RED (and green) ALERT! There's a sequel to A Christmas Story that even the most passionate holiday movie buff probably hasn't heard of. No, we're not talking about that extra-cheesy straight-to-DVD abomination A Christmas Story 2 made in 2012 featuring Braeden Lemasters (who we have to admit was a dead-ringer for a teenage Ralphie.) No, this one was called It Runs in the Family, and later My Summer Story, and came out in 1994.
The little-known film was shown on Light TV on Dec. 13, and with the same narrator as A Christmas Story (Jean Shepherd) and characters of the same names and ages (that look nothing like the originals) viewers were like "what the heck is this?" Welp, we have your answers.
Ralphie and The Old Man. (Photo Credit: YouTube)
My Summer Story was released wide in theaters in 1994, one decade after the original came out. While it's actually not a holiday movie, it has the same vibe as the original, especially since it was based on semi-autobiographical stories by Jean Shepherd, out of his memoir In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. The film opens referring to what happened in A Christmas Story, which is slightly confusing because the characters look totally different from the old ones except The Old Man. Ralphie, however, is played by Macaulay Culkin's brother Keiran Culkin, which is cool, and the original Miss Shields, Tedde Moore, reprises her original role.
So let's talk about the film itself, shall we? While it takes a few minutes to get over the fact that the characters are different people, they all do a great job of taking on the same personalities. Plus, any Christmas Story superfan will get a kick out of the return of the Bumpuses, Scut Farkas, Schwartz, and Flick. Instead of obsessing over a Red Rider BB Gun, Ralphie just wants a top that can beat the new bully's in a game, and learns a lot of great lessons along the way.
Clearly, they were trying to do a National Lampoon thing with A Christmas Story, like Vacation and Christmas Vacation. However, My Summer Story low-key flopped in theaters, making only $71,000. We're willing to bet that it's harder to go from a Christmas movie to a regular film, versus releasing a comedy and then making a Christmas version of it. Regardless, this movie has a lot of the same heart of the original, and it's def worth a watch if you love A Christmas Story. You can rent the film on Netflix (DVD only), or Amazon. Plus, it looks like Light TV plans to show it several more times this season!