Awfully Good: Santa Paws

It's officially December and that can mean only one thing…a month chock full of terrible Christmas movies! Check out our previous holiday entries below:

Puppetmaster vs. Demonic Toys: Corey Feldman vs. Farting Christmas Baby.
Ernest Saves Christmas: Jim Varney plays with Santa's sack.
Deck The Halls: Danny DeVito naked and incest jokes.
Christmas Evil: Mommy does more than kiss Santa Claus.
Santa Clause 3: Martin Short terrifies children.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians: Santa battles cheap production values.
Jack Frost (1998): Michael Keaton is a dead snowman.
Jack Frost (1996): Frosty rapes Shannon Elizabeth.
Jingle All The Way: Arnold punches reindeer for toys.
Santa's Slay: St. Nick murders Fran Drescher.

The Search for Santa Paws (2010)

Director: Robert Vince
Stars:Richard Riehle, Zachary Gordon, Richard Kind,

Is there a plot?

After his owner becomes the amnesiatic victim of a brutal hit and run, a talking dog from the North Pole hooks up with some other orphans to save Christmas.

What's the damage?

To be honest, I was not planning on doing THE SEARCH FOR SANTA PAWS this week. The DVD for my originally planned holiday-themed movie decided to be defective. So instead of BIKINI BLOODBATH CHRISTMAS, you get to enjoy the result of a crazed last minute trip to the video store—SANTA PAWS. Blame God. I do after watching this movie.

Despite being killed by Jack Burton, Lo Pan was able to resurrect himself in the worst way possible.

For the mercifully uninformed, in 1997 Disney released a movie called AIR BUD. At some point, the mild success of this film about a normal basketball-playing dog somehow translated in to a multi-decade franchise involving a group of magical talking puppies who've gone to space, the North Pole and now New York in this 10th (!) installment. You've probably seen the commercials for this straight-to-DVD series and perhaps thanked your deity of choice that you don't have kids and would never have to be subjected to it. Well, I watched it. And it's worse than you think.

Brian from "Family Guy" stops by for three seconds to make a reference to an obscure 80's TV show.

SANTA PAWS isn't just horrible as a normal film, but it's hysterically bad as a kid's movie too. This is mainly due to the degree to which it is subversively dark and depressing.

Here's a list of inappropriately sad or messed up things that happen in this Christmas movie:

  • The film opens with Santa and his elves singing a joyous song about how much they love Christmas. Then the mailman comes and Santa gets a letter saying one of his best friends died.
  • As soon as Santa gets to NYC, he is hit by a car and mugged.
  • After being robbed, Santa gets his magic life crystal stolen and spends the rest of the movie slowly dying without remembering who he is.
  • The main character is a sweet orphan girl who enjoys singing songs about her parents being dead and not around to take care of her.
  • The orphan girl is sent to live in a foster home where all the children are terrorized by an evil woman who physically abuses them and treats them as slaves for manual labor.
  • Not only does the foster mom not condone singing, celebrating Christmas or general happiness, but she also likes to burns the kids' toys in the incinerator as punishment. If they further break any of her "rules," the children have to sleep in the basement without dinner.

  • Children everywhere celebrate the end of Movember and molestaches.

  • After Santa disappears, the reindeer get stranded in Central Park for weeks and begin starving to death
  • Paws, the title canine, gets thrown in to the above mentioned incinerator, forcing the little girl to crawl through the fiery furnace to save him
  • The other dog characters are representative of their "race"—the Scottish terrier sounds like Mike Myers, the bulldog is a tough Brooklyn thug, and the black dog is…Jamaican and named Rasta. That's not racist at all.
  • The toy store owners can't have kids and befriend the orphans. It doesn't take Stephen Hawking to figure out where this leads, but when they do adopt the two main kids in the end, they do it in front of all the other orphans who are then left to be alone on Christmas.


A visual metaphor for what this movie does to the audience.

And then there's the ending. As Santa clings to life in a cold Manhattan hospital, his best friend Paws decides to give up his life crystal to help bring him back, effectively committing suicide in front of a bunch of children. Once Santa is back to his old self, he rushes to the North Pole to visit the Great Christmas Icicle (a magical phallic-looking stalactite) to bring the now defunct Paws back to life—only to have the process not work. This creates an awkward moment where Santa stands next to his dead dog that will leave your children thrilled. However, Old St. Nick's tears mix with the crystal in some newfangled hippie magic that brings the dog back from the dead, a Lazarus-like act that turns Santa Claus in to Jesus and no doubt offers a stinging commentary on religion on this consumer-driven holiday.


"Best" Lines

Three horrible depressing moments that should probably not be in a children's movie.

"Best" Parts

This transition between Santa telling the dog they're going to be best friends FOREVER and this awful musical number is like something out of a horror movie.

Nudity Watch

No doggy style. Sorry.


Hate children? Buy this movie here!

Play Along at Home!

Drink spiked eggnog every time:

  • Santa looks creepy
  • You fast forward through a song
  • Someone talks about being best friends

Double shot if:

  • The little orphan girls tells someone her parents "didn't make it"


Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: Digital Dorm
Tags: awfully good



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