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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Amityville Christmas Vacation (2022)

I’m a big fan of independent movies and one of my favorite indie filmmakers is Steve Rudzinski. Amityville Christmas Vacation is a continuation of his Wally Griswold character. The loveable and bumbling cop wins a contest to spend Christmas in scenic Amityville not knowing that the evil owner of the bed and breakfast has chosen him for her own nefarious purposes. There is an evil ghost haunting the place who she feeds unsuspecting guests too.

After saying goodbye to his cat and rats, who play important roles in the previous movies like Meowy Christmas and A Meowy Halloween, he heads off for a couple days of relaxation. When he arrives the ghost, Jessica, goes about trying to scare him. He is so clueless however that he keeps misunderstanding what is happening and apologizes to her. Confused she eventually falls in love with him, much to the dismay of the owner, Samantha, who decides to call in a ghost hunter to get rid of Jessica to get rid of the now unhelpful ghost. Seems she has gotten to like the killing and is rather annoyed. After a couple of funny twists and turns the movie ends. Is it a happy ending? Well… Wally has terrible luck. That is all I’m going to say here.

Clocking in at a quick forty seven minutes Amityville Christmas Vacation wastes no time on padding but jumps right into the gags. From an early bit with Wally packing an impossibly deep suitcase to the slapstick shenanigans that take place when Jessica is trying to scare him there is a lot to enjoy. If you have read any of my other reviews of low budget independent movies, you will be familiar with my “shoot what you have the resources for” mantra. Rudzinski is an excellent example of a filmmaker that gets that.

The cast is small which allows him to limit the number of speaking roles. This allows Rudzinski to use the actors he has available to him to the fullest. All of them are quite good which is especially important because comedy is hard. The dialogue is clever, another hallmark of his movies, so if the actors don’t have comic timing it would be spoiled. Here the jokes are delivered and land with a great deal of skill. This includes Rudzinski who not only wrote the script (along with Bill Murphy) and directed but also starred as Wally. Just great stuff.

From the first time I watched CarousHell I’ve been a big fan of this filmmaker. I’ve never been disappointed by his movies, including his earlier work which was way better than I would have expected for a director and writer just starting out. Check out this as well as his other movies at the Silver Spotlight website. Personally, I recommend the CarousHell movies (soon to be a trilogy!) but you can’t go wrong with any of them including Amityville Christmas Vacation.

Update: CarousHell 3 is out. Go check it out now! Seriously you wont' be disappointed. 


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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