Christmas movies: a holiday tradition as important as booze, meat, and cinnamon on, in, and around everything.
What you may not know however, is that some of your favourite (that might be a stretch) Christmas crackers have been shot right here in Vancouver.
This Vancouver holiday slasher is a remake of the same-name horror milestone from 1974, which was also shot in Canada, at a very cold looking University of Toronto. This is one time when East Coast tops West, with the original providing a far superior fright-fest compared with the Vancouver-shot 2006 effort, which plays out like Gossip Girl Lite.
Never accuse a Muppet of lacking Christmas spirit or it’ll come for you while you sleep. The billion dollar sock puppets have turned out five Christmas Specials since 1979 (that first one starring John Denver – amazing). In Vancouver we’re blessed with being a part of the legacy when 2002’s A Very Merry Muppet Movie shot in North Vancouver’s North Shore Studios. Sadly, it’s easily the worst of the bunch; all sprout and no stuffing.
Ice Cube’s tribute to Home Alone and Planes, Trains and Automobiles was shot and, god forbid, set in Vancouver (partially at least). Ice Cube plays a grumpy and horny Steve Martin type tasked with getting two Kevin McCallister types from Portland OR to Vancouver BC, basically because he’s hitting on their mother (Merry Christmas!).
Naturally the makers of The Santa Clause trilogy prefer the pace of life out west after moving production from Toronto to Vancouver for instalments two and three. Before his appearances on Fox News ruined Buzz Lightyear forever, Tim Allen’s reluctant Santa Claus can be viewed hamming it up across Port Moody, Coquitlam, and New Westminster.
Ever wondered what a naked Christmas showdown between Simba and Batman’s nemesis Penguin would look like? The answer lies in 2006’s Deck The Halls where Danny DeVito and Matt Broderick face off for small town ‘King of Christmas’ bragging rights. Set in Apple Pie America, the movie was largely shot across Lower Mainland with locations in Surry, New Westminster and Coquitlam.
This one’s a big surprise and a rather excellent slice of festive trivia. The studio interiors for man-child Will Ferrell’s excellent Christmas caper were shot right here in Vancouver, with exteriors shot around everyone’s favourite New York landmarks. Without doubt the most popular and entertaining Christmas movie to be shot in Hollywood North (West).
File this under T for tenuous as only a handful of sequences were shot in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre (likely reshoots). The vast majority of the movie is shot on a studio lot in California. Clearly focus groups of middle-aged executives felt like the movie needed more Jamie Lee in a bikini and Tim Allen Botox gags.
Yes, at a rough count, there have been over 150 Hallmark Christmas Movies made since 2000 (many shot in Vancouver), with over 100 of them featuring the word ‘Christmas’ in the title. Feast on Vancouver-shot wonders such as Christmas in Cannan (where?), It’s Christmas, Carol (hilarious), and The Christmas Ornament (inanimate). Hallmark, transforming Vancouver neighbourhoods into small town America since 2000.