It's Christmastime, and if there's anything that can unite a nation, even one that doesn't universally love the holidays, it's a collection of wonderfully weird vintage Christmas videos. And even if you don't like the holidays, you'll probably still enjoy these strange (but fun) attempts at whimsy and festivity.
The video is freakish not for the video itself, but for how freakishly progressive it was when it was made -- in 1913!
The Insects' Christmas ("Rozhdestvo obitateley lesa") (1913)
(Video link) Vladislav Starevich, born in Russia to Polish parents in 1882, started as a documentary filmmaker who worked for a natural history museum in Lithuania. He eventually developed a knack for stop-motion animation using dead animals. "The Insects' Christmas," which was originally silent (what you hear are selections from the soundtrack for Edward Scissorhands), is a classic example of Starevich's filmmaking accomplishments, along with "The Beautiful Leukanida" (1912) and "The Cameraman's Revenge" (1912). Witness the seasonal beauty as well as the horror when someone loses their head at the 5:13 mark!
Santa in Animal Land (1948)
(Video link) This short only reinforces my fear of puppets, and it could have easily gone the way of Dead Snow. But more troubling: Felix the Frog(-like creature)'s unacknowledged cocaine problem.
Black Friday 1983: What to Get a Hacker for Christmas!
(Video link) "I know it seems boring, and I know it seems pointless..." Man, technology was adorable in the '80s, wasn't it? I wonder whatever became of Wendy Woods, Computerized Pet Whisperer.
A Visit to Santa (1963)
(Video link) I'll admit that since this was featured at the 2009 RiffTrax Live Christmas Shorts-travaganza, the silly commentary may have tricked me into thinking this video was weird. But I watched it sans commentary, and it is still pretty weird, in a wonderful way. You won't believe this, but none of these people are professional actors!
The Rapture: Are You Ready For the End of the World? (1941)
(Video link) "Housework will be left undone because Christian maids have been promoted to higher realms!" And no milk. None.
Runners-up: The pleasant but racist The Shanty Where Santy Claus Lives and the 1905 silent film, The Night Before Christmas, allegedly the first film adaptation of the famous poem.
A white fur-trimmed Santa hat tip to XmasFLIX for their excellent compilation!
“We ask strangers on the street which celebrities they’ve been told they look like.” Another fun piece from our friend and collaborator Joe Sabia, for Vanity Fair.
Smash TV’s Megaplex feels like your entire 1980s life flashing before your eyes. Note: some of the 80+ films include 80s nudity.
Vanity Fair breaks down the individual incomes of people who work on a major Hollywood blockbuster. Assuming a budget of $200m, the breakdown is approximate but based upon average union rates and published figures. [YouTube]
The realm of web development is constantly evolving. New platforms, languages, and processes materialize all the time, so staying on top of all that innovation is a tall order.Whether you’re brushing up on new tricks, starting from scratch, or just looking to make your own website a little jazzier, Rob Percival’s new Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 (now […]
Folks used to rely on alarms to protect their home – and before that, the family dog. Now, anyone looking to guard their homes can choose from some high-tech options, including the Amaryllo iCamPRO FHD Home Security Camera (now just $219 in the Boing Boing Store).In fact, this 2015 CES “Best of Innovation” award-winner boasts so many features, it’s […]
If you want a quality vaping experience, it’s usually going to cost you. Vaporizers that deliver a fast, controlled burn will set you back up to $300, which is why the FEZ Vaporizer (now just $99) is an absolute steal.The FEZ dry herb pen does everything that more expensive models handle at a reduced price. It heats up […]