Special-Within-The-Movie Scrooge and not its proper name A Christmas Carol? I never understood that. Fanboy gushing about this film that I absolutely adore aside, this is probably one of the best adaptations of the source material ever. 

    Oh, and the whole “pets watching TV” thing was what I always thought a satirical mockery of Network Execs’ obsession with ratings demographics (in IBC’s case, pet viewers, which they were trying to corner the market on) I thought the joke worked, it’s just so silly without being forced.

    GREMLINS! Aw yeah. Aw HELL yeah! But there’s one thing that always bothered me. If they multiply when they get wet (and it’s established that just a single drop of water is enough), why are they not going into labor the second the started drinking all that beer? It’s not like there’s any water in beer /sarcasm. Or for that matter, why not the second they escaped the house and started walking in the snow? What did Joe Dante think snow was made of?

    Ah, Mixed Nuts. I love a good screwball comedy. This is not a good screwball comedy….though it does have its moments.