If anyone was going to save Christmas, it had to be Ernest P. Worrell.
Those of you unfamiliar with Jim Varney's somewhat cult creation may be missing out on some fun times, though Ernest Goes To Africa was pretty brutal...
Yeah, I watched that.
Ernest Saves Christmas, luckily, is one of the good ones. Not only because Varney once again delivers his own brand of rubber-faced, fast-talkin', cartoonish madness but also because Douglas Seale makes one loveable Santa and adds a lot of heart to an otherwise purely slapsticky farce. The film sees Santa search for a worthy successor and seeing as Ernest, who kindly drives Santa around in a cab, is all about that Christmas spirit, there's no better candidate to help Santa achieve his goal. Except maybe the elves who actually do have their own subplot in this movie, as do the reindeers, believe it or not. Actually, come to think of it, this movie has more subplots than it does have a plot as Noelle Parker becomes Ernest's sidekick and her character Harmony also gets her own arc of sorts.
Add to that random scenes of Ernest in drag, struggling with Santa's sack (of toys), destroying poor old Vern's house with an oversized Christmas tree, hanging out with snakes, being the worst taxi driver ever and flying around completely out of control in a sleigh and you've got yourself one very busy and very wacky Ernest movie. Fans of Varney's slapstick antics should find plenty to enjoy here and if you're looking for a heart-warming, fun-for-all-the-family type of movie for this season then you could do a whole lot worse than Ernest Saves Christmas. Somehow, even a silly Ernest movie managed to capture some Christmas spirit and deliver it to us wrapped in a big bow.
Easily one of Varney's best, this Santa-centric movie is entertaining, funny, bizarre and surprisingly charming. Worth seeing for Ernest's unique rendition of "O Christmas Tree" alone.