All I Want for Christmas is My Action Heroes Back – By Mike Wilson

If Santa is making a list and checking it twice, I want him to know one thing….All I want for Christmas is my Action Heroes and Scary Movies back. Seriously. I want them back. Ok, my younger friends, just like your old grand-pappy might have told you how Christmas was different back in his day, let me tell you how the movies were….well, better, or at least more entertaining back in the ancient times of your old pal Dante.

Heck, back in my day we didn’t get DVD box sets for Christmas….you was lucky if you got a VHS tape. We used to go to the Theater and when you wanted to see some good old fashioned butt-kickin’ and there were the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Pre-Greasy-Chunk-Style Steven Seagal and even Clint Eastwood were there to entertain you. True not every one of their movies were blockbusters but what do we have now? Almost every action movie I’ve seen in the last year or so has really been little more than a special effects driven series of loud explosions. Not saying I didn’t enjoy some of them but man, it’s a long ways from the fun and thrills I got when I saw Indiana Jones thwarting Nazis, Darkman maniacally cackling as he wreaked bloody vengeance or Gunny Highway leading his jarheads into combat. Instead of that we have…uh…..well, Riddick. Now, I thought the character of Riddick was pretty cool in Pitch Black and I wanted to like the sequel. But the heart of the movie seemed to be missing for me. It wasn’t the same as watching Ah-Nuld back in the day….man, the Austrian Oak turned Governator used to whoop some serious ass. (Arguably Arnold has practically been the same character in almost every one of his earlier movies, sans-Conan.)

And hey Santa, I sure could use a good scary movie. One that really creeps me out, not one where scares are falsely generated by jump cuts, loud blasts of music or spring loaded cats and CGI. The 6th sense was a good start. The last horror movie I have seen recently was House of Wax….which actually wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t very scary either. (Besides Paris Hilton didn’t even git nekkid) The 2005 Amityville Horror was a joke. At least I hope it was a joke. (and even then it was a really bad joke) Is this the kind of thing that awaits us in 2006? Come on Santa, throw me a bone, dude. Remember how my cousin was seriously freaked out by “Carrie”? Remember how the movie “Ghost Story” scared the piss out of me? The only horror flicks that have made any kind of impression in the last few years were “The Blair Witch Project” and the ‘The 6th Sense” and that’s because, like ‘em or hate ‘em, they were different. They weren’t the old cookie cutter paint-by-numbers flicks Hollywood force feeds us or the gawd-awful tongue-in-cheek self referential parade of crap we had to endure after “Scream”.

So Santa, yes, I want my action heroes back. I want my horror movies back. I might not have been all that good this year but I don’t deserve this much coal in my stocking.