NOTICE: Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio. The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the third instalment of the Griswold family saga and a significant improvement over their previous European Vacation. Disaster-prone dad (Chevy Chase) discovers just how dangerous the Christmas season really is as the Griswolds’ old-fashioned holiday celebration turns out to be more “Bah! Humbug!” than Christmas cheer. Chase is right at home with the outrageous slapstick and often cheerfully tasteless humour, and John Hughes’s script is stuffed full of classic Christmas movie references, but Randy Quaid practically steals the film as the unemployed relative with his malicious grin and mooching lifestyle. Not exactly a holiday classic and a bit spotty, this gag-filled comedy is just obnoxious enough for the Scrooge lurking inside everyone. And fear not, a happy ending awaits all. Watch for future star Juliette Lewis as Chase’s teenage daughter. —Sean Axmaker