It’s not the most wonderful time of year for TV movie-watchers. For the past several weeks every movie has been about Christmas. The Man Who Saved Christmas and The Dog Who Saved Christmas and Crazy for Christmas and The Christmas Miracle and The Christmas Choir and The Christmas This and The Christmas That. Try to find a cowboy or a bank robber and you’re just out of luck.
And it’s not as they’re being bumped out by the great Christmas movies — A Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life and Bad Santa. Today’s Christmas movies aren’t really about Christmas. They’re mostly about people falling in and/or out of love under coloured lights.
A little of this goes a long way and you wish that, just once, there could be a cowboy or a bank robber having Christmas or better yet, saving it.
Probably that will happen. You’ve noticed that the list of Christmas movies, usually small-budget productions with small-name casts, grows. They’re eventually going to run out of plots involving misunderstantings and mistletoe.
New plots need to reflect the concerns of moviegoers today, show an awareness of current tastes. The Christmas movie needs to be brought up to date.
Fortunately, as we’ve read recently, new movie production facilities are being brought to our city. So Ottawa can be at the forefront of this new Christmas movie wave — if it’s possible to be at the forefront of a wave. You should probably run, if you are.
Here we are then, about to produce the first contemporary Christmas movie with an Ottawa theme. If you’ve been following current cultural trends, you know what it is has to be called.
Right: The Christmas Zombie.
Now, if you’re writing the script, you know certain things have to happen. First, there have to be small-name stars who think they hate each other, but we know they don’t. They probably shouldn’t be zombies, because there’s a certain ewwwww factor in zombies under the mistletoe, what with the way parts of them are always falling off.
OK, if zombies aren’t under the mistletoe where will they be? An obvious answer is that they are in parliament, perhaps the Senate. But that wouldn’t work. Senators have to retire at 75 and many zombies are hundreds of years older than that. Also zombies don’t have a principal residence.
Well then, the zombies could be in a shopping mall. People are at their most zombie-like there. But this has already been done in Dawn of the Dead. Granted, originality is not something that is particularly prized in the movie world, but let’s look for zombies elsewhere.
City hall, for example. Zombies could be occupying the council seats, grunting appreciatively at every mention of a new casino, raising their hands to vote yes, the hands sometimes falling off.
Is this too political? Perhaps. Anyway, it doesn’t really cover the Christmas angle, which is important because without a Christmas tree there is nothing for our small-name stars to embrace in front of.
What would be the attitude of zombies toward a Christmas tree? We had better figure that out. We know zombies would probably eat reindeer, so we’ll keep those out of the script. Same with mamma in her kerchief.
How about the attacking zombies get frightened by the Christmas tree lights and run away, leaving everybody to be happy, try on sweaters and get married?
Or maybe it’s The Little Drummer Boy that drives the zombies away.
There are any number of ways you can play this. Christmas songs (not the carols but the kind Michael Bublé sings) could bring inner peace to the zombies, much as they did to The Grinch, and turn them into likeable characters from High School Musical.
The most likely scenario is that the zombies simply decide to leave so they can line up for the Boxing Day sales.