Mar 7, 2018
Santa with Muscles (1996) (part 5 of 11)
Anyway, Hulk heads outside, and at the front entrance, he asks Lenny where his sleigh is. Of course, the same adoring crowds are still surrounding the two of them like groupies. Geez people, get lives! It’s not like it’s Joey Lawrence or something!
Lenny makes up some anti-amusing excuses for the lack of a sleigh, and then takes Hulk on over to his scooter [!]. The crowds wave goodbye as we’re treated to the wonderful sight of Hulk Hogan in a Santa costume riding on the back of a moped. You know folks, it just doesn’t get any better than this. No, seriously. It doesn’t get any better. Get out while you still can.
Back over at the Frost “mansion”, Dr. Blight tries to hand Frost a report, but Frost does a really tired bit where he sprays disinfectant all over the report first. Look, Mr. Begley, if it didn’t work on this script, it’s not going to work on that report.
Dr. Blight expresses concern that the Upside Down Guy they’re torturing isn’t going to “sell”, which is immediately followed by him yelling, “I’ll sell! I’ll sell!” Cut to him still being tortured by the three henchman. Well, actually, the henchman are just standing around him and being annoying as hell, but that’s torture enough I guess.
From inside the mansion, Frost tells the guy to be “out by Christmas.” I have to assume Frost is speaking into a video camera, but that’s not made very clear. So it looks like Begley is just softly speaking and hoping the guy will hear him through the window and all the way across the lawn.
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Frost turns from the window and touches a remote control, causing a bright map to slide out of the wall. The map is covered with a grid, and Frost uses a marker to draw an “X” on a square representing the land just sold to him. There are several rows of Xs on this map, so either Frost is just about done with a solitaire game of Tic Tac Toe, or this is supposed to be a map of a specific area he’s trying to buy up.
But, it seems there’s one lone holdout on the map. X has not gotten this square. Can you guess who it is? It ends in “rphanage”, and I’ll let you buy a vowel.
Frost orders Dr. Blight to help the folks at the orphanage “adopt a new attitude”. Get it? The joke is pounded further into the ground when Dr. Blight laughs riotously, only to be greeted with the expected stony silence from Frost. So, to recap, stupid movie, unfunny jokes. Moving on.
Hulk and Lenny are still on the scooter, heading straight to the orphanage. Unfortunately, they’re beaten there by Frost’s goons, who are all riding around in an ice cream truck [??]. I think there’s a pun buried in here somewhere about “frost” and “ice cream” but it sounds like something left over from an earlier draft. Wait… What am I saying? What earlier draft?
Dr. Blight gets out and makes yet another “doctor’s note” into his tape recorder to complain about Mr. Flint’s driving. While this is going on, Mr. Flint and Ms. Watt run a chain from the rear fender of the truck to a statue on the orphanage lawn. My best guess is that it’s a statue of Columbus, but that really makes no sense. So, that must be it. Meanwhile, Mr. Vial nails a picket sign in the front lawn that says “Only 3 Shopping Days ‘Til Christmas”.
Dr. Blight knocks on the front door and Leslie, the woman who runs the orphanage, appears. Leslie is played by Robin Curtis, best known to legions of Trekkies as The Other Saavik. Boy, The Search for Spock sure feels like a long time ago, huh, Saavik?
Dr. Blight announces he’s come to harass her. Well, not in so many words, but that’s pretty much the gist of it. Right at that moment, three adorable little pre-teens pop into view.
Let’s see who we’ve got here. Why, there’s Precocious Little Elizabeth, who wrote that letter to Santa during the opening credits. Gosh, can’t get enough of her in a movie.
Also, there’s Adam Wylie, a redheaded freckle-faced Jack Johnson clone, who prior to this appeared as Zack on Picket Fences. Looks like he’s also got himself a recurring part these days on Gilmore Girls. Can’t knock him for that, especially since I’ve never seen the show.
Rounding out our trio of hapless orphans (really and truly, they have no hap) is none other than a pre-adolescent Mila Kunis, who would later become famous as Jackie on That 70’s Show. Strangely, that makes her the second actor from this movie who would go on to be a regular on that series.
