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Science fiction nerds are well aware of the existence of The Star Wars Holiday Special, the spectacularly ill-advised 1978 two-hour television event in which viewers were exposed (like a virus!) to the Wookiee celebration of Life Day, the comedy antics of Harvey Korman, and the musical stylings of both Jefferson Starship and Bea Arthur. No less a personage than George Lucas has said that he wishes he had a time machine and a sledgehammer to rid the universe of its existence.
I, on the other hand, think the problem is not that The Star Wars Holiday Special exists but that it is all alone in its terribleness. There are so many other classic science fiction films just waiting to reach out and sully the season with awful holiday specials of their own. And why shouldn't we have them? No reason! No reason at all! And with that in mind, please find below six proposed Truly Terrible Science Fiction Film Holiday Specials. They could happen.A Child's Christmas on LV-426
Can humans and aliens exist together, in the spirit of sharing, on the bitterly harsh colony world of LV-426? Things look doubtful until a winsome child and a cat named Boggy broker a peace between the Colonial Marines and the Alien Queen, leading to the heartwarming final scene where the two exchange gifts: The Marines give the Alien Queen a basketball, and the Alien Queen gives them festively decorated eggs. Lots and lots of eggs. Music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Men In Black Hip-Hop Holidays
Hey, kids! Did you know that once, Will Smith was a rapper? It's totally true. And this Christmas, Smith rocks the mic once more as the MIB take down a nefarious alien (Vanilla Ice) who wants to end Christmas by kidnapping Santa (played by the funkadelicious George Clinton). This leads to a freestyle rap duel between Agent J and the alien, with the fate of the Earth on the line. Special guest: DJ Jazzy Jeff, who is just happy to have the work, man.
Jake Sully has gone native and led the Na'vi in a successful insurrection against the humans despoiling the world of Pandora -- but that doesn't mean he isn't missing the holidays! When Neytiri sees her mate so grumbly, she turns to the Eywa, the spirit of the world, to explain what's troubling him, and through the power of Eywa is whisked into a fantastical experience of the human holidays, complete with an appearance from Kris Kringle himself, played, of course, by Lance Henriksen. In 3D? Naturally!
The E.T. Phone Home Telethon Sponsored by AT&T
Oh, no! E.T. has returned to Earth and has once more been left behind. The good news is, this time the U.S. government is not hunting him; they want to help him get back home. The bad news is, in these hard financial times, NASA simply doesn't have any rockets to spare to get him into a low-Earth orbit. The solution: a telethon to get E.T. a seat on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo! Thus follows a delightful variety show, hosted by E.T. himself, assisted by the now grown-up Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and musical host Neil "Turn on Your Heartlight" Diamond. Will they make enough to get E.T. back home? Again? It's up to you!
An Iron Man Christmas Carol
Yes, Tony Stark is a superhero -- but he's also part of the 1%. This Christmas Eve, his cynical side has gotten the better of him and his view of the world, and all the little people in it. Seeing him wallow in his own bitterness, three of his fellow Avengers take it upon themselves to help Stark reconnect with the joy of the holiday season. Captain America is the Superhero of Christmas Past, the Black Widow is the Superhero of Christmas Present, and the Hulk is the Superhero of Christmas Smash. Paul Bettany makes a cameo as Jarvis Cratchett, Stark's impoverished computer technician. Samuel L. Jackson shows up at the end, because, well, that's what he does, isn't it.
It's a Wonderful Life, George Lucas
The year is 1986, and George Lucas, despondent at the failure of Howard the Duck, considers throwing himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. But then an angel, played by Bill Moyers, shows him what life would be like if he never lived at all. Lucas, horrified at a world in which Han always shot first, throws himself back into life and plans the prequel trilogy. Meanwhile, the angel is revealed to be the devil himself. His dark, maniacal laughter goes on endlessly as the screen fades to black.
I am almost certain I am not the first to suggest that last one.