The Magic Christmas Tree (1964)
My favorite Christmas movie and I’ve never even seen the whole thing! Filmed in La Verne and looking like it was made for $12 bucks, it’s absolutely creepy in the most mundane and sinister way. Most of it used to be up on Youtube but unfortunately, has since been removed. There is a weird slapstick chase scene at the end where the little boy, star of the film and probably the producer’s kid, has been granted wishes and drunk on power, causes mayhem and havoc in his small suburban town. Think old runaway cars, pies-in-the-face and mad dashes – La Verne must’ve been some place in the 1960s! There are also witches, giants and a sassy talking, tinsel Christmas tree that has “the voice of an irritated antiques dealer.”
I was introduced to this movie through this NPR segment a few years ago called The Best Merry Scary Christmas Movies by Mark Jordan Legan. Follow the highlighted link to listen to the hilarious piece. The bit about The Magic Christmas Tree starts at 4:16.
The Magic Christmas Tree (another trailer with more scenes)
Lars Nilsen, host of The Alamo Drafthouse’s Weird Wednesdays says:
Here it is: the evil holiday movie weve all secretly been waiting for. It made its producers wealthy men and turned a generation of children into santaphobic sociopaths. We are still paying the cost. Its a very strange film and were not sure why anyone would make it, but two words come to mind: Malicious Intent. Why else would the young hero be abducted by a witch and forced to uh, plant Satans magic seed in his backyard? The seed grows into a tree that gives him three wishes. Then the kid abducts Santa Claus, straps him to a chair and abuses him until he gets all the toys in the world. Plus theres a long race between a lawnmower and a turtle and more tomfoolery presided over by the powers of Darkness, including the appearance of a giant who says inappropriate things. We cannot be held responsible for any lasting trauma. (Lars)