Anyway, Saavik, I mean, Leslie, I mean, Saavik tells Dr. Blight he’s “full of it”. She yells at him to “leave us alone” and “just disappear forever!” It’s a rather odd choice of words, but we’ll see the reasons behind them later (a lot later). Blight blows her a creepy kiss, so Saavik spits back, “In your dreams!” and tells the kids to come inside.
“Wow!” Dr. Blight says, as the other three henchman snicker at him. Lenny’s scooter pulls up just in time for Lenny and Hulk to witness the ice cream truck yank the statue of Columbus right out of the front lawn [??]. I’m not sure why the henchman are doing this, other than the fact that they’re eeeee-vil, and that a piece of the statue will be used later.
As this happens, all the kids and Saavik come running out of the orphanage. Accompanying them is another adult played by…. Oh, no. Garrett Morris? They got to you, too?
Garrett shouts and yells and runs after the ice cream truck. Then, through the magic of bad continuity, he’s suddenly about fifty feet in front of the truck. Mr. Flint floors the truck, intending to run Garrett over and spare him the indignity of becoming a regular on The Jamie Foxx Show.
Just as Garrett’s about to get hit, the truck screeches to a halt. Its tires are still spinning, which can mean only one thing. Yep, Hulk Hogan has grabbed the chain and is now holding the truck back with just his bare hands [!!].
Now, I’m not an evil goon, but personally if I saw a guy stop a speeding truck with his bare hands, I’d probably just stare slack-jawed for a little while, then run to find the nearest camera. The goons, however, just back up and start laughing at him. Meanwhile, Hulk growls and grits his teeth like a mad attack dog. I’m not sure what effect he’s going for, but the laughing goons just continue to laugh at him and the truck eventually peels off.
The kids are overjoyed that Santa Claus himself has come to their rescue. To repay this heroic act, Saavik offers dinner to both Santa and his freakishly huge elf. What, no sexual favors? Hey, you did it for Spock when he hit puberty.
They head inside, and as soon as Hulk sits on the couch, Elizabeth babbles on and on about the letter she wrote to him, as if she’s the only kid in the world that writes letters to Santa or something. She runs off for a moment, and Mila “Jackie” Kunis gets all “older kid” on her, laughing at Elizabeth because she still believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and viable alternative energy sources. Jackie introduces herself as Sarah, and says the lone boy of the group is Taylor.
Lenny goes to shake Taylor’s hand, but Taylor totally leaves him hanging. Smart kid. Garrett Morris introduces himself as Clayton, then lets loose with an unexpectedly high number of unfunny lines. This makes me wonder why they even bothered to get Garrett Morris for the part if they weren’t going to give him anything funny to do.
The Hulkster, meanwhile, says he’s happy to meet them all, but proves to be about in the same boat as the audience when he says he’s not exactly sure why he’s here. He says he saw the sign at the mall, “and for some reason, I thought I might be needed here!”
After some awkward stares all around, Hulk asks about the goons. He soon learns about Ebner Frost and his plans to clear the whole neighborhood, and how he wants to buy the orphanage. Taylor, apparently the token Bitter Orphan, yells, “And he’ll get it, too!” Jackie, being Jackie and everything, just tells him to shut up.
Hulk refers to Ebner Frost as a “naughty boy”, just as Elizabeth returns with milk and cookies. Hulk, apparently still carrying some residual memories of being a fitness guru, asks about the fat content. Lenny rushes over to remind Hulk that Santa Claus loves cookies. Elizabeth hands him a glass of milk and Hulk asks, “Is this low-fat?” No, but you’re low-IQ.
With this “humor” accomplished, the milk and cookies bit is completely dropped, and Garrett Morris tells the kids to get the dinner table ready. He yells, “it’s Jerk Chicken Niiiiight!” Wait, what? They get to eat jerk chicken in orphanages? Geez, I wish I was an orphan. All my mom knew about cooking was boiling stuff and putting salt on it.