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Have a Swayze Christmas!

-By Fiona Young-Brown-

I blame Crow, Tom Servo, and crew…and of course, my husband. Until I met him, I had never seen MST3K and thus had never been introduced to the concept of a Patrick Swayze Christmas. But once you hear that song, how can you get it out of your head? How can you even celebrate the holiday season without a dose of Swayze?

So for your viewing pleasure, I bring you the 12 Days of Swayze to ensure that you have the Swayziest Christmas of them all!


1. Let’s start out with something many of you probably have not seen. Keeping Mum is a British comedy from 2005. But watch closely, because sandwiched among a stellar cast that includes Rowan Atkinson as a befuddled vicar, Kristin Scott Thomas as his frustrated wife, and Dame Maggie Smith as his long-lost mother-in-law, is our man Pat as the lothario golf instructor. Keeping Mum is a nice cozy British comedy that makes murder seem downright neighborly. And what better way to kick of the holiday season than with a dose of Swayze, British dottiness, a glass of sherry, and a mince pie.


2. Now we’ll turn the clock back to one of Swayze’s earlier roles – Darrel in The Outsiders. Sure it stars plenty of other names: Rob Lowe and C. Thomas Howell as Sodapop and Ponyboy, Ralph Macchio, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, etc., but no one knows how to rock a leather jacket, jeans, sleeveless t-shirt, and a determined strut like Patrick Swayze. It’s a look he perfected over the years. What to eat while watching? Burgers and a cherry sodapop, of course!


3. Since it’s the Christmas season, let’s add a bit of holiday color. Yep – it’s time for some Red Dawn. Because what says Christmas more than Americans saving the nation from Commies? Plus it stars Charlie Sheen for a little topical 2011 flavor. C. Thomas Howell pops up again, clearly hoping to steal Swayze’s thunder. Back off C. Thomas – this is the 12 Days of Swayze! What to eat while watching? Well, we need more true American, Commie asskicking food so more burgers and lots of ketchup!


4. “I can’t quit you!” I know, I know – not a Swayze movie. But every time I think about Point Break, I imagine Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Utah yelling it after Bodhi as they leap from a plane. You know he wants to. And who could blame him for wanting a piece of bleach-tipped, bank-robbing surfer Swayze? It’s total bro-love. I could suggest snacks, but instead I recommend watching this with a group of friends while playing the Point Break Drinking Game.


5. Steel Dawn. Not much steel. Not much dawn. Lots of Swayze, plus Mrs Swayze Lisa Niemi. Plus tons of fantastic 80s hair battling in a post-apocalyptic world. Don’t expect this to be Shakespeare. Just sit back and enjoy, but with this much hairspray, DO NOT light a match!


6. Halfway through our Swayziest Christmas ever, and it seems appropriate to step back for a minute and to observe where the Swayze appreciation began for me. It began with a Civil War costume, a sweeping orchestral score, and a Southern drawl uttering the words, “I luuuuuurve you.” Oh Orry! Yes, as a young teen girl, I fell in love with Orry Main in North and South. Sure, the miniseries had a cast that included everyone, and I do mean everyone. Johnny Cash, Gene Kelly, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor. But the lead was Patrick Swayze and every night we would all watch to see if Orry would ever win his beloved Madeline. To watch the entire mini series will take you well beyond Christmas, but there’ll be swoons galore and gallons of mint juleps, not to mention Kirstie Alley going all manner of crazy.


7. Now back to something seasonal, well wintry at least. Youngblood may have starred Rob Lowe (Keanu also crept on set too), but we all know the real star is Patrick – hey wait, he’s playing Rob Lowe’s older brother again. Coincidence or crazy Rob Lowe conspiracy? I’ll let you decide. Since this fine movie is set in the frozen north, i.e. Canada, an appropriate movie snack is, of course, poutine. Look it up.


8. Apparently, I am something of a rarity in the female world in that I am not a huge fan of the next film on our list. But this means that I can share a tip with you male readers. If your girlfriend or wife is less than thrilled with the Swayze-fest that we have been enjoying (and assuming that dumping her for said crime against Swayziness is not an option), make it up to her by watching Ghost. She’ll get all teary, you can continue your festive celebration, and all will be well in the world.


9. Continue the kindness toward your female companions with a little Dirty Dancing. Once again, Swayze gets to do what he does best – put on a leather jacket, strut in sleeveless shirts, and dance. While she’s admiring his moves, you can remember when Jennifer Grey looked like Jennifer Grey. I don’t really have any suggestions for snacks but drinks with little cherries seem apropos.


10. In England, Christmas is a traditional time for pantomimes – over the top stage productions of fairy tales, with men in drag playing the wicked stepmother. Watch the Swayze version of a pantomime with To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. Our Patrick shows his sensitive side in a wonderful turn as Vida Boheme, drag queen extraordinaire. Cocktails all round darlings!


11. With only two days left of the Swayziest Christmas ever, it’s time to get down to business. Next of Kin is close to my heart for several reasons. For starters, it’s set in Kentucky. More importantly, it features Liam Neeson as Briar, the man behind the immortal line: “This land's mine!...I can go out and take a piss on it in the middle on the night if I want to!” True story – shortly after I moved to Kentucky, I met a man who proudly told me that he had taught his two-year-old son to pee off the porch at his house. Apparently, it’s something of a local skill!


12. And finally we come to celebrate the very best Swayziest Christmas ever with the ultimate Swayziest movie ever. I could rave about Road House for weeks. Where to begin? When I was in grad school, EVERY woman in my feminist studies program admitted that this is their go-to guilty secret movie. What’s not to love. Swayze plays Dalton – a cooler too cool to be known as a bouncer, a cooler so famous that he’s known everywhere he goes (because we all know there’s a fan club for bouncers and you can collect them like baseball cards). But that’s not all. He has a degree in philosophy, practices tai chi, and is a martial arts whizz. He’s tough, but smart and sensitive. And as if this wasn’t enough, need I mention his best friend is Sam Elliott (a.k.a. the coolest man alive EVER!) Quite simply, Road House rocks. Sure Mike Nelson calls it pure movie cheese, but he’s just jealous that Sam Elliott isn’t his best friend. In fact, it seems to be a law in the US that Road House can always be found somewhere on cable TV, any time of day or night. I’d even recommend skipping all the other movies on this list and watching Road House every day. (You know you want to.)


So grab a beer, pop Road House in the DVD player, and join us as we sing the ode to one of our finest actors, as composed by MST3K:


All together now….

“Open up your hearts and let the Patrick Swayze Christmas in.

We’ll gather at the Road House with our Next of Kin.” (For the full lyrics click here!)

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