Davidson Family Christmas

Consider yourself part of the family.

By J’Mel Davidson     

Illustration by Derek Anderson


*UPDATE: The Davidson Family Christmas movie event will take place at 2:30 p.m on Dec. 22 at Matthew’s Pub on Morris Ave.


QUICK! Yell out your favorite Christmas movies! That’s right, Die Hard and Gremlins.

But did you know that for more than a decade, my extended family and I have added a few more films to the rotation? That’s right, for nearly 13 years, we’ve gathered around the Christmas tree with egg rolls, tequila, and open minds and witnessed some of the film world’s more elusive treasures.

Anyway, let’s talk about Xenu and how his secret fudge recipe…What’s that? What’s that? You want me to tell you about a couple or three of these crazy Davidson family Christmas favorites? Well, hell, son. It’d be unChristian of me not to!

I’m sure you recall 1991’s Cool As Ice as a shameless vanity project for novelty “gangsta” white “rapper” Vanilla Ice. But did you also know that it was comedically terrible? Sure, you’ve always assumed this film is bad, but until you’ve seen it, you can’t imagine the fetid time capsule of 1990s fashion, culture, and horrible filmmaking that Cool As Ice represents. This cinematic treasure was released the same month as Suburban Commando, Curly Sue, House Party 2, and Ernest Scared Stupid, making the month of October 1991 the Conrad Murray of film month.

“Okay, Mr. Big Shot Local Magazine Writer, what about Vanilla Ice’s legendary charm and sophistication? Surely that makes up for the lack of intelligent scripting and character development.”

Oh, you’re right. Vanilla’s acting is the main attraction on display in this condemned daycare center of a film. He barely has any dialogue, and when he actually does speak, each line is delivered a single sentence/shot at a time. It’s as if each line was given to him immediately before the “director” yelled action. Couple this inability to memorize terrible lines with a witness relocation plot that’s forgotten 20 minutes into the film, the obligatory hip little old lady, and Vanilla teaching a small town the magic of terrible hip hop, and you have a gosh-darn Christmas classic!

How many times have you thought to yourself, “I wish I could see the sequel to a movie about a Kung-fu master, nightclub-act performing pimp…”? Well, as always, I am here to answer your wish with laser-like Monkey’s Paw proficiency! To your wish, I’ll add a sex-crazed mob wife, South American Nunchaku Stick mastery, Kung-Fu prostitutes, a witch, and good old-fashioned racist law enforcement that takes place in a part of “Alabama” that looks suspiciously like the Hollywood Hills. Dolomite Part II: the Human Tornado is the 70s blacksploitation version of Magnolia. And before you ask, yes, there are musical numbers. I’ll say no more—I’ve already said too much!

Finally, we come to the show-stopping finale. Like the Human Tornado, this flick is full of the stuff a true trash-cinema fan craves. Remember the good old, pre-Internet days when you’d hear about a movie like Meet the Feebles or Tetsuo the Iron Man, and you’d have absolutely no idea how you were going to ever see it? If you were a lil J’Mel, all you could do was read the articles in FANGORIA and dream. Street Trash was one of the films I’d always assumed I’d never see. My hetero lifemate, Sam, and I were goofing off at the Alabama Fairgrounds Flea Market and some hip, young redneck from out of town had a beautiful used copy of Street Trash right there on the table. I shoved my five bucks in the man’s hand and skipped home with my newfound treasure. That copy broke years later as I was attempting to show a group of folks the magic, but now I own it on Blu-ray.

Ready for some Christmas magic?

This year, Davidson Family Christmas is public! Yes, you can join me and my friends as we (sensibly) drink and yell at this trilogy of holiday classics; it’s happening Dec. 22, 2:30 p.m. until question mark, downtown at Matthews Pub on Morris Ave. You won’t want to miss the surprises I, your grindhouse Willy Wonka, have in store for you!

And it’s free! (The booze and food aren’t free. Come on, dude. Donations welcome.)

Go like www.facebook.com/FreeFreakyFlicks for more info.

Hope to see you there!

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