TFS the Season: The Magic Christmas Tree (1964)
When asked if we wanted to contribute a Christmas movie to this year’s Talk Film Society’s 12 Days of Christmas, of course I said “Hell, yeah!”. I had dreams of writing about that weird mindfuck of a movie called Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny (1972) but I had forgotten someone wrote about it last year. I wrote about Rene Cardona’s Santa Claus (1959) last year and, frankly, I think that should run every year. It’s a must see. Poor Lupita! Anyway, we searched our Christmas disc from Something Weird Video to see what goodness it contained and there it was… The Magic Christmas Tree. Of course, when I say “goodness”, it doesn’t mean it’s actually good because, as you can probably guess, it is not. But it is a very Sarah Jane pick so let me introduce you to the punk ass boy Mark, and his adventures during the holidays.
Mark and his two buddies are excited because it’s Halloween. They’re all about to start trick or treating but can’t go for various reasons. One of them, I forget which one but it’s not important, can’t go out trick or treating because he has to stay home and babysit while his parents go to a party. What kind of monster adults are they who schedule an adult party on Halloween? What even more monstrouser parents elect to go and make their kids miss going out to get candy? Seriously, this still bugs me days after watching this movie. Fuck, man. That’s some cruel ass shit right there. Welcome to Parenting 1964 style. Anyway, the trio decide they are going to walk home the long way from school so that they can pass by the old lady witches haunted house. Mark is all gung ho about it and his two friends are scared. “What are ya, chick-in?” says Mark like the dick that he is. His two friends are, indeed, chicken and they run away. Mark decides he wants a closer look and goes into the yard of the house.
The old lady, unbeknownst to the boys, hears them while outside tryinggetting to get her black cat, Lucifer, out of a tree. She hides in a bush and jumps out to grab Mark. He probably shits his pants and tries to run but she grabs him and asks him to get her cat out of the tree. Now Mark is what the retailers in the boys clothing trade would call “husky” and watching him attempt to climb that tree is a delight. The cat makes a move for Mark and he falls out of the tree. When he wakes up, everything is in color (I’m guessing the director loves The Wizard of Oz) and the old lady now does look like a witch. She wants to give Mark a reward for helping to rescue Lucifer. She gives him this ugly as sin face of Santa ring. She tells him there’s a magic seed inside Santa and he is to plant it on Thanksgiving night under the wishbone of a turkey under the darkness of the moon and he also has to recite some spell while turning the ring three times. The tree will appear and grant him three wishes. How the fuck is this moron supposed to remember all this stuff?
Well, he does because we jump to Thanksgiving dinner and when asked what part of the turkey he wanted to eat, he responds “the wishbone”. Who the hell eats that part? Why not just ask for the wishbone when you’re through? Anyway, after everyone is asleep, he jumps out of the window of this magnificent Spanish style home and then goes into the yard to plant the seed. Whatever window he jumped out of, we never see again, because for the rest of the movie, he just lives in some crappy old bungalow. Continuity is nearly non-existent in this thing. So he does all the steps and after a big thunder clap, the ugliest pine tree appears. Mark gets scared and fucks right off. We’re then subjected to about 15 minutes of the most boring and unfunny stuff with Mark’s parents, including about 7 minutes of Mark’s dad trying to start the mower and his discovery of the tree.
Skip to Christmas Eve night and what do you know? Mark’s horrible parents have done nothing in terms of being ready for Christmas. No gifts and no tree. Dad: I guess we better get a tree. Mom: Honey, I told you get to one last week but I guess you didn’t do it. You guess? You didn’t notice your house was sans tree? These poor kids. Mom, Dad, and Mark’s sister go out so Mark is alone and decides to pay the Christmas tree a visit. The tree might be magic but it’s also less than cordial. Apparently, he has no time for anyone’s shenanigans and just wants this bullshit over with. Mark asks for his first wish, and well, it’s an indication that, were he an actual person, we’d see him profiled on Mindhunter, for sure. His second wish is even worse because it takes him outside and he’s fucking around with other people. Again, Mark is a dick. Everything is now fucked up and no one is going to have a Christmas. Finally, he sees the error of his ways and the tree makes him use his last wish to fix up all the mayhem he caused with the other two. Mark gets all pouty he has to use his last wish that way and all I wanted was for the tree to force himself down Mark’s throat. I won’t tell you how this ends because I really want all of you reading this to actually watch this movie. Subject yourself to it insanity. I’m not taking one for the team here, if I had to suffer, well then, so do you.
So, again, is The Magic Christmas Tree any good? Of course not. Should it be watched? Yes, absolutely. In fact, you should watch this with family over the holidays. Subject them to this as well. It’s like a Christmas punishment come true. Lucky for all of you, The Magic Christmas Tree is available on YouTube right now.