Travesty of the Day: The straight-to-DVD sequel to A Christmas Story

So, I don't like to make a career out of snarking on things. I prefer to focus on things that don't make me want to break an expensive piece of technology or kill the entire internet with fire. And it's not even the internet's fault, this thing I'm about to show you. It is a trailer for an "official" sequel to the 1983 cult holiday marathon classic, A Christmas Story. It never had to exist, and yet here it is. Existing. It's not coming to theaters, but it is still asking you to spend your hard-earned money (or imaginary money aka credit) on a movie that should have never made it further than a fan-fiction web site.

In A Christmas Story 2, we follow a teenage Ralphie in a Porky's-style coming-of-age story, in which he covets not a Red Ryder BB gun, but a shiny new car, as teenage boys are wont to do. The Old Man, previously played by the late great Darren McGavin, is now played by Daniel Stern -- who was one of the Wet Bandits in Home Alone. And that felt like bile in my mouth just now. Bile, mixed with tears, because the previously dormant tear ducts of my soul have just been activated.

You know, original writer/narrator Jean Shepherd and director Bob Clark actually made their own actual "official" sequel to A Christmas Story in 1994, and it turned out... well, it turned out. But no? This thing still had to be made, huh? Fine. Make some filthy bile money.

See a Trailer for the Unnecessary A Christmas Story Sequel Direct-to-DVD? You don't say... [Vulture]


      1. IIRC, Ebert downgraded the original Christmas Story because he said the mother was overdressed. 

        Presumably he was upset about a certain scene being cut. In the ten-minute scene, Ralphie’s mother was chased topless through the house by the Bumpus hounds. She then fell boobs-first into a whipping cream topped pumpkin pie. 

        He was similarly upset when the DVD edition also cut this scene.

        (Attached photo is of Ebert and his mentor.)

        1. Well.. that joke might have been funny if “A Christmas Story” wasn’t a made-for-TV-movie that was many, many, times better than it had any realistic right to be.

  1. Apparently, they’ve forgotten about the true “official” sequel, Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss.
    (granted…I had forgotten about it too, until I read this post)

    1. My family loved Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss. I remember it use to come on TV quite regularly when I was a kid. I actually really liked it, but no one I know has ever seen it.
      My mom managed to find a VHS copy a few years back, and we treat it like a delicate old book. haha

  2. And yet, if Ralphie had an unreferenced eyepatch in the sequel, revealing that at some point after the first film he had, in fact, put his eye out, it’d be worth it.

  3. There are hundreds and hundreds of hours of radio show recordings of the actual Jean Shepherd telling stories about his younger self (AKA “Ralphie.”).

    Many of these stories could be turned into movies. They could even use the radio shows as narration.

    But before they took a chance on that, they should release on DVD Jean Shepherd’s own video stories, which played on PBS in the 70s. “The Phantom of the Open Hearth,” “The Great American Fourth of July” and so on. These were really low budget, but very entertaining.

      1.  I actually read that before “A Christmas Story” first came out.

        My family are old school Shepherd fans; we watched his local-public-TV series where he’d rant about Slob Art and visit roadside attractions.

  4. Throw this in the bin marked ‘I Refuse to Acknowledge Your Existence’ with Blues Brothers 2000 and banish them forever from my mind.

  5. Actually, the “official” sequel was “My Summer Story.” “Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss.” even though it has the same characters, was not intended to be a sequel. “My Summer Story.” or “It Runs In the Family.” as it was originally was called, WAS made to be a sequel. Written by Jean Shepherd and directed by Bob Clarke.

    I guess I should read the whole article before I post.

  6. I saw the 1994 sequel, A Summer Story! My girlfriend at the time was an extra in it. She tossed a gravy boat in a theater. It was utterly unwatchable. 

    1. Daniel Stern was also in Blue Thunder, one of my favorite action films from the 1980s, along with Roy Scheider, Malcolm McDowell, and the incomparable Warren Oates in his last movie role. 

  7. In Jean Shepherd’s book In God We Trust, All Others Please Pay Cash, parts of which became the basis for A Christmas Story, he has a much more elaborate description of the night his father learned he’d won “a major award”.

