by Adam M. Wilcox
Now here is a new tradition I am going to attempt to invent. You have probably heard of The White Elephant, which is where you take old junk from around the house and give them away as Christmas presents. You have heard of fruit cake, which only crazy people who hate themselves actually eat. One tradition is where you gather people around, and watch holiday classics that are supposed to make you feel good, and put you in a cheery holiday mood. Supposed you hosted a large Christmas party this year, and invited everyone to gather around the good old family wide screen and put this 1964 stinker on called The Magic Christmas Tree? What is this you speak of? I will explain.
Some movies are just badly made, but others are bad in that they simply have not aged well. They are remnants from periods in time where people talked different, acted differently, and things that were normal then, are strange to us now. Remember the Mr. Bungle shorts that were made to teach young children in the 50’s how to wash hands and have manners at the dinner table? This is kind of like that, however it teaches nothing. I suppose this is supposed to entertain children of the early 60’s before they got older and discovered LSD.
The Christmas Tree stars out in black in white on Halloween where we are introduced to three kids who are clearly not from Little Rascals, but that don’t stop them from trying. One kid dares his friends to join him at an old house in the neighborhood allegedly occupied by a witch. The other kids chicken out, and so Mark decides to go by himself. Not long after, he is confronted by an ugly old woman that looks very much like the ugly old woman from Snow White. The woman asks Mark if he can get her cat named “Lucifer” (seriously, Lucifer?!) out of a tree first. The cat scratches Mark, and he falls out of the tree. When he wakes up, the entire movie switches to color, and Mark sees the old woman wearing a pointed hat, and he say’s “you ARE a Witch!!! Really Mark? It was the hat that gave it away? Never mind. Mark wants to go home, but not after the witch insists on giving Mark a ring with a Santa Claus face on it, that has a magic seed inside. He is instructed to plant the seed, and a wish bone from a Thanksgiving Day turkey out in the yard under full moon, twist the ring three times, and say three words that are definitely NOT Klaatu barada nikto. After all this, a magic tree is supposed to grow that will grant him three wishes. Even explaining this shit is exhausting. I think I am going to take a nap, and then come back and finish this review later.
Well, the kid remembers and does all of these things, after he takes his pet turtle out of his night stand…wait what?! Who keeps a turtle in a nightstand drawer?! He buried the seed, the wishbone, turned the ring three times, says bippitty boppity boo, a lightning bolt crashes, and a tree appears full grown out of nowhere, and the kid goes back to sleep. The next day he wakes up, and goes outside in the back yard and the tree starts talking to him. It’s not even a nice tree, this tree is the rudest most obnoxious thing I have ever seen committed to a bad ADR film on a budget, with color that looks like a mix between road kill and sun dried vomit. Strange enough, the kid’s first wish is “an hour of power”. At this point, the kid goes full on psycho and runs off to “go have some fun” by making parked cars drive off, making people throw pies at each other, and causing a fire engine to take off with the entire ladder for no reason other than movie. I am surprised he didn’t cause the Cuban Missile Crisis while he was at it, oh wait that was two years earlier. Or was it?! Oh yeah, and all of this is happening over an overly aggressive orchestral score that is trying to tell us that all of these things are whimsical and funny.
The second wish is to have Santa Claus all to himself. So now Mark gets his wish and he can add kidnapping to his list of incredible accolades at this point. So after Mark finally realizes what a selfish turd he’s been, Santa forgives him, and Mark uses his last wish to go back to the night before all the wishes took place, and then he wakes up and realizes this was all a dream. You bet! Everyone’s favorite ending….it was all a dream! I would like to dream this movie doesn’t exist, but it’s still on Amazon prime with a one and a half star rating, and a cute little cartoon picture of a Christmas Tree with Santa on the front. You would have to be insane to let your kids watch this. Even though I am not a parent, I have to question what the message is behind this movie aimed at kids. I am guess it is to not be selfish, but Mark is somehow rewarded by his tone deaf parents for everything he does, and all of the magic stunts he pulls without a hitch, and doesn’t seem to answer to anybody for any of his actions.
So my tradition is put this on for a party of adults with some heavily laced eggnog because the existence of this film boggles the mind. Was this part of MKUltra? Making somebody watch this movie like giving somebody Christmas Fudge laced with Ex-Lax chocolate, someone will be shitting themselves, and somebody will be laughing about it. I give it 2 out of 5 cheese curds, have a very Merry Christmas!