    That night was one of the few times my father ever actually got publicly drunk. His cronies whooped and hollered, guzzled and yelled into the early morning hours…Hairy Gertz, in honor of the occasion, told his famous dirty story about the three bartenders, the Franciscan monk, and the cross-eyed turtle. Three times.

    The only way this thing could even be remotely worth watching is if it includes that story. Told by the original Hairy Gertz himself. Three times.

  8. C’mon, if Hollywood doesn’t keep churning out product, then those funds might be redirected down some wasteful hole like famine relief or pinworm eradication.

      1. Yikes, that’s a pretty extreme reaction to a pretty lightweight nostalgic comedy. Its not like its an Pauly Shore movie or something. 

  9. A couple years ago, Georgia Shakespeare did the play version of Christmas Story as a holiday production/fundraiser.  It works GREAT as a play, better than the movie in many ways – highly recommended if you ever get a chance to see it performed.

  10. Jean Shepherd’s stuff has always been so good, I was defending the idea of this movie, until now. I can’t hold out any longer, there isn’t a single spark of hope I saw in that preview.

  11. I’m part of a new Christmas Tradition. You see I’m one of Santa’s elves, have been for 60 years, and this Christmas I’ll be traveling with Santa and three other elves spreading the Christmas Web. We’ll be helping that other observant elf in bring a special gift to children that only us elves and the child know about. We’ll hide it in the house and give the child a “magic wand” so that only they can find it. We’ll come back each year with another special gift until the child returns their magic wand to Santa.

  12. EXCELSIOR YOU FATHEAD!! The shep fan that i am, there is a hassle with Hopnoodle in way of distribution rights. It was produced by WGBH (public tv) AND by Disney.  I wonder if there’s a petition out there to pull Hopnoodle to DVD. now THAT would complete my shep collection.

    as for sequel, i would choose Hopnoodle over My Summer Story.  Summer Story feels too over acted. it’s like watching Support your Local Gunfighter vs Support Your Local Sherriff. another over-acted vid that is dumped in the forgotten bin.  along with Smokey and the Bandit 2.

  13. If you like remix culture, you gotta check yourself before you wreck your shelf. Bad sequels, bad remakes and bad fanfic are an aspect of Sturgeon’s Law. Ninety percent of everything is crap, so don’t let critics tell you sci-fi or some other genre is horrible just because 90% of it is crap. By extension, 90% of sequels and remakes and fanfic are going to be crap, but this doesn’t mean all sequels or remakes or fanfic should get thrown out just because of that. (Unauthorized sequels would be a hybrid between the categories of sequel and fanfic. Or would all fanfic count as sequels?)

    If we were going to categorically dismiss all unauthorized sequels, we would arguably throw out great stuff like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Paradise Lost (an unauthorized sequel to the Bible, more or less). Last Temptation of Christ. 

    Not that I expect much from this Christmas Story 2. I’m just saying if we throw out things like that, we might be throwing out some good stuff. (Or we might be forgetting examples that made people grumble this same way when they first came out, before they became classics.) Also if we throw this on the bonfire and then turn back to another window in which we’re writing fanfic or listening to a remix or watching mashups, we’re being inconsistent.

  14. Did you know that there is a musical version of ‘A Christmas Story?’ It will be playing on Broadway this year – November 19-December 30

    Here is a video from a version of the show when it ran two years ago in Kansas City.

  15. While I’m not much of a fan of Christmas Story (or its sequels), I am a huge fan of director Bob Clark’s other Christmas film, 1974’s Black Christmas starring John Saxon’s hairpiece and a veritable  supergroup of 70’s actors: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder and Canadian icons Art Hindle & Doug McGrath. Black Christmas even makes up for for Clark’s later evils Baby Geniuses 1 & 2 (if you want to talk about a nasty piece of work look no further then those crass, moldering heaps of fetid cheese).   

  16. What a horrible idea – you can’t match the original, or even come close.  I couldn’t have imagined the sequel would’ve been this bad though.  And why has Ralphie aged while Randy hasn’t aged a day?  No one can replace the original actors either.

  17. “Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss” directed by Dick Bartlett and released in 88 was the original TV sequel to “A Christmas Story” Directed by Bob Clark and released in 83.  Later in 94 Bob Clark directed ” It Runs In The Family” (AKA My Summer Story) which was placed in a time frame between “A Christmas Story” and “Ollie Hopnoodle’s”.

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